New member & very frightened!

Butterfly16

New Here
Hi everyone, I have joined the forums today as to be honest I don’t really know what to think or do anymore, I spent my whole time in almost constant fight or flight mode, on guard, highly anxious 24/7, obsessional/ocd type thinking, and an extreme sensitivity to stress. I’m tired.

I haven’t been diagnosed formally but a therapist did say it sounds very much like C-PTSD. I don’t have a specific trauma, it’s more of a multitude of stressful traumas gathered together over a long period of time (psychological abuse and the sudden loss of my father). I have an intense fear of death, and even watching the news about someone who has died in a bad way will trigger me.

Anyway, I was hoping someone could help me with this relatively new symptom that I’m having. It’s been happening for a few months now and is getting A LOT worse to the point where I think I might have something neurological going on. Basically I’ve developed an extreme startle response. But everything I google about it just says it only happens with loud sounds. Mine happens even with the tiniest level of sound! Basically any sudden sound, regardless of volume. I will be sitting there in the evenings watching tv or on my phone (apart from the tv being on everything is completely quiet) and suddenly my partner will do something like click his toe!

Now… whilst I don’t like jump up or jolt or anything, my nervous system is obviously picking up this sudden sound as every time it causes an intense adrenalin type surge / rush in my chest / body (can’t really describe the feeling; it’s like a weird rush I guess). Sometimes my heart will react too and start racing.

Obviously when there’s more background noise going on (for example; like when I’m cooking or doing some kind of activity) I don’t even notice every slight sound or get this response at all…! It ONLY seems to happen at rest when things are quieter, and more often at night time, but can happen in the day too, as long as it’s quiet or I’m not doing anything. OR MAYBE… it is happening still but I’m just not noticing it as I’m doing stuff??

Now … the reason why I’m reaching out to you all now is because a few months ago this started happening during SLEEP!!! And it’s getting worse! So for example…. if i’m asleep and my partner is laying next to me awake reading/on his phone, he tells me that he will suddenly sniff/cough/clear his throat/move suddenly, but just as he does so I will suddenly sit bolt up upright in total fear, heart racing, shaking, etc. It doesn’t happen every time he does it, but it is becoming more & more frequent (more so when under stress I suppose?). This has been happening for a few months now.

Does this sound like something neurological seeing as it is also happening when I’m asleep & therefore NOT aware of the sounds? surely I can’t be this hypervigilant whilst sleeping??!!
Does anyone know why my nervous system is so sensitive to such SLIGHT stimuli? Ive tried Googling but cannot find anything similar, everyone just seems to say they jump/startle/jolt to LOUD sounds. That’s the strange thing, I don’t actually jump up/startle (I will however do this if someone,say, knocks my door hard or someone walks up behind me) but the sudden slight sounds are clearly doing something to cause my body / nervous system to react like this right ? Just to add, sometimes I don’t even get anxiety when I hear the unexpected small noises, it’s just this weird body reaction/rush.

Has anybody got an explanation for this or even better if anyone gets the exact same thing please can you let me know? I’m literally terrified right now. I cry every day in fear that I’m either going to die or have a complete stress breakdown :(

I’m really sorry to vent at you all, I just didn’t know where to turn, I have nobody who understands and I really really need help. I can’t go on like this anymore. I live my whole life in constant fear and anxiety and I am so so tired of it.

Thank you for listening
Butterfly16
U.K
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry this is happening to you. I too have startle responses, it's very much a symptom of PTSD and one of the indicators someone has it when it's not diagnosed yet. It's hyperarousal more than hypervigilance, but the two are linked.

You are not alone. You can try to do a few breathing techniques (breath intake through the nose 4 seconds, hold two seconds, outake through the mouth 6 seconds, repeat until feeling better).

Also, do you exercise? I noticed this happens much less when I'm physically tired.

PTSD really sucks but there are ways out of it. I'm sorry for the loss of your dad. It's very hard to brutally loose loved ones.

Anyway, welcome to the forum! I hope you'll find information and help around, it's a very supportive place.
 

Butterfly16

New Here
I'm sorry this is happening to you. I too have startle responses, it's very much a symptom of PTSD and one of the indicators someone has it when it's not diagnosed yet. It's hyperarousal more than hypervigilance, but the two are linked.

You are not alone. You can try to do a few breathing techniques (breath intake through the nose 4 seconds, hold two seconds, outake through the mouth 6 seconds, repeat until feeling better).

Also, do you exercise? I noticed this happens much less when I'm physically tired.

PTSD really sucks but there are ways out of it. I'm sorry for the loss of your dad. It's very hard to brutally loose loved ones.

Anyway, welcome to the forum! I hope you'll find information and help around, it's a very supportive place.
Thank you so much for your reply. I know it was a long post so my apologies about that!
The confusing part for me is that I don’t actually jump/jolt/startle, it’s more of an internal reaction to the sound. I’m not frightened of my partner clicking his toe and I’ve not had an extreme trauma which involved sound, so why is my body reacting like this? Also is it possible that this can happen during sleep? I cannot find anyone online saying the same thing? Yes I do breathing, but like I say i don’t usually get anxious when I hear the sound, it’s just this weird rush/wave/pulsating sensation in response to a slight noise. I just think how can this be PTSD hyoerarousal when I can’t find anyone online saying the same thing? They all say sudden loud sounds will physically startle them. I get this of course, but it’s the slight sounds that I don’t understand….. :(

I can’t exercise sadly as I have M.E (CFS) and B12 deficiency, which causes me a lot of problems and extreme exercise intolerance :( I do sometimes swim, but I always feel so exhausted after, and if I’m feeling really anxious or triggered I cannot sleep no matter how tired I am!

Thank you for your comments I do miss my dad so much, he was my best friend, and I remember he suffered so badly in the two days after his stroke. I was there with him as he died and it was so traumatic. I don’t necessarily get triggered thinking about it, but it can make me feel anxious and low. I think tbh I’ve buried it deep to protect myself as I often don’t like talking about it, although it is getting easier.

thank you for your warm welcome x
 
Last edited by a moderator:

PTSDisaster

Confident
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry for what you're going through.

I also get adrenaline rushes a lot, also from small sounds
For example; The fridge sometimes makes this 'click' noise, or whatever electrical appliance, and it will get me full of adrenaline as well. Sometimes I do jump, sometimes it's just only a reaction inside my body.
I also get startled in my sleep, but I've been sleeping with earplugs and it makes me sleep much better. I get paranoid very quickly so I needed some time to adjust to wearing them without getting anxious. But it's a great solution. I sleep with loop earplugs, they're very nice for sleeping.

Hope I helped you a bit and hope you'll feel a bit better soon.:)
 

Butterfly16

New Here
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry for what you're going through.

I also get adrenaline rushes a lot, also from small sounds
For example; The fridge sometimes makes this 'click' noise, or whatever electrical appliance, and it will get me full of adrenaline as well. Sometimes I do jump, sometimes it's just only a reaction inside my body.
I also get startled in my sleep, but I've been sleeping with earplugs and it makes me sleep much better. I get paranoid very quickly so I needed some time to adjust to wearing them without getting anxious. But it's a great solution. I sleep with loop earplugs, they're very nice for sleeping.

Hope I helped you a bit and hope you'll feel a bit better soon.:)
Thank you so much for replying! I really appreciate that. It’s reassuring to hear someone else gets the same thing. It’s so hard to accept this is due to C-PTSD. It feels like there’s something wrong with my body. I am just about to go back on Sertraline (I think it is called Zoloft in the U.S?). So hopefully this will help. I also take a very small dose of Alprazolam (Xanax) as and when required. What medications do you find helps with startle response? I’ve read there’s no medication that helps with PTSD?! :(
 

Aliana

New Here
Hi everyone, I have joined the forums today as to be honest I don’t really know what to think or do anymore, I spent my whole time in almost constant fight or flight mode, on guard, highly anxious 24/7, obsessional/ocd type thinking, and an extreme sensitivity to stress. I’m tired.

I haven’t been diagnosed formally but a therapist did say it sounds very much like C-PTSD. I don’t have a specific trauma, it’s more of a multitude of stressful traumas gathered together over a long period of time (psychological abuse and the sudden loss of my father). I have an intense fear of death, and even watching the news about someone who has died in a bad way will trigger me.

Anyway, I was hoping someone could help me with this relatively new symptom that I’m having. It’s been happening for a few months now and is getting A LOT worse to the point where I think I might have something neurological going on. Basically I’ve developed an extreme startle response. But everything I google about it just says it only happens with loud sounds. Mine happens even with the tiniest level of sound! Basically any sudden sound, regardless of volume. I will be sitting there in the evenings watching tv or on my phone (apart from the tv being on everything is completely quiet) and suddenly my partner will do something like click his toe!

Now… whilst I don’t like jump up or jolt or anything, my nervous system is obviously picking up this sudden sound as every time it causes an intense adrenalin type surge / rush in my chest / body (can’t really describe the feeling; it’s like a weird rush I guess). Sometimes my heart will react too and start racing.

Obviously when there’s more background noise going on (for example; like when I’m cooking or doing some kind of activity) I don’t even notice every slight sound or get this response at all…! It ONLY seems to happen at rest when things are quieter, and more often at night time, but can happen in the day too, as long as it’s quiet or I’m not doing anything. OR MAYBE… it is happening still but I’m just not noticing it as I’m doing stuff??

Now … the reason why I’m reaching out to you all now is because a few months ago this started happening during SLEEP!!! And it’s getting worse! So for example…. if i’m asleep and my partner is laying next to me awake reading/on his phone, he tells me that he will suddenly sniff/cough/clear his throat/move suddenly, but just as he does so I will suddenly sit bolt up upright in total fear, heart racing, shaking, etc. It doesn’t happen every time he does it, but it is becoming more & more frequent (more so when under stress I suppose?). This has been happening for a few months now.

Does this sound like something neurological seeing as it is also happening when I’m asleep & therefore NOT aware of the sounds? surely I can’t be this hypervigilant whilst sleeping??!!
Does anyone know why my nervous system is so sensitive to such SLIGHT stimuli? Ive tried Googling but cannot find anything similar, everyone just seems to say they jump/startle/jolt to LOUD sounds. That’s the strange thing, I don’t actually jump up/startle (I will however do this if someone,say, knocks my door hard or someone walks up behind me) but the sudden slight sounds are clearly doing something to cause my body / nervous system to react like this right ? Just to add, sometimes I don’t even get anxiety when I hear the unexpected small noises, it’s just this weird body reaction/rush.

Has anybody got an explanation for this or even better if anyone gets the exact same thing please can you let me know? I’m literally terrified right now. I cry every day in fear that I’m either going to die or have a complete stress breakdown :(

I’m really sorry to vent at you all, I just didn’t know where to turn, I have nobody who understands and I really really need help. I can’t go on like this anymore. I live my whole life in constant fear and anxiety and I am so so tired of it.

Thank you for listening
Butterfly16
U.K
I dissociate a lot, and are often not even awere of how tense and stressed my body is of I don't intentionally fokus on how my body feels.

When under stress, our senses can get sharper. Then even a small sound can startle the body. Also, even when we are asleep we can sleep lightly and more easy respond to things happening around us.

Have you tried some bodyawereness tecnics?

No, you are not alone. I get these exact symtoms aswell a period after Id had an episode.
 

Friday

Moderator
Does this sound like something neurological
Easily could be.
Does anyone know why my nervous system is so sensitive to such SLIGHT stimuli?
Which would also explain this ^^^ AND is why a complete physical, including a neurological exam, is part of a formal psych diagnosis. Because there are a LOT of overlapping symptoms between physical/ neurological / psychological. Like having a fever is a part of a LOT of different kinds of illness, and is also part of heat stroke, and is also part of certain conditions totally unrelated to illness (like certain cancers, hormone disorders, etc.). Just knowing you have a high temp? Doesn’t tell you what’s causing it… not sven if you know for sure ifs an infection. Viral infection, bacterial, fungal, parasite? What KIND of microbe?

Aside from a neurological condition? I can think of about 20 physical conditions to rule out… but a doctor will probably be ruling out something closer to 200.

BUT?
fight or flight mode, on guard, highly anxious 24/7, obsessional/ocd type thinking, and an extreme sensitivity to stress.
Jumping back into the land of psych… Could also be an anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, and about 30-40 other disorders in the DSM.


Has anybody got an explanation for this or even better if anyone gets the exact same thing please can you let me know?
You’ll need to see a medical doctor & someone qualified to diagnose psych . Becuase, sure. I’ve got maybe 100 explanations, just off the top of my head. All of which may be totally useless to you, because none of them might be what you’re dealing with.

The medical term for sensitivity to sound, by the by, is called “hyperacusis” … and it’s a symptom of everything from hangovers to every other kind of dehydration, cancers to infections, hormones to heart conditions, connective tissue disorders to aging, neurological to psych.

Someone qualified to diagnose? Will not only be able to run a few quick & easy tests to rule out 80% odd the bat, but can run through every other symptom you’re having (including ones you may not realize are symptoms), your medical records, life, etc. to give you a waaaaaaay better idea of what’s going on.
 

PTSDisaster

Confident
Thank you so much for replying! I really appreciate that. It’s reassuring to hear someone else gets the same thing. It’s so hard to accept this is due to C-PTSD. It feels like there’s something wrong with my body. I am just about to go back on Sertraline (I think it is called Zoloft in the U.S?). So hopefully this will help. I also take a very small dose of Alprazolam (Xanax) as and when required. What medications do you find helps with startle response? I’ve read there’s no medication that helps with PTSD?! :(
I'm not on any medication. They wanted to give me sertraline as well and they told me it's a very good medicine for ptsd/anxiety. But I don't want medication, I actually wánt to feel every feeling so that I can figure out what's causing it and how I can handle it instead of numbing it with medication. Maybe I will need meds in the future but for now I'm fine without (even though my anxiety is pretty bad).
:)
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I used to take sertraline but found that it made me too "edgy" and anxious which out me at risk of relapsing on alcohol. I still get sensitive about sudden loud noises alot.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I take sertraline too but I am not in the treatment since long enough to see any difference. But I’m on a rather high dosage of pregabalin that is used against GAD and it’s been helpful to manage to go to sleep. However against high sharps of anxiety/adrenaline what has diminished them back in time were beta blockers that I did take against migraines. You might indeed want to see a neurologist or a cardiologist to rule out other causes.

And noting that even with all the medication I have depending on how I’m feeling the startledness doesn’t really go away. What I found appeasing have been grounding exercises and focusing on nice, present things and remind myself that I’m sound and safe and nothing is going to happen. It helps lowering the spike. I have lorazepam too (same family as xanax) but the action time would not be useful for something that comes and goes fast without causing a rampaging panic attack or longer anxiety.
 

Sideways

Moderator
This is one of those symptoms that if you visit a ptsd forum, a whole lot of folks with ptsd are going to be able to tell you, "Yeah, that's a lot like what I experience".

And if you then go to a CFS forum, a lot of folks will be able to tell you, "Yeah, that's a lot like what I experience ".

And if you ask folks on a forum for vitamin B deficiency, a lot of folks will be able to tell you, "Yeah, that's a lot like what I experience".

And then you head to an anxiety forum, and a lot of folks will tell you "Yeah, that's a lot like what I experience".

I could go on...!

IMHO? Ditch the "therapist" who told you it might be complex ptsd when you haven't even been diagnosed with ptsd. They should know better.

If you're suffering from CFS? Don't mess around. Get some solid advice from an appropriately qualified medical practitioner (and expect that they're thorough enough to do some investigations to rule in, or out, various health conditions before they offer you a diagnosis). Your life is hard enough with CFS, you deserve quality medical advice. Accept nothing less.
 
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