I talk beauty & mental health

Friday, 5 May 2017

Mental Health: Dealing With Flashbacks

In my struggle with depression and anxiety something I've been dealing with, ever since I'm doing better, is flashbacks. At first I thought I was crazy until I talked about it with a friend of mine, who is a fellow sufferer, and he said he had them too. It was only after that that I mentioned it to my therapist. She explained it was a way for my body to communicate with me, and she proceeded to ask what my flashbacks were about. They only last a couple seconds but they can be pretty disturbing. Most are about things that happened a couple years ago, things that made me hurt a lot, and some are about things I had completely forgotten about, that happened when I was much younger (I'm 26 now).

There are many symptoms I deal with because of depression and anxiety but I never thought flashbacks would be one of them. Digestive issues, headaches, migraines, exhaustion, these are all pretty familiar to me by now. The flashbacks started a couple months ago, I mostly have them at home but it's happened while being out and about too. I'm not really sure what triggers them, they don't necessarily seem to be connected to my mood, but they do affect my mood. They make me feel guilty and weird. Guilt is a feeling that comes up a lot for me, and it is thoroughly being worked on in therapy but things like this don't make it any easier. Every single time I get over one hurdle I get another thrown back at me and it's really tiring.

When I think of flashbacks I think of dramatic movie scenes, people looking real serious, starring into nothingness and then suddenly having the clues to solve life. Well I wish my flashbacks were anything close to that, but they're not. I find myself desperately trying to think of something else, looking for comfort. I've been creating some routines to deal with them, something I like to do is lighting scented candles. Especially vanilla candles, as they are great for clearing bad energy (so are pine candles). For some odd reason I don't really like talking about the flashbacks themselves, not even with my therapist. I've poured my heart out so many times that I feel embarrassed about them also because most seem so unimportant. The reason why some flashbacks make me feel so bad is not because I have regrets or doubts, but because I'm reminded of how I felt right then and there. That feeling takes over my body and it's like it's happening to me all over again. I've been told this happens because I couldn't properly deal with these upsetting experiences then, but that 'adult Jolien' today can. I know I've come a long way and that this is just another phase, another way for my body to peel the stress away. All I pray for is that I'm on the right path.

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  1. No you're 100% not crazy, I get those too. Usually either things that were very painful (as in, hurt feelings, not physically painful) or deeply embarrassing. Like when I was slicing strawberries for my birthday cake to bring to work, and suddenly I flash back to an incident at least six years back when I was still rooming with my younger brother. Something to do with strawberries which I had meant as a nice gesture and he reacted like a complete ass about it and it might just as well have been a physical slap in the face. And there I am, in my kitchen, strawberry in one hand, knife in the other, and bawling my heart out from one second to the next over something I haven't thought about for years. I make strawberry cake every year, so, Hell if I know what triggered it.

    So. Uhm. Hey. Been following you for a while, here's a heads up comments might pop up from me on your older posts. I think it's incredibly courageous of you to share about your mental health with us and your experiences with therapy (that is the next big step I want to take now that the other "construction sites" in my life have somewhat stabilized), and I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for this. *hugs*


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