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PTSD After a Night Out

Discussion in 'Sleep & Nightmares' started by anthony, Apr 1, 2006.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    I had a night out last night, and was really good with being within a crowded pub in the Melbourne CBD, then later on going to the Casino sports bar and clubs, which where also crowded. I was pretty impressed that I handled it without even thinking about it to my knowledge.

    The thing I begin to notice now though, is that PTSD physical and mental aspects kick in the next day, and not so much the time that I am in those environments nowadays. This afternoon, I was getting physically sick and mentally tired and anxiety was rising.

    I suppose it is a good point that I have gotten myself to go out, and be capable of remaining with fairly crowded places, and not lose it and have to get out. What I'm fascinated in though, is that the affects of PTSD strike me the following day...

    Does this happen to others? Or is it just me?

    When I wasn't able to control PTSD very well, it hit me at the time when crowded, ie. instantaneously, though now the symptoms are delayed. I'm thinking about it as whether maybe I am working so much mentally whilst out in those situations to control it, that I am inadvertantly just delaying the reactions I should be having when fronted with it!

    I'm not sure at the moment... it is still confusing me a little... and will think about it more. Any help would be most appreciative though, especially if this happens to others also, and their insight to it.
     
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  3. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    Delayed reaction is one of my things too. While things have been bad recently, I have a job just going to get some shopping without feeling anxious and sick. I'm not even considering going out with people for the time being. For example, I was supposed to meet up with friends to do some holiday planning for August. I told them I trusted them to make the right decisions without me. I did this for two reasons: first, I'm not sure I could have sat in a room and held a sensible conversation with anyone - even friends. Second, even if I made it through the afternoon, I thought that I would be very tired and probably feeling sick afterwards, and therefore more likely to miss dinner and then have a bad night.

    However, my pattern before everything went pear-shaped was to go out and try to enjoy myself. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't. Whatever my experience of the outing, I would feel crap afterwards. I don't know whether it's a safety/avoidance thing or even a dissociation thing. One thing I do know is that I can go stay with my family for 2 days every Christmas and be "normal", even this year during christmas dinner, when I had to sit next to the person who abused me (yes I know - it's my choice to visit the family and I can leave any time I want to - it's just not that easy). Anyway, getting back to the point - while I am fine while I'm there for the 2 days, for about a month before I get terrible nightmares, then it takes at least 2 weeks to get back to anything like normal functioning afterwards.

    I guess what I'm trying to eventually say is that maybe we have developed a strategy of saving our anxieties until we feel safe to express them. I always tends to switch into "think mode" during a stressful occasion and switch off the feeling side of things. Perhaps when we are out of control we can't make use of this strategy. Maybe this is actually a good thing, otherwise we don't deal with the feelings at the time which is what got us into this mess in the first place!

    Not sure whether this makes sense at all, or helps either! And there was me thinking that my reasoning was improving!!!
     
  4. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    You just hit it on the head actually, and this is what I was trying to say last night, but couldn't produce, nor think of the right way of saying it. A defense mechanism could be it! As you said above, "saving our anxieties until we feel safe" pretty much hit it on the head. Thankyou very much.

    This is something I actually control, I can switch myself on or off for feelings and emotions. I've been able to do it now for a long time, and learnt it from just being in the military, before even deploying on operations. I think this is part of the reason why I always promoted very quickly within the Army, apart from using commonsense, is that I left my feelings and emotions at the gate when going to work, got the job done, managed soldiers without bias, then picked them back up when leaving work again to go home for the night.

    Maybe I do that when I go out!!!!
     
  5. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    Glad to be of service :)
     
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