Fight, Flight or Freeze:Trained and Untrained Response


School is out for the summer and it is a normal day, like any other. The sun is shinning, birds are singing in the trees and you’re working part time at the local grocery store, bagging groceries to pay tuition. As you carefully place a carton of eggs into the bottom of a brown paper bag your mind drifts back to last night’s karate class. “Kata, kata, kata and more kata, but at least I passed my black-belt test,” you think.

A loud crash brings your attention back to the present moment and in the adjacent checkout line you watch a small-framed man deliberately turn over a shopping cart and at the top of his lungs yell, “I ain’t paying that amount. Its too much I tell you, too much.” People begin whispering and you feel the need to do something like take him to the ground, throw a roundhouse kick to his head or at least restrain him in a wrist lock, but you can’t. Your body has turned to stone, there’s a slight trembling in your legs and your mouth has become dry as cotton. Thoughts flood your mind and the urge to run grows stronger, yet simultaneously you feel an overwhelming sensation to act. “What should I do? What should I do?” You wonder.

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