Thursday, June 23, 2011

Anxiety, "The Fight or Flight Response"

Anxiety or "unhealthy stress" is actually a normal response to danger.  It is a fight or flight response.  It is easy to understand that when you see a bear, you either to fight it or you run away.  I can tell you without shame, that I will definitely be running away.
That is why whenever people get stressed, they either get angry and they "fight", or they withdraw and they "flight".  Can you relate to this?

Now, let me make it clear that this response is NORMAL.

When people have an anxiety "disorder" or a panic "disorder", this response is triggered by events that is not what we would normally rate as "dangerous".  So in a way, the response is a FALSE ALARM.  It is like having a security system that goes off whenever an insect crawls across the sensor.  In essence, the response is normal but the sensor's sensitivity is malfunctioning and needs RESETTING.

In order to reset this, one needs to be aware and then learns how to use the conscious brain in order to reprogram the subconscious brain.  You can learn to do this through Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy.  Medications like Serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be used as an adjunct but certainly is not the complete answer.

Hope this will help.

Dr Vin Family Doctor Australia

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