Fight Flight Freeze

What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Polyvagal Theory

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is polyvagal theory. Polyvagal theory was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges in 1994 to describe how the nervous system relates to the environment. The vagus nerve The name polyvagal theory comes from the multiple circuits that involve the …

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diagram of the window of tolerance, with hyperarousal and hypoarousal on either side

What Is… the Window of Tolerance

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is the window of tolerance. The window of tolerance was first described by psychiatrist Dr. Dan Siegel in 1999. It’s used to describe levels of arousal, both psychological and physiological (and no, not sexual). The window represents the …

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graphic of brain circuits

The Neurobiology of Traumatic Fight/Flight/Freeze

A few years ago I was thinking about applying for a nursing job with a sexual assault support team, so I decided to learn more about the body’s biological fight/flight/freeze response to trauma. What I found out was really interesting, so I thought I’d share. The amygdala’s response The amygdala is a primitive part of the …

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MH@H book review: The Body Keeps the Score

Book Review: The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk is perhaps one of the best-known books about trauma, particularly early life trauma. It’s been on my to-be-read list for quite a while, and I’ve finally managed to get around to it. This is a hefty book. The digital version that I was reading weighed …

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