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Featured PTSD and Autism, a curse that never ends with both.

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by AspieOtaku, Jan 16, 2020 at 5:00 AM.

  1. AspieOtaku

    AspieOtaku Leader of the otaku legion!

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    After having done through traumatic events such as abuse and being raped, my flash backs backed by having a good memory being autistic makes life hell, suicide come to mind time and time again paired with feeling worthless and wanting to die at times, recurring flashbacks, nightmares, at times unable to sleep, i wish i had no memories however sadly although a good trait being autistic having the memories at times keep my flashbacks coming, im not sure whether to put it here or serious discussion, just wonder if other Autistics have ptsd and how to cope with the memory retention bringing.the flashbacks back, how to shut them off.
     
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  2. AspieOtaku

    AspieOtaku Leader of the otaku legion!

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    I also have depression im fighting, as an aspie, keeping it at bay for now after my last near successful suicide attempt and getting out of the psych ward now medicated on trazadone, i still deal with ptsd at times, i usually avoid triggers of flashbacks but cant always avoid them and when i cant they hit hard and they get me i feel worthless and in a mental battle fighting those thoughts.
     
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  3. Ronin82

    Ronin82 Dog Trainer Extraordinaire

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    I have both. It sucks, especially when you can't get any support from family/coworkers. Having both makes living a decent life VERY difficult, and I often feel like suicide is inevitable for me. Thankfully I have an AMAZING therapist, and a new network of friends who are actually supportive (since they have MH issues too), so I'm not completely without help. What I've learned to do when triggered, is to "witness" myself going through the trigger cycle. I can step out of myself when going through emotional upheaval and not be so...I don't know how to put it.....I don't lose myself to the emotions or take it so personally. I've spent about 6 years with my current therapist, and his training for me has been in not getting so wrapped up in the emotional experience. I step out of it, see it happening to me, and know IT WILL PASS if I just keep breathing. I can let it happen, not get so upset about it happening, and move on to the next moment. Just my experience...
     
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  4. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think it's very common for someone on the spectrum to have PTSD. Most of us do. And the flashbacks are part of it. They can send me into weeks long severe depression where all I can do is cry. Even if we get over the past, there will always be something that can stir up those events and the powerful emotions from them.
    Wish I could give you a way to completely avoid your flashbacks, I know they're unpleasant to say the least. But all I can suggest is that you remind yourself during those times that it had nothing to do with who you are and everything to do with the bad people out there.
     
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  5. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    concentrate on perceiving how adrenaline makes you feel when you start to get used to adrenaline you start to realise that it’s not your thoughts it’s a chemical put your fingers on the pulse in your neck it will help you realise that your heart is really going at a normal rate ,I’m years in to being with adrenaline like this The only where I’ve learned is to be exhausted
     
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  6. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    One method I used to like is to take some sort of sedating medication and then discuss/think about the traumatic incidents. Your body won't respond as dramatically due to the medication. Doing this repeatedly gets your body used to responding in a subdued manner and will then lean towards that when dealing with it even when not drugged.

    Of course, good ol' therapy is necessary if you haven't yet moved on, as well.
     
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  7. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    and even better way is to do it when you’re not drugged !but do a very !small !amount !get used !to the hyperventilation ,while you’re hyperventilating put your fingers on your pulse !your heart is still normal !it’s just adrenaline!, it’s much more reassuring to know that you’re not going to be a prisoner of the fear of panicking.
     
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  8. Sab

    Sab Well-Known Member

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    I’m sorry to read you’ve been having such a difficult time. It sounds really tough. I have CPTSD and I know how flashbacks and feelings of shame and worthlessness can make it really hard to enjoy your days, to interact with people. I’ve often felt like I wouldn’t be able to survive. It won’t always feel this hard though. And you seem to already have a lot of awareness, which is a really big step. What has been helpful to me is to remind myself that even if I feel shame and worthlessness, I am not shameful and unworthy. To have some distance on the feelings. What has also been really helpful is to find ways to ride through the flashbacks, feel what I have to feel (this integrates the trauma and helps healing) and find tools to come back to feeling safe in my body (for me it looks like herbal teas, baths, playdo, walks in nature, etc). This sort of teaches the body that you are safe, even if your trauma makes you feel unsafe often. Sometimes even if it doesn’t appear obvious, you are healing in subtle ways. Lastly, cultivating your interests and surrounding yourself only with people who make you feel accepted and good and worthy can help too. Stay strong.
     
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  9. 100skerls

    100skerls Just another skerl V.I.P Member

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    When I have intrusive thoughts/ memories I make a direct effort to immediately distract myself. Usually with a youtube video or a phone game. Comedy is especially helpful. I've found it's the best way to deal with it because the more I immediately distract myself the less frequent the memories and thoughts are because you are literally keeping those neural pathways from getting any stronger when you distract yourself every time.
     
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  10. Magpie

    Magpie Member

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    I acknowledge the pain, accept that it happened and stop fighting the injustice of it, reassure myself Im not back there and Im safe today. I remind myself its too bad they missed out on a good person. Then I try to remember those who do think I am valuable. When a flashback is really strong I allow myself to cry now and ride it out. Its like a wave, Im triggered into emotions that rise to a crest and subside, like a wave emotions always pass and I survive. Sometimes I remember to reassure myself that each time I practice it gets a little easier for the next time. Thats what I do, hope this helps :)
     
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  11. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I hope you’ve been doing a bit better, AspieOtaku. I think about you every now and again.
     
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  12. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Can't even comprehend the full extent of all your trauma, but l am thankful you are back to letting us know you are doing better. You are talking about this and healing is slowly taking place so each time you release these feelings in your posts here, you are taking another giant step to getting better. It seems the more we release and talk or type out our feelings, we have taken another step forward. Your new normal is safe away from all those people that hurt you. It took me some time to convince myself l am safe, because it has to start inside of my thinking first. Then l carry l am safe as a blanket around me, l do think about safety everyday. I have control and l keep my social circle very small to continue feeling safe. Being alone is actually how l feel safe after my horrendous marriage. l feel that maybe there are predators due to a slumping job market and we need to look out for ourselves. I reported abusive behavior to a supervisor who immedately tried to downplay it, l didn't let her do it. I called her immedately on it, because l felt unsafe, that this person may do something and l may get hurt as a result of his poor judgement. I move quickly at my job, he was blocking me and l could fall and hurt myself trying to avoid him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020 at 1:20 AM
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  13. AspieOtaku

    AspieOtaku Leader of the otaku legion!

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    I have a feeling those on the spectrum are more prone to PTSD thanks to having good memory retention, combined with being bullied and abused, the flashbacks come and go, they get less frequent but once they are triggered its like it happened yesterday, i wish i could erase my bad memories like reformatting a hard drive but its not that easy, i try and run to a safe place that is quiet and reassure myself im free, they cant hurt me anymore, i cry a bit but it helps when im not taking my medication.
     
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  14. AspieOtaku

    AspieOtaku Leader of the otaku legion!

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    Im free now, they cant hurt me anymore, i have to reassure myself over and over again to get out of the flashback.
     
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  15. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    Learning how to not get wrapped up in the feelings that bring on panic attacks was the hardest thing
    to do when I lost my parents and had to find a new way of living with someone else.
    I never want who I live with to see a full blown attack. Gradually I have become less fearful of an attack
    suddenly happening.
    Hyperventilation is still hard to control.

    For me the PTSD flashbacks I've found distraction helps or if I am free at the time I listen to meditation tapes and put my mind on that.
    The only thing is the dreams. I can't control the disturbing references that are always in my dreams.
    It makes me feel really bad when I wake from them as I am so reminded and into the feelings then.
    As long as the trauma intrudes into my dreams, I know my subconscious is still not accepting things.

    I have found if I have music or the TV playing while I sleep, I don't seem to dream.
    Or if I do, I don't remember it.
    Only thing is I know we have to cycle into that REM state in order to get a full sleep cycle.
     
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  16. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I have PTSD along with Autism and ADHD.

    Physical exercise is really important coping for me. It helps use up all the extra adrenaline my body produces as a result of extreme hypervigilance and flashbacks.

    I have learned that looking after my sensory needs and doing sensory diet things is as important as eating and sleeping well and all the typical self care stuff since my sensory issues cause distress daily and minimizing that distress is helpful.

    Sometimes when I am having a flashback I try to count how many things of a specific color I can see, to try to distract myself.

    Breathing exercises help, too. (Well, only one exercise helps me but there are lots of them in existence and everyone is different.)

    Another strategy is to try to remember a time I felt safe and happy when I start remembering times I felt terrified and threatened, but this strategy is much harder to even remember let alone actually do at the moment. (When I actually think of this strategy when I need it and actually manage to focus on a happy memory, it works a lot better than the color distraction trick, though.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020 at 4:08 PM
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  17. lateundiagnosed

    lateundiagnosed New Member

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    i took care of my mother and when she died ,i started to have dreams about her that always end with her dying again in one way or another, different ways. i realize its PTSD. i wish i wouldnt have these dreams. they start out as normal with her in them then there's some kind of accident at the end, sometimes violent. i wake up and just say to myself just dont dwell on it. its been years since she died.
     
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  18. AspieOtaku

    AspieOtaku Leader of the otaku legion!

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    Dwelling on things is a bad habit when it comes to negative stuff on the spectrum. Bad habit of mine im working on as many others are working on.
     
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  19. AspieOtaku

    AspieOtaku Leader of the otaku legion!

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  20. AspieOtaku

    AspieOtaku Leader of the otaku legion!

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    To get rid of of the dreams and flashbacks i drank till i was black out drunk with a dreameless sleep, it has done a good job till i got a dui and got in trouble with the law. I drank hard to kill the memories and crash out cold. Alchohol does a good job shutting off memories and make you sleep and forget, just dont drive if you drink or you end up paying a lot of money and lose your drivers license and be in jail.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020 at 12:38 AM
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