How do you deal with triggers?

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Drew F

New Here
When in triggered at work I tend to go the the toilet and breath. Randomly toilets always feel safe especially in a cubicle lol.

I hope you feel better soon, it sounds awful.
 

Eliza

Confident
Don't know why you'd tell your work about PTSD...
I wasn't going to, but then I had a bit of a breakdown and had to have a mental health day. I wasn't going to bother telling them why, and I just told my boss I had a cold. But someone who I had mentioned the attack to in passing asked if I was ok, so I told her, and she marched me in to tell my boss. My boss is supportive, but I don't think she quite understands. I ended up having a severe flashback and had to go and sit in another room whilst I had a panic attack. So that was also difficult to hide.

We had a fire alarm go off at work today. I work at a big tourist attraction, so it wasn't a full evacuation, but we knew from the message over the tannoy that something was going on. So my brain immediately went to terror attack, or huge fire etc. I was catastrophising majorly, when logically I knew it was probably someone who had burnt toast.

I'm waiting on an appointment with a mental health specialist, as I have tried CBT twice. My work also paid for 5 sessions of psychotherapy. But I think I need EMDR, or even just more psychotherapy sessions. But they said it could be a long wait. I had a telephone assessment at the beginning of Jan and I'm worried now that the sessions will be somewhere difficult to get to. Or somewhere that means I will have to take a day or half day off work to get to. Like I said, my boss is supportive, but I don't think she understands how debilitating it can be.
 

Ellabella44

MyPTSD Pro
I have rings on my fingers that I use to ground. I didn't have these as a child so sometimes touching them so that I notice them calms me. They are here and now.
 

Eliza

Confident
I usually use a fidget cube, but sometimes when the panic is really intense, I forget to grab it.

I have a big work Christmas party tonight (Big tourist attraction, so we don't get a party in December!). I'm so scared of having a panic attack and embarrassing myself. Or drinking too much and getting overly emotional - or getting angry and telling the person who keeps asking about the attacks what I really think of her. I know I just need to not drink much and avoid the person. But then a bit of Dutch courage will lessen my social anxiety. It's all a bit of a balancing act. But equally, I sort of just don't want to go.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Sorry, that the time has been rough for you after the Attack..

Human behavior (Certain patterns) triggers me...
What helps? Humor... I write quotes on my palm when Days are tough. or carry a stone with one word written on it. Visualizing that there is a figure behind me, someone who takes care of me, I prefer someone like Captain Picard from Star Trek or if needed the Borg... on someday it’s my Grandfather...


My T wanted me to get an object for grounding. I came up with a blank stare-just kinda stared at her with no clue....a stone isn't grounding-don't know what to do for that piece of homework......
....but I really like the visualization of the younger version of Capt. Picard..... or maybe even the younger version - of Magnum P.I. Borg vs Terminator?
 

Morgata

New Here
Wow..thank yal for the posts..I am learning how to react when triggered.. I go into fight/flight mode almost immediately...never ends well...This go around in therapy...I am allowing myself to feel instead of overworking myself to avoid the feelings. It is hard...and exhausting...but avoiding it is worse....never had much of a life except work.work..work...hoping to be able to sit and enjoy life....it is also a relief that I'm not alone..does anyone ever go into to days of racing thoughts after a trigger? Have you figured out away to stop it?
 

Shi

New Here
Hi morgata,
Yes! I have similar experiences. It doesnt take much for me to get thrown int hyper-arousal mode (fight or flight). Barely anything, especially at night time. Then for days after i feel tense and feel like it just takes a while to get myself together. Because most of my hyper arousal experiences happen at night...which is related to the trauma i suffered....I have started sleeping with earplugs. And not just some whatever type of plugs. They are super high-decibel blocking plugs. I got them on amazon. I also often wear them at work to keep from being over stimulated by the many gossip mongers and annoying noise. Also, if people notice them sticking out of my ears at work they are less likely to try and socialize with me. Which is a good thing for me. Cause although im not anti social, gossing negative people can bring me down really easily when im having a flare up of nightmares or huper arousal states. Seems to thwart the hyper arousal, and if i do experience it....i calm down quicker. And get back to normal quicker. As normal as i can be at least. Hope this helps. love, Shi
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
I wasn't going to, but then I had a bit of a breakdown and had to have a mental health day. I wasn't going to bother telling them why, and I just told my boss I had a cold. But someone who I had mentioned the attack to in passing asked if I was ok, so I told her, and she marched me in to tell my boss. My boss is supportive, but I don't think she quite understands. I ended up having a severe flashback and had to go and sit in another room whilst I had a panic attack. So that was also difficult to hide.

We had a fire alarm go off at work today. I work at a big tourist attraction, so it wasn't a full evacuation, but we knew from the message over the tannoy that something was going on. So my brain immediately went to terror attack, or huge fire etc. I was catastrophising majorly, when logically I knew it was probably someone who had burnt toast.

I'm waiting on an appointment with a mental health specialist, as I have tried CBT twice. My work also paid for 5 sessions of psychotherapy. But I think I need EMDR, or even just more psychotherapy sessions. But they said it could be a long wait. I had a telephone assessment at the beginning of Jan and I'm worried now that the sessions will be somewhere difficult to get to. Or somewhere that means I will have to take a day or half day off work to get to. Like I said, my boss is supportive, but I don't think she understands how debilitating it can be.

I get you. Mine is mixed with a boat-load of depression. I mean, the kind that has you glued to the bed where you can't do anything else. I was like that taking medication and finally we upped the dose and I've begun living again.

I can't do anything without medication but you'd never know I was taking it. I continue to work, like you.

In a faster way to relief, I found if I breathe through my stomach 5 or 6 times, I feel different. I can't say 'more calm' because I don't know for sure.
 

Friday

Moderator
I chip away at them, (read : exposure therapy) in roughly the order in which they annoy me the most. IE little reactions that happen daily f*cking up my life left right and center, or that interfere with something I love to do, will usually get hit before big reactions that happen once a blue moon, or little things that aren’t really a problem. So it’s a very fluid list based on whatever happens to be going on in my life, or a direction that I want to point my life in.
 

Eliza

Confident
I chip away at them, (read : exposure therapy) in roughly the order in which they annoy me the most.
My main issue is I don't really have little triggers. And they're mostly people-based. Ie. if another attack happens, that's a BIG trigger. And then when people talk about attacks, that also becomes a big trigger. Or fireworks are a big trigger. I suppose something that makes a smaller bang would be a smaller trigger. Maybe I can start with a party popper?? It becomes difficult because my anxiety seems to be 0 or 100. There's not really an in-between when I'm a little bit triggered or anxious. I'm either absolutely fine, or in the midst of a panic attack.
 

jenkins

New Here
I don't tend to avoid anxiety-producing things, I engage them head on. Here's how I did it.

I was forced to take a speech class in uni, I got it out of the way in my first year, and it was the best class I took that year!

I took a serious look at how I viewed the world, which was really messed up. I was assuming people were thinking bad things about me, or laughing at me. But I had no evidence for that. So I stopped the "stinking thinking" and started thinking about other reasons people were laughing. Well, I'm a funny guy, I make jokes on purpose. The people weren't trying to be mean to me, sometimes my mistakes WERE funny! So I had to reprogram my bad habits by not thinking the worst all the time. This took me years and I still work on it.

2 years later, still in Uni I took a big risk with a job at a Fortune 500 company. My pay was more than minimum wage, and I learned a lot. I needed the money for college. Then towards the end of the summer I learned I had to make a presentation to a room full of Vice Presidents! I practiced my presentation for at least 2 weeks and when I went there, all the VPs were very nice. One even asked if he could get ME a coffee! I was stunned. I was learning all my assumptions about people were wrong, or at least over generalized.

All during college I addressed my social anxiety and practiced small talk. I went out to parties. I got invited to a lot of parties but I'm not really a party person. But I decided to go. I would start going for about 30 minutes at first, long enough to challenge me but not too long to make me sick of the whole experience. Do not over do this, but challenge yourself.

Gradually, with more practice, I got better at small talk. You can get better at just about anything with practice.

Around this point in my life I started to look back at my life and noticed how my friends and peers were trying to help me with my anxiety in their own awkward way. It didn't matter that they didn't do a great job, what mattered was they TRIED, because they CARED. They really cared. I was stunned at looking at these things again, my negative assumptions about the world continued to crumble.

I no longer struggle with social anxiety, but I'm not a big talker either. I'm fine being in social situations, because I challenged myself to meet a goal, and I didn't beat up myself when I had a bad day and just wasn't feeling great at a party and failed at small talk. I might leave that party, but I didn't give up... I went to another party the next day.

As another example, I'm a bit afraid of heights. So I went on an obstacle course about 2-3 stories up in the trees. Some obstacles were zip lines, and I did zip lines over an alligator park, over the alligator pens. What a workout, but what a rush! It was tiring and fun all at the same time!

Now I'm terrified of tarantulas, so to address that I might find a pet show or pet shop and ask to hold a tarantula.

All this takes years to do. Take baby steps, don't take too big a step at once. Don't put yourself down. Once I started conquering fears, progress started to speed up. Life isn't perfect, but it does get better!
 
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