7 Tips for Managing PTSD Flashbacks

Flashbacks caused by PTSD can happen at any given moment. You could be driving your car or cleaning inside your home and it hits you. At that moment, you feel as though you have little to no control over what’s happening. 

Your body’s taken over by your past trauma, and the only thing you’re concerned about is getting back to safety, feeling at ease again, and learning how to control it. For some, PTSD flashbacks can get in the way of everyday life. Living with the weight of trauma and PTSD each and every day is a burden no one should have to deal with. 

When your past trauma starts to get in the way of living a happy and healthy life, it’s time to learn how to stop PTSD flashbacks and get your control back. In the guide below, you’ll discover how to treat PTSD flashbacks. Continue reading below to learn more.

1. Knowing Your Triggers 

If you’re able to stop your flashbacks before they come, then you could prevent a lot of emotional distress. The key is knowing what your triggers are. For many, flashbacks are triggered by something that reminds them of their trauma.

It could be something as little as a scent in the air or even a sound. Your reminder might also be a date, person, place, or something else. If you can identify what triggers your flashbacks, then you can do your best to limit your exposure to them. 

Do keep in mind that completely eliminating your exposure to certain triggers might not be possible, such as a date on the calendar. In situations like these, it’s important to know how to cope with your flashbacks even when they come unexpectedly. 

2. Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques will help you stay grounded in the present. Since flashbacks take you back in time to your trauma, being able to stay grounded will help keep you here in the present moment and avoid the flashbacks. The best way to ground yourself is to use all five of your senses. 

When you feel your anxiety or PTSD creeping up on you, begin to take notice of all five of your senses. What do you smell, see, hear, taste, and feel? This can be done from anywhere. 

For example, if you’re at work when it happens, place your hands on your desk. How does it feel? Do you still have the taste of coffee in your mouth from this morning? 

Listen to your co-workers chatting with clients on the phone, and so on. 

3. Speaking With a Therapist

Trauma counseling is one of the best ways to heal from past traumas. Trauma therapy differs from regular therapy because these therapists are trained in helping those cope with past trauma and PTSD. Your therapist will know a few different techniques to help you. 

For some, addressing their past trauma isn’t easy. Having the help of a professional will make the process much more simplified. There are also crisis hotlines you can call in case you ever need immediate help. 

These hotlines are free of charge and you’ll remain anonymous all while receiving help from trained professionals. Be sure to keep the hotline numbers stored in your phone in case of an emergency. 

4. Taking Notes

Not everyone is familiar with their triggers or causes of flashbacks. You may not even understand what specific traumatic event causes them. The best way to learn what your triggers are and to understand more about your flashbacks is to take notes.

As soon as you’re affected by your PTSD, stop and take notes. What were you doing when it first started? Try to be as detailed as possible when taking your notes. 

You can do this each time you experience a flashback and then use the information to help you in the future. 

5. Concentrating on Familiar Objects

Concentrating on familiar objects is a good way to immediately cope with PTSD. When experiencing a flashback, find an item that’ll remind you of the present moment. This item can be something that was given to you for a recent birthday or something similar. 

Keep this item with you at all times, because you never know when you might need it. It can be a small item, a piece of clothing, a figurine, or anything else associated with recent and positive memories. 

6. EMDR Treatment

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of therapy specific to treating PTSD. EMDR works by reprocessing your past trauma and taking the control away from the traumatic event and giving it back to you. Although you can’t completely wipe the brain and forget about your past trauma, you can take that control away from the trauma.

EMDR will allow your brain to release the negative emotions attached to your trauma in a natural way. EMDR is something that’s completed with a trained therapist. 

7. Intensive Therapy Retreat

An intensive therapy retreat is another great option. While attending the retreat, you’ll be given a variety of activities to complete that’ll help you understand how your unconscious thoughts impact your daily life. Trained mental health professionals will be onsite to help you navigate your emotions and find your peace. 

The main goal of the retreat is to help you heal from your trauma. Attending an intensive therapy retreat is a valuable investment for life. When you discover how to take back control of your mind and mental health, you can begin living life to the fullest again.

Coping With PTSD Flashbacks Starts Here

Coping with PTSD flashbacks the right way requires you to determine what type of coping strategy works best for you. You may even find that all of the strategies listed above are beneficial to you. When you feel lost, or unsure about your coping techniques, however, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals.

Schedule a call with us today to see how we can start helping you.