Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Helping our patients with fight or flight responses

I often see folks who suffer chronic loneliness, or even if they are not “lonely”, there connection with their tribe is very labile. It’s an insecure connection. They sense that they can lose it at anytime.

Most of their connection is often conditional. Conditional on them being a certain way. Being agreeable perhaps. Being of a certain standard.

Like they say, everyone needs at least one source of unconditional love from at least one creature. If you don’t, you might be in trouble.

This can give them a lot of fear and anxiety, and if not resolved, are in a constant “fight or flight” response.

This “flight or flight” response will then emulate through all aspects of their lives. It can be very destructive, as they may “fight or flight” with whatever is in front of them.

Fix the loneliness, and the “fight or flight” will lessen. Challenge the “fight or flight”, and it might just escalate, worsen, and create more loneliness. 

So how do we “fix” loneliness?

At a societal level, more education in relationships perhaps.

At a primary care level, more support for families around what we are doing already, and possibly interpersonal skill training, more parenting support work, family therapy work, couple counseling, and more counseling/coaching work in general.

I understand that it’s not easy, and at the same time, that may be what is required, to shift society in a more “positive” direction perhaps.

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