I'd like to know more about the coping strategies for fight or flight symptom of PTSD as this symptom has come to me recently and I wasn't aware of the horrible effects on mind and bodySo much is discussed about the I guess psych symptoms of ptsd that the physical symptoms get missed out.
I’m in a flare at present and it’s reminding me how much more goes on. I’m not a Dr, I was a nurse and have done lots of reading and discussions with clinicians on a colleague level in symptom lulls, but so many in the medical model are so over-specialised they forget the basics and big picture.
In short we get an activation of the sympathetic nervous system that doesn’t subside, combined with increased and prolonged release of things like adrenaline and cortisol. It’s no wonder that I forget to eat or feel nauseous eating, or that my senses are alert to basically everything and muscle tension lingers, and staying so heightened is exhausting so fatigue or plummets/crashes happen (like panic attacks more like hyperarousal attacks that last hours and feel like ordeals, then I get home or somewhere ‘safe’ and fall asleep regardless of the time because I’m exhausted trying to function despite the panic). The whole system can be stuck in fight/flight mode, during which blood flow is decreased to areas like digestion so constipation then ‘letting loose’, struggling to remember to eat or keep food down. In my case before I understood any of this I tried to cope with my trauma and ptsd symptoms by using what became anorexia (I literally wanted to slip through the floorboard cracks to escape the perps), and later the starvation mindset helped cut off the flashbacks/hyperarousal/etc as I was focusing on eating disorder behaviours compulsively (like counting and excessive exercise which released the pent up flight/fight energy). I’m in recovery or recovered from anorexia now but my body remembers and the triggering of the body’s trauma response triggers all those physical symptoms and others, not just the ‘psych’ symptoms commonly talked about.
Have others noticed any of this? I have some techniques to try and manage them, but it’s such a challenge, sometimes even to have a drink during those more acute heightened episodes.