The Conundrum of Mental Issues and Stressful Situations
Whether depressed, anxious, in a soured relationship, bipolar, the logical choice is to take action- get help. More than one-third don’t. Why not? Let’s take a page from recent FBI and Homeland Security departments regarding survival strategies when under terrorist attack. One suggestion, promoted by them, and now widely disseminated, is “run, hide, fight.” The idea is: Run if you can; hide if you can’t run; and fight if all else fails. This three-step program appeals to common sense, but whether it makes scientific sense is another question.
Underlying the idea of “run, hide, fight” is the presumption that volitional choices are readily available in situations of danger. But the fact is, when you are in danger, whether it is a bicyclist speeding at you or a shooter locked and loaded, you may well find yourself frozen, unable to act and think clearly.
Yes, Frozen. More than one-third of us with mental health problems or in stressful situations avoid seeking professional help. Somehow WE are frozen.
Why do we freeze? It’s part of a predatory defense system that is wired to keep the organism alive. Freezing is not a choice. It is a built-in impulse controlled by ancient circuits in the brain. This variation in response is typical. Sometimes freezing is brief and sometimes it persists. This can reflect the particular situation you are in, but also your individual predisposition. Some people naturally have the ability to think through a stressful situation, or to even be motivated by it, and will more readily run, hide or fight as required. But for others, additional help is needed. (Joseph LeDoux, a professor of science at New York University, directs the Emotional Brain Institute. He is the author of “Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety.”)
This is where online Counseling on Demand comes in. You need not go through this alone. With our support, you can get through these times- unfrozen.
We can help. You needn’t leave your favorite/private place. Nor must you wait for an appointment. We are always there for you. You can begin in 24 hours or less.
You may contact us now. Your first consultation is free. Once you choose to schedule an appointment, we can be quite flexible; for example, if something comes up, you are in mid-crisis (panic attack, deep depression, anxiety etc.), you can contact us immediately, not waiting for your next scheduled time.
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