It may surprise you to learn that many of your PTSD symptoms
are not due to your trauma.
They are caused by your nervous system's
response to your trauma!
Whether your trauma is physical, mental, emotional, sexual, birth, medical or any other kind of trauma, your body responds by activating your basic survival mechanism, the fight-or-flight response.
It can now be clinically measured that when a trauma is great enough, you can actually get permanently stuck in a constant state of fight-or-flight.
After you've survived your trauma, this innate survival response is not only no longer needed, but may actually be causing many of your PTSD symptoms.
The symptoms of a nervous system chronically stuck in fight-or-flight are very often the same as those reported in PTSD!
This is not a coincidence, yet it is completely overlooked in most PTSD treatment regimens.
• Could it be that many of your post-trauma symptoms have less to do with your trauma itself, and more to do with your nervous system being stuck in fight-or-flight?
• Could it be that you might be spending your time and energy mistakenly treating your symptoms, and not the underlying cause of those symptoms?
The answer to both questions is an emphatic YES!
When a trauma therapist referred me to Dr. Tessler, I was a mess. I had survived 7 years of cancer treatment and 4 years of an emotionally/verbally abusive marriage. It was the hardest decade of my life.
I had all the symptoms of PTSD: I felt emotionally numb and detached; I was hopeless about the future; I suffered from constant confusion and had short term memory problems; I couldn’t sleep through the night; and I was so tightly strung that I was constantly being startled. I felt totally burnt out and firmly stuck.
I had survived, but was stuck in survival mode. Every day I would get out of bed with one goal…just make it through another day. I lost my faith because I couldn’t believe I had survived cancer just to be in total misery…just existing.
I was very discouraged when I realized how long talk therapy would take to help me heal…to help me move forward, especially with my children growing up so fast! I was missing it all! I just didn’t have the ability to enjoy anyone or anything.
I was lucky enough to be pointed to Dr. Tessler’s website, FightorFlightTherapy.com. I took the quiz and scored 212. I met with Dr. Tessler and decided to give it a try. I followed the very simple instructions…it was so easy! Just sit and look at a special light for 20 minutes once or twice a day, and ‘just be.’ It was so simple, yet so effective.
As therapy progressed, I started seeing solutions to my problems. The veil of confusion was lifting. I was functioning again! My job became easy, I started working on my relationships, I felt peace, joy, and hope…I was finally unstuck…finally moving forward!
By the end of treatment, I felt I was flowing with the universe again…a feeling that eluded me for over a decade. Life became joyful again!
After completing the therapy, my score was 27. Really, 27! Fight or Flight Therapy was worth every penny and every minute. I have my life back!
After a lifetime of treating her PTSD, here is how Fight or Flight Therapy changed this
31 year old woman diagnosed with PTSD referred by her psychotherapist who specializes in trauma and EMDR
very abusive childhood
food withheld, high expectations, sexual abuse in the family, but not her(?)
eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)
intense SAD (winter depression)
"massive clinical depression" in college
panic attacks, couldn't leave the house
years of counseling and medications needed to graduate
stage 3 breast cancer at age 27
healthy for 3 years now
extreme high stress
anxiety: 9 out of 10 on the anxiety scale
perceived as intense and hypervigilant
very light sleeper
wakes 1-3 times per night and may not fall back asleep
has vivid active exhausting nightmares
fatigue and chronic low energy, due to constant:
extreme high stress
9 out of 10 anxiety
6 auto accidents
totaled 3 cars
constantly surprised by cars around her
poor immunity due to chronic stress:
chronic pelvic pain
recurrent kidney infections
can be on antibiotics for weeks at a time
"I've been surviving since the day I was born"
Initial Fight or Flight Questionnaire Score: 250
1. to be calmer and less hypervigilant
2. improved decision-making and problem solving
3. to be able to see the 'big picture' and analyze the individual parts
4. improved ability to prioritize
5. improved immune system
"I've been working on these issues my whole life."
"I don't see how looking at a light is going to help."
"I'm only here because my therapist insisted I come."
"I'm able to see the big picture of my whole life"
for the first time ever
several things came up during the light therapy sessions
able to work through them with her therapist
nightmares were almost nightly
now only one in the last 2 ½ weeks
packing for a trip used to take hours, now only 45 minutes
less startle, less vigilance, less 'pounce'
both think the changes have been "really impressive"
more of the same changes
a lot mellower
less head chatter
overall: "a lot more comfortable in my own skin"
hasn't felt the adrenalin rush since the first stage of therapy
handled IRS audit really well (would've been overwhelming before)
feels more integrated
a new sense of ownership over all these new changes with light therapy
major changes in close relationships (better, healthier)
better sense of how to take care of herself
1. to be calmer and less hypervigilant: "excellent, huge change"
2. improved decision-making and problem solving: "dramatic"
3. to be able to see the 'big picture' and analyze the individual parts:
"definitely, very capable of now"
4. improved ability to prioritize:
"one of the biggest changes, exceptional"
5. improved immune system
"no medical issues for months, even fewer colds"
Before Fight or Flight Therapy: 250
After Fight or Flight Therapy: 41 !!!
The Fight or Flight Questionnaire
Is Flight or Flight Therapy right for you?
These area a sampling of symptoms common to people stuck in fight or flight.
How many symptoms do you have?
You might be surprised, or maybe you will confirm what you already suspect.
© Fight or Flight Therapy, llc