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It's Therapeutic Thursday

Today is Therapeutic Thursday at Aortic Hope.

We often hear in the community about some people having "Flashback" regarding their diagnosis, surgery or emergent event. What is a flashback and what can be done about them?

👉Flashbacks are a common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that involve reliving a traumatic event in your mind. They can be triggered by reminders of the trauma, such as sounds, smells, or images. Flashbacks can cause intense distress and interfere with your daily functioning. Here are some tips on how to handle flashbacks:

- Recognize that you are having a flashback. Tell yourself that the trauma is over and that you are safe now. You can also use an anchor object, such as a bracelet or a ring, to remind yourself of the present.

- Breathe deeply and slowly. This can help you calm your nervous system and reduce the physical sensations of anxiety, such as racing heart, sweating, or trembling.

- Use grounding techniques to reconnect with your surroundings. For example, you can name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. You can also focus on sensations in your body, such as the feeling of your feet on the ground or your hands on your lap.

- Seek support from someone you trust. You can call a friend, a family member, or a crisis line to talk about what you are going through. You can also reach out to a therapist who specializes in trauma and PTSD. They can help you process your memories and emotions in a safe and supportive environment.

- Practice self-care after a flashback. You may feel exhausted, drained, or overwhelmed after a flashback. It is important to take care of yourself and do something that makes you feel good, such as listening to music, reading a book, or taking a bath. You can also use positive affirmations to remind yourself of your strengths and resilience.

❤️Flashbacks can be challenging to cope with, but they are not a sign of weakness or failure. They are a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. With time and treatment, you can learn to manage them and heal from your trauma.

If you think you may be experiencing flashbacks, please reach out to your physician because you shouldn't have to suffer. There are a variety of treatment options to assist you.

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