When studying Mental Health Training Courses such as those from https://www.tidaltraining.co.uk/mental-health-courses/ you will probably come across the fight, flight, freeze response. It is a natural human response, but it can be experienced at high intensity in those individuals living with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.
In essence, it is an involuntary physiological occurrence that takes place in our bodies and brings about a number of changes in our physical and mental processes and functioning. The responses exist to help us to fight, run away or freeze in the event of danger. This occurs in all humans and other animals as well and is what helps us stay safe.
When anxiety, depression and PTSD cause this response, it can be as a result of imagined threats or threats that have been escalated in how severe they are. During this automatic response, the body goes through a number of changes. These include:
- Increased breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Flushed or pale skin
- Muscles that become tense
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
All of these changes are the body’s way to help prepare you to fight, run or freeze in place. In some cases, these bodily changes can lead to panic attacks and hyperventilation. This occurs as a result of the rapid breathing as it can lead to us not breathing out enough carbon dioxide, which leads to a lightheaded feeling.