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Physical reaction to a flashback

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concern

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This is my first post so I hope I'm doing everything right, sorry if not. Every time I have a flashback I have to hit myself or scratch myself or slap myself to get out of it. Is this a common experience or is it something I need to speak to my doctor about? Thank you.
 
Is this a common experience or is it something I need to speak to my doctor about?
Yes.

As in, yes it’s common to use physical pain and the adrenaline rush that comes from pain as grounding tools/techniques/methods; AND yes it’s something to speak to your doctor about

…as there are only about a zillion other grounding techniques…

that don’t risk bodily harm & infection, social standing/employability, relationships, and in the wrong time & place? Your freedom, if someone witnesses your self harm, and calls the police/EMTs and you’re sectioned/5150’d/whatever psych hold is used in your state/country for people who are a risk to themselves or others.
 
Every time I have a flashback I have to hit myself or scratch myself or slap myself to get out of it.
This is probably helping to ’ground’ you (that is, bring you back to the here and now). And yes, Grounding is the number one way to deal with being dissociated.

The good news is there’s lots of ways to ground - including a whole lot that will be much gentler on you than hitting yourself.

Different people find different methods of grounding effective. If you’re new to grounding yourself, it can be helpful to carry a grounding kit, which is just a collection of items designed to help you ground in the moment (ideas include: mints, lavender oil, tea bags, a stone, fidget spinner, small teddy, etc). I used to have origami paper with for my admissions because I found folding paper cranes very grounding.

There’s other methods of grounding that don’t require any tools. Using your 5 senses is a good one:
Name 5 things you can see
4 things you can hear
3 things you can feel
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste.

If all else fails, grab something frozen out of the freezer and hold it for a few moments, or jump under a cold shower.
something I need to speak to my doctor about?
Experiencing symptoms of a serious mental health condition is always worth mentioning to your doctor:)
 
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