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What is hypervigilance like for you?

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Hypervigilance' started by lullaby19, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Fadeaway

    Fadeaway I'm a VIP

    The other night about 2 am,I have headphones on watching something on you tube and I hear the fire alarm from a neighbor one floor down and across the hall. I bolt for the door and jump down a flight of steps ready to grab the nearby fire extinguisher. The I heard from the other side of the door. "grab a towel and wave it at the alarm, damn hookah charcoal, I didn't think it would smoke so much" That told me it was under control so I went back to my floor. Hubby is just staring at like I grew a third arm. I told him the downstairs neighbors fire alarm went off and he looks at me incredulously and says, you could actually hear their alarm?"

    It means I hate taking showers because I can't hear what is going on if my head is underwater so it feels unsafe.
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  3. ShikibuZ

    ShikibuZ Well-Known Member Premium Member

    I experience so much of what has already been described here, and in addition to the exhausting and seemingly endless "fight or flight" responses, it occurs to me that I spend too much time denying and rejecting this aspect of myself, which in turn exacerbates the symptoms.

    Here's a particular quirk of mine. I live on a busy street in an urban area and have recently purchased noise cancelling headphones. They provide instant relief until the moment I realize I can't hear ANYTHING. They are then torn from my head and thrown across the room. When life feels particularly difficult, I repeat this stupid process over and over. It's actually a little funny.

    Thank you all for sharing.
    lullaby19 and Rain like this.
  4. Rosie11

    Rosie11 Active Member

    sometimes my hypervigilance is like that, I have had some really bad times when I sit in the corner of the room with a can of pepper spray and knives to defend myself and feel that there are threats everywhere or that my abuser/attacker is going to come back and attack again. Its not always as extreme though. Often, its walking out in public and feeling hyperaware, feeling afraid of someone attacking me from behind, scanning the area to see if there is any danger, looking at the people who go by and assessing the danger. sitting in restaurants and keeping an eye on what is going on around me. Feeling that I must protect anyone who is with me if there is someone with me that day, I take charge and go on super alert and if I sense danger I go into protection mode. going out in public, going to the store, having visitors over, I instantly go into this alert mode where I am ready to take charge of a siituation or get myself and others out if something were to happen. I asses where we could take cover or hide, where the exits are, make a plan and a backup plan in my mind whenever I go somewhere. I look around and think what I have to use as a weapon, what I could defend myself with if I had to.
    The hardest kind for me is when I become suspicious or afraid of people I shouldn't be afraid of, doubting friends or loved ones, being afraid that they will hurt me (for no reason) that is very scary, just not trusting them and fearing, being hypervigilant around them.
    lullaby19 likes this.
  5. Mach123

    Mach123 Active Member Premium Member

    It means my boundaries are violated or I feel like they are which is essentially the same thing. It means I feel threat but I have no way to differentiate between someone "kidding around" with me and someone "trying to actually harm or kill me." I know it sounds extreme, but that's what was going on and I didn't even know it. It was me harkening back to some unknown or repressed event or the feelings I still experienced because of it. Finally after many many years of suffering and before I ever started any "trauma work," I realized my reactions were way outside the "normal" range (normal being defined as what you would find by measuring a representative sample, the results graphed on the bell shaped curve.)
    lullaby19 likes this.
  6. WhiteHatGirl

    WhiteHatGirl Member

    I had a car hit me at age five. I suspect that i had a cranial nerve injury that caused heightened sensitivity to sound which actually helped trigger more child abuse. And I read that I scanned the "room repeatedly" in notes from a psychiatrist. I think it is
    Rude to stare at people you are talking to. It would make me self conscious.
    lullaby19 likes this.
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