What Happens to Your Body During an Assault?
All of us who keep a weapon for self-defense, or go further and get a license to carry a gun, are prepared to use it to defend ourselves. We’re not going on the offensive – we’re only going to use a gun when we need to protect ourselves or our family. We prepare ourselves at the gun range as best as we can, and we read about strategies, but – and this is a huge one – we can’t force our bodies to start pumping adrenaline or make our heart rate skyrocket for practice, therefore we don’t really know what to expect during an assault.
When Fear Sets In
When your body first expresses fright or surprise from a perceived threat, a signal shoots to your amygdala, the part of your brain that controls emotion. This signal moves so quickly that you’re not given any time to think logically. Take for example how people will jump at the sight of a dangling skeleton during Halloween, even though we all know that the skeleton is not real and there is nothing to fear. Fight or flight response is initiated once you perceive a threat, so your body ends up flooded with adrenaline and cortisol to help provide energy during a stressful situation.
Distorted Vision Alters Your Perception
When you face extreme fear and distress during an attack, your vision is blurred and your brain struggles to process all that is happening in the moment. Some senses are heightened while others are actually suppressed.
During an attack, tunnel vision is the sensation allowing you to focus on and later remember specific details of an entire attack as opposed to analyzing the whole scene. This is why violent attack victims often report their attacker as much closer or farther away than reality.
Fighting Memory Loss After an Attack
The more stress you face during an attack, the more difficulty you will face when trying to accurately recall the details of the moment. An attack may overload your senses and cause memory loss. Your best recovery strategy is to get a restful, full night’s sleep afterwards to help regain your focus and some calmness.
Whether you are a victim or a witness of an attack, accurately recalling the event is critical for receiving closure, to help explain your reasoning for self-defense, and for bringing your attacker to justice. All of these things are something a highly qualified attorney can help you with.