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The Psychology of Depression and Anxiety - Dr. Scott Eilers

Why You Shut Down Sometimes

When you are in the depths of overwhelm, it can feel impossible to do anything - even when you know action is the one thing that will keep everything from falling a part. Why does this happen? What can you do about it? Can you do ANYTHING about it? This week's episode dives in deep on why you shut down sometimes.

Get my book: For When Everything is Burning⁠ ⁠Connect with me on TikTok⁠⁠Watch on YouTube:⁠ Here's what you'll find in this video: 00:00 Understanding the Freeze Response The freeze response, a psychological reaction to overwhelming stressors, can paralyze us, similar to a survival instinct triggered by life-threatening danger. This response is a product of our brain's inability to distinguish between chronic stress and imminent danger. 05:14 The Nature of Freeze Response The freeze response is an involuntary reflex, not a conscious choice. It occurs when the midbrain, convinced of imminent danger, redirects resources away from the frontal lobe, affecting functions like emotion regulation, behavioral inhibition, and complex social engagement. This response can be triggered by overwhelming stressors. 13:00 Effective Strategies During Freeze Response Motivation through pressure or consequences is not effective during a freeze response. Instead, focus on small victories, celebrate them extensively, and gradually build momentum to shift away from the freeze response.

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The Psychology of Depression and Anxiety - Dr. Scott Eilers
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