Interesting… the brain’s primal response mechanism

I had my first counselling session today and we discussed anxiety. I now unfortunately suffer from anxiety, having had a stroke and thought I’d try counselling to get a handle on my emotions and how to overcome the debilitating feelings associated with anxiety.

As many people have, I’d heard of the body’s Fight or Flight response before, but never understood it was an amygdala takeover, whereby the brain’s primal function takes over from the ‘thinking’ part of the brain, a primal response we have no control over and I have to regain control to put the thinking/conscious part of the brain back in control and that’s where mindfulness and grounding exercises come into play.

The link is an article I found interesting and thought I’d share it as I’m aware anxiety is something many SS experience following a stroke.


It’s an interesting part of the brain, and works in conjunction with the hippocampus and cerebellum. This is in relation to fear memories which is constantly active, so all these techniques like mindfulness, exposure therapy, and CBT help to not only control but also “replace” (for lack of a better word) with rational thought. I am well familiar with anxiety, unfortunately, I have identified it has been one of the foremost complications I have to manage in moving forward with my recovery. It is such a hijack that I’m always impressed when it flares up, particularly if I feel rationally that “nothing” has triggered it, but of course it can sneak up with background thoughts that don’t necessarily register at the time.

I have recently stumbled across biofeedback which is a way of controlling the body, mechanically. Biofeedback can also be used for other conditions like nystagmus, so I am currently investigating ways to do it at home as part of my rehabilitation ritual.

Have a jolly time over this silly season @Mahoney, thank you for posting this article, I always appreciate this kind of information because it helps me to understand and reinforce how the body and mind operate together. Let’s make 2022 a year where we have mastered the control of anxiety, and not the other way round.


Hi Rups @Rups I agree the brain is fascinating and for the most part it operates on its own with little conscious effort from the person, though as we’ve both discovered, along with countless others who have anxiety and panic episodes, this can lead to negative effects, though in essence it’s a survival mechanism, so in some respects has to be applauded.

Have a great time yourself, along with your family, over the holidays and couldn’t agree with you more about mastering the control of anxiety moving forward.

Wishing you a happy healthy New Year.

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Hi again Mahoney,
I am glad that you’re having counselling, I’ve suffered with my anxiety for 40 years since my car crash and never knew that the injuries I received had then caused the stroke and anxiety. Over the years (because it was never diagnosed) I’ve done self-hypnosis, mindfulness and daily meditations which have helped, but I always put it down to me being weak. I never stayed long in a job, I always suffered with terrible anxiety at board meetings etc., always carrying paperwork/files into a meeting 'just in case I forgot an answer and needed to read the files). I found that writing (I am a published children’s author, don’t do much now though), always helped as I was able to ‘make up’ things and there was no pressure to ‘remember things’. I look at everyone’s stories on here and can relate to them but get upset that no-one ever told me I’d had a stroke or could see I’d had a stroke. I read your stories now and realise how difficult the years have been but I’ve had fun and loads of jobs on the way;-)
Have a great Christmas everyone, stay safe and stay positive!

Hi Bert @Bert that had to be hard on you not knowing you’d had a stroke, I’m pleased to hear the mindfulness, meditation etc is helping.

Never think you’re weak, you are strong and positive survivor.

Wishing you all the best for Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year, take

Same to you Mahoney, have a good one and speak in the New Year! Best regards, John aka Bert.

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Hey @Rups @Mahoney and @everyone … have found a ‘gem’ on Netflix called ‘Human the World within’ … excellent 3D moving graphics, eg showing virtual journeys through the bloodstream. Also, bringing in experiences of people who’ve experienced various dis-ease in their body (not just Stroke), experiences of healthy people too, and contributions from Professors etc … who are on the whole forward thinking. Who knew we had a ‘Brain in our Abdomen’ eh? I think that’s right, just out of a TIA/Stroke so don’t quote me!

Not too overwhelming, and brought to life, for me, a much clearer understanding of how the Human body works … rather than 2 dimensional cartoon style pictures or even photos.

Anne :thinking::+1:

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Thanks for this Anne (@ZX1), I will definitely watch this. Our stomach “brain” or second brain, I believe plays an important role after stroke, so it’s good to make sure our stomach microbiomes are well treated. Hope you are having a decent week. :grinning:

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Hi @Rups,

Apologies for delay, thanks for wishing me a good week, hope you’re doing well :slightly_smiling_face::+1:… had yet another TIA/Stroke 😵‍💫 … just catching up … at a snails pace :snail: … after the other one 2(?) weeks ago

Yes, it was quite a revelation watching this programme, love the animations. My poor old Biome has not been treated very well, I have to say of late. I’ve been eating/drinking so purely :innocent:for years … and now unfortunately since theses last 2 episodes, well, …. shall we say … I’ve slipped back into old habits and am eating drinking poorly :scream:processed foods etc. Not good. The vertigo is back with a vengeance. Am trying my best to get back on track mood wise.

The NHS is in a mess where I live … so, am going to have to keep researching, and self healing plus of course using the excellent Forum! I can honestly say, without this Forum, I wouldn’t have made it this far.

Very isolated here, and no 1-1 professional support available on any level

Sorry to sound so miserable. Just wish I could get a ‘System’ in place for my recovery … no nhs care plan since initial stroke last year, or re poss initial initial stroke end of 2011. I feel like I’ve been ‘reteaching’ if that’s a word, myself how to do things. Used to be so full of life, was a CEO, was very involved in the Community, travelled, was fearless and always bounced back regardless of any challenges :kangaroo::tiger2::dolphin:

Anyway, I hope your brewing and gardening activities are still successful. Wish I could Surf again, truly miss the ocean :ocean::surfing_woman:

Hi Ann @ZX1 so sorry to hear you’ve had another TIA/stroke and there’s no rehabilitation help in your area, please give the Stroke Association a call to see if they can point you to services that can assist.

Wishing you all the very best, take care