What is anxiety? Ask an Expert!


What is “fight-flight-freeze”?

From: Teen
To: Dr. Expert
Subject: Questions...
I’ve heard about something called “fight-flight-freeze” – what is that?


Anxiety triggers something called the “fight-flight-freeze” response. This automatic response helps you cope with danger. For example, you may yell at your mom for pushing you to take your driving test when you don’t feel ready (fight). You may avoid going to a party or leave early because you feel uncomfortable around people you don’t know (flight). Or, you may freeze and hope the danger doesn’t notice you, like when your mind goes blank when the teacher asks you a question.

This fight-flight-freeze thing is pretty cool. It’s like having superhero powers that you can activate when you need to protect yourself.

Learn about all the cool ways your body gets ready to protect you.