What to know about the freeze state - the third stress response

What to know about the freeze state - the third stress response

By: Hermita
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What to know about the freeze state - the third stress response

Freeze state can represent many things, but I will try to cover them all. Originally, the freeze state in psychology shows how a person reacts under a real threat. For example, the third stress response would be to experience the body’s and mind’s inability to fight against the threat.

Of course, that is not what we are going to talk about in this blog post. Instead, we will talk about the frozen state that can last for months or sometimes even years, and it is a very common experience for bereaved parents.

In one of our previous blog posts, I have already talked about overthinking and what you can do to stop it. For example, overthinking can also be a part of the freeze state. You may feel like you are constantly trapped in the vicious circle of repetitive thoughts, without being able to focus on some real-life problems (no matter how small) and solve them.
The freeze state can also affect your effectiveness at the workplace. You will feel like you are unable to do literally anything right or to focus on the tasks.


The freeze state can also be a part of the complicated grief - when you lose a child, you will literally feel trapped because there is nothing you can do to fix that. Read more about complicated grief in this article, if that is your case, and get the needed help and advice to feel better. 


This state can be a part of the burnout as well. You may feel stuck and not being able to get out of all that heavy load that is on your back.  What I want you to know is that the grieving process is a long journey and that you always have to be kind to yourself. And remember, it gets darker before it gets lighter. 


Sometimes, when living in a frozen state, you may feel like there is a solution you are seeking but cannot think of any that would be able to help you. I kindly advise that you surround yourself with emotionally safe people. They are the best ones who can help you to overcome the darkest moments.  Learning how to ask for help is crucial for bereaved parents. Remember that you don't have to go through all of this alone. 

In the freeze state, you may also feel like changing something big in your life but not being able to. For example, you may think about changing your job, or moving away, or fixing some things in your life. 

What helps the most in this state is to remember to live in the moment. The freeze state most often comes from severe anxiety (GOD) that last for a long period of time. Therefore, working on anxiety disorder can help a lot to move on. 


I hope this article was helpful - now you know why you feel the way you feel. Remember that the freeze state is very common among the parents who have lost a child. 

Hopefully, I can promise you one thing - that too shall pass and you will feel better with time. Anyways, it is a bit easier when you understand what is happening with your mind and body, isn't it?


Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences related to the freeze state. 

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