Tiny mouse frozen in fear, Author Madhur D’silva (PD)
Abuse victims can experience anxiety so severe we are literally paralyzed with fear. Berating ourselves for lack of nerve, for cowardice, for weakness and – worse yet – a lack of faith does little or no good.
That the situations which cause us such extreme anxiety do not always, on their surface, appear threatening only makes matters worse. We can add to our list of faults childishness and irrationality.
None of this criticism is justified.
Fight, Flight, or Freeze
Most of us are familiar with the “fight or flight” response.
The body responds to perceived danger by preparing either to fight or flee. The nervous system releases adrenaline and norepinephrine, increasing brain activity, blood sugar level, heart output, and blood flow to the muscles. This response is automatic. It is not under our volition.
Science has learned that freezing behavior is…
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