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Kunoichi

PTSD and Flashbacks

9 posts in this topic

For many of sufferers (myself included) the most difficult thing with dealing with PTSD is the flashbacks (reliving the event of trauma) that occur. This can be triggered by something that is harmless (a color, a smell, a sound) or can be reminders of the actual event itself (seeing the person again, being in a similar environment or situation).

The hardest part with what ensues with this is how to cope with it. I'm starting this to see if I can get a few ideas going for myself and others on how to cope and manage them.

Put your ideas below if you can. thanks! :)

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Hey Kuno, I'm sorry you're going through this, 'tis a difficult one for sure. This is something that helps me with intrusive thoughts, though it's not specific to flashbacks, which are probably more difficult to control, but worth a shot I guess.

Firstly I grab onto something, sounds silly, but has a grounding effect, brings you back to yourself, then I visualize a huge hand making a 'stop' gesture, I make the visualization so it completely fills my field of (imaginary) vision. At the same time I say a loud and very firm NO in my head, but could be said out loud too if circumstances permit and you find it more helpful, needs to be loud enough to drown out any sounds from the thoughts/flashbacks.

While all that is still in my head and before the original thoughts can come back I go into a 'preprepared thought' to distract me, something I've already decided I'm going to use for this so I don't waste time thinking something up. Could be something comforting, maybe a happy place or event, or could be something banal to bring you back to the real world, or could be something you have to think hard to remember, like listing all the US states. Doing all this usually controls things for me and brings me back to reality.

'Tis good for a distraction when things are getting too much, but I'm sure you know expressing what happened and how you feel is important, and that it can be a way of getting things out of your system properly. I know how hard that is and that it doesn't come overnight, I'm always here if you need someone to open up to, have been through some similar things.

I hope this helps, even if it's just a little, hang in there xxxx

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Thank you Cat! :) I shall definitely try it. Someone once suggested to me to put a "superhero" or someone i feel safe with in my flashbacks as a means of being an observer rather than relieving it.

Very difficult thing to even observe for sure. Thank you for this though, I shall definitely try it! :)

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Hey Kuno, I'm sorry you're going through this, 'tis a difficult one for sure. This is something that helps me with intrusive thoughts, though it's not specific to flashbacks, which are probably more difficult to control, but worth a shot I guess.

Firstly I grab onto something, sounds silly, but has a grounding effect, brings you back to yourself, then I visualize a huge hand making a 'stop' gesture, I make the visualization so it completely fills my field of (imaginary) vision. At the same time I say a loud and very firm NO in my head, but could be said out loud too if circumstances permit and you find it more helpful, needs to be loud enough to drown out any sounds from the thoughts/flashbacks.

While all that is still in my head and before the original thoughts can come back I go into a 'preprepared thought' to distract me, something I've already decided I'm going to use for this so I don't waste time thinking something up. Could be something comforting, maybe a happy place or event, or could be something banal to bring you back to the real world, or could be something you have to think hard to remember, like listing all the US states. Doing all this usually controls things for me and brings me back to reality.

'Tis good for a distraction when things are getting too much, but I'm sure you know expressing what happened and how you feel is important, and that it can be a way of getting things out of your system properly. I know how hard that is and that it doesn't come overnight, I'm always here if you need someone to open up to, have been through some similar things.

I hope this helps, even if it's just a little, hang in there xxxx

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PTSD often times either plays like a picture or a movie. The way it represent itself in very different to many different people. They way we represent resourceful is completely different than how we represent our PTSD movie/pictures. Best of luck to you in getting help.

Aaron Cornett,Certified Life Coach,Phobia Destroyer

http://www.aaroncornett.com

I provide free PTSD coaching to veterans!!!

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PTSD is really hard on me. Iv had it for at least 13 years and it was caused by being raped by a family member. Iv been able to cope with it but lately for the past few weeks I'v been really on edge about everything. I have horrible nightmares that take place in whats happened to me but also some of it is not whats happened. I haven't peed the bed in at least 5 years but the other night I all most did and I don't really know if that is a bad sign. I just really need to talk to someone about whats happening because I'm so on edge I'm destroying my relationship with my boyfriend. I try to stay awake because if I go to sleep I know ill have a nightmare and I really don't want them. When I'm around people sudden movements will trigger it and even certain words or topics. It is really out of hand I'v broken three windows now because of this have done self harm. I honestly don't not know what is happening to me. I'v never been this violent before. Something I have to do to calm myself down when I feel anxious because I'm alone it gets worse, I have to go through the whole house to find something like a photo or a letter of something to distract me and most of the time its not even my own stuff I look through... i probably don't make since i do apologize for that I have trouble speaking and typing because of my PTSD....

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Hiya Neddy

Firstly a huge welcome to phobia support :)

I am sorry to read of your experiences .... please never feel alone here on the forum as we all suffer in one way or another.

Have you told your doctor about your fear's etc as he may refer you for CBT or another form of counseling to help alleviate your symptoms

Also try our chat room here where other's may have similar fear's to yours

I wish i could be of more help .... but i myself suffer agoraphobia , GAD, severe panic attack's etc ,but i wish you all the best in overcoming your problems etc

love dino

xxxxxx

154welcome.gif

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My doctor told me MANY years ago that for flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, stress or any other symptom of PTSD that I need relief from, I should grab the ice!  Thats right ice.  Hold a chunk in my hand and concentrate on the cold.  do this till the ice burns my hand (dont worry it will not really burn you) this tricks the brain into releasing endorphin's and it breaks the attack.  It sounds weird but if you do it as soon as the attack starts, it will fix you up most of the time.  Concentrating on the cold is the key and not stopping till you get the burn is very important.  I challenge you to try it, it can work for you too!

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Hello Kuno,

I'm sorry I can't be much help to you, this is my first day on this site.  Looking to find some help.  What you described, it brings tears to my eyes ... we're not alone. My God another feels the same things.  Thank you for sharing.  I wish you all the best and I wish I had some suggestions.       Brightest Blessings to you, MEG

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