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People with PTSD may have overactive ‘Fight or Flight’ response

Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. This response is characterized by the release of large quantities of epinephrine from the adrenal gland, an increase in heart rate, an increase in cardiac output, skeletal muscle vasodilation, cutaneous and gastrointestinal vasoconstriction, pupillary dilation, bronchial dilation, and piloerection.

The overall effect is…. The defense reaction is accompanied by strong sympathetic activity. Aggression is also influenced by the production of androgen hormones. Endocrine changes associated with this response include increased secretion of cortisol by the adrenal cortex, increased secretion of glucagon by the islet cells of the pancreas, and increased secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine by the adrenal medulla. This response, which may be triggered by a fall in blood pressure or by pain, physical injury, abrupt emotional upset, or hypoglycemia, is characterized by an increased heart rate tachycardia , anxiety, increased perspiration, tremour, and increased blood glucose concentrations due to….

Animal , kingdom Animalia , any of a group of multicellular eukaryotic organisms i. They are thought to have evolved independently from the unicellular eukaryotes. Animals differ from members of the two other kingdoms of multicellular eukaryotes,…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About Fight-or-flight response 4 references found in Britannica articles Assorted References endocrine system In catecholamine In human endocrine system: Adaptive responses to stress sympathetic nervous system In human nervous system: Sympathetic nervous system In human nervous system: The defense reaction.

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    • Uh Oh. These responses are regulated by the sympathetic nervous system and by hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenalin which are released into the blood stream. The process occurs very quickly and is not a conscious decision. Physical threats An ancient response to physical threats, fight or flight would have been very valuable to our prehistoric ancestors, as they faced physical danger many times throughout their short lives.

      It still helps to protect us by heightening awareness and helping us deal with emergencies.


      For example, it enables us to react very quickly and slam on the brakes when someone runs in front of the car. However, once the acute stress is over, our bodies quickly return to normal. The problem is that these days most of us are more likely to have to cope with psychological threats and stressors, like pressure of deadlines, traffic queues, delays, disagreements at work and office politics.

      Psychological threats Our psychological threats and stressors are different for each of us, based on our experiences, coping mechanisms, how we view life, our rules and beliefs, values, boundaries and measures of what's too much and out of balance. Constant threats — chronic stress With the fight or flight physical changes, you're wired for action. You're ready to face the threats and do your best. Things that can trigger the fight or flight response: Feeling threatened by: being asked to do things you don't want to do being asked to do things you can't do working overtime exams unwanted change Perceived threats or fears: not being accepted being embarrassed being laughed at being rejected Some psychological threats and stressors: pressures of deadlines traffic queues disagreements at work office politics We can be in and out of this fight or flight state many times throughout a day.

      This means we can be 'wired up' almost constantly — with dangerous consequences for our health.

      fight-or-flight response | Definition, Hormones, & Facts | ejuliwaqyd.cf

      The worst problem is the response to psychological triggers, to simple, not truly life-threatening events. Often, there's no defined enemy to fight or run away from, and yet your body is on the alert and keyed-up for action. It's left with the hormones and chemicals that would have otherwise been quickly removed or used up during the physical reaction it expected. As your body works hard to prepare for physical activity it releases stored sugars, glucose, glycogen, nutrients and fats required for the process.

      This not only drains your body, it also depletes vital stores and takes further energy to release or restore anything converted which hasn't been used. Ineffective digestive and bowel functionality can also lead to irritable bowel syndrome IBS , constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion and stomach ulcers which are all commonly related to stress. Stress also inhibits the immune system, making you more vulnerable to colds, flu, fatigue and infections. If you feel you are suffering with the fight or flight state on a regular basis, it would be advisable to make sure you get good nutrition, hydration, exercise and relaxation to help to combat the effect.

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