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lightning05

Well-Known Member
#1
These flashbacks are seriously messing me up. I feel 100% off. I haven't been able to sleep well at all. I can fall asleep but can't stay asleep and I always wake up at 4am unable to go back to sleep. I feel like I can barely eat at times even when I'm hungry. I started smoking cigarettes again even though I haven't touched one in months. I'm making myself feel guilty about every little thing. I'm on a waitlist for a therapist right now at a free clinic (can't afford it otherwise). I'm struggling with anxiety and just overall feelings of numbness and sadness. And I pretty much cry daily :(
 

Petal

~*Mod Extraordinaire*~
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#3
Awww, it's sad to see such a beautiful person hurting so immensely. Could you talk to your doctor about possibly getting something to help you fall and stay asleep? I know how flashbacks work unfortunately enough :( They are vivid, horrid and disturbing so whatever you can to keep yourself occupied. There's nothing wrong with crying, cry if you need to but also reach out for help when you need to too. You deserve better. Treat yourself to something nice this week :)
 

lightning05

Well-Known Member
#4
@may71 my friend suggested grounding which I think is a good tool. I just wish I had some indication of when these flashbacks will come up. They have been starting at the strangest times. Sometimes I'm at work and I get one or watching TV and I have one. Next time I am going to try to "snap out of it". I might even scream (if I'm at home) just to see if that works.

@Petal thanks for your kind words. I have melatonin that I have used before. I'm thinking about taking that for a couple of weeks to see if that might help. Tonight I am going to go watch the sunset and hope that will soothe me a little.
 

Petal

~*Mod Extraordinaire*~
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#6
@Petal in the past what has helped you with flashbacks?
Calling the samaritans has helped a lot in dealing with these. It helps to have a real voice listen, other time I exercise, other times I take long baths with lavender drops in it, its really relaxing. And when all else fails I will take an anti psychotic to relax. Coming on here helps too because I can relate so much to so many people. When the flashbacks hit just get up and do something, anything at all whether it be the laundry or watching netflix. The idle mind is a dangerous thing. I hope you can get through this difficult time, I care about you <3
 

lightning05

Well-Known Member
#7
I haven't thought of calling a crisis line when this happens, but next time if I am home and this hits I will. Unfortunately I don't have any antidepressants or antipsychotics and am weary of medication because of having a drug abuse problem in the past. I know that if given a drug I will abuse it which is why I have refused prescriptions to Xanax in the past. Thanks, I will definitely take this advice. <3
 

Petal

~*Mod Extraordinaire*~
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#8
Well done for refusing xanax, that is a big one,well done as I know how hard it is to come off it, i've done it. It's so addictive that most doctors don't like prescribing it anymore, not that I want it.

Yeah, call a crisis line next time these images resurface or words and just let the operator soothe you. Do you have a sibling you could talk to? I'm glad you are being active on the forum and even more glad that you are benefiting from the advice here. You are an amazing person, I mean that, not just saying it. You're going through a lot and I am here for you :)
 
#9
Unfortunately I don't have any antidepressants or antipsychotics and am weary of medication because of having a drug abuse problem in the past. I know that if given a drug I will abuse it which is why I have refused prescriptions to Xanax in the past
Xanax has a pretty high potential for abuse, but I think most anti-depressants have a very low potential for abuse, I'm not sure about antipsychotics.

You might be able to ask a doctor or a psychiatrist about how much potential for abuse there is with these drugs

Maybe @Harmony2 could comment

Sometimes I'm at work and I get one or watching TV and I have one
Is there something that triggers them that you could avoid?
 

lightning05

Well-Known Member
#10
Yeah, it makes sense that prescriptions for that medication would be more closely monitored or controlled. Unfortunately there is no trigger to them that I can identify which is making dealing with them harder.
 

Rockclimbinggirl

SF climber
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#11
Have you ever tried blood pressure medications to help with anxiety? I'm on prazosin and it help with anxiety and nightmares at night.
 

Harmony

Well-Known Member
SF Supporter
#12
Hi lightning05

Sorry to hear about what you are going through and the obstacles you are facing to finding treatment.
I have unfortunately experienced flashbacks as well with no notable trigger and it is alarming to put it mildly.

It's wise of you to stay away from benzo's (Xanax, Ativan etc.) and most certainly I would stay away from sedative hypnotics such as Ambien and Zolpicon as well, not only because of their potential for abuse, but also the likelihood of these type of sleep medications worsening your symptoms. I know for myself , when I was going through this, lack of sleep seemed to exacerbate my flashbacks. What helped me was an antidepressant, mirtazipine, which is taken at night and is highly sedating. It is also known empirically to kick in faster than other antidepressants. Another technique for grounding that may help is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique:

Name 5 things you can see around you ( a book, a ceiling fan, Etc)
Next name 4 things you can touch around you (a pillow, your hair)
Acknowledge 3 things you can hear (clock ticking, car driving by)
Name 2 things you can smell around you
Finally, Acknowledge one good thing about yourself

Hope this is of some help to you and wishing you the best. Know this CAN and will get better!
 

lightning05

Well-Known Member
#13
Thanks everyone. I want drugs to be a last resort for me. I don't have anything against it and I know they help people but sometimes I get paranoid when taking medications that I have side effects. And I end up creating my own side effects if that makes sense. Almost like taking medicine itself causes me anxiety. I know, weird.

I actually have not had a flashback since the post which is great. I actually have been counting when laying in bed. Every breath I take I count up and I have been falling asleep every time. It also feels good, too. I have done some yoga also and light stretches. I'm trying everything to ease my mind right now and so far it is helping. If I have a flashback again (hopefully not!) I will try grounding. Hopefully this good streak will continue. Thank you so much everyone <3
 
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