How To Cope With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Flashbacks

Flashbacks are the worst part of post traumatic stress disorder; it can affect a person badly. Know the methods to overcome flashbacks after trauma.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: May 21, 2021Updated at: May 21, 2021
How To Cope With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Flashbacks

There are certain incidents in our life which are hard to get over with. Such incidents or events create a permanent impact in our brain. Such events can be troublesome,causing a traumatic impression in peoples’ mind. Traumatic incidents can trigger horrifying nightmares, flashbacks and uncontrollable anxiety. Therefore it is important to understand the cause and how to cope up with these kinds of flashbacks. In this article, we uncover tips to deal with post-traumatic stress syndrome and its connection with traumatic flashbacks.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Our expert Psychologist Dr. Tanu Singh from Healthcare Clinic, Lucknow explains the process of Post-traumatic stress and its effect on people. “It is a mental health condition where the person triggers terrifying events which has happened in the past resulting to uncontrollable emotions. These result in severe anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks and uncontrollable thoughts. This process may cause permanent damage to mental health of that person. In this condition people mostly start acting weird or terrified looking at certain objects or things resemble similar to their traumatic experience.” 


In most conditions, it is in the form of flashback and nightmares which causes people difficulty in sleeping. Flashbacks are something which remains at back of our mind and even after several years it is hard to forget those. In simple example it could be your fear of heights. Earlier in the childhood you may have fell off from a table or somewhere which stuck at the back of your mind and resulted in this type of fear. Same is the case with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder it just happens on a more severe level. 

How To Cope Up With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Flashbacks?

Flashbacks can trigger a person to a very deep level where it might not be possible for that person to dissociate with the incident. This can be extremely disruptive and unpredictable. Hence coping up is not that easy, but these factors help in coping up with the trauma gradually. 

Understanding the Cause

Flashbacks can be very uncertain and numerous things might be able to trigger that person. They are considered as re-experiencing the symptoms of PTSD. When you go into a flashback, you may feel that traumatic event happening again in front of you. However this is temporary and there are possibilities you might not be aware of it. Therefore knowing about the flashback what was it about is really important and the first step to cope up with it.


Dissociation Connection

Sometimes after a traumatic experience you might feel disconnected with yourself or your surroundings for a certain movement. This causes the person to forget about his memories or dreams etc. It can be very stressful at times; hence it is important to know about what you are feeling to cope up with your flashbacks and trauma.

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Know Your Triggers

It is one of the most important steps in coping up with trauma. Until and unless you know what triggers you, you will not be able to come out of it. Flashbacks and dissociation are often triggered by certain things or conditions; it may be people, specific places, things or some experiences. Therefore it is important to identify the specific things which can trigger you into flashbacks to counter it correctly. It might also help you with symptoms of PTSD. 

Identify the Signs

Flashbacks tend to come all of a sudden and are often uncontrollable but there are certain signs which occur before slipping into flashbacks. The trick is to know these warning signs, once these are known then it becomes easier for the person to have some control over the flashbacks. It would also increase your chances of getting better soon. The earlier you catch these signs, the faster you will be able to cope up with flashbacks and post traumatic stress disorder.


Learn Grounding Techniques

There are particular ways to help bring you back to reality from flashbacks. These techniques are called as grounding technique. It helps to retain connection with the present and reduce likelihood of worse part of flashbacks. These techniques are-

Sight- Try to look around for anything which connects you to the present moment

Smell- Sniff strong peppermint, it is very hard to focus on anything else when you smell peppermint inside.

Sound- Turn on loud music that does not let you gets into flashbacks and is hard to resist.

Taste- Bite a lemon or something very strong, this creates a strong sensation and prevents you to fall for a flashback.

Touch- Grip a piece of ice as you feel you are stepping into flashback. It will deflect your toward the extreme cold sensation and help you come out of the flashback.

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Post traumatic stress disorder can be very hard to get out off. Especially the flashbacks that come along with it can be terrible and cause great harm to mental health. The best way to get out of flashbacks is to know about the symptoms and get treatment done. Seek help of others to prevent flashbacks to terrify you. Other than this there are few steps you can take which can gradually prevent flashbacks from coming and affecting you. It is a gradual process but after a certain time you will be able to control your emotions again. Consult a psychologist for professional help and treatment. 

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