Flashbacks and Mental Health After Trauma
When recollections of a prior trauma seem to be happening right now, that is referred to as a flashback. That implies that it is possible to feel as though the trauma is taking place all over again. It might be challenging to maintain a sense of reality during a flashback. Even the sensation that the offender is physically present could exist.
At first, flashbacks could appear random. They can be set off by quite commonplace sensory stimuli, such as someone's odor or a certain voice tone. With the help of a licensed mental health counselor in Florida, you can learn techniques to lessen the stress of a flashback.
What helps during a flashback?
If you notice that you are experiencing a flashback, take into account the following advice:
- Declare that you are experiencing a flashback. Remember that the actual incident is over and that you made it through.
- Breathe. Put your palm on your tummy and inhale deeply while breathing slowly. When you breathe in, you should see your hand move out, and when you exhale, you should see it return. When we become anxious, our bodies start to breathe more quickly and shallowly, which might make us feel more anxious. Deep breathing is crucial because it improves the amount of oxygen in your blood and speeds up your recovery from anxiety.
- Use your five senses to come back to the present.
- Take a look around. Make a list of everything in the space; note the colors or furnishings nearby.
- Consider taking a calming breath or paying attention to the smells around you. How do you feel?
- Tune in to music or pay attention to the sounds around you. Do you hear anything?
- Eat or drink something you enjoy. Think about the taste. What flavors are on your palate?
- Hold anything hot, such as a mug of tea, or something cold, such as a bit of ice. What sensation do you have?
- Identify the things that would make you feel safer. Put a blanket around yourself or enter a room by yourself and shut the door. Whatever it takes to make you feel safe, do.
How do I prevent flashbacks?
A Florida mental health counselor can teach you skills to cope with flashbacks. You may be able to take steps to prevent future flashbacks by identifying warning signs and triggers:
Be aware of the warning signs.
Although flashbacks can seem to appear out of nowhere, there are frequently early physical or mental warning indicators. Mood changes, chest pressure, and unexpected perspiration are a few examples of these symptoms. Understanding the early warning signals of flashbacks may help you control or avoid them.
Identify what experiences trigger your flashbacks.
A physical sensation, an emotional recollection, a reminder of the incident, or even a stressful encounter unrelated to the event might cause flashbacks. Determine the occasions that cause your flashbacks. Make a plan for how to avoid these triggers or how to handle them if you do come across them, if at all possible.
Where can I get help?
There is a sense of relief when a flashback ends, but it doesn't mean it happens only once. If flashbacks aren't dealt with, they could get worse over time. They might also be a sign of PTSD. Anyone who manages flashbacks knows it's not a simple task. Working with a trauma recovery center Florida to pinpoint triggers and create coping mechanisms for when flashbacks do happen has proven successful for many survivors.