No triggers ?

JoeSatriani

New Here
Hello, I always see that there are triggers to flashbacks for people, for me, it's more intrusive thoughts of the traumatic event. I rarely go 5 minutes without having these intrusive thoughts, even 12 years after the event. For example, if I drink water, I know I'll have anxiety and intrusive thoughts without knowing why, but if I drink lemonade, I won't, even though the traumatic event is not related to water, or the ptsd comes from another event that I don't know about?

Apart from that I have no idea what triggers the intrusive thoughts, because no matter where I am, I have some, any idea? thx
 

Friday

Moderator
Joeylittle has a post to a supporter that really connected some dots, for me (quoted below, click on the username at the top of the quote to read the whole post!). I’ve bolded the best bit, rather than simply quoting it, as the lead up is very much on point.

I don’t relate to the fear piece, because during most of my trauma history either my emotions were shut off, entirely, or nearly... or... the emotion that spiked was rage, or sadness. But it still stands, if I replace “fear” with what I actually felt -or not- at the time. Sufficient intensity.


In simple layman's terms: A traumatic event occurs, one that is of sufficient intensity to truly kick the brain into fear overdrive.

Then, the traumatic event ends.

What should happen next, is: over the next three to six months (so think the neuroscientists), the brain should gradually smooth out the edges of that very profound fear - take what was an intense experience and turn it into a memory of an intense experience. And then, a slightly more distant memory of a frightening experience. Then, more distant, and while you can recall the fear - it's truly a memory of fear. It's in the past.

You might still be able to become upset by really remembering it deeply - but generally, you'd be able to relay the story of the event without becoming overwhelmed.

PTSD happens when the brain doesn't manage to smooth out that intense experience. Instead, it remains stuck in the present, and doesn't join other memories that are filed to the past. It's a glitch, a kind of trauma deja-vu. Part of the brain perceives the traumatic event as still being in process, still occurring.

Now, most of the other neurological functions are operating correctly - if they weren't, the person with PTSD would be living in an extremely painful state of either continual psychosis or near-catatonia. What is more typical (or common) is for the person with PTSD to experience this "stuck memory" sometimes intensely enough to truly perceive it as experiential (flashbacks), sometimes like it just happened yesterday (intrusive thoughts).
 

JoeSatriani

New Here
Joeylittle has a post to a supporter that really connected some dots, for me (quoted below, click on the username at the top of the quote to read the whole post!). I’ve bolded the best bit, rather than simply quoting it, as the lead up is very much on point.

I don’t relate to the fear piece, because during most of my trauma history either my emotions were shut off, entirely, or nearly... or... the emotion that spiked was rage, or sadness. But it still stands, if I replace “fear” with what I actually felt -or not- at the time. Sufficient intensity.
Thx, ok so my brain is stuck in fear mod, I know that this event is from the past but at times I have feelings of terror that disturb me to the point that I don't know very well.

During the event i froze and then fled, i felt numb and madly angry. I crossed paths with the abuser again and developed a kind of stockholm syndrome. It took me a week to digest the event, in the meantime I developed the fear of vomiting in class. Then one day, maybe 6 months or a year later when I woke up, the intrusive thoughts came and never left.
 

JoeSatriani

New Here
So then wouldn't drinking water be a trigger? Or where you drink it, or the glass you used? There may be a piece of your trauma you're not remembering that has to do with that.
When I was 7-8 years old I don't really remember, my mother was alone with 3 children, we were not very well-behaved, she picked me up and put my head under the water tap, this is the only event I can think of related to this, not sure how traumatic it could be?

she was a good mother, still is, that's weird
 

Friday

Moderator
When I was 7-8 years old I don't really remember, my mother was alone with 3 children, we were not very well-behaved, she picked me up and put my head under the water tap, this is the only event I can think of related to this, not sure how traumatic it could be?

she was a good mother, still is, that's weird
Drinking water is a trigger for me... because after being tortured the extreme thirst meant we would “drink” anything. Piss, blood, vomit, black slimy gritty bleachy mop water... even sucking the moisture out of even slightly damp concrete. Actually that one has meant I don’t do well with sucking the juice out of popsicles, either, which I used to love. The sound/feel is different, but not different enough. Half the time I’m right back to feeling concrete on my lips, and blood in my mouth. Talk about a yucky popsicle! Nope. Pass. No popsicles for me, thanks! Major stressor for me. And easily avoided.

((I don’t avoid most of my triggers/stressors. I chip away at them, until they’re gone. But popsicles? Pfft. I’m perfectly fine never eating another popsicle in my life, thanks.))

I’ve also gone years and years without drinking water. I work on my triggers and stressors basically in the order in which they affect my life. I’ve almost never found water to be the only thing around to drink. If it were? I’d probably choose to work on it. Since I have countless other options? And I’m not affected by “drinking” water I’m swimming in? Eh. Just doesn’t rise to the level of “needs sorting” for me.

I have friends, meanwhile, who have a drinking water trigger -or any liquids- around oral rape, and know countless others who can’t handle water (drinking, or showers, or both) because the very first thing they did after being raped -in any way- was to wash their mouth out, or climb into a shower and scrub themselves red (similarly, I know people who have issues with sunburns, either because of the color or feel takes hem right back there to that moment)

Triggers & Stressors? Are odd thugs. Snort. That’s an autocorrect of “things” that I think I’ll just keep as appropriate as hell. They were there at the time of the trauma (triggers) or evoke memories &/or symptoms becuase they’re related to the things that were there. (Like my popsicle stressor). Keep in mind, triggers & stressors? Don’t just cause flashbacks. They can cause ANY symptomatic response.

^^^ For more on that? Check THIS thread out, below! 😁 It’s fantastic.

 
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