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Other Wearing a face covering is triggering memories of suffocation and I'm now scared to go to the shops.

#14
yep -- throw me in there too.
I have several different kind of masks and use them based on how I can tolerate them at the time. They all fit differently -- a couple are thick, a couple are more paperish and then one is a bandanna. I think having control of which type I will wear for which situation helps with the panic because it means I'm the one in charge of what's over my face. Kind of like an exposure therapy. Not sure if it is working but hopeful......

As for the face shield--Sister and I were just talking about this today. I think that you are supposed to wear a mask underneath it - the shield just gives an extra level of protection. Haven't had time to research it yet --- but might be worth looking into if you are using one in the near future
 
Thread starter #15
I am so sorry that you were suffering and not receiving a timely response. Please know that I care about you. Even if it’s only a brief response to try to help you.

It’s one of the harder things that I have had to deal with on this healing process so I know how difficult it is for you. The judgement and people not understanding. I even have a signed letter saying that I shouldn’t wear one due to medical reasons, but it’s almost scarier to risk the backlash of other people.
Thank you, it means a lot :)

Sorry to hear about your experiences and so much respect for working through them, I know how hard that is.

It wasn't about the timing it was a user whose comment was deleted by moderators but given it was the first one and I was already feeling extremely low, having them show that same judgement and attitude which I thought at least here I wouldn't be subjected to was too much and it pushed me over the edge for a while but I feel a bit more calm this morning though still very low.

I wear the surgical ones for brief periods at work but I can only tolerate a few minutes standing or sitting still that's why the visor seemed like my only option as my airways aren't covered. Thing is the UK law doesn't specify what you can and can't use so I might get away with a visor, if not I think I'm going to have to go down the exemption route I'm just so scared of being abused in public and how I will react as I used to have major problems with anger before the EMDR.

I won't be passing the virus on to anybody as I have already had it and tested positive for antibodies 2 weeks ago, that's one silver lining I suppose.
 
Thread starter #16
I have a lot in common with you. I’m from the US but I ran away to London after having been strangled. One night at a pub I was drugged and kidnapped. I played dead when I came to in a car and was able to flee. I ran and ran and fell because I was drugged. A nice woman wanted to get me a policeman but I begged her to help me get a cab. I had no idea where I was. These two traumas so close to one another unleashed my dive into alcohol. I’m still anxious out in the world. I didnt have any money or my passport. No one would know I was missing. I had told my family that I was going to England and never coming back.

I wear surgical masks because they are the easiest to breathe in. Maybe you can find some at a drug store. Look for the ear loop ones, you won’t feel so trapped and you can pull it down as often as you can. They don’t have any elastic that freak me right out. The full face shields are intended to keep Covid out of your eyes, not to replace a mask. Do you think a positive affirmation would help? Like”I am saving lives by protecting people from my droplets” picture yourself in the sunshine wearing your mask and picture yourself smiling. When I developed my lung disease I have to wear masks everywhere and I’ve tried all of the. For me the surgical ones are the least claustrophobic.
Thanks for understanding and so sorry to hear about your experiences <3

The surgical ones are the ones I wear at work and I can only tolerate them for very, very brief periods of time while sitting or standing- not once I start moving. This is why a visor seemed like the only option as in the UK there's no real rule as to what you can can't use. If I could confidently pull the mask down without fearing abuse from other people then I would but I'm worried I'd just as much abuse as if I didn't wear one.

I've tried a lot of different things from scarves, to cloth masks to bandannas and they're all too triggering unless I can keep removing them so it looks like I've got no choice but to go down the exemption route at this point, I just wish there was a card or badge I could carry because 'self-certifying' leaves a lot of potential for people to lie and then no one will take me seriously either.

I'm really concerned about how I will cope with the abuse from other people as I used to have major problems with anger before the EMDR which I had previously put behind me until this week.

Good thing is, I've already had the virus (in April) and tested positive for antibodies 2 weeks ago so I won't be infecting anyone :)

Still feel very low today but a little calmer than last night, all I needed was to know I wasn't alone and have people understand without judging me.

yep -- throw me in there too.
I have several different kind of masks and use them based on how I can tolerate them at the time. They all fit differently -- a couple are thick, a couple are more paperish and then one is a bandanna. I think having control of which type I will wear for which situation helps with the panic because it means I'm the one in charge of what's over my face. Kind of like an exposure therapy. Not sure if it is working but hopeful......

As for the face shield--Sister and I were just talking about this today. I think that you are supposed to wear a mask underneath it - the shield just gives an extra level of protection. Haven't had time to research it yet --- but might be worth looking into if you are using one in the near future
Sorry to hear you are also struggling.

I've tried a few and they're all too triggering unless I can keep removing them. The only one left I haven't tried is the visor, so I'm really hoping I can use that as in the UK there's no strict definition of what constitutes a face covering.

I had hoped that wearing one for brief periods at work would be effective as exposure but it's been 6 weeks and so far I can only handle short periods sitting or standing. The minute I start moving around it gets too much.

I really hope I can just use the visor, I have quite a small head so hopefully the standard sized one I have ordered will cover my whole face down to below my chin. If not, I need to find a medical exemption card of some kind, I really don't feel comfortable 'self-certifying' and having to explain to people.

Thanks for your help :)
 
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#17
And this may well be outta line, but @lostforgottensoul , how are you coping with face masks? You and I had a conversation once about how hard it was just wearing a necklace if I remember right?
Not out of line. Its super triggering and hard to breath so I run in and out fast and find an alone place to take it off and breath. I probably shouldn't be doing that but taking it off for a few seconds in an alone area is the only way I can keep going. Its not really getting any easier either. Sigh!
 
Thread starter #18
Have been practising with the visor today and it's OK. Feel a lot more confident facing this now, thank you so much for your support everyone it has been so helpful and I wish you all of you all the best with your own struggles. I recognise I may have got off to a bad start with talking about suicide- sorry about that as I know that can be triggering in and of itself and I should have thought before posting it. Thank you all for making me feel so welcome. <3
 
#20
@coxysmelons93, you're not alone in this face mask is triggering thing. Suffocating me was one of my traumas. Drowning. Other ways of not being able to breath as well as what @Sideways said; necklaces and anything around my neck or wrists due to my trauma (cause I was chained up). Having a mask over my face and it being hard to breath and being hot is all triggering. I think many can relate to that for various reasons.

Like I said above, I try to find an out of the place area without people to take it off so I can breath for a few mins. I have no idea where to find a face shield or how to make one so a face mask it has to be. It feels like swimming under water. Hold your breath, run and do something, find a spot no one is at and take it off and breath and rise and repeat. I probably have to do that 15 times in a 15 min to 30 min trip. Its so much like swimming under water for me. Or like holding my breath. Though I'm not holding my breath, it feels like I am. My service dog is alerting like crazy due to the panic its causing. And I am treating the stores like a race. How fast can I run in and out?

Anyway, no real tips or anything. Just that I can relate.
 
Thread starter #21
@coxysmelons93, you're not alone in this face mask is triggering thing. Suffocating me was one of my traumas. Drowning. Other ways of not being able to breath as well as what @Sideways said; necklaces and anything around my neck or wrists due to my trauma (cause I was chained up). Having a mask over my face and it being hard to breath and being hot is all triggering. I think many can relate to that for various reasons.

Like I said above, I try to find an out of the place area without people to take it off so I can breath for a few mins. I have no idea where to find a face shield or how to make one so a face mask it has to be. It feels like swimming under water. Hold your breath, run and do something, find a spot no one is at and take it off and breath and rise and repeat. I probably have to do that 15 times in a 15 min to 30 min trip. Its so much like swimming under water for me. Or like holding my breath. Though I'm not holding my breath, it feels like I am. My service dog is alerting like crazy due to the panic its causing. And I am treating the stores like a race. How fast can I run in and out?

Anyway, no real tips or anything. Just that I can relate.

I'm so sorry to hear about your experience and how badly the masks are affecting you.

Thanks, it's really helpful to know others are feeling the same.

I ordered my facesheild/visor off Amazon if that's any help? It's a bit flimsy and cheap but I'm sure there's better ones out there too. It'll do the trick for me I think for short shopping trips as I'm planning on avoiding the shops as much as I can and only going (with the visor) when I can't avoid it. Also planning on going at the quietest times possible e.g. late night and early morning. I think they also sell them on Ebay (but I don't know if this is different depending on where you live as I'm in England).

Have you talked to your doctor about an exemption? Or are you just as worried about abuse from other people as I am? I can totally understand that if you are. I'd rather avoid the shops than face the abuse but we shouldn't have to face it.

I hope your therapy dog is of some help though, animals can be amazing, they never judge.

I really hope you can find a way to cope.

All the best.
 
#22
If the visor is okay for you (hope so), consider getting the exemption, and wearing the visor where you can anyway.

Face masks seem to be something that a lot of people have very strong opinions about, and not wearing one (particularly with our invisible mental health disability), may draw unwanted attention, which would add to my anxiety levels if it was me.

Something to think about:)
 
#23
Just as I expected my own feeling and trauma are of no importance at all and I may as well just end it all because clearly I'm a bad person for going through what I did and having a reaction to it.
Don't worry, I'm used to nothing I feel or experience ever meaning anything to anyone, just like my lie doesn't.
^This stuff you need to work on yourself. Life/ptsd can get very painful but expecting an online community and particularly when you are completely new, to jump to attention and turn that thought process around, or be responsible for answering you more promptly than we did, is a step too far. Nobody here can take on that amount of responsibility but it'd be good if you did and getting some help would be a smart move.

As for the face shield-
^Face shields may become the next big line of defence after masks. Apparently humans can contract the virus through their eyes.

Covering our mouths and nostrils is good but not complete.

For me, bandanna's & those small round neck scarves (cannot remember what they are called) that can be pulled up over nose and mouth eliminate the feeling of being tied into the material. Maybe try them?

I think this virus is going to be around for a long time so maybe look at what type of exposure therapy you can get to help make wearing face coverings less problematic?
 
#24
One of my traumas that is of significance to me when I read this topic comes to mind. It was likely responsible for the onset of my condition. However many other Trumatic things happen to me in my life including guns being pointed at my head and such.

The incident in mind was my first panic attack which was colossal and I had never experienced one before or knew what one was. I still to this day do not know how or why I did not just pass out like a normal person would have but I didn’t. My body started turning blue and I was drooling. Most of my body started tingling and I could feel every single tiny little air current blowing a crossed my hair follicles. Of course not knowing what was going on, I believed it to be my heart or something and I was certain I was going to die. I even started hallucinating and “saw” “death”. Likely a physical manifestation of the terror and dread I was feeling. I woke up hours later in the hospital and was still feeling some of the symptoms. It went on for far too long and I truly have not been the same since. That was 11 years ago.

I have since had to master my own breathing basically learning to not obsess over the process. Every time I felt anxiety it almost always meant I was going to be in a panic attack because of the vicious cycle of hyperventilation. I would wind up being on and off of diazepam which was the only thing that seem to work for the crushing chest pressure I would feel.It would always manifest and I was always taken back to the event.

Strangely, I do acknowledge the difficulty in breathing wearing a mask, however it never reaches panic level proportions. I do believe anxiety is up just a tad though. I am generally not comfortable anyway walking around so many people and so I try and get in and get out.
 
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