“autonomic neurosis.” The term was coined by Professor Robert D. Hare in his book, The Psychology of Normal and Pathological Stress, and it is a central concept that I wholeheartedly endorse for the purpose of helping people with autonomic neurosis understand and manage it.
The central idea in The Psychology of Normal and Pathological Stress is the notion that in order to maintain optimal internal conditions, the human body has to maintain a constant balance between two opposing forces. One is the drive to survive, and the other is the drive to avoid a dangerous situation.
The balance of these opposing forces is the body’s autonomic nervous system. It’s composed of nerves that carry impulses and messages from the body to the brain. When the body is in an optimal internal environment, the nerves that carry the impulses and messages are under normal control, and the impulse or message is therefore not a threat to the body. However, when the body is in an optimal internal environment, the nerves that carry the impulses and messages are under abnormal or pathological control.
When this body’s autonomic nervous system is functioning normally, it’s also functioning well. The autonomic nervous system is also called the “fight or flight” system.
An autonomic nervous system is a system of nerve pathways through the body that send messages of pain or pleasure to the brain. During times of high stress, the body can become over-active and the sympathetic nervous system will dominate, sending out messages of anxiety, fear, anger, and other emotions. The sympathetic nervous system is the part that causes the body to respond with fight or flight responses.
The fight or flight response is triggered by situations that require the body to take action. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, the body causes the heart to beat faster and pumps more blood to the brain. The fight or flight response is useful when there is an immediate threat to life or limb but at the same time it causes the body to become very anxious and nervous. When the body is in this state, it is difficult to think clearly and to make rational decisions.
The body’s automatic tendency to maintain a constant and optimal internal environment is termed the flight or fight response. The fight or flight response is triggered by situations that require the body to take action. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, the heart beats faster and pumps more blood to the brain. The fight or flight response is useful when there is an immediate threat to life or limb but at the same time it causes the body to become very anxious and nervous.
In the most common cases of flight or fight, the situation involves the need for the body to take action. The fight or flight response is a useful reflex that is activated only when a person needs an immediate action. This is why you know that you don’t get a lot of fight or flight reactions when you’re driving, cooking, or doing other things that don’t involve immediate danger.
The fight or flight response is the body’s way of trying to minimize the possibility of becoming overly stressed and thus causing injury. It’s this fight or flight response that’s responsible for the adrenaline rush you get when you’re on the football field or playing tennis. In extreme cases, this response can drive many people to jump out of vans, run at police officers, or climb trees.
The fight or flight reaction appears to be a common response for people who are stressed out, anxious, or injured. In extreme cases, however, it can cause a person’s internal environment to become completely unbalanced. This can lead to an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure and can cause a person to panic.