Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 

Khiori
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 17 Oct 2017
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 14
Location: ShiKahr

13 Nov 2017, 5:13 pm

Hello,

Lately I have been seeing a free counselor that I found in order to lessen some PTSD type symptoms that I have. The biggest barrier I'm running into is that I have really intense flashbacks and panic attacks. I get overwhelmed easily on a good day, by all sorts of small things, but these attacks are on a completely different level. I couldn't through my session today because I was too overwhelmed by a flashback and then I couldn't make myself keep talking, and I've been a mess since then. I know from past experience that I'll be extra on edge for days at least. I have a hard time feeling overwhelmed sometimes even with normal day-to-day things, so I have no idea how to get past something messes me up so badly. I can't afford to see anyone except my (free) councilor, so I'm looking for advice. Has anyone here had to deal with this? And if so, did you find anything that helped you?



Britte
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Nov 2014
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,449
Location: CA

14 Nov 2017, 2:29 am

I have PTSD, and I used to, often, experience the same symptoms and pattern that you have described, and, still do, on occasion. I have learned from experience, that avoiding certain types of situations and people, is the first step in decreasing the frequency and intensity of triggers/ flashbacks, although, particularly in the initial stages of the aftermath of the traumatic event, we can be met with them, often and unexpectedly. I do what I can to avoid triggers, as I, too, experience the effects, for at least, several days, if not weeks, afterward, and they can be debilitating. I practice meditation, however, if I am already too anxious, meditation is not effective. What often helps me to alleviate some of the panic/anxiety I experience, is simply focusing on my breathing. Focusing on slowing my breath, and anything else that might distract me from the negative thoughts or residual effects of the flashbacks. Redirecting my thoughts as best I can. Even an interesting enough podcast or film can be of great help. Anything that can take my mind somewhere else. Look for a Yoga class that focuses on anxiety and/or PTSD. Of course, yoga in general can alleviate anxiety, to a great extent (with regard to your current budget, you can find yoga classes of which only require a donation of whatever you are able to give). In addition to yoga, I swim long distance, which always proves to have an immediate and lasting effect on my mental state. Not sure if any of this helps. I feel for you and I hope you recover from this bout you are experiencing, very soon.



Khiori
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 17 Oct 2017
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 14
Location: ShiKahr

14 Nov 2017, 1:08 pm

Britte wrote:
I have PTSD, and I used to, often, experience the same symptoms and pattern that you have described, and, still do, on occasion. I have learned from experience, that avoiding certain types of situations and people, is the first step in decreasing the frequency and intensity of triggers/ flashbacks, although, particularly in the initial stages of the aftermath of the traumatic event, we can be met with them, often and unexpectedly. I do what I can to avoid triggers, as I, too, experience the effects, for at least, several days, if not weeks, afterward, and they can be debilitating. I practice meditation, however, if I am already too anxious, meditation is not effective. What often helps me to alleviate some of the panic/anxiety I experience, is simply focusing on my breathing. Focusing on slowing my breath, and anything else that might distract me from the negative thoughts or residual effects of the flashbacks. Redirecting my thoughts as best I can. Even an interesting enough podcast or film can be of great help. Anything that can take my mind somewhere else. Look for a Yoga class that focuses on anxiety and/or PTSD. Of course, yoga in general can alleviate anxiety, to a great extent (with regard to your current budget, you can find yoga classes of which only require a donation of whatever you are able to give). In addition to yoga, I swim long distance, which always proves to have an immediate and lasting effect on my mental state. Not sure if any of this helps. I feel for you and I hope you recover from this bout you are experiencing, very soon.



Thank you for the reply, it had some good advice. Also, you're the first reply I've gotten on this site! I really love to swim, but don't get the chance around here very often. I find the weightless suspension very relaxing. I've actually been contemplating saving up some money from Christmas to purchase one of those yoga trapezes, purely for the suspension aspect, but after hearing about your luck with yoga I think I'll be looking forward to Christmas even more. I've actually been this way, with the flashbacks, for years now and I've generally become great at avoidance. I've only recently decided to see I councilor, because I've noticed myself becoming increasingly isolated and I've read that that's unhealthy. The councilor has been bringing up a lot of the things I've been avoiding for years and yesterday was the first time I really freaked out on her. To be honest, I'm not confidant that she was really prepared for my reaction, or knew how to deal with it and I'll probably stop seeing her. Thank you again for the response and the advice.



Britte
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Nov 2014
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,449
Location: CA

15 Nov 2017, 1:04 am

You're welcome, Khiori!

Do you happen to know what EEG/Electroencephalography therapy is? It could, potentially, relieve you of flashbacks. It is a type of neurofeedback that normalizes and stabilizes brain function. You can do a revised version on your own, I believe, if unable to access the therapy. I have done a short series of treatments on a few occasions, over the past 4 years. It has significantly diminished some of the more profound OCD symptoms I would experience, and it stopped the rapid firing of chemicals and neurons in my brain, of which resulted from the trauma I experienced. There are EEG videos you can view, on You Tube if interested. If you want to talk further about anything I have mentioned, I would be happy to. I haven't used a yoga trapeze, but, I would love to hear of your experience when you get yours. : )

Thank you for sharing your experience with your therapist with me. I think you are wise, in that you have considered discontinuing therapy with her. A therapist with trauma/PTSD experience could be of benefit to you/your recovery, while an inexperienced therapist has the potential to further harm your mental well-being. Your instincts appear to be spot-on.

I like your avatar. Is he/she your dog?

Wishing you all the best...!



Khiori
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 17 Oct 2017
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 14
Location: ShiKahr

15 Nov 2017, 11:23 am

I had never heard of EEG therapy, so I'll definitely look into those YouTube videos. I think my brain could use all the stabilization it can get! The councilor I was seeing recommended me to a study taking place near me that hopes to treat PTSD symptoms, so I am going to give that a try. I'll be especially motivated to participate because they might pay me enough to buy my yoga trapeze, which I'll be sure to review here if I end up liking it.

I'm glad that someone else thinks it's a good idea to stop seeing my therapist. I didn't completely trust my instincts on the matter because I have such a deeply ingrained pattern of avoidance when it comes to this topic.

Yes my avatar is my dog, I'm glad you like him! We both dressed up in Starfleet uniforms the day that Leonard Nimoy died, that's what the picture was from.

I wish you the best as well, and thanks again for the response. It's nice to feel like you're not just shouting into the void when you're new to a forum.