When a person perceives the threat of harm—whether emotionally or physically—their body will automatically initiate a survival response. Heart rate elevates, palms begin to sweat, breathing becomes rapid, and thoughts race. These changes are all part of the fight-or-flight response, which prepares the person to either confront or flee from the threat.
The fight-or-flight response forms the basis of several mental health symptoms, including stress, anxiety, and anger. In The Fight or Flight Response: Fact Sheet, we provide basic psychoeducation in a question and answer format. This worksheet can serve as an addendum to standard psychoeducation about the fight-or-flight response, or as a prompt for group discussion.
1. Barlow, D. H. (2004). Anxiety and its disorders: The nature and treatment of anxiety and panic. Guilford press.