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anticpating freakouts


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hm so I got triggered. A lot.

And I thought I was ok, but now fear is lapping around my feet and I think a tidal wave is coming.

But maybe I just think I will be scared, so it's a self fulfilling prophesy. Or not.

I don't know. But i'm scared. Can a delayed reaction happen? Can you guys help me make a plan in case it happens?

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Can a delayed reaction happen? Can you guys help me make a plan in case it happens?
You mean a delayed reaction to finding yourself at a hospital the other day? You have cycled through at least one really bad spell of PTSD flashbacks if I'm thinking straight. Which is proof that it is possible. That helps me when all I can feel is the impending doom of a potential freak out. I don't know if it is a self fulfilling prophesy. That kind of attributes a lot of power to the self. I mean I know we HAVE a lot of power, in a way, but I don't like to think that shit rains down just because we think it might or will. Sometimes we think it will and we are simply seeing the handwriting on the wall, and in that case there is nothing wrong with a plan, at least not to my way of looking at it.

I don't think the strategies for dealing with a freak out vary. I just can't think of them right now. I'd have to go look at some discussions we've had on this forum in the last couple of months. I think there were a few where ppl shared PTSD fighting strategies.

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Mum ended up in ER last night.

I've had cycles where i'm hiding under the covers with flashbacks for days. I've worked through lots in therapy since then so i'm hoping that will help.

I guess just the usual. Breathing, telling myself i'm safe, having people I trust around me, calling tdoc if things get really bad.

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Hey Blue,

Damn, there's so much cross-talk between us today :)

I think delayed reactions can definitely happen. Sometimes you get triggered, and then you hold it off for a while, and then it comes and bites you in the ass. Also, sometimes I think you sort of use up all your resources to get through the trigger, and then once you're out the other side, you don't have anything left to fight it off anymore? I know you've spent a lot of time taking care of other people and putting aside your reactions lately, which is really strong of you, but might lead to a trigger later.

Also, you got triggered a LOT, so I wouldn't be surprised if you've got a trigger-hangover (that's what I call it, anyway).

What to do? I guess that's the difficult one. Is there anything you can put into place that you know will help you remember where you are and who you are, in case you have a flashback?

The first couple days I was at home this Christmas, I just walked around with my bottle of Seroquel in my pocket, because it was something only my adult self would have. Little Francesca didn't have anyone to help her, so she didn't have pdoc and she didn't have any meds. Also, sometimes I use things like pdoc appointment slips, basically anything that reminds me where/who I am.

I've also tried to use phrases like "This is 2009. I am ________ years old and I am safe". Only problem there is that if you really forget who/where you are, you'll stop being able to complete the phrase properly.

My pdoc says (this is pretty much a case of "here, take this advice - I'm sure as fuck not using it") that sometimes the worst thing with anxiety is to try to fight it off - sometimes it's better just to try to sit with the feeling (yeah, as I said...I'm certainly not using it ;) ) and let it come. I think that will sit with you about as well as it sits with me, which is pretty much "WTF - I don't think so!" but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Sometimes if I think I'm going to have a flashback, I can head it off by writing out the memories. I guess it's a type of dissociation - I just let them go straight from the voices in my head to my hands without stopping at the brain, and then sometimes they go away for a while.

If you have someone you can call, maybe you can call them and talk about it? Sometimes then it doesn't come out in such nasty ways, and it stops spiralling around in there.

Also, if it gets really brutal, you can always call tdoc (damn, I'm just FULL of advice I'm not using today, aren't I? :)). Or at least, you can call her whenever it gets to a reasonable time (don't know when it is there...).

Try not to anticipate it TOO TOO much - sometimes that only makes it worse. Flashbacks are scary, incapacitating shit, but you are a strong survivor - it didn't kill you the first time, and it didn't kill you any of the other times it swam back to bite you in the ass. No matter what happens or how painful the reaction that comes up is, it's not going to kill you this time either. Try to remember that you're a survivor and that you're going to survive it this time too. You're going to make it out the other side.

I'm hoping someone else has something else constructive for you - I'm still working on this stuff myself.

Lots of <3,

Francesca

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Also, sometimes I think you sort of use up all your resources to get through the trigger, and then once you're out the other side, you don't have anything left to fight it off anymore?
YES! I definately think this is true. All the adrenaline rush of managing the triggery crisis and then your spent which leaves your emotional state ripe for anxiety or panic attacks or flashbacks or whatever.

BTW, sorry Blue, I read this post before I read about your Mom on your blog. You have certainly had a handful lately. I think Tryp had a bunch of good ideas. My brain is like sludge today.

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