How do you re-experience your traumatic event?

PTSDisaster

Confident
Do you re-experience through thoughts, dreams, physical/emotional reactivity....?

I re-experience mostly physical, but I'm wondering; how do you re-experience and what happens to you?
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Physically, don’t have much physical reexperiencing. More of a heightened startle response to unsolicited touch. And getting nauseous when I’m too stressed because of the flashback. Or all in pain because of stress. But not really like a reenacting of the physical sensations.

I have a lot of directly or indirectly related dreams. They get more real according to my overall level of stress. In certain dreams I feel it all just as if I was in the situation, and wake up ready to die. This is why I like sleeping in places with lights on. I need to see my room and know it’s quiet. It’s safe. Physically I have shortness of breath and a dry mouth, eventually a headache too.

Most of the reexperiencing though comes through intrusive thoughts and emotional flashbacks.

The emotional flashbacks are the most difficult to grab, because they mix various different situations coming from different traumas and form a giant blurb where I become elusive, oppositional, tense, crying, obscure and tend to push-pull by trying to look for comfort but then finding it uncomfortable, then wanting to be alone and sleep, and can’t. Sometimes I can. Not always. >> These ones are real episodes and it can variate so much depending on who is responding to it or the context they pop in. Sometimes it just fades away, others it keeps stirring up until full drama mode, that was before I had medication. It would stir up for several hours up to several days before peaking.

But it’s very difficult for me at times to spot exactly what’s re-emerging. In the case of dreams or "proper" visual flashbacks and thoughts it’s easy to identify, but with more ancient stuff it becomes much more abstract. I just tend to coil and wait.
 

PTSDisaster

Confident
Physically, don’t have much physical reexperiencing. More of a heightened startle response to unsolicited touch. And getting nauseous when I’m too stressed because of the flashback. Or all in pain because of stress. But not really like a reenacting of the physical sensations.

I have a lot of directly or indirectly related dreams. They get more real according to my overall level of stress. In certain dreams I feel it all just as if I was in the situation, and wake up ready to die. This is why I like sleeping in places with lights on. I need to see my room and know it’s quiet. It’s safe. Physically I have shortness of breath and a dry mouth, eventually a headache too.

Most of the reexperiencing though comes through intrusive thoughts and emotional flashbacks.

The emotional flashbacks are the most difficult to grab, because they mix various different situations coming from different traumas and form a giant blurb where I become elusive, oppositional, tense, crying, obscure and tend to push-pull by trying to look for comfort but then finding it uncomfortable, then wanting to be alone and sleep, and can’t. Sometimes I can. Not always. >> These ones are real episodes and it can variate so much depending on who is responding to it or the context they pop in. Sometimes it just fades away, others it keeps stirring up until full drama mode, that was before I had medication. It would stir up for several hours up to several days before peaking.

But it’s very difficult for me at times to spot exactly what’s re-emerging. In the case of dreams or "proper" visual flashbacks and thoughts it’s easy to identify, but with more ancient stuff it becomes much more abstract. I just tend to coil and wait.
I am nauseous and vomit very often because of stress, I thought this belongs to physical re-experiences, but I now understand the physical ones are more feeling it happens again. I'm not new with ptsd but I'm pretty new to knowing what all the symptoms include.

Thank you for your response:))
 

fern

Confident
Mine is very much mental- I think that strangers that I am seeing outside are former abusers and even though I know they must not be, I can't convince myself otherwise. Being convinced people around me have abusive intentions, even if I know them. Feeling like I am a target, being followed, unsafe.
Physical- Jittery, started, hypervigilant, higher heart rate, tension.
 

8888

MyPTSD Pro
Mainly flashbacks. Sometimes I will feel them with my body. I used to have nightmares but not so much anymore now that I've gone to therapy.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Flashbacks but mostly between sleep and wakefulness. (Which was when the events happened.) I don't know what I do but it scared the hell out of nurses last time I was in hospital. I have no visual memories because both eyes were bandaged. For about two weeks following that I was in incredible pain and have only one memory of when a nurse stuck a needle in my sciatic nerve. She was yelling at me to relax and I was screaming I couldn't feel my legs....
 

Friday

Moderator
Lalalalalalaaaaa ...Not thinking about that right -whoops. Thought about it. My avoidance appears to be lazy today. 😉 ETA, not so lazy, it’s somehow been a week from when I started writing this, and getting back to it! The whole thing is quirky, because I have to think about how I actually respond, in order to put a super-quick name to it (like A-F = flashbacks, 1-82 are types of intrusive thoughts, my own personal spectrum of nightmare types & cycles, etc.). So it’s a quick simple list... but each item might have 25 or 200 different examples .

Flashbacks
Intrusive thoughts
Nightmares
Delayed reactions / responding NOW in ways I DID NOT THEN
Mixing up past/present, often via triggers & stressors
- Operating out of the wrong headspace
- Repeating invalid patterns
- Expectations, Cognitive Distortions, Core Beliefs
 
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