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Anxiety/Flashbacks Help

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 13 Replies

Hi, I'm hoping some of you might have experience with anxiety medications and can give me some advice. Thanks in advance for reading. 

I have Major Depressive Disorder, anorexia, PTSD/rts, among other things. Primarily stemming from a lot of years of sexual and phsyical abuse as well as a recent rape/assault. I've self harmed the majority of my life and dealt with panic attacks since I was five so I'm no stranger to flashbacks. My therapist has advised that I try out some anxiety medications since I can rarely sleep or function during the day due to so many flashbacks. 

My thing is, I've been on lots of medications before and all of them seemed to just make my flashbacks worse. In fact, any drug that makes me "relax" tends to make the flashbacks more vivid and terrifying. So I'm extremely hesitant to go through trying these same meds again. 

I was wondering if anyone in this group has had experience with abuse or traumatic event flashbacks and whether or not you'd had any success with a particular medication that didn't make your flashbacks worse? 

I'm just so tired of this ruling my life, it's like the abuse and rape is just happening over and over again. As much as I would prefer not going on so many medications, I need a way to get my life back. The flashbacks lead to panic attacks and those lead to suicidal thoughts and/or self harm and I just find myself shutting down more and more. I'm also scared of letting my therapist know how bad it's gotten because I'm scared of being put back into rehab. 


Posted by Anonymous on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:23 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lucy164
by Peggy on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

i'm so sorry for your troubles.  there is a type of therapy called dbt which teaches you how to live only in the moment.  this could help you from going back to the past trauma.  i think you should be honest with your therapist.  he can't help you if he doesn't know what is happening in your life.  maybe you could ask him about dbt.

dreamalong
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM

I personally have not experienced what you describe, but I had a close friend who did. 

I can understand that the medications, which relax you, result in the flashbacks.  When you are not on the drugs, you use self-discipline to NOT think about the past, but you lose sleep and self-abuse. 

One thing I observed in my friend was his reaction to the flashbacks.  As soon as a 'flashback' started, he panicked and the flashbacks got worse, worse, until they went through a cycle and wore itself out.  He had to learn to NOT panic when a flashback started.  When he talked himself through being calm, relaxing, the flashback was shorter and less intense.  He had flashbacks for years and the most unusual things would generate the flashbacks.  

All that you have experienced will always be in your memory.  As hard as you try to not think of them, they periodically come back and you begin reliving the experience.

Everyone's body chemistry is different and there is NO drug that works quite the same way for everyone.  Don't take advice from other people on which 'drug' to try!

In the past, long, long ago, electrical shock therapy was used to burn the memories from the brain.   Well, it's hard to just select those memories to burn.

Like an addiction, you have to live one day at a time.

Some people also find help in counseling.

Some people find help in religion and faith that affirms that you are forgiven and you can give the pain to God.  They find this a cleansing.

ashleighmama
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I'm so sorry you're going through this. There are different types of therapies to help with this, DBT and EMDR, but as far as meds go, I'm on something called Minipress, it's actually a med used for high blood pressure, but is also used to help with PTSD. My Dr says it's sometimes given to war vets that have PTSD from war. i was waking up EVERY SINGLE morning and having to run to go throw up, this went on for about a year. After having tests done to make sure it wasn't a stomach issue, my DR put me on the Minipress, and it worked after my 1st dose, I've been on it now for probably 4 years. It blocks the flight or fight response. I was having that panic feeling in the morning when i would have to go throw up. BTW, I have major depression, anxiety, and PTSD from being sexually abused as a child. I've never heard of anyone else taking the minipress for this reason, but I swear, it works. Good luck mama, hugs!!!

matreshka
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I have PTSD from a variety of things that have happenend to me. For one ttrauma, doing EMDR with a qualified paractioner helped.

lyrick24
by Group Admin on Jul. 16, 2013 at 2:22 PM

 you do need to tell your therapist how you are feeling. He/She is there to help you.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Quoting lucy164:

i'm so sorry for your troubles.  there is a type of therapy called dbt which teaches you how to live only in the moment.  this could help you from going back to the past trauma.  i think you should be honest with your therapist.  he can't help you if he doesn't know what is happening in your life.  maybe you could ask him about dbt.


Thank you very much for your response. I've heard about DBT, when I was in rehab in the past but never been through it. I might ask my therapist about that. I have told her about the flashbacks and everything, but she keeps pushing the drugs and I keep refusing, saying it's not that bad. I know I need to be honest and say it is, I've just had so many bad experiences with medications in the past making it all so much worse. But I'll try to find out more about that therapy and go from there.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Quoting dreamalong:

I personally have not experienced what you describe, but I had a close friend who did. 

I can understand that the medications, which relax you, result in the flashbacks.  When you are not on the drugs, you use self-discipline to NOT think about the past, but you lose sleep and self-abuse. 

One thing I observed in my friend was his reaction to the flashbacks.  As soon as a 'flashback' started, he panicked and the flashbacks got worse, worse, until they went through a cycle and wore itself out.  He had to learn to NOT panic when a flashback started.  When he talked himself through being calm, relaxing, the flashback was shorter and less intense.  He had flashbacks for years and the most unusual things would generate the flashbacks.  

All that you have experienced will always be in your memory.  As hard as you try to not think of them, they periodically come back and you begin reliving the experience.

Everyone's body chemistry is different and there is NO drug that works quite the same way for everyone.  Don't take advice from other people on which 'drug' to try!

In the past, long, long ago, electrical shock therapy was used to burn the memories from the brain.   Well, it's hard to just select those memories to burn.

Like an addiction, you have to live one day at a time.

Some people also find help in counseling.

Some people find help in religion and faith that affirms that you are forgiven and you can give the pain to God.  They find this a cleansing.


Thank you, that gives me a lot to think about. I'm definitely hoping for a path that can help me cope with the flashbacks and avoid the panicking.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:55 PM



Quoting ashleighmama:

I'm so sorry you're going through this. There are different types of therapies to help with this, DBT and EMDR, but as far as meds go, I'm on something called Minipress, it's actually a med used for high blood pressure, but is also used to help with PTSD. My Dr says it's sometimes given to war vets that have PTSD from war. i was waking up EVERY SINGLE morning and having to run to go throw up, this went on for about a year. After having tests done to make sure it wasn't a stomach issue, my DR put me on the Minipress, and it worked after my 1st dose, I've been on it now for probably 4 years. It blocks the flight or fight response. I was having that panic feeling in the morning when i would have to go throw up. BTW, I have major depression, anxiety, and PTSD from being sexually abused as a child. I've never heard of anyone else taking the minipress for this reason, but I swear, it works. Good luck mama, hugs!!!


I'm definitely going to ask about that, I know all meds aren't the same for everyone but it helps knowing there's something out there that is helping someone. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Quoting matreshka:

I have PTSD from a variety of things that have happenend to me. For one ttrauma, doing EMDR with a qualified paractioner helped.


I've never heard of EMDR, I'll definitely look that up thank you.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Quoting lyrick24:

 you do need to tell your therapist how you are feeling. He/She is there to help you.


It just seems like she wants to write me off unless I take the meds she's told me to take. So while I want to be honest I'm just worried about it but thank you for the advice and I will try to be more honest with her.
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