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Flashbacks - Here We Go Again!

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Kathy, Oct 13, 2007.

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  1. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    I am not usually online at this time in the evening, however Evie had quite a nasty spell of flashbacks, vomiting and crying, and she only just fell asleep. It's the first attack like that she's had in quite some time, I would venture to say several months. Perhaps the tumour which was preventing her from feeling grief and happiness was also preventing her from dealing with the trauma? I am uncertain. All I know is, tonight I wish I knew where this flashback came from. We can't ask Evie just yet, she is very difficult to talk to while in this state.

    Jim and I suspected something was afoot, as tonight Evie was asking us if we were upset with her. Nothing specific, just, are you upset with me. She then rung Travis and Krista to ask them the same thing, and Rick and likely some other family members. This is a tell tale sign for us, though we hadn't seen it for quite a while, we've learned that just before an "attack" she gets very guilty and paranoid and thinks everyone's cross with her. She was on the forum earlier this evening, and I read her posts, but nothing in them to suggest what caused this. I suppose there needn't be a cause, however I would like to know what triggered it! If it's anything like her past attacks, she will be out of sorts for a couple of days at least, perhaps longer. I am feeling slightly guilty, that maybe I should not have pushed her into the grieving exercises. But then, triggering is good also? I am unsure when it stops being good and starts being harmful. In any event, I am rambling now. Simply worried and feeling a bit guilty I suppose.
     
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  3. Jen

    Jen Well-Known Member

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    It could have been the forum that triggered her Kathy? It could have been a number of things I hope she gets through this episode ok!
    Jen
     
  4. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    I hope she weathers through all right. I have no answers for you Kathy. I do find it interesting that there is a pattern in her behavior before she has the flashbacks that warn you it's coming. I've wondered if I have behavior patterns before mine, but have no one that can tell me!

    Try not to feel guilty, if you can. Triggers can be just about anything and really, we can only avoid them so much. If she's hitting triggers, it means she's got more trauma work to do. It's not your fault.

    bec
     
  5. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Thank you Jen and Bec, I am certain she will get through it all right. Thankfully, although it's been a while we do remember what to do when she is having an episode. This morning I found some sketches of Eric in her room. Then some more sketches of the shooting, which were quite graphic and disturbing to look at. However I was relieved to see the drawings, as Jim and I were worried it might be a brain issue again, unrelated to the PTSD. Seeing the drawings confirms for us that it is indeed trauma related. I never thought I'd be at the point where I was happy to know it was a flashback!

    Bec, I was wondering if others had similar warning signs beforehand. It is too bad no one can tell you about yours. If you ever do notice anything in yourself though I would be interested if you felt like sharing. And thank you, I will try not to feel guilty. Perhaps Jim and I should tailor that guilt exercise to deal with our feelings regarding Evie, as there is quite a bit of guilt there as well!
     
  6. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    All right, Evie was up briefly however quite unwell and seemed in pain, she kept clutching her stomach and saying she was shot. Now that is obviously part of her flashback. In any event I gave her morphine in case the pain was "real" and she is sleeping again. Question though for anyone with PTSD who is reading and cares to answer. Is it typical during flashbacks to go into a sort of catatonic state? Evie does this, and it's quite different from being silent/withdrawn when suicidal. Difficult to explain but rather like being catatonic or concussed. It is most distressing to watch.
     
  7. kers

    kers I'm a VIP

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    I go catatonic during flashbacks (I think. Never had anyone witness them). When my dissociation gets really bad, I'm just gone, in my head going through it all again. My eyes unfocus and I don't notice anything else in the room for a long time, don't move, hardly breathe. It's all about being back there.
     
  8. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Kathy,

    I know that earlier this week when I had memories come back to me that I was also having flashbacks (actually it was Evie that made that connection for me). I know that all I wanted to do when this was going on was to 'go away'. Just lay down and leave reality. Not catatonic, but just get away from reality (and everything/everyone else) for a while. And you're right...although both are quiet, there is a marked difference between this and being withdrawn. Internal feelings are quite different, too.

    Maybe her grieving for Brian and her grieving from the shooting are overlapping in her mind. Dissociating, for me at least, is what happens when I have an overload of feelings, memories or emotions.

    Lisa
     
  9. pandora

    pandora I'm a VIP

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    I have horrific fear thoughts when i am having a flashback or after a nightmare....for me it is the feeling of the terror it feels like it is happening all over again and i have to ground myself....like touch things in my home to make myself realize this is not happeing again.

    It is just a terrifying feeling....very hard to shake.....i hope Evie is doing better today.
    Take Care.
    pand
     
  10. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    Kathy, I have severe issues with the catatonic stage. I get that way, often. I often fear that I won't ever come back. It's an extreme form of dissociation. I don't go anywhere, I'm just gone. There is no one home when I get like that and it can last for hours, or come and go rapidly, depending on how bad the flashbacks and emotions are.

    I've discussed this with both previous therapists and my psych. It is a form of dissociation. I've been told that I will come back, although I get fearful that I won't. It's also why everyone is pushing for medication in my case.

    I know how frightful it is from my perspective and frankly can't imagine what it is like from yours. I would suggest discussing this with Evie's psych, as each case is different. I know mine is considered serious.

    bec
     
  11. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Well that is interesting to know Bec, thank you for sharing your experience. Although we are quite certain this is a flashback, we did call the neurologist, as he wanted to be informed of any out of the ordinary behaviour over the next few weeks. He was on call this weekend so we were able to speak to him at the hospital. He is arranging for us to be put on the emergency cancellation waiting list to see the neuropsychiatrist. We already have an appointment for early December, however being on the cancellation list may speed things up considerably. We will only be given a day's notice, and I may not have time to come on here in that case. If I should drop out of sight suddenly, it likely means we received the consult early and have taken Evie to St. John's.
     
  12. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    I'm so sorry to hear Evie's having a bad time with flashbacks. I hope she can get to the neuropsychiatrist quickly. When I have flashbacks and dissociation, I am sometimes vaguely aware that I also do not move or respond to much, if any, external stimuli. I had two new flashbacks this past week and don't really know what they're about. So I now know that new ones can come at any time. I will try to see if I can discern any warning signs in myself.
     
  13. grace5555

    grace5555 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Kathy - I am sorry Evie is having such a rough time. Apparently, catatonic is rather normal for me during a severe round of flashbacks - I have spent most of the last 2 weeks in that state, or so I am told. I can only imagine how scary it is to watch - probably as scary as it is to be that way. I am not sure what I can tell you to do to help. Sometimes, it will bring me out to have someone who is very close and very trusted to put their hand on my face gently - other times, I can't be touched. I wish I could tell you something helpful.
     
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