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    #1

    fight-or-flight responce

    Dear teachers,

    Just now I run into a phrase that bewildered me namely “fight-or-flight response.”

    Would you be kind enough tell me in some more ordinary English words the meaning of the phrase in question in the context of the following excerpt from a medical article?

    The idea of using beta blockers seemed heretical when it was proposed more than two decades ago. The drugs weaken the heart’s response to the fight-or-flight hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. But the hearts of patients with heart failure cannot pump enough blood, making it seem illogical to give them drugs that impede their hearts.

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: fight-or-flight responce

    The 'fight-or-flight response" can be healthy and/or life-saving; it worked fine for cavemen. When you're in danger, hormones equip you to deal with it.

    The same hormones trigger processes that can be unhealthy. Stress is good if it gets you 'psyched' up for an exam, but bad if it stops you sleeping the night before. As people adopt more sedentary life-styles, and do stressful jobs that stimulate the hormones but don't provide the relief of physical 'fight-or-flight', the problem has been getting worse (and getting worse more quickly).

    That tension between good and bad accounts for the apparent inconsistencies you've noticed.

    No time for more

    b

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    #3

    Re: fight-or-flight responce

    Hi BobK,

    Thank you for your prompt reply as well as for your briefly but sufficiently clearly written explanation. It was written briefly but to the point. Thank you again for your responsiveness.

    Regards.

    V.


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    #4

    Re: fight-or-flight responce

    'fight or flight' refers to the two possibilities open to a person when confronted with life-threatening danger - he can either stand and fight off this danger to his person, or run like crazy - flee from the scene, that is, 'take flight'.
    Adrenalin is released, which triggers release of Glycogen from the liver from the immediate supply of energy for this exertion; and the adrenalin also causes the heart to beat faster and breathing rate to increase. The faster heart beat means that blood is circulated more quickly around the body, (and so, to the muscles for all this fighting or fleeing), and it is the blood which carries the glycogen and oxygen to the muscles.

    The problem is, we don't come across many lions roaming around the supermarket aisles as we do our food collecting there - many of the old dangers are gone. But panic attacks have zoomed up, and it is this triggering of the fight-or flight response that causes panic attacks. The important point about this is, it is not the objective nature of the danger, but that the person perceives some situation as threatening. Hence, this could be some really important social situation, where they don't want to make a fool of themselves in front of their boss and colleagues by being gauche. So they feel anxious, feel their heart beating faster, hand shaking, and then are even more anxious in case these signs of anxiety are obvious to others. One cannot seem cool and sophisticated if one is shaking like a leaf. So they become anxious about how anxious they are getting, and will it get out of control, so in their mind, the danger increases; and the body responds with more adrenalin, and hence, more (quite normal) bodily symptoms of the anxiety reaction, and it snowballs into a panic attack.
    Last edited by David L.; 30-Apr-2008 at 12:49.

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    #5

    Re: fight-or-flight responce

    Hi DavidL,

    Thank you for your exceptional picterious explanation. It was very helpful for me. Thank you for your effort. I think you did your best to help me. Thank you again.

    Regards.

    V.

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