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Fight and Flight: Conditions, Work, Symptoms & Treatment.
What are Fight and Flight?
Fight and Flight response which is also called as hyperarousal or acute stress response. It is a type of physiological reaction which can be experienced by both humans and animals when they are in trouble, stress or fear. The Fight and Flight response is a biochemical reaction that prepares humans or animals to react or to escape.
In the early 1900s American physiologist, Walter Bradford Cannon first described the functions of this response.
What happens in a Fight and Flight response?
As soon as the threat is recognized the sympathetic nerve fibers of the automatic nervous system are operated. Due to which certain hormones release from the endocrine system.
The Fight and Flight response is considered to be very useful and important for both animals and humans. But sometimes Fight and Flight response becomes an anxiety disorder. The problem is not your fight and flight response but the problem is the activation of fight and flight responses when there is no trouble or problem is present. It happens when there is a fault in the functioning of your fight and flight response. This malfunctioning of the responses can cause many severe health issues.
Symptoms of Fight and Flight Response:
The Fight and Flight response can cause anxiety, uneasiness, tension, difficulty in thinking, sweating, increase heart rate, breathing rate, increase blood sugar level, pale or flushed skin, dilated pupils, trembling and shaking.
Increase in heart rate and breathing rate:
Your heart rate is increasing so that blood can reach to the areas of your body that need it most. Fight and Flight responses can make you breath faster, which can cause chest pain, breathing problems, and more.
Anxiety is actually a good thing. The problem is not anxiety but the anxiety disorder, which triggers the fight and flight responses when there is no danger. You should learn to control your anxiety.
Stress, Sweating, and Uneasiness:
Stress can damage your psychological health. It can cause many mental and physical changes in you. It makes you feel threatened and raises your breathing rate and blood sugar levels, causing sweating and uneasiness. Running or fighting will heat you up. Body heat can use up energy, which causes sweating and your body remains cool.
Blood sugar levels:
The fight and flight response affects the glucose levels. It may raise the blood sugar level. Also, sugar level can be increased by stress or tension when you are in trouble.
Pale or Flushed skin:
Pale or flushed skin is also a result of the fight and flight response. When you are threatened then the flow of blood to the surface of your body is reduced so that the blood can be reached to eyes, ears, nose, brain, arms, legs and to the areas which are in the need of it.
Dilated pupils help you to react more faster when you are in difficulty by allowing you to gather much more light.
Trembling or shaking:
Trembling or shaking is a result of fight or flight response. When you are in trouble or any difficulty your body will release the hormone epinephrine also called adrenaline. Anxiety or tremors causes shaking of the body.
How does Fight or Flight response work?
Imagine you are passing through a jungle. You are walking along and an angry wolf is directly in your path. How will you react? What will you do?
If you don’t have your fight or flight response then you would not be able to do anything. You would be unable to fear the wolf or fight with the wolf, so you wouldn’t know that you need to escape. If you tried to escape then also you can be caught by the wolf. It would be like getting into a fight but not able to use much strength or react rapidly.
This is the main reason why you have Fight and Flight response. These responses activate and make changes in your hormones rapidly. Fight and Flight responses trigger the neurotransmitters and body to prepare you to take an immediate decision, to run or escape. You should be thankful for the Fight and Flight system. At the time of trouble, these responses help in improving blood flow to the areas that are in the need of it. Additionally, it keeps your body cool and provides you more strength and energy. It improves your thinking and decision making ability, helping you see and react more quickly.
Because of the presence of Fight and Flight response, you are able to feel the fear of wolf and you would immediately know how to react. These responses help you to quickly recognize the fear and react to it. It tells you to fight or to escape from it. As soon as you see the wolf you would have much energy and strength to run away without hurting your body.
The Fight or Flight response plays a vital role in your body.
What triggers the Fight and Flight response?
The fight or flight response are triggered by the sudden release of the hormones. The automatic nervous system consists of two components that are parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system triggers the fight and flight response. This system works similarly as the pedal of gas in a car. It provides the body with the lot of energy and power which help us to respond very quickly. This helps our brain to take decision instantly. The hormones which are activated due to the responses prepare your body either to fight or to escape to safety. After the threat gets disappear the body goes back to normal.
What is Anxiety Disorder?
It is a mental health disorder. This disorder is due to increase anxiety, stress, tension, fear, and uneasiness. These disorders are a group of mental illness which can not let you live your life normally and peacefully. Anxiety is a normal reaction which is essential in some situations. Anxiety helps you to pay attention and react quickly to danger. But on the other hand, anxiety disorder is different from anxiety. These disorders refer to hypertension, an anticipation of future concern and are more associated with muscle and avoidance behavior.
Treatment helps people to cure disorders and help them to lead the normal life.
These medicines help your body to feel calm and relax. It may take some weeks to work. These medicines help you to feel happy and you will remain stress-free. The higher dose of these medicines may cause side effects such as feeling sleepy, uncoordinated and foggy. One of the most beneficial classes of anti-anxiety medicines is Benzodiazepines. Some of the medicines are Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin.
These drugs help to enhance the patient’s motivation and increase their confidence level. These drugs help to decrease negative thoughts and boost your anticipate facing panic. These medicines take up to 4 to 6 weeks for recovery. The most common use medicine for anxiety is SSRIs, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Some medicines are Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, and Prozac.
These drugs help to resist the norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is the hormones which our body release due to fight and flight response. These drugs are helpful for phobias, social phobia and performance anxiety. These drugs do not affect the emotional symptoms. Beta-blockers affect the physical symptoms of anxiety in our body. Physical symptoms such as sweating, uneasiness, shaking of the body, pale or flushed skin, increasing breathing or heart rate and trembling voice. Some commonly prescribed medicines are Inderal or Tenormin.
Self-Help and Coping:
Stress management methods, exercise, and meditation will help you to cope up with these disorders. Learn more and more about anxiety disorders. Help your family members and friends to understand that can also be helpful. Avoid caffeine which is very harmful and takes the help of your doctor.
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