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Old 16-12-2008, 10:56 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Flashback help

Hi guys,
As I haven't been looking in this board for a while, I've only just realised that the thread for flashbacks isn't here anymore, and I've also seen quite a few threads mentioning flashbacks. So I had a mooch through things that I'd saved (in case of emergency), and found some of the posts from that thread.

The general idea of the thread was for everyone to post things that they find helpful when trying to cope with flashbacks, so as you're reading these, if you think of anymore please add to them.

Take care everyone,

The Grounding Technique.

It is basically using your senses to keep you in the present.

~Take deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth, breathe in for the count of 4, hold for 2 and out for 5 (but counting slowly). This will stop you panicking.
~Think about all the things you can see, make a list (be that mentally, verbally, or actually written down, often a written down list can draw you back to the present easier), say them one by one, think about each of them, their texture, colour, where they are, etc.
~Think about what you can hear, and work through touch, taste, feel, as well, in the same detailed manner.
~Think about who you trust that is around you.
~Remind yourself of todays day, the date, the month, year.
~Tell yourself that you are safe and can not be hurt.
~If you can, look in a mirror, look at yourself now, at this age, remind yourself that you are safe, talk to yourself in the mirror.
~If appropriate hold something that grounds you, or that makes you feel safe, like maybe a little teddy, or stone, or keyring or something.

Keep doing it over and over and it will work, often doing it with someone can make it easier for you to focus on bringing yourself back to the present.

It won't be a quick and easy solution, but the more you practice the easier and more effective it should be.

Holding your breath and closing your eyes – Hold your breath for a little while and shutting your eyes really tight. It helps because when you open them again, the senses are heightened and you can concentrate on them for. The only thing is getting through the closing your eyes bit because it tends to intensify the flashback.

Don’t fight it – Flashbacks are horrible and scary that’s true….but the fact is you have already lived through this it can never hurt you in the way it hurt you back then. Fighting the flashbacks can often make them get worse. They wont to be seen and heard so they can be dealt with and you can heal. So when its safe to do so – don’t fight the flashback. Go with it. Don’t fight it. Its OK to cry, its ok to hurt and be angry, Whatever your feeling it is OK to express….but remember you already got through the hardest part.

Take control – Flashbacks are in your head. This means though it feels there in control YOU ARE. Try and control; manipulate, the images your seeing. When it comes to mind push the image away make it smaller an smaller…bring it closer. Spin it upside now. Pause it (that’s a good one) or even change it. Put Mickey mouse ears onto the person it involves or give them a giant tash. Make them fall over before they get to you. How about even changing the outcome? Saying NO STOP in the way you couldn’t back then. This taes a lot of practice but can really help.

Focusing on counting your breathing can help – keep thinking of the numbers focus only on the numbers. Breath 1, 2 , 3, 4, out 2, 3, 4 in 2, 3, 4

Visualisation – When you start to flashback close your eyes and picture somewhere safe. Create that place in detail. Things in that space, smells, sounds. This safe space is a place you cant be hurt. It’s a place you have complete control of.

A small object in your pocket - When you're out, try and have something in your pocket that's small enough to hide easily. Giving yourself something to "mess with" if you will helps you try and focus on something else other than the flashback. It could be something as simple as a coin, try to figure out what coin it is, and see if you can feel which side is the heads, and which side is the tails. Sounds stupid, but it helps.

Waking up other senses - Another thing that helps some people is waking up other senses. You could try things like splashing water on your face, moving up and about, smelling a comforting smell (like perfume), or playing a comforting song or something like that.

Carry a small object in your hand - Something you can fit in your hand and something that has texture that you can feel. think about the object and why you have it and such.

Talking to yourself - Say to yourself what you wanted to say then and what you wanted to do...it changes the image in your head and once it's changed for the better you can let it play and know that you'll be safe.

Counting - Counting can help distract your mind, and keep you focussed on something that isn't the flashback. It's also very discreet to count in your head. Try to count by 2's (although doubles can also work) as it is slightly challenging to see how far / fast you can go, and the further you can do the calmer you might get, so it can help you measure what level of focus you have. You might get so frustrated at counting it can completely distracts you!

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Old 17-12-2008, 04:58 PM   #2
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thankyou for posting this again!

I'm Angela's (dancing loony) guard dog, I'm Comatostatic's Squishy
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my poetry

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Old 17-12-2008, 05:03 PM   #3
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I honestly beleive that a thread like this being stickied would be a great idea... the ammount of times people have to go searching for them to referance it for someone...

also, as an addition: I find it's helpful to make a list of grouniding techneques which you keep in a pocket or whatever, as sometimes trying to work them out or remember them in the heat of things isn't possible...

Waking up other senses - Another thing that helps some people is waking up other senses. You could try things like splashing water on your face, moving up and about, smelling a comforting smell (like perfume), or playing a comforting song or something like that.
showerrs a re pritty good for this too

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Old 17-12-2008, 07:00 PM   #4
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I'm sorry that post was deleted and I'm trying to put together some totally awesome stickies for you guys, but you'll have to give me some time with it.

In the meantime, there's a pretty good article on the main site about flashbacks here.

I hope this is of some help.

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Old 19-12-2008, 09:00 PM   #5
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i think this post is most helpfull ive only heard of a few of these techniques ..i will give them all a try ..what you guys do here is so amazing i envy your strength

love paige

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Old 21-12-2008, 05:29 PM   #6
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Old 22-12-2008, 01:39 AM   #7
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  • If you are sitting, stand. If you are standing sit. Pay attention to the movement change. Reminding yourself -- you are in control.
  • Rub your palms, clap your hands. Listen to the sounds. Feel the sensation.
  • If you have a pet touch them. Feel their fur and speak the animals name out loud.
  • Find your pulse on your wrist and count the beats per minute. Concentrate on feeling the blood pulse throughout your body.
  • Cross your legs and arms. Feel the sensations of you controlling your body.
  • Stomp your feet to remind yourself where you are

these ones aren;t grounding methods as such... but can make flashbacks feel not quite as bad (though no denying they are still not nice):
  • Create a boundary. Sometimes during a flashback it feels as though you do not have any skin, you donít know where you begin or stop. Wrap yourself in a blanket, anything that will make you feel protected from the outside.
  • Remind yourself itís just a memory. The abuse is over, you survived and you are safe. The feelings and sensations you are experiencing are memories from the past.
  • Take time to recover. Flashbacks are painful and draining. It may take awhile to recover. Give yourself time to feel better and stronger again.
  • Honour (not right word really) your experience. Appreciate yourself for surviving. Recognize your courage and strength.
  • Donít fight it

Last edited by shadow-light : 24-12-2008 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:47 AM   #8
you are loved and beautiful :)
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*bumps again*

i thought it was just me thikning it'd been deleted

ďThe good things donít always soften the bad, but vice-versa, the bad things donít necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.Ē
ďNobody important? Blimey, thatís amazing. Do you know, in nine hundred years of time and space Iíve never met anyone who wasnít important before.Ē
ďIf itís time to go, remember what youíre leaving. Remember the best. My friends have always been the best of me.Ē

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Old 10-01-2009, 07:32 PM   #9
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You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

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Old 24-01-2009, 05:22 AM   #10
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Something that I do:

I have flashbacks a lot. A lot. Whenever I go to my counseling session, I always take a stuffed animal from my collection with me. One of the things my therapist has me do is to hold onto the stuffed animal as tight as I need to and just run my hand through the fur.

Something else that might help is that if you have a close friend who knows you have trouble with flashbacks, you might want to let them know so they can kind of "call you back" to reality.

"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place." - Anon

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. " - FDR

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Old 24-01-2009, 09:23 AM   #11
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Thank you, these tips will definitely come in handy...

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Old 24-01-2009, 04:14 PM   #12
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The thing that's important to know is that you never know. You're always sort of feeling your way. -diane arbus

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Old 19-02-2009, 12:59 PM   #13
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I think what also helps for me when Im having an awful memory, I put both feet on the ground, and I talk aloud to myself. It sounds a bit silly, but it works.

Mondrian ^^

Hope is faith holding its hand in the dark.

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Old 19-02-2009, 11:42 PM   #14
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Nice thread.

Well replaced Chrissy =]

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Old 19-02-2009, 11:46 PM   #15
Fight for another day
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Thanks for replacing this Chrissy

"Recovery is something that you have to work
on every single day and it's
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Old 20-02-2009, 12:20 AM   #16
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Thank you :)

Now I'll play your ghost as my ace, whenever I'm led astray.
But I am actually good, can't help it if we're tilted.
I'm in my right place, don't be a downer.

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Old 25-02-2009, 04:51 PM   #17
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'Cause I'll always remember you the same.
Oh eyes like wild flowers within demons of change ♥

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Old 13-04-2009, 09:01 PM   #18
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Wow this is amazing. Thanks.

PM me if you want a PDF copy of the ICD-10 or the Mental Health Act 1983/2007. I ALSO HAVE THE DSM-V BOOK and am a pharmacology student.

I have a visual impairment / neurological problems so I need people to type in clear text and no funny fonts. Also excuse any typos, my vision blocks things out.
I have autism and have problems communicating, PMs included.
Just becasue I type well doesn't mean I speak well. I am only part time verbal.

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Old 30-04-2009, 12:47 AM   #19
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Can this thread be stickied please?

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Old 30-04-2009, 11:58 PM   #20
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thank you for making this thread ill try some of these and see if it works

we are the fallen
we are the wounded
we are the shattered
we are the unheard
we are the brave
we are the strong
we are Survivors.
we are the future
we fallen can still rise by the wings of hope that lifts us~

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