Triggered off out of the blue

Hi all :-) I’m new to this forum so wanted to say hello. Back in Dec 2018 I had severe post natal ocd/anxiety/depression, after having my 4th little one. (Never had any problems before). I had to go into hospital and then a mum and baby unit for 4 and a half months.

To cut a long story short, the other day I had to go back to the hospital where I was admitted for something else (phsyical). This was on the exact same date that I was admitted Dec 2018 with all the postnatal stuff. 😭

A few days after going back this time I started to feel really “out of it” like dissociated. Then I started getting that bit of panic/anxiety and that has now just grew into last night an awful flashback where it almost overtook now, it’s was literally like I was right there, like the past 3 years hadn’t happened and it was terryifing.

Does anybody else suffer with flashbacks? If that’s what this is? It’s so distressing and every day now I expect to wake up anxious and for it all to happen again.

Thanks

Alice
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
hello alice. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

flashbacks have been a long-running, severe issue for me. what you describe here sounds allot like what i experienced when i first started to drop the denial and repression of my traumatic childhood memories. prior to that, i swore that all this was new, but with acceptance an processing, the messy footprints it left all over my life became obvious. denial is a potent force. the only thing new in the equation was my awareness that it was happening. after years of psychotherapy work, i still wake up anxious and waiting for the other proverbial foot to fall, but now i ply my therapy tools to the anxiety and am able to live full, rich days, in spite of ^it^. my anxiety symptoms are easier to manage as i become more confident and proficient in my use of those tools. practice, practice, practice.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

gentle support while you sort your own case. welcome aboard. hope you find stabilizing companionship here.
 
hello alice. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

flashbacks have been a long-running, severe issue for me. what you describe here sounds allot like what i experienced when i first started to drop the denial and repression of my traumatic childhood memories. prior to that, i swore that all this was new, but with acceptance an processing, the messy footprints it left all over my life became obvious. denial is a potent force. the only thing new in the equation was my awareness that it was happening. after years of psychotherapy work, i still wake up anxious and waiting for the other proverbial foot to fall, but now i ply my therapy tools to the anxiety and am able to live full, rich days, in spite of ^it^. my anxiety symptoms are easier to manage as i become more confident and proficient in my use of those tools. practice, practice, practice.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

gentle support while you sort your own case. welcome aboard. hope you find stabilizing companionship here.
Thanks for replying. I was actually diagnosed with ptsd back in Dec 2018, so I have always had it under the surface but have been so good with it until now.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
It will be ok again.
It's understandable that being there,on the anniversary, would have an impact. Totally understandable. Highly frustrating and destabilising and unsettling too.
But, just as easy as these feelings arrived: they can go again.

You're not back to 3 years ago. You are you now. With your 3 years of being well and your 3 additional years of awareness of your mental health. So whilst it feels like the last 3 years didn't happen: they did happen.

If you can find a way to believe that:
You are you now.
This feeling is a feeling from the past and not life now (that is what my T says to me)
And to know this feeling will pass,
Then that might help.

Are there other differences you can identify from you now to you then?
Because it sounds as though you are really aware of your emotional state now. Then it sounds as though things were really tough, with the mother and baby unit etc. So maybe you have more awareness now, and more grounding techniques?

It's really hard when things come hurtling back.
Hope it all passes for you soon.

Edit: sorry I may be projecting too much here! As re reading your post it sounds like the feelings have passed and you're now worried they may come again. Maybe looking at it in the context of being in the hospital, on the anniversary, was a trigger. One you are now aware of and can prepare and respond to if that specific trigger comes again. You got this.
 
It will be ok again.
It's understandable that being there,on the anniversary, would have an impact. Totally understandable. Highly frustrating and destabilising and unsettling too.
But, just as easy as these feelings arrived: they can go again.

You're not back to 3 years ago. You are you now. With your 3 years of being well and your 3 additional years of awareness of your mental health. So whilst it feels like the last 3 years didn't happen: they did happen.

If you can find a way to believe that:
You are you now.
This feeling is a feeling from the past and not life now (that is what my T says to me)
And to know this feeling will pass,
Then that might help.

Are there other differences you can identify from you now to you then?
Because it sounds as though you are really aware of your emotional state now. Then it sounds as though things were really tough, with the mother and baby unit etc. So maybe you have more awareness now, and more grounding techniques?

It's really hard when things come hurtling back.
Hope it all passes for you soon.

Edit: sorry I may be projecting too much here! As re reading your post it sounds like the feelings have passed and you're now worried they may come again. Maybe looking at it in the context of being in the hospital, on the anniversary, was a trigger. One you are now aware of and can prepare and respond to if that specific trigger comes again. You got this.
Thankyou for your reply. It was terrifying, I’ve never had a flashback like that before and it just came out of the blue. I am trying desperately not to let it come back again 🤷‍♀️
 

Friday

Moderator
Thankyou for your reply. It was terrifying, I’ve never had a flashback like that before and it just came out of the blue. I am trying desperately not to let it come back again 🤷‍♀️
If you’ve got a trauma therapist you’re working with (or have worked with in the past) this is one of those times when flashbacks & intrusive thoughts maaaaaay be able to be put to good use processing the trauma they stem from / laying things to rest.

It’s one of the reasons many countries have started sending discharged &/or injured soldiers back to theatres in conflict, or the rebuilding/rebuilt areas long after the conflict has ended… usually in a group, always with at least one (and often several) trauma therapists. The smells are the same. The light is the same. The sounds are the same. The water is the same. The color of the dust is the same. A 1,000 things are exactly the same as they were during the traumas themselves, but? That was then. And this is now. Just the physically being there can “close the loop” on a lot of unresolved issues, just as it can kick Pandora’s box wide open (hence the trauma therapists who help manage the everything that follows that happening)..

It doesn’t always work, and like all trauma therapy, even if it does work? Things are going to be worse, for awhile. ((Increase all the symptoms, & decrease ability to handle stress, life, and other necessities.)) So when you’re sick or injured ((IE already under stress up to your eyeballs; people forget that physical stress is still stress)) it might not be the best time to add even more stress & decrease your ability to handle stress. IE processing the stuff that’s coming up may take a distant second to managing what’s coming up. 2 very different, if both very useful, things.

So I’d still recommend ringing up your T / old T / or hitting up the hospital social work team for a temporary therapist just to help you through this patch. Whether it’s for help managing what’s coming up, or for processing what’s coming up.
 
If you’ve got a trauma therapist you’re working with (or have worked with in the past) this is one of those times when flashbacks & intrusive thoughts maaaaaay be able to be put to good use processing the trauma they stem from / laying things to rest.

It’s one of the reasons many countries have started sending discharged &/or injured soldiers back to theatres in conflict, or the rebuilding/rebuilt areas long after the conflict has ended… usually in a group, always with at least one (and often several) trauma therapists. The smells are the same. The light is the same. The sounds are the same. The water is the same. The color of the dust is the same. A 1,000 things are exactly the same as they were during the traumas themselves, but? That was then. And this is now. Just the physically being there can “close the loop” on a lot of unresolved issues, just as it can kick Pandora’s box wide open (hence the trauma therapists who help manage the everything that follows that happening)..

It doesn’t always work, and like all trauma therapy, even if it does work? Things are going to be worse, for awhile. ((Increase all the symptoms, & decrease ability to handle stress, life, and other necessities.)) So when you’re sick or injured ((IE already under stress up to your eyeballs; people forget that physical stress is still stress)) it might not be the best time to add even more stress & decrease your ability to handle stress. IE processing the stuff that’s coming up may take a distant second to managing what’s coming up. 2 very different, if both very useful, things.

So I’d still recommend ringing up your T / old T / or hitting up the hospital social work team for a temporary therapist just to help you through this patch. Whether it’s for help managing what’s coming up, or for processing what’s coming up.
Hi, I don’t have a therapist unfortunately, I’m not under any mental Health services
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thankyou for your reply. It was terrifying, I’ve never had a flashback like that before and it just came out of the blue. I am trying desperately not to let it come back again 🤷‍♀️
Yeah, I understand. It throws everything up in the air.
Knowledge is power though. And whilst no one can predict the future if you were triggered like that again, you'll know what it is and how to respond to it.
You survived it.
Nothing bad happened.
It became ok.

This site has lots of threads that might help too for grounding techniques. Or people can share theirs here.
 
Top