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Easily startled/ friendships

J

JustFaith

Hello again.

My PTSD symptoms are quite mild and almost nonexistent now. However, I do get startled very easily, especially when I'm stressed or anxious. It sounds pretty negligible to get startled very easily, but it can get draining when it's happening multiple times a day. Anyways, funnily enough, one of my roomates has CPTSD, and I can see how some of our behaviours and symptoms overlap. Today, me, my roommate, and my two other friends were all watching TV, when something in the kitchen fell. Me and my roommate both got startled. The other two did not. I said that it scared me so bad and took a deep breath. My other friend looked at me like I was so dramatic and a pussy, for lack of better words. She said that she "didn't get startled at all!".

I wanted to explain to her so badly that getting scared easily is a symptom of PTSD, and that it's not because I'm dramatic and a wuss. My nervous system's baseline has simply been altered since the traumatic event. It sounds so stupid and menial to get worked up over something so small as getting startled, but it's things like this that add up. It just gets tiring, and then so angering, that I feel the need to explain why I do and say the things I do, but can't. And that people will never have to experience these things, or that they never even have to consider it either. I never talk about my diagnosis or the traumatic event, so maybe this is why it feels bottled up. If anyone has tips on talking about their diagnosis with friends, that would be great. Or tips on how much to share with friends vs. a therapist...



All the best.
 
I wanted to explain to her so badly that getting scared easily is a symptom of PTSD, and that it's not because I'm dramatic and a wuss.

I never got the compulsion to explain my actions to anyone, until I added abuse to my trauma history. Then? FFS, I was explaining to people why I needed to use the damn bathroom. For years. Fortunately, that’s mostly worn off over time, but it still crops up occasionally.

By “worn off”? I mostly mean I trained myself NOT to say anything, or to laugh it off (stress about it later, but stick to humor in the moment), if I felt like I needed to explain. Because that “need” was a lesson learned in trauma / mixing up now&then / treating good-people like abusive-assholes who “need” explanations (if I wanted to keep all hell from breaking out), which is both disrespectful to them and a bad habit for me.
 
Hello again.

My PTSD symptoms are quite mild and almost nonexistent now. However, I do get startled very easily, especially when I'm stressed or anxious. It sounds pretty negligible to get startled very easily, but it can get draining when it's happening multiple times a day. Anyways, funnily enough, one of my roomates has CPTSD, and I can see how some of our behaviours and symptoms overlap. Today, me, my roommate, and my two other friends were all watching TV, when something in the kitchen fell. Me and my roommate both got startled. The other two did not. I said that it scared me so bad and took a deep breath. My other friend looked at me like I was so dramatic and a pussy, for lack of better words. She said that she "didn't get startled at all!".

I wanted to explain to her so badly that getting scared easily is a symptom of PTSD, and that it's not because I'm dramatic and a wuss. My nervous system's baseline has simply been altered since the traumatic event. It sounds so stupid and menial to get worked up over something so small as getting startled, but it's things like this that add up. It just gets tiring, and then so angering, that I feel the need to explain why I do and say the things I do, but can't. And that people will never have to experience these things, or that they never even have to consider it either. I never talk about my diagnosis or the traumatic event, so maybe this is why it feels bottled up. If anyone has tips on talking about their diagnosis with friends, that would be great. Or tips on how much to share with friends vs. a therapist...



All the best.
Just sharing that you aren't alone in this. I can see someone coming straight towards me and I'll still have what to them I'm sure appears to be an overdramatic reaction if turn my back before they reach me. But it's automatic. My body just does this thing all on its own. My co workers laugh at me because I startle so easily and all i ever hear is "Why are you always so jumpy?" I'm not about to share with them the reason behind it (though it wasn't until therapy that I myself finally understood why) so I have to just try to smile or laugh it off with them. As you said, many people can't understand as they've never had to experience something like this.
 
Same.
My partner opened the fridge yesterday and something dropped to the bottom of the fridge and I, stood behind my partner, jumped away. From a carton of humous. She had no reaction other than me making her think wtf am I doing.

Anyways, maybe the trick is coming back to reality asap. And that knowing everything is ok. That's the main thing.
 
My nervous system's baseline has simply been altered since the traumatic event. It sounds so stupid and menial to get worked up over something so small as getting startled,
A lot of our social issues come from "being different". We want to explain why - try to be "normal" (what ever the hell that is)

Startle response is what it is. If you feel like its a problem then explore it with your T. But in reality, its a PTSD symptom - exaggerated startle response. So yeah - easily startled is just what you are.

Until you find out why - @Movingforward10 has it right. "Being here and now" is the best quickest way out of a spiral, by whatever method works for you.
 
It sounds pretty negligible to get startled very easily, but it can get draining when it's happening multiple times a day.
it sounds more negligible to some than to others. it sounds like an amber alert in my own symptom management regime. here in my golden years, i feel that drain allot more than i did when i was young enough to do justice to the latest fashions. when i can catch this particular symptom at the first snap of the nag flag, i can often head off a full psychotic break. note: my case is atypically severe. psychotic break guards needed.
one of my roomates has CPTSD, and I can see how some of our behaviours and symptoms overlap.
in my own case, i hold this phenom as proof that similarities cause more problems than differences. i trigger like a beaten crazy bitch wolf when i am around somebody with symptoms similar to my own. within my peer support network, the phenom can lead me to greater coping tools and awareness. with people i am afraid to be honest and open with, it creates extra layers of complications. the startle effect?

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

steadying support while you sort your own case.
 
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