Does news of war etc. make you hypervigilant?

SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
Disclaimer: my ptsd is not from war. Also no war is happening right right next to me
I live in Serbia, visiting my family in Bulgaria now.
There have been all these news about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine right now.
I want to say that I'm not comparing my experience to anyone else's at all. Especially if anyone reading is much closer to there. But today this has been all over the news and it's making me hypervigilant and nauseous. Like at the start of the pandemic when there was a state of emergency and at first we just had to be home after 8 and then slowly out time got cut to even some weekends not being allowed to go out. And never knowing what state things would be in the next day, what worse thing might happen.
It's the same feeling when l got PTSD: being stuck for a summer in a place where something bad or traumatic was happening every day and there was no solace, no relaxing because l didn't know what next bad thing would be. I was in a dangerous place for way too long and saw and experienced way too much.
When a war happens in a region that is not right next to me, but still familiar enough... I don't know, it is scary. Also all the news make my imagination play wild, like at what point might this snowball into something bigger? Who knows. Just... Am I completely stupidly overreacting? How do l cope better enough to be informed but not get anxious and dissocating because of it?
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Stressful, yes but proportion it with this thought.

News is a TV show, if it wasn't it wouldn't all fit perfectly into the hour they have. Negativity is their real product. The story they tell is a story told from someones point of view, with their prejudices, their slant their fears.

When they don't have what they need they make it up. A few years ago there was a story from a town where my moms friend lived. Mudslides etc. According to the story the town was being wiped out. When mom phoned her friend it ended up her friends house was the worst hit in town. The mud flow where it met the house was about a foot wide and about four inches deep. So really? filler.

I generally stay clear of the news, especially over the last couple years with the COVID show on day and night. Too much stress for nothing.
 

Friday

Moderator
The opposite.

It’s not as balancing/clarifying as actually being IN a conflict zone, but this is the most beautiful morning I’ve enjoyed, in years. There’s a Pithivier in the oven, and sunshine on my skin, and I’m surrounded by people who matter to me, in different ways.

There’s also some envy/disgust/self-blame/what-if swirling around, too. A few years back I had an opportunity to go do something in the last Ukraine conflict that I passed on because my kid was in a hard place. If I’d done that? I’d most likely have already headed back, and be there now. But I didnt. So I’m not. Instead? I’m sitting in the cold sunshine, with a pie in the oven. “Staying safe. Having fun. Being happy.” (What do you suppose people back home are doing right now?)

Global Conflict Tracker is something I use on an intermittent basis, to not feel entirely disconnected. But the land of “what if” keeps the Ukraine conflict closer to home than geography really allows for.
 

Eagle3

MyPTSD Pro
I definitely have upped the hypervigilance a bit, but I'm a recovering survivalist so I'm kind of...used to? these sorts of scenarios. I've already found myself in "activity" mode, taking precautions and warning friends in the potential pathway of further conflict to be careful. I've noticed that I shift pretty fast into "function" mode when stuff goes wonky in my world, which is helpful as long as I balance that out with breathing and grounding in my ACTUAL space. I'm no where NEAR the current conflict. Will I see a ripple effect? Most likely, but its things I can't really do much about even if I knew beforehand what would happen. I trust my training and experience to be able to adapt to fluid circumstances and have to rein in the hypervigilance that gets triggered by PTSD-stress. I worry more about a friend overseas who may not be able to make it home if things continue to deteriorate, but there's nothing I can do other than relay information I have to them so they can make their own decisions.
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
I'm curious what I'm going to go home to today. We don't watch or listen to the news but J works on a military installation and I'm sure everyone is talking about it.

J was deployed to the Ukraine border during the Chernobyl catastrophe in the 80's. He had his first helicopter crash and received his first Purple Heart there too.

The news, the world and our leaders are triggers and stressors around here.

🙏
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
To be honest, I'm the opposite. (disclaimer: no military trauma nor military connections on my end)

Granted, while I'm from Europe, I'm currently far, far away. So this probably plays a major role.

I've been anticipating this to happen, so it doesn't come as a surprise. And while I feel awful for the people and really wish it's not gonna escalate and spiral dramatically, globally, I have to admit the anticipation of this happening that really had been building for months upped my hypervigilance, but now that it actually is happening, I'm really calm. For me, I think the if-when-what-how of the anticipation phase upped my hypervigilance, but know we know. Now the verbal and psychological warfare is over, all those mind games. Now it's actually... factual? Real? Not a could-could-not.

Not sure I'm making sense.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
yep. Already have my escape plans in progress - though I haven't packed a gobag yet so that must be progress.
J was deployed to the Ukraine border during the Chernobyl catastrophe in the 80's
Always cracks me up that we were there at the same time...
Oh. And we are 2 miles from an Air Base and they have been flying everything at all hours of the day and night for about 5 months now.

Sleep is hit or miss for him. 😔
ugh. sirens and jets....such a pleasing sound. Not.
The news, the world and our leaders are triggers and stressors around here.
Yep -- I'm checking headlines but that's about it because I promised hubby I'd stay away from the news because, well, ptsd. Plus I just assume we are going to be in yet another war because, well, we have to save the world right? ugh. So instead my attention goes to the exit strategy and how I can keep me and mine safe. 😢
 

Friday

Moderator
I'm curious what I'm going to go home to today.
Fair warning… I hit fatalistic. Which I happen to looooooove. And do well in. And people around me tend to adore, when I’m in that headspace. And then also drank about a fifth of bourbon. For “no reason”. I also ate. And slept. And got shit done. And drank a helluva lot of water. And smoked. And have been kicking it in the sunshine. IE I’m operating like I’m 19, again. Sans going for a run, & getting laid. But otherwise I’m chill in the ‘somebody’s gonna die, and I DGAF’ it is, what it is. I shouldn’t care. I don’t care. But I do. All’s right with the world. No rules. Well. Rules. But only the ones that actually f*cking matter.

The only possible thing that would throw me, in this headspace? Is betrayal. That’s not you, so I’m not worried.
 
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Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I think for me (no war related trauma at all), it's bringing to the forefront this dual state of having a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach but equally going about my day and feeling ok.
That is a very very familiar way of being.

Something bad is happening. I feel it to the core of myself. But I'm also happy and functioning.

So not hypervigilence for me, but these two extreme states of emotion. If that makes any sense?
 

Huxley

Learning
Perhaps this is also a time to show compassion and appreciation to yourself for the internal skills that your body developed to keep you safe.

Things are in crisis right now and it is a good thing to keep aware of your surroundings and situation. Things might become chaotic and you will need to adapt. Being able to do that is a good thing, not a bad thing, when danger is near, and it actually is near. This is no figment from the past.

You can use your awareness of this also being a PTSD thing to modulate your exposure to information. Find out what you need to know, thank yourself for being so good at protecting yourself, then get on with your day.
 

StillPen

MyPTSD Pro
Same for me, too @SeekingAfrica. Non-military PTSD here. Wanting to know where we (the world) are in this situation and find myself glued to the news even though I know I shouldn't be. Nowhere near the Ukraine and there's absolutely nothing I can do about the situation. That imposed lack of control is adding to my symptoms. Finally turned the T.V. off. Trying to ground and breath, and move on with my day.
 
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