Flag and Faint

September 02, 20223 min read

In another post, I discussed the first four stages of trauma:

  1. Freeze

  2. Flight

  3. Fight

  4. Fright

These are the stages that many people experience at some point. But the fact is that deep, profound trauma can go beyond these four stages.

To be precise, if your trauma surpasses the fright stage, you’ll get into flag mode. Your nervous system will get into survival mode when it’s overpowered by stress responses.


By shutting itself down.

I previously mentioned in another email that your nervous system has one goal – to keep you in balance. And when it gets overwhelmed, its survival mechanism causes it to turn off so as to stop the overstimulation.

The way this manifests can be quite frightening. 

In flag mode, you’ll experience disassociation, which is the feeling of not being present in your body. Things like talking and seeing texturally become less voluntary – as if you’re removing yourself from your physical body.

I’ve experienced this sensation more than a few times, and you might’ve as well. If so, you know how scary it can seem. But you must remember that it’s your body’s natural defense mechanism. And it’s not the only one.

If trauma reaches a point that your body can’t handle, you’ll enter the most extreme stage – faint. And I mean this in the literal sense, as your body will faint to shut itself down and recover.

One of the main reasons why this happens is so that you’re forced into a horizontal position in which blood can return to your brain. In addition, this is how your body releases the toxicity that caused this response in the first place.

Obviously, this can seem like the most frightening reaction to trauma, as it’s one where you no longer feel in control. 

But once you understand that these mechanisms are in place to protect you, they’ll seem a lot less scary. And this can go a long way to helping you recover from trauma. 

Once you realize that all of your body’s responses are perfectly normal, you can learn how to manage them from a place of compassion and acceptance.

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you increase your sense of self-worth so you can say “no” use your voice, stand up for yourself, and feel more confident:

1. Listen to The Bold Survivor Podcast

Join me each week as I interview survivors, experts and drop juicy tidbits of my own. Each episode contains powerful information to help you heal your wounding, connect better, and own that beautiful innate value that lives inside Every. Single. One. of. Us! —  Click Here

2. Grab a free copy of my book

It’s my signature system that takes you down into your core story and back up like a Phoenix to fly free. — Click Here

3. Join The Bold Survivor Collective and connect with survivors who are healing too It’s my Facebook community where bold survivors learn to heal, rise up, and be the bold beautiful souls they were called to be. —  Click Here

4. Join my Year-Long Group Coaching Membership Program

I’m bringing together women who are eager to end the self-doubt, shame and guilt….If you’d like to work with me on your emotional wellbeing plans… Click Here


Contessa Akin

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