Being in survival mode means to be ready to defend/protect myself from harm and danger .
🤺 The danger can come from the current situation which is unsafe : my physical or my psychological integrity is threatened. 🧘🏼♂️The current situation can be absolutely safe and stil I am feeling the need to protect myself.
🤺The past was not safe though : my caretaker were frightened/frightening, I was abused, neglected, nobody was there to reassure me, attend to my needs. I had to develop some automatic mechanisms to survive : be on the look-out for potential danger, make myself small, fight, run away,...
These defence mechanisms are stil embedded. They become automatically activated when an element of the current situation (can be a word, the time of the day, a person,...) brings back the person in the past. The person is not living in the here and now but brought back in the past that was dangerous.
Anxiety is present , a radar scanning constantly for signs of danger. There can be anger, a need to fight back the danger, the strong urge to run away, the need to go numb and freeze, the need to make myself small,...
🤷🏼♀️How do I know that someone is on survival mode? Reactions are disproportionate to the current situation.
🤷🏽How do I know that I am in survival mode?
I experience bouts of intense emotions that I cannot control. 🎨 drawing by the talented @krikiicd