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cPTSD/Trauma triggering sounds

I've read alot of people are experiencing sound triggers I thought I'd share my experience.
This is the first time I've shared what I went through, so pls be gentle. 🙏

Triggering sounds. Yeh, it's a real thing & and it's fukd. I have cPTSD with severe panic attacks + anxiety + depression.
It's been a fukd few years, and certain noises can still be an issue.
Unfortunately, I have learnt the hardway, sounds including + like.

* Babies crying
* Air horns
* Bagpipes
* Certain types of alarms.
* Emergency services sirens
+ other random sounds on TV that I have now have basically stopped watching TV as it's not worth it.

All still trigger me to have a panic attack, and none of which has anything to do with my traumas. When I was real bad, panic attacks meant seizures and blackouts. From what I now understand, I'm not the only one. Apparently, these types of sounds are meant to trigger anxiety in humans. Which is just fukd up!! for some of us. Then we just spiral to where we end up.

A few years ago, I had a major triggering event, which resulted in surpressed memories from childhood/multiple traumas exploding out of me very, VERY violently, which I ended up having a very long and scary psychotic episode, twice. Basically I was beyond ready to murder!! how angry and full of rage I was (FYI)
I didn't, just.... The actual triggering event itself + this experience I am sharing with you now is still a trauma for me that I still need to deal with. Unfortunately, not long before this triggering event occurred, I found out I was to be 1st time father. (FYI) I'm probably going to pay for writing this post later with a nice disassociated panic attack. They are better than the blackouts and seizures, and less painful than the ones when you are present. However I'm not sure if I prefer watching or not watching when someone else is driving. It's a really weird feeling to just watch what you do but not actually be in control.

Things got really bad and really scary, really fast, was all very dramatic. I ended up in hospital a few times for some decent stays. I learnt I had some weird triggers that would really set me off.
Triggers like and including
- any type of perceived threat towards me or anyone I'm near physically. As in you could yell at someone else I don't know you or them but the fact I'm there would trigger me.
- Same as above any type of aggression/confrontation towards me or anyone I'm near physically.
- Any type of perceived threat towards my wife or future son
- certain sounds. However, at this point, I didn't know babies were on the list.
- people in general, it was so weird I swear at one point I could physically feel other peoples emotions like this horrible extra sense. They could literally just be near me and think/feel something strongly, and that would set me off. I pretty much just avoided people to survive/recover.

Above would trigger my panic attacks.
Which at this point this meant by giving me a debilitatingly painful panic attack that would drop me where ever I was. It was like I was being electricuted and stabbed at the same time all over my gut + my chest + my throat. They were extremely painful it was like torture. Often(as in many times per hour), it would involve me dropping and screaming in pain. The pain got so bad that they evolved into seizures and then blackouts. People didn't understand and just made things worse. So for survival, I went into hiding. Things were getting worse and my panic attacks progressed into what fealt like falling off cliffs/tight ropes that ended up in blackouts then someone/thing else would take over/drive however at this point I didn't get to watch what occurred when they took over or when they were in control. This was very scary for all those involved. Apparently, whoever took over was a completely different person. I looked different, I spoke differently and had a completely different personality, and to discribe who that person was as told from my wife I/they were extremely angry/aggressive, the main thing on their mind was pure RAGE/complete brutal open murder and survival/protecting what I had left of my mind basically a complete control freak.

My friends and family tried to get me to stay away from my wife/future son for their safety. However, there was no way this was happening. I still am 100% positive that whatever was taking over/driving would never hurt my wife or future son. However, I could not say this for anyone else at the time. This went on for too long, and I almost lost myself, I'm pretty sure at one point I did. There were multiple points I planned to end it, as it actually was the less painful option. It was only the hope to see my future son that kept me going. I had a very slow roller-coaster of an initial recovery. Eventually, the drug cocktail started to work, and I slowly started to feel somewhat human again . Things started looking up, I had a long way to go, but I was making progress. Then Bubba was almost here all very exciting, we were so unprepared.

They really need to update the manual on what they tell you about PTSD/Trauma or make this better known. Maybe things wouldn't have gone as bad as they did. It was a very scary time when my son was born. As we weren't prepared for what was to come.

First off I luv my son more than anything. I would literally die for him if needed. Now I'm not religious, When he was born It was like we had brought the antichrist into the world and this is an understatement. His cries were beyond pain to me, it was like something supernatural/something out of a movie. His cries literally blew me up against the walls. Both my wife and I were freaked out. I was using the bathroom in the room as a bomb shelter as I could not leave them but I couldn't stand his cries at all. We now know what happening was his cries were triggering me to have a really bad/intense/seizure/panic attack. At that time noone really knew what was going on and the Nurses were no help instead of helping me in a medical emergency that I was clearly having, they called security on me, I ended up having a nice altercation with security + they threw me out of the hospital. I went home thinking I'll go home and recuperate. But I was coming back the next day to see them.

That day/night I caught up with some mates at home.
The next day, I caught wind that I had been banned from the hospital and was not to come back at all. But my wife + son had another week or so in hospital. My wife had just had a C-section and wasn't really recovering well/could barely get out of bed. Now, this next part I'm not proud of it, but it happened. Remember I was in a real bad place and was not thinking clearly. However, in a messy and dramatic way, it kinda worked. I sped back to the hospital. I could see the head of security who had thrown me out previously at the door. I paced around the perimeter of the hospital a few times, thinking how to get inside. I found one of the security guards that wasn't involved in kicking me out previously standing outside. I decided I'd have a friendly chat with him, then kindly explained what was about to go down that I was getting into the hospital anyway necessary to see my boy and if he could just be gentle, and try to get the others to be gentle. He tried to talk me down, but it was already done.

The head of security had spotted me, I went for one more lap of the hospital, then came across the head of security and the hospital manager they told me to leave, I told them I'm getting in the hospital. They radioed for backup we all met at the front door where the head of security was waiting, standing in my way. I asked him to step aside, and he continued to stay in my face and in my way, he then pushed me. I lost it. I was not in control. I grabbed him by his ears and smashed his face into mine so our eyes were basically touching and screamed into his eyes a scream of murder/rage fuelled by anxiety 300/10 I could see I rattled him a bit and for that I'm sorry. He then proceeded to try and restrain me however I was so over the top panic attacking except now with purpose I had like this freakishly level of strength I was not used to. I got out of his grasp easy enough then another one from behind, got rid of him. The head of security then pushed me from behind hard, trying to nock me over. I landed on two other security guards, and then everyone jumped in. I don't know how many, but it felt like a lot. I managed to free my self from all except the head of security grabbed me from behind I threw him to the ground however I was so mad by this time I just jumped on top of him and kept screaming in his face. Everyone did a stacks on I eventually managed to free myself however there were alot of people now all surrounding me lots of yelling I convinced them to let me walk just so I could breath. I took two steps and collapsed next thing I know I wake up in hospital.

I start getting friendly with a nurse there you know the type beautiful but has no idea what's going on. Thanks to this nurse, I managed to discharge myself the next morning. However now I'm free and inside the hospital. Quick back up to the birthing unit to see my boy however I get stopped by another nurse who recognised me on her way out at the security door. I couldn't talk my way in but I did manage to get a baby blanket so I could let the dogs smell it before he comes home. Security comes and gets me and I'm walked out.
On my way out of the hospital at the door I see the head of security and I say goodbye to him, no hard feelings on the way out.

To understand the next part, you should know some more about my main triggers from my first cliff dive into Hell which there has been multiple in this period. At my worst, any type of surprise, good or bad. Or if I needed to flinch for any reason. Would give me a massive panic attack, which would normally kick off a spiral of skipping as in mini blackouts where I was there for everyone else but not for me. From here, things would just start looping as when I'd realise I had, had another skip. This would trigger another panic attack and start that loop again.

From here, the skips/blackouts started to get longer. It's started to feel like I was only there for a short time, like I was only popping up for moments of air. Apparently, for everyone else, I was a very scary person, which, to be frank, they should have been as I went to a very scary place.
I actually almost lost myself there. Things went on like this for too long. Eventually, the initial hospital team saved my life and got the right cocktail 🍸 which is why I'm here today.

Now, as I was making progress, these skips/blackouts were getting less and less. The triggers were still the same, but the blackouts became less and turned into present panic attacks, which hurt a lot it was like electricity shooting knife's stabbing you intensity depended on level of surprise.

Back to being kicked out of the hospital 🏥
I went home to regroup to sleep in my own bed my only real safe place left, I still don't know who it was, but someone called the cops on me. I don't know how they got in my house, I woke up to multiple torches shinning in my face/multiple police officers above me surrounding my bed while I'm naked in bed. In my situation any type of surprise was bad and triggered me. I blacked out, I actually don't really know what happened here. Apparently, I was very distort thankfully the police didn't take any legal action further. I came to, outside hand cuffed as they were walking me out to the cop car. Fuk I just realised there's another trauma I need to go through 👎

I blacked out again in the car on the way there and came to in a hospital waiting chair in emergency.
That was a long hospital stay, too long. I really wasn't coping well as I missed basically the first 6 weeks of my baby boys life. Which was hard, I went to a really bad place while there. All the other patients/nurses were scared of me which I didn't mind it meant they left me alone which I preferred. All except one new guy that came in while I was there, he came in very wild attacking other patients/nurses/Drs.

When it came to my turn I was pretty proud of myself for not ripping his face off. He wanted to fight me, I ended up talking him down but then I went and had a massive seizure and came to a few days later. It almost killed me, because he was definitely threatening me and I felt myself ready to launch at him, I told him why I'm not going to grant his wish to fight even though I really would love to stomp on his head and rip his throat out which I graciously explained to him.

So he would finally be f*cking quiet.
I also explained to him that I am doing nothing to prevent me from getting home to my boy so he can go find someone else to fight..

From that point on we were friends. He continued on attacking everyone else but stayed clear of me when he wanted to do that. Interesting guy completely fukd up but interesting. Poor bugger they eventually did some major electro shock therapy on him while we were there. oh well he was asking for it he was sooooo wild.. continuely attacking the nurses and patients and really hurting them.

Exposure therapy
While in hospital I was trying to condition myself to his cries I had a few recordings of him crying that I would regularly play on the lowest volume and build up from there. My problem was the lowest volume of cries still triggered me, it was a very slow and painful process. After 6 weeks of painful attempts to condition my self it felt like I had come along way but I had only got as far as to be able to listen to him on the lowest level for about 30 painful seconds anymore I would have a panic attack.

I finally thank fuk, get the all clear I can go home.

My friends and family all tried to intervien again at this point saying that the best thing I can do was stay away from my baby boy + wife. There was no way I was staying another second away from him, they couldn't stop me. I was/am still positive that whatever was driving me when I wasn't wouldn't hurt my wife or son. At the time I cannot say this was the case for everyone else however when they occurred My wife was scared of me and they were happening all the time.

Once I got home from Hell Part 2/Hospital things were still pretty crazy, his cries impacted me just as bad as before.
I really wished I had known this prior to all this... grr.. bloody health professionals, there should be more awareness/research into this. As this didn't need to happen.


How I survived..
Noise cancelling headphones with the right tunes were/are my saviour that and eventually the correct cocktail of drugs. With all the tools I now have in my tool belt to manage this and there now is alot of them, if I only could choose 1 the most reliable to manage almost anything was Noise cancelling headphones.
The combination of these and certain songs are life changing. I have actually now trained myself to use these not to fall off cliffs or if needed find my way back from falling off. They truly are a life saver.
I continued my exposure therapy but this was extremely slow and painful.

I actually had to live in my noise cancelling headphones for the 1st 16 months after my son was born until they got the drug cocktail right and they long enough time to work. Eventually I was able to tolerate his cries just, but it still hurt like a bitch. It was like someone stabbing you in your gut over and over, and that was the better version. Eventually, I was able to tolerate them a bit better by getting used to his cry range, + he got older. I found newborn babies crying was the worst they are like watching a really bad car crash unfold before your eyes. Again, We learnt this hard way.


I feel for my beautiful wife who has been with me through all this. She has been so supportive although she did almost leave me a bunch of times and I don't blame her. It's not fair and she doesn't deserve any of this. One thing we both definitely have in common is our son we are absolutely obsessed with him, and love him so much.
Best way I can describe it is he absolutely melts me.

I am still recovering it is a slow and painful process, that I am working on. I still have frequent panic attacks however nothing like before. However I'm learning and are better prepared now to manage them.

I hope this helps others that can relate I wish I had known.

Anyways take care all.
All the best.
Xox.
 
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I am still recovering it is a slow and painful process, that I am working on. I still have frequent panic attacks however nothing like before. However I'm learning and are better prepared now to manage them.
Learning how to eliminate triggers & stressors, and take control of my panic attacks (until they’d only take seconds away from my life, instead of minutes/hours/days), was the very first thing I did… both times my PTSD went symptomatic.

It was 15+ years later (the second time my PTSD kicked off) that I first came across the Stress Cup Explanation which gave the final piece in where panic attacks / etc. came from (not as out of the blue as I’d previously thought), and was just a … 💡lightbulb💡 …moment of “Ahhhhh! THAT’s WHY I’m totally fine with ABC, whilst XYZ kicks me in the ass.” >.<

Like most of us, I’d worked SOME stress management out, just by trial and error over the years. But laying it all out in black and white? Was golden. Still is. Useful from day 1, onward.

Triggers.
Stressors.
Stress.

Voila.
 
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Sound can be a huge thing for me too. Not the same as it is for you but big enough that any sound trigger I can eliminate I do. The ones I can’t have eased as I’ve been in therapy. I think partially due to not having such a reactive system in general and partially due to tools to help with flashbacks also being great to help with triggers.

Recently I was reminded how bad it had been when I had a death in my family and my system was so reactive for a bit. My startle response is 10 x worse when everything else is.

I agree with @Friday the information in their linked articles is invaluable.
 
hello yeah_nah. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

sound is not much of an issue for me, but electric lights are a gnarly. in my case, they relate directly to my childhood trauma (child porn), but once i start triggering, one trigger leads to another, ad infinitum. if i don't interrupt the escalation, it doesn't take long before the glow of a cell phone or a digital clock can inspire me to psychosis. addressing the underlying issues helped considerable more than spraying neighborhood security lights with ice water, tho i confess to a cheap thrill in remembering the satisfying shatter of glass when the ice water hit the hot bulbs.
I still am 100% positive that whatever was taking over/driving would never hurt my wife or future son. However, I could not say this for anyone else at the time.
may your self-confidence stay 100%. alas, my whatever eventually failed to recognize the sacred nature of my relationships. at best, witnessing my whatever dance was harder than hard on them. personally, i encourage my loved ones to stay safe when i am in episode. when in episode, i try to spend extra time with my therapy support network for the sake of keeping them safe.

but that is me and every case is unique.

steadying support while you sort your own case.
welcome aboard.
 
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