Posts Tagged ‘fight or flight’

PTSD: Navigating normal people



Outsiders see simple solutions to complex trauma, a normal mind can not fathom a severely traumatized brain.

A non traumatized brain has no serious implicit memories, no paralyzing fear, no symptoms of hypervigilance, flashbacks, or avoidance at all costs.

It is similar to life or death when triggers explode. Explain that to someone who has never experienced it.

From the outside it looks like we have big mood swings, but actually it is trauma being triggered followed by PTSD symptoms.

My nervous system felt like it turned upside down, it was out of my control, I suffered while trying to calm it down.

Remember the trigger may be neutral with no danger from the outside as a normal person looks at our behavior.

I have been laughed at when triggered in public by a friend.

That did not end well.

I could take a step back while meditating and observe my nervous system. I felt like a spectator as my adrenal stress response would fire violently without cognitive input from me.

It had a mind of its own and an endless power source.

How could they possibly understand an event decades old feeling like it is not only alive, but maybe lethal to our existence.

I would challenge anyone to live a week with your fight or flight mechanism firing 15 times a day, then tell me how easy it is to heal.

I have been there and it fired like that for over a year.

One of my biggest frustrations is navigating friends.

Some of my friends became so frustrated with me, they started criticizing me for not being strong enough to let go.

Sadly all this leads to more isolation.

For most of us, we are ashamed of our PTSD around others.

We are afraid we will be triggered around them in public.

Hard to function in a group when Trauma is highly active.

How do we navigate and heal in this environment?

I do not have an easy answer for these questions.

Please share your experiences and successes.



Triggers and our fight or flight mechanism



This is a common sense look, not an intense scientific diatribe, more my organic experience.

When PTSD literally exploded, that is my fight or flight fired one day, life was never the same. No one understands a nervous system running on tilt with all those drugs.

Cortisol and adrenaline were dumped into my blood stream. Our Sympathetic nervous system powers up instantly, jolted into action.

The problem became the number of times my fight or flight mechanism fired each day.

10 maybe 15 times a day, PTSD spotted imminent danger, dumping more and more cortisol and adrenaline.

I was so wired my body shook. I stopped functioning, not leaving the house for six months.

Fight, flight or freeze does not happen after the first couple of triggers firing.

We freeze solid, try to avoid at all costs, start to isolate and live in a panic stage for a while.

I did little healing during this extremely uncomfortable feeling.

Cortisol is used to defend us in a life and death circumstance, not be our normal at rest daily existence.

Our fight or flight mechanism rarely fires in a non traumatized brain.

We rarely run into a 1200 pound mother bear charging at us before lunch.

This pandemic and quarantine are an invisible danger that has impacted our children and every person suffering from any mental disorder.

Have gratitude for the ability to resist and take action.

Many who follow this blog take daily action and are looking for wisdom to find a way out.

We have to want to heal more than any other desire in our life.

Our loved ones need for us to do this also fir their benefit.

Lots of purpose for all of us.



Meditation calms the Storm: “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing after Trauma”



“When we meditate, we are reversing the biological damage trauma does.

Meditation calms the storm.

It quiets the amygdala’s frenzy and balances the sympathetic nervous system’s fight or flight response with the rest and digest of the parasympathetic nervous systems vagus nerve.

Scientists have shown that if you meditate regularly, the tone of the vagus nerve–its level of functioning—increases.

And with better functioning, you get better self-regulation, enhanced memory, clearer thinking, greater ability to deal with life’s stresses, and quickly recover from anger and distress.

The improved vagal tone that comes with meditation also activates the nerves associated with facial expression and speech, which make it easier for us to recognize and welcome the support that others may want to give.”




My two cents: We use meditation to calm our nervous system, then make friends with our fight or flight response.

Their is no fear inside our fight or flight mechanism, worry and negative judgments add the fear.

If we lose our fear of triggers, healing is not far behind.

I force my triggers to fire at times with imagery, using the energy for hiking.

Fight or flight is just the release of neurotransmitters, adrealine and cortisol combined with physiological changes.

Nothing to fear, it is our own defense mechanism.



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