What Helps During a Flashback?

What helps during a flashback? How are you going to cope with it? Perhaps you experience or witness a traumatic incident that makes you panic every time you are reminded by the trauma. Lets talk about this

What is a flashback?

A flashback is an intensely vivid memory of a traumatic experience that returns repeatedly. That means it’s possible to feel the terrible incident you witness or you experience yourself over and over again when triggered. During a flashback it can be hard to connect with reality. It may even feel like that the perpetrator or the event is physically happening.

Flashbacks can be triggered by regular experiences linked with the senses, like the smell of someone’s odor or a certain tone of voice. It’s a normal response to this trauma. We are going to list some steps you can take to help you manage the stress of a flashback.

What helps during a flashback?

If you are in the middle of a flashback, consider these tips:

  • Remind yourself it’s just a flashback. Tell yourself that the actual event is over and you survived it.
  • Breathe. Take slow, deep breaths by putting your hand on your stomach and taking deep breaths. In state of panic, our body begins to take short, shallow breaths, and the decrease in oxygen can make you feel more panicked. Deep breathing will increase the oxygen and helps you get out of state of panic faster.
  • Use all your five senses and return to the present.
    • What do you see? List the items around you; count the colors or things nearby.
    • What do you smell? Breathe in a reassuring scent, or focus on the smells.
    • What do you hear? Listen to the sounds around you, or turn on the music.
    • What do you taste? Eat or drink something you like. Focus on the flavor.
    • What does it feel like? Hold something cold, like a piece of ice, or hot, like a mug of tea.
  • Know what would make you feel safer. You can wrap yourself in a blanket, or try going to a room by yourself and close the door. Everything that you think will make you feel safer.

You will feel relief when you do the list above, but that doesn’t mean it will not happen again. Managing flashbacks isn’t easy work for anyone. Flashbacks can worsen over time if you don’t attend to them. They can also be an indicator of PTSD.

Please note that content on this site is not a medical advice and https://cheerupchum.com is not a medical expert. If after reading this journal you have more questions, please reach out to your local healthcare professional or hospital.

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  1. Pingback: Monitor Triggers to Lessen the Risk of PTSD - The PTSD Journal

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