It is my current understanding that cortisol is released 20-30 minutes after the initial release of adrenaline to a stressor if the stressor has not been dealt with. (Source: '20 - 30 minutes' and 'a few minutes' and Approximately 15 minutes after the onset of stress, cortisol levels rise systemically and remain elevated for several hours)
Cortisol's role when an acute fight-flight response becomes chronically activated or prolonged is to:
- Maintain the fight-flight response to help deal with the stressor, while also regulating the side-effects associated with the response.
- Regulates and enhances the use of glucose/energy
- Reduces inflammation during acute stress, but during chronic stress it suppresses the immune system (my textbook does not explain why, I'm pretty sure it's because of cortisol resistence developed)
However, my question is what happens when the freeze response becomes chronically activated? What hormones are secreted, does it have relevance to the general adaptation syndrome?
Source: Textbooks for Psychology for an Australian High School education certificate:
Psychology for VCE Units 3 and 4, 8th Edition Jacaranda