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Dealing with flashbacks and migraines
May 21, 2007
6:56 pm
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fantas
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...I find myself automatically reliving my past.I was physically abused by my mother from the age of 5-14 and in there I was sexually molested and at 14 I was raped by a teacher. This happened in a country other than the US so the response to it all is a little different than it would be here in the US. I buried most of this stuff in myself until about 3 years ago when I just heard myself blurting stuff out to a friend. Anyway, as of three weeks ago, I have been having really bad flashbacks mostly when I am a sleep and sometimes when I relax a little when I am awake as well. It's to a point where I can't sleep or function at all and I am having headaches/migraines perhaps due to the lack of sleep. The doctor wants me to take antipsychotic meds but I feel like this will only postpone the inevitable. I think I need to allow these images to come through and try to deal with it naturally. The things I am not sure how to go about doing this. Has anyone dealt with this or know how to do deal with it? I'll appreciate your thoughts and thank you in advance.

May 21, 2007
7:13 pm
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Rasputin
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Hey Fantas~

Nice to see you again. Well, I suffer from PTSD due to the many traumas, bad & unlucky events that happened in my life. I'm seeing a therapist next month. I look forward to it, coz I feel that I am uncomfortable in certain situations. I don't have flashbacks. But, I do have sensitivity to loud noises, I get startled easily and if I witness say an accident in the street I tend to collapse. All these are symptoms of PTSD.

I look forward to seeing my therapist and will get back to you ASA I see her.

Blessings~

May 21, 2007
7:14 pm
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on my way
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put out a post for RW ...I know that she went through this experience as well. I don't think you need anti-psychotic drugs though!!! Maybe see a regular MD and ask for an anti-anxiety medication for a little while like Lexapro or something like that at a low dose.

May 21, 2007
7:49 pm
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Anonymous
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Oh, (((Fantas))) I´m really sorry you´ve had it so hard! I hope you find some relaxation techniques, meditation, to relieve you from the stress. I´m with you and OMW, try to abstain from med´s right now. What this doctor and his friend, thus the doctors, didnt say is that they probably wouldnt take these med´s if they were in your place. Then once on meds its hard to be free of them. But if you feel you need meds help, follow your intuition. Just remember psychiatry as some other fields, is as much of a science as it is an art! Hugs,

May 21, 2007
7:54 pm
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loverbee
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I understand totaly what you are going through. When I was three I was anally raped and then molested when I was nine as well as being beaten by my mother when I lived with her. due to the abuse, I didn't learn to talk until I was three. At least that is what they all thought. I actually was just too afraid to talk to anyone. I then started speaking in complete sentences. Anyway, when I was sixteen, it all started to come back when I heard a song played on the radio that had been playing during the rape when I was three and all of a sudden I lost my appetite, I lost control of my emotions. I went through something called EMDR with a therapist which really helped me deal with it all. I would highly recommend talking to someone and maybe joining a rape survivors group if your area has one. Other than that, talk about it here and work through it with us.

May 21, 2007
8:00 pm
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ggfred4
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(((fantas))) I have been having flashbacks occasionally in the last few years and now I am having more flashbacks since I began remembering and talking. I am trying to think of it as part of the healing, but it is so hard. I have nightmares a lot now and am scared to go back to sleep afterwards. I will stay up for awhile trying to relax by listening to music, coming to the aac, or watching a calming show on t.v. I did finally have to take something as panic attacks/anxiety and lack of sleep were wreaking havoc on my life. I also have been diagnosed with cluster headaches which are not migraines, but nonetheless, headaches.

I am trying to sense the onset of a panic attack and go into calming mode when this happens. I am not always successful, but I am better. I really have to concentrate on my breathing during this. Music helps me a lot too.

I am new at dealing with this and am open to ideas too. Thanks for starting this thread as I can learn from others concerning this subject.

gg

May 21, 2007
8:01 pm
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soprano2
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Are you into aromatherapy? I had some problems with migranes and I tried the aromatherapy Bergamont. It is very helpful and can help with the migranes. It also can energize or relax.

May 21, 2007
8:19 pm
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fantas
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Thank you all so much for the support and well wishes. I totally agree with the not taking meds unless it's absolutely necessary. The more I read these threads, the more I begin to think what a sick, sick, world we have created, where childre can't be guaranteed of living a safe and happy life. But it's what it is and those of us who make it this far have to patch things up and keep moving. I guess.
Loverbee, I have actually used EMDR and I thought I had put everything behind me but here it is again and I can't get in to see my therapist for a little while yet. The migraines also make it really hard to go outside. It is really frustrating I tell you and right now I feel mad as hell for all of this. ((((Ras,OMY,Sin,LB,Gg,Sop,)))) thank you

May 21, 2007
8:26 pm
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loverbee
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I think also that keeping a journal may help. I started to do that and it really helped. Doesn't it suck that we have to pay for therapy. I was going to be a therapist and I actually just graduated with a bachelors in psychology but I just couldn't do it. NE way. I hope you do continue talking about it though with us and hopefully you have some friends you can talk to as well.

May 21, 2007
9:20 pm
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red blonde
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(((FANTAS)))

Went through what you are going through now. I had blocked out memories and then had flashbacks. I had flashbacks at different stages in my life. Along with PTSD and Panic attacks. When the first set of flashbacks started, I thought I was crazy, that these things could not have happened to me. And flashbacks can be scary!
Having flashbacks, well, I think it is your mind telling you that it is time for you to recall and that you CAN deal with it. I never have taken any antipsychotic drugs and I don't think I would recommend them. First, at best, it would only 'mask' them and Second, would it only stop them and will they come back when off the meds? My sister suffered trauma and the docs were told that she was hallucinating (which she wasn't) and they put her on antipsychotics or such and kept her on them and now she is worse.

I did take some anti-depressants that did not seem to work at all. I got migraines from the stress. And I still get flashbacks even now, though some are hard to deal with, I do eventually deal with them and overcome.

I would like to help, if I can...just ask.

May 21, 2007
9:43 pm
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red blonde
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Sometimes the onset of a Migraine has a warning sign. At least I know that I do and so did my eye doctor from a long time ago. That was because up to an hour before the migraine starts, I got this crazy sort of strobing half jagged circle that started in my eye(s) and that would get bigger until it would block out some of my eyesight...so I asked my eye doctor what that was all about. He then asked me if I got a migraine shortly after that. I hadn't put the two together...but that was what was happening. I take medication when I first notice the 'jagged strobing half circle' and it either stops the migraine from happening or at the very least makes them alot milder.

May 21, 2007
10:05 pm
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fantas
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Red blonde, It's good to know I haven't competely lost my mind. I am just tired and haven't done any real work in three weeks. I try to manage, be strong and see people but most have no idea what I am dealing with and it is really very difficult to just be. I have no warnings for the migraines, any sudden noise or even a thought will get the head pumping again. I feel like I ache all over right now. Strangely enough, all I crave is kimchi and ramen noodles, nothing else, maybe this is my warning. How long did you experience these flashbacks, how did you cope with them, did they just stop by themselves...I am trying all the relaxing techniques I know, yoga, prayer, breathing, any other ideas. Thank you:)

May 21, 2007
10:14 pm
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fantas
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Red blonde and gg, do/did you have them intensely for an extended period of time or on and off?

May 21, 2007
10:40 pm
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fantas, This is all actually new to me in the last few months, but it seems to come in waves. Sometimes a trigger of something I read, heard, or seen have an effect on either the flashbacks and/or nightmares. I know that the more I deal with the healing, the more realizations I have, and hence, more flashbacks.

gg

May 22, 2007
1:14 am
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Randomwomen2
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I went through this big time. I have had many many flashbacks and I got put on meds. It only made things worse for me anyway. For me its best to talk through the memories no matter how painful they may be. I have posted some of mine and when those memories start to bother me again I go and look at my previous thread about them. One was called intravenous drugs and I read though all 98 posts and then felt better. Just remember that we are here for you and that it was the past. Prayer always helps me (((Fantas))) I will pray for you to sweetheart I remember what it is like its almost unbearable at times. Have you tried writing about it? I have written several poems about mine and it helped too. I got to go to bed sweetheart. I will check in on you in the morning. Love to you hunny

May 22, 2007
1:25 am
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red blonde
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Fantas

On and off mostly.

Stress causes Migraines, eating: cheddar cheese, chocolate, MSG (monosodium glutonate), and things with sulfite in them like wines, champagne, wine coolers, etc. and sometimes lettuce (they use sulfite as a preservative) to name a few can bring on migraines. I would look up migraines on the web to see what other foods or items that can cause a migraine. I don't always remember but I usually get the warning as I said earlier, so I know to take medication for it.

Sometimes when I had a migraine before I learned the warning signs - I have had them so INTENSE that it felt like someone had been hitting my head with a wrecking ball. I have hypersensitivity to light and sound. Been known to throw a ticking clock against a wall to stop it ticking! And the warning sign though no pain attached, is just as bad...I can not drive with vision blocked out, though I have not had an accident when the warning sign had started...I usually pull over some where until it passes.

But I am not sure that migraines necessarily connected with flashbacks, could be more like from the stress or fear associated with them. There ARE alot of things that can cause them...even your period. That was when I seem to get most of them, but now it is if I eat too much of above and stress/tension.

Hope that I have helped.

May 22, 2007
1:33 am
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fantas
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again, thank you everyone, (((Random))) thank you and I will look up your threads as well. I started an online journal but it's too emotionally draining to write my flashbacks as they come. I am an emotional wreck as it is and I can't seem to stop crying. I'll keep trying because everyone seems to agree that this a good way to deal with flashbacks. It's good hear that others have gone through it and come out on the other end better and healed. I just feel so strange, trying to go about the mundane things of life while my head and mind feel like they are about to explode. It's a very strange thing and I am glad that others here understand. I am thinking of taking a sleeping pill. Did you find these helpful? Thank you all...

May 22, 2007
1:42 am
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fantas
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Random, I can't find the thread intravenous drugs

May 22, 2007
1:46 am
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red blonde
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My flashbacks started after I was divorced from my first husband who was physically (and emotionally) abusive. That was the first set of flashbacks. Was single for about 10 years though I dated, but had flashbacks, panic attacks (not as much then) and a recurring nightmare that was so real, so lifelike that I would wake up and so a strange thing and couldn't go back to sleep because I was frightened. That ended sometime during my second marriage and the flashbacks stopped but not the migraines. Then was divorced from him...he was also abusive and tried to choke me. Panic attacks started to get worse. Then I suffered another trauma, had an emotional breakdown, was thrown into intensive therapy that helped me after they diagnosed me with PTSD and more or less taught me how to deal with the PTSD and panic attacks although I have taken medication - tranquilizers/anti-anxiety- for it.
I still have flashbacks every now and then. In fact, quite a few lately. I deal with them as well as the PTSD and panic attacks that come with them. Now I occasionally have migraines.

I should explain that my mother was my abuser in all ways and the trauma was when she tried to kill me after I had been raped after coming home from college by a son of a friend of the family - when I was 20. I blocked that event out and although flashbacks - memories - were happening - I did not remember any of the event until after my mother died when I was 50 and that was 9 years ago.

What ever I can do to help you, just ask - I know what you are going through.

May 22, 2007
1:59 am
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red blonde
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I would talk to a therapist first - ONE that knows how to deal with your issues - about what you are going through and discuss with the therapist courses of action that can be taken. I do not like to take a lot of medication, if it is really not necessary.

I am seeing a therapist at the moment to handle some of the issues. But I cry, at the drop of a hat...or at a painful hurtful memory. And sometimes I become immobilized by them and have insomnia. THE best way IS to talk about them and get them out of your system.

Yes, it is very sad indeed what some parents do to their children and what some people do to their partners or other people.

May 22, 2007
2:07 am
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red blonde
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PTSD, panic attacks and Flashbacks - all have 'triggers' that set them off in some way - a thought, sound, smell, word, action, date, and the list goes on - and you can learn to recognize these triggers and can learn to disarm the triggers as well.

May 22, 2007
3:07 am
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fantas
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Red Blonde, the only thing that I have done out of the ordinary is that about 8 weeks ago I started thyroid medication and as I have began to feel better, I have had these flashbacks and migraine headaches. As for triggers, I have no idea what that could be right now. It seems that when I am quiet, sleeping or reading, the flashbacks come. If I am watching something they do not. I guess I have to pay more attention.

May 22, 2007
10:21 am
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Randomwomen2
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Its called

Interveinous drugs flahsback please help

I can repost it but you will have to push the view all posts icon

May 22, 2007
12:25 pm
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fantas
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Thank you all for your support. It's now morning over here and I feel better because I got a few hours of sleep. restless and disturbed but still some sleep. One of the thing that keeps on coming back is this time my mom wanted me to finish my dinner and I used to be so anxious that I'd throw up any food I ate. This time, I drank a sip of milk and threw up right away and my mom just started beating me all over my body with a rope and hand and in trying to defend myself I bit her thumb which just sent her through the roof and she increased the beating. I remember that there were others around me and noone tried to stop her. After she was done, she sent me to go sleep in the barn and I was so scared and I got on my knees and started to bed her to not send me and making promises but she didn't listen. I went to the barn and she later came and asked me to go back to the house and I really thanked her for allowing me to go back to the house. The next day I went to school with bruises all over my body and a broken rib. In my flashbacks, my ribs and skin actually feels the sensation. I can't stop it. When I am sleeping I just get so full of anxiety and panic that I cann't sleep. It's really exhausting.

May 22, 2007
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fantas
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I just fell a sleep and I once again woke up with another image in my head. It's very frightening and seems so real. I know, that I am supposed to calm myself down and tell myself that this has already happened but it's getting really tiring now. just needed to write this.

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