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What it is the "Fight, Flight or Freeze" response and what do to about it.

Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

What happens when we feel that we are in danger?

When we feel we are in danger our bodies react by automatically starting the "Fight, Flight or Freeze" response. We have no control over this. Our bodies release the hormones Adrenaline and Cortisol which make us feel more alert so we can act faster and make our hearts beat faster, quickly sending blood to where it's needed most.

After we feel safe, our bodies release other hormones to help our muscles relax which can sometimes cause us to shake.

Most people feel anxious at some point. It's especially common to experience some anxiety while coping with stressful events or changes, especially if they could have a big impact on your life, such as, taking exams, job interviews, first dates.

Anxiety can become a mental health problem if it impacts on your ability to live your life as fully as you want to. For example, it may be a problem for you if:

  • your feelings of anxiety are very strong or last for a long time

  • your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation

  • you avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious

  • your worries feel very distressing or are hard to control

  • you regularly experience symptoms of anxiety which could include panic attacks

  • you find it hard to go about your everyday life or do things you enjoy.

If your symptoms fit a particular set of medical criteria, then you might be diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder. But it's also possible to experience problems with anxiety without having a specific diagnosis.

What to do about it?

Effective treatments are available including medication, CBT and talking therapy. We recommend monitoring your feelings, triggers and chatting with a doctor.

We can set up a student support agreement (SSA) for Anxiety or help you find a diagnosis. Please contact the Disability & Mental Health Coordinator by email for more information

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