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#468306 - 08/01/14 04:37 AM Deer in Headlights Syndrome
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 960
Loc: southern California
Anyone had experience with....or know of....treatments, books, or resources to recommend on this survivor symptom?

Thanks
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#468309 - 08/01/14 05:07 AM Re: Deer in Headlights Syndrome [Re: WriterKeith]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3617
Loc: O Kanada
what is "Deer in headlights syndrome"?
is it a recognized condition or just a idiomatic description of behaviour?

all i could find worth mentioning was this.

Deer in headlights syndrome

We all experience moments when we feel out of our depth. Mostly it happens when something occurs that goes against our preconceptions of what could possibly happen. Some people take a moment to blink and then shoot into action, while others sort of freeze in place unable to decide what to do. This last course of action, or rather inaction, is often referred to as the deer in the headlights syndrome.

Unfortunately, these moments can happen after years of being confronted with scenarios where one does not know what to do or think of a way to cope with it. What usually happens is that a person confronted with such a situation will usually copy someone else’s behavior or obey an order. They might feel stupid afterwards for not having the right reaction during the occurrence but it gives them a semblance of an idea of what to do.


it was used in a legal argument as a defence but the verdict came in guilty.
The State versus Chelsea Chafee ~ Guilt by Association & Deer in Headlights Syndrome

that's all i got.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#468342 - 08/01/14 05:43 PM Deer in Headlights Syndrome [TO CLARIFY] [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 960
Loc: southern California
Hey, Victor,

"Deer in headlights" is an urban-slang reference to a symptom of PTSD. It's when a person is triggered and his response is:
* body senses go numb
* mind goes blank
* the innate "flight" urge kicks in

It could be the simplest event that triggers this:
* being called upon to perform in some way without notice
* having uninvited attention put on you (e.g. tripping in public, being called on in a meeting, being confronted by an angry person)
* intense emotional events, e.g. death of an acquaintance, witnessing a traumatic event, being forced to subject to a person of authority in a stressful situation), getting laid off, being falsely accused of something
* pressure to perform, e.g. writing a report, giving a speech, having a wife or partner propose love making
* decision making
* making commitments and fulfilling commitments
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#468344 - 08/01/14 06:32 PM Re: Deer in Headlights Syndrome [TO CLARIFY] [Re: WriterKeith]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3617
Loc: O Kanada
that sounds vaguely like the state of mind i was in as i witnessed the vigilantes beating my rapist.

i simply did not know what to do.
did not want to do anything.
did nothing except what i was told to do.
luckily, the other two guys were too busy beating the rapist to notice.
i stood by and "guarded the door".
if someone had directly ordered me to beat the guy,
i might have done it.
i was having a surreal out-of-body experience as i watched my life play out like a reality tv show.
i did NOT want to be there.


i am familiar with the phrase, but not with this particular ptsd association.
it may be a symptom of csa, but fortunately it is not one of mine.
i normally thrive and function well under chaotic conditions.

i hate the blame game, and always try to bring the focus back to solving the prevailing problem,
but i find that most "normal" people prefer to waste the first while accusing and abusing each other.
i refuse to play along.
i insist we fix first and fight later.
if they want to blame me, i say sorry, and worry about my reputation later.
there is plenty of time for forensics after the immediate issue has been resolved.
once everyone has calmed down and the obstacles and hazards have been eliminated, then i can atone or acquit myself.

if i am not able to calm the situation down, i leave.
if someone calls me a name or attempts to threaten or intimidate me.
then i F:LKJDS:LJ:IOEF:IE LOSE IT!!!!


we use the term "deer in the headlights" at work all the time to describe a blank scared stare you get from new guys who are afraid to answer a question or make a move for fear that they will get reprimanded.
they panic and freeze.
especially in rigging, where a mistake will result in catastrophic failure, grievous bodily injury or multiple deaths.
when in doubt, do nothing.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#468368 - 08/02/14 01:42 AM Re: Deer in Headlights Syndrome [TO CLARIFY] [Re: WriterKeith]
tbkkfile Offline


Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 286
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
Hi WriterKeith

I understand perfectly what your saying and feeling, I freeze, unable to make a decision, my brain refuses to function, for me the most important part is delaying whatever is causing it, sometimes a fraction of a second can be enough sometimes I need a little longer but it enables me to switch from "rabbit in a headlight mode" as we say over hear to thinking mode.

What works for me is pre-rehearsed actions as they are easier to do than to try to think of something at the time. It won't cover every eventuality but over time the confidence grows and it gets easier.

Wishing you well
David
_________________________
To look up and not down,
To look forward and not back,
To look out and not in

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#468372 - 08/02/14 03:19 AM Re: Deer in Headlights Syndrome [TO CLARIFY] [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 960
Loc: southern California
Thanks for the input, David.

I just caught an episode of the the TV show "Brain Games" where they talked about this very topic. They claimed it is a third category of primal defense, that there is "fight, flight, or freeze." It is believed to have been useful in being safe from predators by playing dead, being camouflaged, or taking advantage of a predator's poor vision.

It comes on me in unanticipated situations. Can you elaborate on what what you mentioned, "pre-rehearsed actions?"

Thanks again
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#468454 - 08/04/14 02:08 AM Re: Deer in Headlights Syndrome [Re: WriterKeith]
tbkkfile Offline


Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 286
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
Hi WriterKeith

My biggest problem used to come from being in a high pressure situation, normally at work dealing with deadlines, especially if someone was aggressive or pushy, I'd go into freeze or victim mode.

I started using replies such as "how do you mean", "can you explain", "in what way" the term for these are open questions, and can't be answered with a yes or no, so I found it gave me enough time to get my brain into gear and to break the freeze or victim mode.

David
_________________________
To look up and not down,
To look forward and not back,
To look out and not in

Top
#468455 - 08/04/14 02:29 AM Re: Deer in Headlights Syndrome [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 960
Loc: southern California
David,
Thanks, that is a great tool for those of us who are trying to manage "deer in headlights" (PTSD-related symptom) in similar situations. Thanks!
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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