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Isolation

Thread starter #1
Hi there,

Isolation is one "thing" (of many) that before joining this forum, I thought was just a me-thing, but now I realise it's a pretty common PTSD-thing.

Obviously I'm not promoting Isolation, but as I'm currently isolating to some extent myself, I'm curious as to the patterns of isolation in others.

- what has been the longest length of time you've isolated?

- what things typically trigger your isolation?

-what is a typical length of isolation for you - does it span a particular anniversary period, or continue on after?

- or is there something (internal/external) that signals for you the end of needing to isolate?

-what is the extent of your isolation?

-do you go elsewhere or isolate within your house?


For me, at the moment, I'm isolating after a symptom flare up that followed a pretty stressful week (including 2 trauma anniversaries, a prowler on my property while I was home alone, and the resurfacing of two pretty massive sets of repressed memories).

So far the extent of my isolation has been limited to people I know IRL (i.e. I've still been on the forums to some extent), and have a tonne of unanswered texts/ missed calls.
I've also had to see some family members today, which I've followed through with as they don't know I have PTSD (or any mental illness), so I've been able to tolerate it knowing it will be better in the long term, but I can foresee myself needing to up the extent of my isolating from tomorrow to compensate.

I've been isolating in my house. My flatmate did come home yesterday, but she doesn't really talk to me, so if I don't speak to her/ hide out in my room, she doesn't flinch anyway.

Otherwise, I've only left the house to get food/exercise, but during times I know I won't run into people I know. Sometimes I won't leave my bedroom except to use the bathroom/ heat up food curtains closed, and other times I've felt ok to open my curtains and windows etc.


What are your isolation patterns?
 
#2
I don't need any triggers or events to isolate. As a person who always left the house daily, sometimes I go several days without leaving my house. If anything, my isolation is tied to sleep patterns and pain levels. When my sleep gets messed up, I sleep the day away. Even though my husband lives in the house, I was asleep when he came home at 6 pm. He called me for dinner. I went down and ate a few bites and back to bed. I often don't talk on the phone and avoid making calls that I need to do, such as appointments.

Yesterday I did have lunch with a friend but was glad to get back home. I know its not a good thing but I like to isolate. I dislike making any commitments when I am like this, as I don't know how I will feel next week. The other side is that I do become bored. I use FB and play some games on the computer. Im just tired I guess.....much of the time.
 
#3
what has been the longest length of time you've isolated?
Maybe a week? Unsure.

what things typically trigger your isolation?
Anything that is emotionally overwhelming and causes my system to shut down.

what is a typical length of isolation for you - does it span a particular anniversary period, or continue on after?
Now, anywhere from a few hours to a few days. I have no anniversaries, thank god.

or is there something (internal/external) that signals for you the end of needing to isolate?
It’s just a feeling, can’t really explain.

what is the extent of your isolation?
Usually time away from people, in person, on the phone, texting. It’s me time, all alone. Being on the internet doesn’t count. Lol.

do you go elsewhere or isolate within your house?
I live alone right now, so just stay in my apartment.
 
#4
Hmmmmm...good questions, @bellbird. I had never stopped to ask myself these questions before.
- what has been the longest length of time you've isolated?
I don't know that I have a trigger that causes me to isolate...perhaps fear.

- what things typically trigger your isolation?
I would say that the older I get the more I isolate. Not sure I have a trigger.

-what is a typical length of isolation for you - does it span a particular anniversary period, or continue on after?
I simply live this way...am very self protective. I have moments of choosing to be with someone for a lunch or I take fishing with me, but it is on a scheduled time line, after which I have to have time to recuperate from the stress of "being social".

- or is there something (internal/external) that signals for you the end of needing to isolate?
Don't see that this question applies to me.

-what is the extent of your isolation?
Mostly, it is staying home by myself, or being in the car for short errands or drives around the area. I just like being by myself, although, at the same time, I have to say that I am lonely...go figure.

-do you go elsewhere or isolate within your house?
See last answer.

Interesting. You have given me something else to mull around and examine. I never thought to ask "why". This is just how I live. But, I can say that I understand it to be fear based and being self-protective.
 

Sietz

MyPTSD Pro
#5
- what has been the longest length of time you've isolated?
A year
- what things typically trigger your isolation?
Overwhelming demands of sociability
-what is a typical length of isolation for you - does it span a particular anniversary period, or continue on after?
months, I have year round anniversaries so there isn't a pattern for me.
- or is there something (internal/external) that signals for you the end of needing to isolate?
I've always lived well either isolated or around people, the need for isolation comes from being overwhelmed and need a time out. But lately as coming out to post-trauma stress life, I realized isolation in fact has isolated me into being alone and lonely. I didn't usually feel lonely before, I've always enjoyed my own company. Lately, I've been thinking it isn't healthy to isolate myself and want to do thing to combat this. It isn't easy though, been my whole life like this.
-what is the extent of your isolation?
I'm always doing everything alone, most of my time is spent home.
-do you go elsewhere or isolate within your house?
See above.
 
Thread starter #6
Thank you all for your responses :)

So I got home after being with my family, and like I expected felt a very strong need to compensate with isolation of a greater extent.

Then there was a knock on the door, and I heard my flatmate get up from the lounge to go answer it.
In hindsight I wished I would have ran for the bathroom, but I wasn't really thinking.
It was two friends of mine.
One was quite tipsy (and had suggested they come around), the other had driven.

f*ck.
I know they mean well, and I feel awful for having this sort of reaction, but I suppose this is my reality right now.
The sober one said she's been mindful of respecting my boundaries. ...sooo, why couldn't you tell Tipsy we won't go over?
She's been around during my last time I isolated badly ~6 months ago. She expected me to respond to her (kinda imposing) presence as though I wasn't isolating, and it did not go her way. She said she wouldn't do it again.

I couldn't look at either of them.
I couldn't even smile when they tried to make me laugh.
I heard the tipsy one go into the lounge and say to my flatmate that she wanted to give her her name and number "in case bellbird has another meltdown" :banghead:

Not really sure what to do with myself right now; I'm internally losing my shit.
 
#7
I isolate for days at a time. I feel like I am in my own world. I am also having suicidal ideation. There is not doubt that comes with isolation. It also come with g=feelings of failureaund guilt. Im sure some of my family (siblings) would be happy because dead people don't talk.
 
#8
Just found these questions and wow they are hard to answer. Just thinking about my isolation patterns brings up huge amounts of shame.
But denial doesnt help me so here goes. 😬

- what has been the longest length of time you've isolated😬

Deep breath. I have pretty much been terrified of society.. and gotten into worse and worse patterns.. for seven years now. I got active cptsd and had to move from the UK to Scandinavia almost simultanously.. then I got seriously ill as I was away from the friends and family I had. Then I got a whole bunch of treatement which made me way worse. I do leave the house but its very hard. I realise I have to do something about it, but how and what I need to figure out with my new therapist. Exposure and exploding the cognitive distortions around people is going to be very tough indeed. My t. actually laughs at me as my brain has it coded it very simply; english people good, non scary. People here, scary. 😑

- what things typically trigger your isolation?
Isolating even further.. like not picking up my kids etc comes after bad days of not being able to connect with myself.

-what is a typical length of isolation for you - does it span a particular anniversary period, or continue on after?
Birthdays, xmas etc hit me hard.

- or is there something (internal/external) that signals for you the end of needing to isolate?

Im having it now, actually. Too much pain and lonliness. And external pressure from my husband as my isolation patterns limit our family. This rips me apart with guilt, which is more debilitating than helpful.

-what is the extent of your isolation?

Sometime I have to go into one room and I feel like Im too scared to go out. Just like when I was a kid.

-do you go elsewhere or isolate within your house?

House. Yuk. I really dont want to be stuck like this forever.
 
#9
I need to rephrase what I said earlier, its not ideation (not thinking of ways) it is more like I would be fine to no longer be alive but have no thoughts of planning anything at all.
I have been isolating since my sister passed away in June 2015, so almost 4 years. I not only stay in my house but I stay in my bed where I feel most comfortable. Its my safe space with soft sheets and a down comforter to hide under. I will get out of isolation for a day at a time, like last night to go to restaurant and celebrate my daughter and son in laws birthdays. It frustrates my husband and makes my daughter worry. I was suppose to meet a friend today and had to cancel. I got panicked at the thought. I go out for a dr appt. or to get my hair done, but stay in for long periods. My husband drags me out for grocery shopping and errands and I cant wait to get back in bed. The guilt makes it worse. I would love to have the desire to take a walk or go to lunch with friends like I use to. I do try to attend a group once a week but sometimes miss a couple weeks because I just cant do it.

I completely understand, I don't want to feel stuck like this forever either. I feel like Im dying here sometimes.
 
Thread starter #10
I need to rephrase what I said earlier, its not ideation (not thinking of ways) it is more like I would be fine to no longer be alive but have no thoughts of planning anything at all.
Sorry @brat17 , I must have not read your message properly when I saw it this morning. Really glad that you're safe, although sorry you are having those type of thoughts.

It sounds like you are making your best at chipping away at your isolation, as much you can given your situation.

Even though all my isolation periods have felt endless while I've been in them, they each ended in time.
Feeling like this right now doesn't mean that you'll feel like this forever :hug:
 
#11
Oh Bellbird I just reread your post too. I am so sorry you are having to experience intruding friends. They may mean well but I also know how that feels. I have a couple of those tipsy friends who just push the limit even when I do get out, it makes me want to run for home. (((hugs)))
 
#12
- what has been the longest length of time you've isolated?

Work, market, home pretty much for the past two years. I avoid almost all social situations. I wouldn't say I'm afraid of life anymore, more that it's just better for me to be alone until I get control of the PTSD and the damage of the underlying event.

- what things typically trigger your isolation?

However people do frighten me sometimes, and I will go into complete shutdown mode for a few days.

-what is a typical length of isolation for you - does it span a particular anniversary period, or continue on after?

Homebody for life, I guess.

- or is there something (internal/external) that signals for you the end of needing to isolate?

The extreme isolating? It usually lasts for three or four days. It tapers away.

-what is the extent of your isolation?

I've withdrawn from life but participate in the general upkeep of day to day activities.

-do you go elsewhere or isolate within your house?

Home but sometimes I'll go lay on the beach and stare up at the sky for an incredibly long period of time. A nice way to isolate <3
 
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