life, mental abuse, mental illness, ocd, ptsd, social anxiety

Triggers, Emotional Flashbacks and PTSD

Triggers suck.

For people into NLP triggers are called NLP anchors. The difference is that NLP anchors can be good or bad. They might be pre- existing from a past trauma or created to ease the effects of trauma.

They can be put into your mind intentionally to bring about a certain mood or mental state. This is a functional or a therapeutical use for them.

Back in the days of Pavlov, triggers were discovered as a tool for behavioral modification. You know…Pavlov’s dog.

Every time Pavlov fed the dog, he rang a bell first. After a while the dog salivated at the sound of the bell even without the food being presented.

This is how our minds create associations between certain triggers and a corresponding emotional response.

I have ring tones that I hate the sound of. There are songs I cannot listen to.

Certain animals are disturbing to me. Certain situations make me have an anxiety attack.

Some triggers are related to incidents and some are related to specific poem. Some triggers are related to time periods or ongoing abuse. Others are related to break ups from our ex.

There are some triggers that we are well aware of where they come. Other ones may be related to trauma from our past from when we were very young or even infants.

There may be triggers that create emotional flashbacks for you that are from periods of time that you have blacked out from your mind…or I should say that your brain blocked them out in order to protect you.

Triggers can come out of nowhere unexpectedly. We can try to avoid certain known triggers such as my not using certain alarms and ring tones on my phone.

Although every so often I am out somewhere and a stranger’s phone rings with the very ring tone that is now taboo on my cell phone.

There are times when we suddenly feel severe anxiety and have no idea what caused the onset. This can sometimes be an emotional flashback to a trigger we are unaware of.

That is a very tricky one to figure out. You would have to write down all the sights, smells and circumstances that were around at the time of the anxiety attack.

You would have to keep a log of those things each time you had an unexpected, unexplainable anxiety attack. Then look for anything in common between them that was never part of your environment when you are calm.

To make it even more complex, triggers can have more than one component to them. It might not be candlelight or the smell of roses individually that triggers you. It could be the combination of the two of them that does it.

Certain emotional triggers can be healed or at least the effect can be lessened through NLP techniques. Other ones may be harder to deal with than others.

The ones that we cannot identify or do not know what they were caused by are the worst ones in a way. At least as far as there being any hope for treatment.

The more severe the trauma, the more severe the pain from being triggered.

I know many other people deal with this on a day to day basis. For some people certain dates or times of the year are triggers for emotional pain, depression and anxiety.

If you have triggers like I have described here then you have some form of PTSD. It could be straight PTSD or Complex PTSD.  People often have both.

Talking about your triggers or unexplained emotional brain attacks is the first step to healing or at least lessoning the feeling of alienation or isolation due to PTSD or Complex PTSD.

Know you are not alone. There are others of us that understand.

anxiety, depression

Your Personal Space Worsen Depression or It Can Inspire You

The way we have things in our spaces, especially our bedroom is important, even if we have a tiny space. Some people live in a nursing home, or in their parents home. You little but of space is all you have and it should have things in it that make you feel good.

Our space should represent ourselves and the things that we want out of life. You can make a dream board, or an accomplishments board. You can put up pictures of beautiful and inspiring things in the wall.

There should be things surrounding you that make the space feel like it is yours, even if you do not own the space.

The bedroom should have things that calm you and inspire you. If that is your only space ( it is my only space) then it is very important that it is set up in a way that feels like home to you. If you like having pictures of loved ones, then that is good. If you like pictures of animals, or nature, then you can find them in magazines or online.

Some people write poetry and put their poetry or songs on the wall. You can put up your own artwork or other artwork that you like. Make sure each thing that you have on the wall and on the tables to decorate, is something that speaks to you in a good way.

Depending on whether you tend to feel anxious or depressed, you can make your space calmer or more energized. When you are choosing colors think about how they make you feel, and how you want to feel in that space. Colors have a great effect on the mood and well being of many people. 

Get rid of stuff that has bad memories attached to it.  You may have things around you all the time, that make you feel bad or lower your self esteem and you do not even realize it.

Go through stuff and get rid of things. You will find things that you really like and have not had any room to put out. You will make room for things that represent your true self.

It is often hard to get motivated to work on your space, but your personal space is important to your mental health.

The mood of your space is important. Color can create mood.  Think about the colors around you and see how experimenting with different colors of items can make a difference.  Colors can be on the walls, in the blankets,  rug, curtains, stuffed animals, cloths covering dressers and shelves and other things.

Your bedroom should make you feel relaxed, calm and safe. If you have other rooms, then decide what mood you want to create in each room. Find ways to make the room feel that way to you.

Much love,

Annie…..as she cleans her messy room……

anxiety, depression, life, mental health, mental illness, ptsd

Ptsd, C-ptsd and Major Life Changes

Change can be terrifying for people with PTSD or C-PTSD. There are unknown triggers awaiting you.

If you have PTSD then you like to avoid triggering places, experiences, songs, people, and sensory triggers.
Familiar routine can feel safer.

When going somewhere different, you probably try to find out about it first and hopefully have an out, if you get too much anxiety.

On the other hand an autopilot, routinized life can be bad for your mental health and your cognitive functions, like memory and creativity.

The brain wants to problem solve and have new experiences. I have seen that people with dementia get worse faster, when they have the same exact routine every day, with no variation.

Unfortunately most of the healthcare facilities believe in keeping their routine exactly the same every day…but that is another post…

Having ptsd or c-ptsd and going through a major life change can be retraumatizing and triggering.

It is good if there is someone supporting you that understands. It is not something you can just explain to a random new person and have them understand.

So it can feel very lonely. You can feel alone and isolated in a room full of people. You feel out of place and afraid, and maybe depressed.

There is severe anxiety about changes, and unknown situations.

It is easy to feel like you are the only one that is like this, because you are the only one in the current situation that feels this way.

Other people around you seem to fit in better, be able to handle the situations better and they seem to suffer less.

Mental suffering is real, even though it is invisible to others.

You cannot prepare for sudden major life changes that life thrusts upon you. For people with ptsd, it can be very hard to just “roll with the flow”

Some mindfulness training can help a little. You can practice keeping your mind in the present and avoid obsessive thinking about fears of what will happen.

Nonetheless intrusive, obsessive thoughts often break through.

An understanding supportive person is helpful. If they know you well then they can anticipate triggers and anticipate what your feelings will be.

But no one is inside of our head. No one can understand how our ptsd or c-ptsd affects our brain and our feelings.

Be as gentle and understanding with yourself as possible. Often times you are your own best advocate and supporter.

Blessings,
Annie

anxiety, anxiety attack, depression, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, ocd, panic attack, poem, poetry, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd

Snow Plows in the Night

I should have gone to sleep already. 

I don’t know why my brain is so wide awake

Too much excitement and anxiety

All thundering  through my brain

My chest is tight with pressure

breath is shallow like gasping for air

Nerves on fire like electricity is streaming 

through every single part of my spine 

Sounds of the snow plows

Back and forth and back and forth

Used to lull me to sleep, long ago

But what used to be my comfort is now a trigger

that locks my mind and won’t let go