What Is the Fight or Flight Response and How Does It Relate to PTSD?


What is the fight or flight response and how does it relate to PTSD?


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Posted on BrainLine May 8, 2013.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Erica Queen, BrainLine.

Comments (1)

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I feel that the mental aspect of "fight or flight" is only a small part of the issue. My veteran usually chooses the fight path despite me staying very calm, lowering and slowing my voice, and listening to his objections, and avoiding conflict. He does say threats and things he regrets. It is not only the mental but the physical, in a fight your epinephrine and cortisol increase and this floods the body not by his choosing but because his brain and body chemistry has changed from ptsd and tbi. Following this "fight" his whole body aches, he is drained of energy, needs a nap, and is despondent, uncaring, and depressed, or worse. I actively try to avoid triggers I am aware of such as large public gatherings, loud abrupt noises, certain topics, and so on but it is impossible to shield a veteran from all triggers at all times, but I also hate him going through this cycle and wish not to see him go through it. I will seek further help as a caregiver, and he seeks counseling as well, but I think more could be elaborated on with this topic and advice on how caregivers can assist veterans through the difficulties of the fight or flight response.