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Panic Reactions

by The Crisses

This article is always in tweak/development mode, but it's more advanced now than the podcast episode on the topic: Panic Reactions: 8 Important F-Words (012) New.

This article is analyzing appropriate reactions to panic-worthy situations (PWS), and will mention how we carry these panic reactions with us outside of the actual situation in itself.

What are Panic Reactions?

Life is full of panic-worthy situations. All living things have defensive measures they take when something adverse happens to them. Plants secrete resins, some animals have defensive poisons, some attack, some freeze, etc. Some plants and animals have defense mechanisms that are always engaged, such as thorns on bramble bushes to protect their berries, or chameleons blending in with the background. Others only react to a panic situation with a defense after the situation begins.

Not every situation elicits the same defense. Various species have developed a "menu" of reactions to choose from. A lion may attack or retreat. Animals may "play dead" when hurt or just as a result of a threat.

We (Crisses) have identified a minimum of 8 panic reactions. These are Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn, Follow, Fortify, Fabricate and Facilitate. The generally recognized ones are Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn, Follow. We have added 3 to the list, and there may well be others. We describe each of them below.

Usually the Fight/Flight and Freeze/Flop reactions are thought to be purely physiological responses where other responses (such as Fortify) are thought to be more complex not-purely-physical reactions. In a reductionist sense, perhaps Fortify is a modified Fight response. There has been some study, for example, of the Fawn response and they set it apart from the purely autonomic responses. One day they may change their mind about it. We think Fawn is a panic response affected by oxytocin. Time will tell what they think of this topic.

How do Panic Reactions happen?

Generally speaking we don't choose our reaction to a panic-worthy situation (PWS). These reactions are programmed into our subconscious and not really part of our frontal cortex. When our body (usually brain) becomes alerted to a PWS, it will engage a special range of chemical and hormonal reactions to them that changes our metabolism and primes our body and brain for certain sets of responses.

For an in-depth discussion of panic states please see the conference session on Better Spoons: Passion & Presence as a Daily Energy Source by The Crisses.

Training and desensitization can help people avoid this innate chemical reaction and maintain more control over their responses during a PWS (see the Facilitate reaction, below). So what is or is not a PWS may vary between individuals. A fire fighter is trained not to panic when there's a raging fire. They may still feel fear, but are still able to maintain choices and control their behavior in response to fire.

Where does anxiety, PTSD & C-PTSD come in?

Living in a state of panic outside of PWS is generally not healthy (it has physical repercussions and erodes healing and immune response), but there are times (PWS) when panic-reactions are fully warranted. Our body is attuned to these situations and panic reactions have saved lives and been recorded in our genome in some way. It has been shown in studies of animals that children will carry specific sensitivities to react to related PWS experienced by ancestors with them for several generations.

People living with PTSD and C-PTSD can carry panic states well past the timeframe of a specific PWS. When we have flashbacks and intrusive thoughts, it puts our body into the a state of readiness for panic reactions even when the situation doesn't warrant it. This state is sympathetic nervous system activation or what we call Panic Cycles.

What does ANS activation feel like in the body?

Subjective experiences of autonomic nervous system (ANS) panic reactions can vary from person to person. Panic reactions are characterized by intense fear or discomfort and can manifest in two main ways: hyperarousal and hypoarousal.

These feelings can vary in intensity. The Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale (SUDS) New page describes a 0-10 rating scale for ANS panic experiences.

Here are some examples of how panic reactions may feel in the body, generally dialed up to a 10:

Intense Hyperarousal (Fight or Flight Response) Examples

Intense fear
A sudden and overwhelming sense of fear or impending doom.
Rapid heartbeat
Heart palpitations or a pounding heart, often accompanied by a racing pulse.
Shortness of breath
Difficulty breathing or feeling as if you can't get enough air.
Profuse sweating, often accompanied by clammy hands or a sweaty forehead.
Trembling or shaking
Involuntary shaking or trembling, sometimes affecting the whole body.
Chest pain
A sensation of pressure or tightness in the chest, which can be mistaken for a heart attack.
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Feeling faint, unsteady, or as if you might pass out.
Rapid breathing, sometimes leading to tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
Feeling of choking
A sensation of a lump in the throat or difficulty swallowing.
Inability to stay still, a strong urge to flee or escape the current situation.

Intense Hypoarousal (Freeze or Flop - Shutdown Response) Examples

Numbness or detachment
Feeling emotionally detached or disconnected from one's surroundings.
Derealization or depersonalization
Sensation that the world or oneself is not real or unfamiliar.
Slowed heartbeat
A decrease in heart rate, sometimes feeling like the heart is beating too slowly.
Shallow breathing
Breathing becomes shallow and constricted, as if not enough air is being taken in.
Muscle tension
Muscles may feel tense, tight, or rigid, as if preparing for danger.
Feeling paralyzed
Difficulty moving or feeling as if you are physically stuck in one place.
Mental fog or confusion
Difficulty thinking clearly, making decisions, or processing information.
Emotional numbness
Feeling emotionally blunted, unable to experience or express strong emotions.
Sense of impending doom
A vague, persistent feeling that something terrible is about to happen.
Loss of appetite
A decrease in hunger or lack of interest in food.

It's important to note that these are general descriptions of the most intense subjective experiences — individuals may experience a combination of symptoms, and various levels of intensity from 0 to the worst issues imaginable.

Panic reactions can be distressing. Understanding how panic feels in the body can help individuals recognize and manage their own reactions more effectively. This can also help professionals assess the distress level of their client.

These are the physical panic reactions, and there may be additional issues in the body such as flashbacks — see UNSAFE New for more about how the body may respond when panicked.

What determines which Panic Reaction we choose?

Each (plural system member or singular, animal, tree, vegetable, insect, reptile…) system is wired for some preferred defense mechanisms and panic reactions. The panic reactions are generally autonomic nervous system reactions, to a degree, and aren't selected consciously.

Panic Reactions and Plurality

One interesting thing about plurals is that we can cycle through more panic reactions than most singular folk do, as a general rule. So many plural systems try on various panic reactions to try to "solve" their current PWS. Many plurals have C-PTSD, which means that they go through routine or repeated PWS and get many opportunities to test out how different reactions go over and pick the one they believe results in the least trauma for the situation or relieves the most pain or damage.

Some plural systems have repetitive trauma experiences in several domains, locations, or scenarios, which can lead to a far more diverse system with several layers (polyfragmentation, with subsystems and/or groupings of headmates, potentially created around testing reactions to very different scenarios). The more erratic and varied the situations, the more reactions we may have tested in combination with triggers or situations/state dependent memory situations.

This makes more sense when you consider that plural systems have different brain activation "thumbprints" depending on who is fronting. We suspect that science will discover that plural fronts affect DNA activation as well (as seen in physiological changes between whom is fronting); it follows that different fronts will have different autonomic nervous system reactions to any given PWS, and thus a plural system probably reacts differently to each of a variety of PWS by way of activating (triggering) different system members to front depending on the situation.

It is possible that this inherent ability to access many panic reactions drives our having different identities (rather than the different identities driving our different reactions). It depends on how you view human development, and how foundational survival is to identity formation. Consider that since we have the ability to access these different reactions, it's possible our system has cycled through various reactions to repeated PWS to determine which reaction is most successful to avoid further trauma. When a reaction seems to work (ease suffering, shorten the length of a given PWS, or make that PWS cease to happen altogether), that reaction may be selected to be reinforced and kept "on hand" for future PWS.

Panic Reaction as a developmental lens

So at least for trauma-based plural systems, the Panic Reactions may be closely aligned to different types of residents. When you account for the myriad types of PWS and the 8 panic reaction possibilities, you can generate countless residents if you look at formation through a panic reaction lens. Folk with C-PTSD usually have been traumatized in many ways. For example we were traumatized at home, at our sitter's house, at school…and consider our childhood to have been "No safe refuge" — we had very few safe spaces. The resident who handled emotional abuse situations didn't handle physical abuse issues. Even if the panic reaction was the same, the PWS was different, so we ended up with more than one resident attuned to handle different situations in different ways.

This is a very trauma-forward developmental lens, and thus very limited. But as a temporary and limited lens, it still may help with understanding why stuck alters who are still cycling through their own panic reactions or stuck in specific panic reactions behave the way they do. We use it to help us gain more compassion for stuck folk and rebels, to see how their reaction may have helped or served the system at some point — versus how being stuck in that reaction or applying it to other situations may be unhelpful or dysfunctional in the Here & Now New.

The "8" Panic Reactions

Here are the 8 (9…10…wait! ack) panic reactions we have identified and an explanation of how they appear and what types of residents may be based off of them. The first 5 are recognized by psychology, if you dig into literature: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Tend & Befriend (Fawn & Follow respectively).


This is the classic "fight back" "fight or flight" panic reaction. It may include standing one's ground, defending boundaries, getting angry, being protective, being aggressive or defense only.

Many classically-labeled "protectors" are "fight" types though if you look at this whole list, you can see how everyone in the system is a protector of sorts.

System members who use the Follow panic reaction may also have a good measure of Fight panic reaction as well, so many system "rebels" may be fighters. This means once they're in the Here & Now, and onboard with system agreements they can be very effective protectors and do a great job of defending system boundaries.


This is the classic running away panic reaction. It does not have to be physical. It can include an individual system member retreating from a situation, and someone else fronting. It can also be part of a system member fleeing (dissociating from) the situation.

Flight can also be seen in any reaction where there are urges for constant movement such as pacing or driving, or an intense need to get out of a specific place. Some folk have to "keep busy" and use flight energy and busy-work to put off dealing with PWS.

Many of the folk in-system who are ill-equipped for confrontation or defense default to this panic reaction. Often when a protector is triggered front in a PWS, there may be a fronter who fled the situation.


This is a panic reaction that includes "playing dead", stopping in one's tracks, going catatonic or fetal position. It may also include partial sensory freeze reactions like mutism, going rigid, numbness, being unemotional or deadpan expressions, unresponsive.

This is sometimes seen in stuck traumaholders. In our case, someone even ended up with a name (Ice) based on the reaction.


"Fawn" is a reaction to take care of someone else. It's cited as a mixture of panic and oxytocin, the bonding hormone.

For example someone can play up to an abuser ("If I'm an asset, or a better person, then they'll ignore me." or "They're strong, maybe they will protect me as long as I can stay on their good side."). They become a caretaker for them in an attempt to placate them, win favor, and to be an asset to them so they won't target the headmate. This is also reflected in Stockholm Syndrome.

This also typically comes with taking care of external (or internal) children (the "Tend" of "Tend & Befriend"). Sometimes you double-down on taking care of the kids to buffer or protect them from traumatic impact.

This panic reaction can be a go-to for caretaker headmates.


A conformity or "gang member" mentality. Leverages "belongingness" to try to buddy up with the abuser.

"If you can't beat them, join them." This is a panic reaction derived from the idea that an abuser will not attack a mirror image of themself, that the abuser's instinct for "self-preservation" might extend to externals that closely resemble them. So the victim tries to be more like the abuser. It's a valid (like they all are) reaction to a dreadful situation. The victim likely doesn't realize that their behavior is likely to become abusive as a result, and on a subconscious level they're still protecting or serving the system. They usually don't recognize their own patterns of creating trauma.

When anxiety goes up, these headmates may double down into undesirable behaviors even when the abuser is no longer in play because they don't realize the abuser is gone (if they're stuck in the There & Then) or because this has become a part of their identity and personal panic reaction instincts. Easing up on creating more anxiety for these headmates (don't call them names, for example) can help them ease up on the undesirable behavior.

Follow is where "internalized abusers" come in. Abuser introjects, persecutors, and various other system "rebels" may come from this panic reaction.

Also commonly seen in tropes where a villain will have a protégé or underling that mimics them.


Build a bigger wall -- hard boundaries, could be internal. Could be walled off from the external world. This stands out from the Freeze reaction in that the person still has feelings, is still potentially aware of the Here & Now, they're just rock solid and hardened, or completely separated from the situation. They have impenetrable boundaries.

Headmates with this reaction may appear to be made of stone, robots, etc. Or they can appear in-system in hard walls, locking themselves in. Can be paired with the Facilitate reaction.


The fabricate reaction is taking any unrealistic view of the PWS. This can be redirection of blame (sometimes to oneself), remaining in denial that the situation is what it is, and any other form of lying to oneself about the severity or existence of a situation. "If I don't acknowledge it, it will go away."

This can also include retreating into fantasy worlds, lying to friends or family about the abuse, strong denial of the situation ("It wasn't really that bad." or "It's not the abuser's fault — I deserved it."), etc.

It creates a great deal of conflict internally when the people you rely on are untrustworthy, so sometimes it's easier to just rewrite reality than realize that you're dependent on abusive or neglectful assholes who are doing a lousy job.

Denier headmates, or some hosts will have a great deal of fabricate reaction to a variety of situations such as lost time, or unreliable family. Also many hosts may fall into denial when they get a diagnosis or someone else tells them about their headmates if they have no co-consciousness.


This reaction is "manage the situation" — often accompanied with emotional detachment, an attempt to stay anchored in what is real and not reacting to it emotionally, delegation, analysis of options, risk management, quick thinking, and putting off any processing or emotionality until after the crisis is over.

This is the reaction to a panic-worthy situation that may look the most "put together" during the situation but still can respond later with PTSD to the panic situation anyhow, and over-analysis of what the "right thing to do" was and guilt or other emotional processing issues that can be had by anyone after a panic-worthy situation subsides. folk with this panic reaction may have a very difficult time asking for help, sharing responsibility, delegating, and take on too much "handling stuff" to handle. "If you want it done right, do it yourself" doesn't know how to strike a good balance with interdependence and partnership.

Some folk have "manager" headmates who may be facilitators. Some protectors are really good at the facilitate reaction.

*New* Fitting

When you cave in to external pressure to conform or fit to someone else's expectations. This is the act of editing yourself to match who externals need you to be, or caving in when they foist their image of you on you and pressure you to match it. This creates something like an "extroject" — an internal format, mask, proto-person who may eventually become a headmate in themselves, but was initially formed by external expectations or needs for you& to conform to an external image of who you& ought to be. This is something like Fabricate at first, but the new reality you are creating is your own identity & personality.

Other candidates

Flop or feint
These could be part of Freeze — or probably were lumped in with freeze initially, but now are considered to be a different and involuntary autonomic system reaction. Rather than stiff, in this case one gets floppy, "fall to pieces" and is another form of playing dead. This can also cover certain dissociative reactions, such as dissociative seizures or non-epileptic seizures. This is thought to be an extreme nervous system response when the nervous system gives up because it believes a painful death is coming, and it will go limp, "play dead" and cause extreme dissociation so that it's not as painful.
Someone who often tries misdirection from panic/pain/trauma by way of trying to make a joke out of everything. "The world is a joke anyway, why are you taking it so seriously?"
"If I blend in and don't stand out, I won't be as likely to be targeted." Similar to follow or fitting but they’re a chameleon and mold to traits of people around them to blend in with the herd. So rather than trying to fit peoples expectations (fitting: “tell me who you want me to be”), they subconsciously take on traits, styles and habits etc of those around them to conform and hide in plain sight. Don't stand out; blend in. A form of copycatting. So for example someone with social anxiety issues might not actually have any particular religious faith intrinsic to oneself but act as a devout religious follower & even participate and volunteer in a religious community to "hide in plain sight."
a form of passive-aggressive rationalization and rejection fairly advanced on the pathway to burnout. "If I can't fit in, if I get exhausted trying, if I feel excluded — why not just say 'fuck it' and walk away." Even though it may ultimately hurt, it hurts more to want it and to not get it, so they may as well stop wanting it. This is the grandchild of flight, but contains a lot of rationalized or reactive despondence — a form of giving up and walking away. In many cases of burnout, people quit their job suddenly, often will move or relocate, take up an entirely new profession, etc. Contrast this with the amnesiac version called dissociative fugue which has some similar features.

Panic-Reactions: Making Things Worse

We routinely caution plural systems against creating more PWS in their system by their own behavior, inside and out. When plurals bully, get angry, punish, name-call, abuse others, punish insiders, vilify or condemn people, etc. it may be interpreted as a panic-worthy situation by insiders and rebels, who then act out more.

Any situation that increases system-wide anxiety will increase individual system members' panic reactions. However, there are some behaviors that may resemble past trauma triggers and thus escalate anxiety or panic reactions rapidly to completely dysfunctional levels.

CW: Example illustration, high anxiety trigger cascade. Intense emotional reactions and internalized harm mentioned. Jolly Roger is a stuck persecutor and gets triggered front to tear down an external enemy and yell at them and curse at them. Midway, a stuck system teen, thinks that these angry lashings out are at them, and runs off somewhere to cry and leak sui thoughts throughout the system. Felicity, an anxious carer in-system, has a panic attack feeling like they're a failure for not taking care of Midway better. Several system kids, whom Felicity also normally cares for, then collapse into freeze reactions. Bruno, Felicity's protector, sees this crap going on and gets pissed off and tosses Jolly Roger into the Brig (an internal jail), restricting Jolly Roger's access to the entire (support) system. Jolly Roger locks further into their Follow reaction and starts yelling at and verbally abusing system members (just like Unnamed Inspiration used to do), which leads to more panic reaction cascades. [Editor: now we recognize how much of this situation also revolves around Shame New issues. Big new topic being rolled out over time.]

Such chain reactions can erode internal relationships quickly, escalate anxiety, cut internals off from being able to communicate with each other, and wreck system trust.

Hopefully this makes it clearer how even external cursing or name-calling, excluding headmates, jailing headmates, restricting their access to internal and external resources, punishing them, etc. can create bigger problems for your system.

Making things Better - How do you improve situations like this?

Having better in-system boundaries, and helping folk into the Here & Now New is generally recognized as the best solution for these types of issues. Boundaries between headmates, having an internal reparenting center (see Re-parenting) that has the ability to shield system kids and their caretakers from outside influence, restricting rebel access to front while they're non-cocon or emotionally distraught, finding better ways to handle adversity inside & out (you don't need to defend external boundaries in an aggressive or angry way), etc.

Another thing is being more compassionate and grateful for internals; if there were more compassion perhaps the situation would have gone down differently i.e. more understanding others' positions than taking what they're doing personally. Also, timing out folk while they're out of control is very different than punishing, restricting, or jailing them once they're calmed down.

Where to go from here

Once you understand your headmates in terms of the panic reactions that they may be exhibiting, you can build up more compassion and gratitude for stuck headmates (rebels, traumaholders, etc.) and perhaps work more on building up coconsciousness, or helping them get into the Here & Now New.

<< Trauma versus Abuse New | ManualTOC | PTSD >>

See Also



We are a semi-recently diagnosed DID system on our journey to better understanding ourselves.

I was wondering if you're able to elaborate a little further (if you haven't already done so-- in which case I would greatly appreciate a point in the right direction!) on the development of these more recently identified, more "complex" panic responses. By more complex, I'm referring to the responses that involve higher levels of critical analysis and/or strategizing (in particular Facilitate, though Fitting/Flocking stood out as well).

These responses interest me quite a lot, as a member of a system that is comprised of many alters who seem to default to these types of responses. It seems in our case that these responses took more time to develop, since they seem to necessitate a certain degree of experience/skill/knowledge to employ (Facilitate, for example, involves a lot of assessing new/unique situations, then drawing from a variety of previously acquired skills/knowledge bases to come up with the best possible "solution"). It is involves needing to remain somewhat grounded in the Here & Now (at least as I understand it), which certainly has taken a lot of time and practice for us to be able to do when in the midst of a PWS.

I suppose I'm just curious to know if you've further discussed somewhere the possible implications of default panic responses as it may relate to the development of the system member and/or system as a whole. For example, would alters prone to these responses likely have been present longer and in or near front for long enough to have built these skills-- or might it be just as likely that newer alters, formed during adulthood, could have come into their identities already with these skills drawn up on from other system members?

I hope this makes more sense than I worry it does(n't), haha, and also that I'm not asking too much of you here! In any case, this was an extremely helpful read and I greatly appreciate the work you've done/are doing to advance understanding of plurality.

Comment by Deacon on March 12, 2024

Yeah this makes sense, and we're preparing a video on the more social panic topic, so it's very timely (and helps us to get more thoughts together on this topic).

So, we have the basic what we are now calling "Dino brain" panic reactions: fight, flight, freeze & flop. These are the most "ancient" parts of the autonomic nervous system and most concerned with staying alive in dangerous situations. We didn't have anything to do with developing these -- they're recognized in literature sometimes by different names (like in polyvagal theory) but they're all accounted for.

Then the more social-connections-based panic reactions - fawn, follow, fabricate, fitting and flocking. We have a hypothesis that they developed during times our ancestors (early mammals through primates & early humans, etc.) banded together (or "buddied up") into flocks, clans, pods for group survival benefits. This part of our ANS which we've started to call "Buddy Brain" monitors threats to our belongingness, inclusion, rank, and status in survival groups. We did come up with some of these. Tend & Befriend we read about long ago and we tweaked them into f-words fawn & follow. (We don't really have the nurturing instinct portion as a distinctly separate f-word here as we think that's more part of caregiving instincts rather than panic reactions — so one might be placating an abuser or more powerful figure under "fawn", and there's still the nurturing instinct as well.)

Fabricate is seen in the deep need to rewrite one's own reality such as "I can't bear to think my caregivers are dangerously neglectful, so it must be something about me…" — pairs well with fitting "…and if I tie myself into knots, they will finally be able to properly care for me." (or "…finally be inspired to care for me.") This can start quite young and the same survival mechanism of "it can't be them, it has to be something wrong with me" (a deep carried shame New reaction) can continue into adulthood. Thus fitting (in) is often a partner reaction with fabricate: "I will self-edit the unique parts of me that are objectionable until I am worthy of the care & attention I need" — hiding and repressing parts of myself. Flocking is a strong desire to conform, fit in with the crowd, not stand out, blend in — to not draw negative or positive attention — pretty easy to see how that might work in a tribal survival situation and fold in with the others.

So, I'm sure Stephen Porges (author of polyvagal theory) would object to all of those, as he only acknowledges the basic "dino brain" 4 reactions — but then he's also admitted in training videos [NICABM training on Shame] that he doesn't feel shame, we're ready to fire him from any trainings on the topic.

We've been giving it some thought recently — and we're starting to think about where fortify & facilitate fit in and perhaps those are more frontal brain, later-in-human-development reactions. They require more planning, thought, patience or craftiness/foresight. Some forms of fortify may be a branch off "flop" -- i.e. shut down and just endure, but less "play dead", but it can also like the "build a blanket fort" — it's neither running away, nor fighting, nor feint/flop. It's hunker down, sheild/wall off, be quiet, endure. Less "social conformity hunker down & don't draw attention" than flocking…

Facilitate is "We'll worry about how we feel after we put out the fire." It's almost like the nervous system goes into a freeze and frontal cortex goes into problem-solving hyperdrive. "Someone muzzle Dino Brain, placate Buddy Brain, shit's hitting the fan and we have to do something about it right now." Facilitate grabs the fire extinguisher, puts out the fire, then goes away and we have a meltdown after the smoke clears. "Do the thing, then feel the fear." So it has some squelching of immediate panic similar to fortify reaction, and it may seem pro-active on the outside. The autonomic nervous system may still form a PTSD reaction about the fire & events leading up to it (triggers) later (especially as most folks we're talking about already have a tendency towards PTSD & C-PTSD in the first place).

So -- why did we come up with the idea for facilitate? Because that's one of our go-to reactions. And it may come from a deep need to not be a burden, to be hyper-independent, and we then end up looking super-capable on the outside. People call us "brave" etc. -- but we're still collecting trauma & PTSD in the meanwhile, locking people out from helping us, etc. We were trying to do facilitate even as a young teenager -- we'd "Handle" things, problem-solve even though we weren't the wisest person around. It was always accompanied by throwing a blanket over the fear -- "out of sight, out of mind" -- and holding back panic or anxiety attacks til later. Not saying this is a bad thing, but acknowledging that there's a bounce-back pending.

As for development of system members -- we have ideas, theories, and a lot of information about our & others systems in the research library in our brain. But this stuff is not really documented anywhere but here. We suspect that there's something of a panic reaction round-robin if we go through similar traumatic scenarios enough times, and we start trying different ways to handle the same adversity. If fight fails, let's try flight. If those fail, freeze. If that still fails, what about flop. There's a chance that each time we pair Adversity A with Panic Reaction Y we get a new potential headmate AY who may stick around and continue developing. But that's just one potential way amongst many ways headmates might form. And maybe that fits for some headmates (or subsystems!) and not others. Consider "subsystem that handles school adversity" and various headmates tuned to trying various panic reactions - and that subsystem is closer to front (state dependent memory) while at school. Now our rolodex of headmates tuned for school situations is ready to tackle school situations. Once home, they're towards the back and the subsystem that handles home adversity is more front. One of the many possible ways that polyfragmented systems might be organized -- but definitely not the only way.

As to when these panic reactions (and any potential headmates that might be affiliated with them) might form -- you might be right that some panic reactions may be developed along the way as we mature. Or the panic reactions may change & become more elaborate as our skills, abilities, knowledge change — some are definitely overlapping or have a chain-reaction "affinity" for each other, like one may lead to another in a progressive manner. We're not a researcher or psychologist. We are pretty well-read and a deep thinker, and pretty skilled at taking a lot of disparete information and coming up with some possibly useful or novel information from it.

So we don't know if any of this is "true" as in provable in a laboratory situation. However folk definitely do seem to subjectively relate to this stuff -- and have offered up ideas to add to the list of F-words, which we added to the possible additions (beyond the first 8 we came up with). And so from a self-help point of view, if these are ideas y'all relate with and help y'all to make progress in healing and encourage y'all to be more compassionate & understanding with each other -- please use them! If they don't work -- discard with prejudice LOL.

In some ways, it's a bunch of labels/taxonomy to help folks describe potential shared experiences (in system & out), and not a diagnostic system or meant to box people or headmates into cubbies. There's a chance some of this stuff is important, and maybe some researchers will discover more instincts & panic reactions in the wild that mesh well with our observations. And maybe these are more complicated than instincts or panic reactions and the "only real ones" are the "Dino Brain 4". Some researchers (Porges etc.) reject the idea that fawn is a "real" panic reation, for example. Or maybe we're right and they're neglecting a whole additional layer of social panic reactions (in part because one of the researchers lacks those panic reactions LOL).

Thanks so much for the questions, sorry this is long LOL

Comment by Xes on March 13, 2024

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