Tag Archives: Brain

Physiological Responses to Stressful or Traumatic Events: Part I

Part I of this article includes information about how our bodies physiologically respond to a stressful or traumatic event.  These stress reactions are universal and necessary for our survival.  I hope that this information will be useful to you.


Stress as a term by itself is misleading. Instead, there are stressors, stress states, and stress responses.  Stressors are for the most part, subjective.  What is stressful to one person will not necessarily be to another.  Parachuting out of plane for one person is an exciting, uplifting, and in fact calming experience, while to another, causes fear and trepidation; an event to be avoided at all cost.

Stress states can be charted on a continuum, from normal stress to what is known as a dissociative stress state, most often a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I am not going to discuss PTSD at this time, rather for now, I want to look at the continuum between normal and chronic stress states. Continue reading