What is the FREEZE response?

In its essence, the FREEZE response is the nervous system overwhelmed. The FREEZE response is a vestige from the oldest part of our brain: it is our nervous system’s last line of defense to protect us against threats. The freeze system comes online when our nervous system has tried all other methods to adapt to a stressful or traumatic event, and those other methods just aren’t working! The threat is still there- or the situation still feels scary. In the freeze response, the nervous system feigns death. The logic of the freeze system is that the body may be about to face severe injury or physical shock, so the body is flooded with endorphins to make us feel numb and disassociated. Another possibility is that in feigning death, a predator may lose interest in us and move on. So physical and psychological immobility is another effect of the freeze response: the muscles become tight and rigid like in rigor mortis. The freeze response is a very important mechanism in our bodies: it helps us survive overwhelming events. It becomes unhelpful, however, when due to the recurrent or extreme nature of chronic stress or trauma that people’s nervous systems get stuck in this state long term. Feeling chronically spaced out, unable to focus or process new information, difficulty connecting with others or life/the world, depression, hopelessness, unnecessary feelings of guilt and shame, numbness, and muscle stiffness are all signs you may be chronically stuck in the freeze state. The good news is that all people have incredible capacities for healing, and there are methods of returning to balance and releasing this immobility and “stuckness” from our bodies. Contact me for more info! #nervoussystem #freezeresponse #freezestate #stuck #depression #ptsd #dissociation #ptsdrecovery #healingfromptsd #emotionalhealing #traumarelease #mentalhealth #mentalhealththerapist #somatictherapy #bodyfocus #bodyawareness #somaticwork #somatictherapist #alternativementalhealth #alternativementalhealthcare

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