Complete avoidance of anything too overwhelming


New Here
Hi all, is avoiding anything which I would find overwhelming part of C-PTSD? I know avoidance of things which may trigger memories of the trauma is a big part, but what about avoidance of anything too stressful?

A few examples….

My partner proposed last year. We both want to have a big wedding and I started looking at venues and wedding themes / colour schemes etc, but I became completely overwhelmed and anxious. I am now too scared to arrange anything as the feeling when I get overwhelmed is like I am going to have a full on breakdown and an intense ‘close to the edge of breaking’ kind of feeling. Everyone gets so excited when they’re planning they’re big days and everyone keeps asking me over and over about it but it just makes me so overwhelmed and panicky that I can't face it.

We also wanted to plan a trip to Disney world in Florida (my son who is 13 has never been). I got excited and started looking at itineraries and places to stay and suddenly became so intensely overwhelmed than I had a huge anxiety attack and a deep feeling of hopelessness. It was so strange. But now I am too scared to plan it as I genuinely feel like I will break!

My partner and I have talked about trying for a baby in the next few months. We have been together for 11 years and he doesn’t have his own child. He is supportive if I don’t want another (my sons dad was extremely abusive and I still carry the mental scars from that), but obviously I feel bad and to be honest I would love to have a child with him. He’s so amazing with my son. But again, whilst initially excited about the idea, I had this fear of dread come over me and complete overwhelm took over. I imagined not coping due to my mental health, and again I feel like I would end up having a breakdown. I have such high sensitivity to stimuli particularly sudden sounds and struggle a lot with sudden anger & lack of sleep, so the idea of a loud crying baby keeping me up all night and all the stress that comes with that is freaking me out as I just don’t feel like I would cope… maybe I would but for some reason
I can’t seem to handle any overwhelm so I don’t think a baby is a good idea!

We are about to move house and I had to go ring doctors today to get back on meds as I wasn’t coping very well with all the stuff I have to do!
I hate how much this illness ruins my life. I just want to be “normal”, whatever that is. Or just how I used to be before I went through all the abuse and losing my dad. I want the old me back!

how can I get better at coping with overwhelming things? I’m only in my 30s and there’s sure as hell going to be a lot of overwhelm in the future, so I need to learn how to manage it. It’s like my brain only has so much capacity now :(

thanks all x


It can be. Not eh answer you want but for diagnosis, you want a professional.

It is in a way a coping mechanism and what I have found is this:
So that means when I get stressed to a point - its all over.

If you are overwhelmed with yourself, your partner, and your son, will it get better with a baby?

If you look under the "Articles" tab above there are some great articles on dealing with lots of things we face. The PTSD Cup is the one you want first.....


@Butterfly16 , what you are describing I went through and still deal with today...and yes, I want the old me back that could handle a full plate of life, stress, spinning multiple things at once, etc., but something gave after my mom passed (my main abuser) and my daughter confided in me her SI at a young age. Everything you describe started happening to me. I used to manage multi-million dollar budgets and large staff and now I struggle with grocery shopping. The lights are too bright, the store is too big, putting a list together causes me massive anxiety, because I know going to the store is going to be hell. This all a result of past trauma/abuse. In my opinion, we get to a point where the part of us that pushed on after the abuse was over, the part that kept going in every day life reaches a tipping point. Once tipped, the overwhelm part of PTSD symptoms starts and like it or not we begin our journey of getting the proper help to get an official diagnosis and professional help rather than a self-diagnosis and self-help (something I did for a long time), the proper help to cope with the symptoms, for me it has been lots of therapy, and help with active flashbacks (for me it came side by side with the overwhelm symptoms). I encourage you to seek counseling if you are not already doing so. That is a LOT of major life decisions happening at the same time, which can be overwhelming for anyone and 10 times as much for us who have abuse in our past. I also want to say you are not alone in your experience. Small steps, tell yourself 'I am safe right here, right now' when feeling the overwhelm come on, get a proper diagnosis if you don't have one. Take big, deep breaths to disengage the fight/flight response. Be gentle on yourself for starting meds...our brains are traumatized...we need the extra help). Know that I am walking it with you and you are not alone.