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Fight or flight response

Posted May 13 2010 12:00am

Hey People,

As I mentioned previously I am researching stress at the moment. My main reason for starting all of this was because of how I was reacting to stressful situations. You know what I'm talking about here; the tiniest bit of stress=complete overreaction and breakdown........ This can be very embarrassing and difficult to explain to others, especially when we don't really know what's going on in that moment either.

It all goes back to the animal instinct, like a deer being chased by a lion. The same thing happens in humans when they feel threatened. The problem with ME/CFS is that it is said that the body is stuck in an alerted state anyway. Then when we experience the smallest amount of stress, the body already being on alert goes straight on in to fight or flight response. 

Here's a little bit of what happens to the body during the stress response(fight or flight): 

  • "The core of our stress response is built around the fact that your muscles are going to work like crazy.
  • Therefore, the muscles need energy right now.
  • One of the hallmarks of the stress-response is the rapid mobilization of energy from storage sites and the inhibition of further storage.
  • Glucose and the simplest forms of proteins and fats come pouring out of your fat cells, liver, and muscles, all to stoke whichever muscles are struggling to save your neck.
  • The delivery of all this mobilized glucose sets about the increase of blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. All of this is done to transport nutrients and oxygen at greater rates.
  • During the stress response, the body puts a halt to bigger jobs(less urgent) – digestion, growth & reproduction
  • During stress, growth and tissue repair is curtailed, sexual drive decreases in both sexes”.
  • Immunity is also inhibited during the stress response",       
Robert M. Sapolsky, 
Why zebras don't get ulcers      

So, a few things that are important here are:

Now I know why I personally freak out, and feel like just getting the hell out of the situation is–– because all that energy has been taken from other parts of my body and into my arms and legs - flight!

Also we can see why one feels so uncomfortable when the stress response takes hold.

Lastly we see how the body holds off all those bigger jobs for the time being. This is very bad for the body when one is experiencing high levels of stress continuously, which is not uncommon when living with such a crazy and confusing illness.

I'm personally really trying to work on not getting too stressed when I can. Not just for how it must affect my body, but also for how much it freaks me out when the smallest situation can set me off for the day, which inevitably makes me ill.

When I'm aware what is taking place in my body at these times, it helps me to understand the situation better. It has also been very beneficial for my boyfriend to know, since he is the one who gets to experience it at its worst when we argue!

I would have liked that to be more coherent. My brain isn't working properly at the moment, so it will have to do : )

Thats all for now folks.

I hope you're all well...

Treya : )

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