Severe pain, fear of death, stress, tension: these factors are triggers for shock. In this state, the body releases a large amount of adrenaline, the excess of which provokes a sharp spasm of the precapillaries of the skin, liver, intestines and kidneys. In addition, due to shock, the brain, heart, and lungs receive much more blood than usual. And this leads to the centralization of blood circulation and worsens the state of health. In the material, we understand in more detail how the body reacts to shock and what protective reactions it uses.
How does the body react to shock?
In the first minutes of shock, a person experiences strong excitement. At the same time, his skin turns pale and his blood pressure rises. Respiration and pulse increase due to shock. If in the first 40 minutes the victim does not receive medical care, his condition worsens significantly.
In the second stage of shock, a person is faced with apathy and becomes inhibited. At the same time, his body begins to secrete cold sweat, and the body temperature decreases.
What are the body’s defense responses to shock?
Our body is a rather complex structure with different systems and biological cycles. And if a certain department of this structure fails, protective reactions are triggered. Below we tell which of them the body uses when faced with a shock situation.
Yawning usually occurs shortly before sleep or immediately after waking up, but in some cases it can be a defensive reaction of the body to shock, stress, or extreme fatigue.
The fact is that the main purpose of yawning is to cool the brain. Powerful stretching of the jaw also increases blood flow to the neck, face, and head. And the cold air that enters the body during yawning cools the internal fluids and the brain. This allows the body to lower its temperature to its optimal thermal comfort zone and function better.
2. Memory loss
Partial memory loss may also be a defensive response to shock. The body launches it in order to save the psyche after the experienced shock and emotional trauma.
Particularly often with partial memory loss are those who have had to endure emotional or physical abuse, as well as natural disasters and military operations.
3. Repressing Unfavorable Feelings
Due to the shock and severe stress experienced, the body can also start repression. This is a process when unfavorable feelings and thoughts are forced out of consciousness. At the same time, a person may face the fact that not only negative, but also positive thoughts will be suppressed.
Due to the process of repression, a person becomes indifferent to everything that happens. He no longer wants to communicate with other people and show any emotions. About why the desire to contact society may still disappear and what to do in this situation, read here.
4. Isolation of affect
This term is understood as a situation when, for the sake of its protection, the organism removes the emotional component of the experience from the creation. At the same time, the understanding that something terrible has happened remains.
As a rule, people who have experienced isolation of affect can talk about the experienced state of shock in an emotionless or even cheerful tone. But this does not mean at all that a person has managed to live through an unpleasant situation and cope with its consequences.
Due to the strong feelings of anxiety and experienced shock, a person may experience regression. This is the name given to the process of adaptation to a situation when a person unconsciously resorts to the behavior characteristic of him in the early stages of development.
It is believed that regression not only reduces the level of anxiety, but also allows you to relieve yourself of the level of responsibility for what is happening. Therefore, people who abuse it are considered infantile and poorly developed mentally.
This type of defense mechanism of the body is considered the most destructive. Most often, auto-aggression is shown by children, but in some cases it can also be seen in adults.
Self-aggression is manifested in the fact that a person begins to inflict physical damage on himself, engages in self-humiliation. Alcohol, drugs, or other hobbies dangerous to health and life may also appear in his life.
Substitution is a psychological reaction that allows you to transfer anger and irritation from one object to another in order to protect yourself. For example, a person who has experienced severe stress or shock at work may take out their anger on a colleague or child.
By the way, psychologists believe that many of those who are rude to strangers in transport or other public places are subject to this defense mechanism.
Read related:How to bounce back after a nervous breakdown
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