Triggers and the Hangover

Most people know what a hangover feels like: headaches, dizziness, sickness, a sense of a hazy existence. Some claim to have their personal “cures”- mine happens to be complaining to the wife and hating the world around me.

Although, traditional ‘morning after night’ hangover is different in symptoms of psychiatric discontent, in my experience there is little different in the body’s response to a long night out.

I’m speaking specifically about complex post – traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), because this is what I know, but I’m sure this is something people who live in all sorts of conditions of mental health experience.   I heard before that the word “adrenaline hangover” and I understand that there is something similar here. 

An adrenaline hangover is often experienced after you have produced a fight or a flight response — a panic attack, a trigger, an “episode,” extreme stress, etc. It is like you are someone who has severe anxiety and spends the day doing something emotionally tiring or hard for you, and then you experience reservoir-like symptoms afterwards. I think that a C-PTSD hangover is at least somewhat different for me. Doing something that makes me anxious is quite different from experiencing a C-PTSD trigger response.

Often, I can get in touch with a trigger, heal easily, and be OK within a few minutes, and sometimes it can affect me for days. It’s sometimes just a reaction, a physical and emotional response, and then a recovery, but often a reaction, a response, and then a feeling that some sort that positivity has been drained out of you for days to come. I have known it to last weeks.

It’s a constant reminder of your pain, and it leaves you in a state of everything your body does to respond to it, which can make it very hard to get back to your day-to-day life when you’ve undergone a stimulus.

Social Isolation

The other evening, I was talking to my wife, when she asked me, ” Have you been out of the house today”? Not a hard question to answer… or so I thought. I sat there and said, no not today and we continued on discussing something that one of the kids did earlier that day at school.

That simple question, had me thinking, ” when was the last time, I left the house in order to engage in some form of meaningful interaction with the world around me”. Please don’t get me wrong,  I do  go to school a few days out of the week and I also take my kids to practices and attend my weekly counseling session. Yet, I could not recall the last time, I had left the house to go and do something that wasn’t “mandated” in the rule book of adulting. At this particular time, I believe it was going on two weeks. Two weeks of no true interactions with others, besides my family. Two weeks of basically moving from one safe area to another… Two weeks? No, it couldn’t be long, could it?

Social withdrawal is avoiding people and activities you would usually enjoy. For some people, this can progress to a point of social isolation, where you may even want to avoid contact with family and close friends and just be by yourself most of the time.

Maketheconnection.com
https://maketheconnection.net/symptoms/social-withdrawal

Left unchecked, social withdrawal or isolation can lead to or be associated with depression and suicidal ideology. A side effect of isolated oneself is loneliness. This occurs when a person feels they are isolated and where there is a difference between the social relationships they have compared to the social relationships they want.  Social isolation is an impartial judgement that somebody’s social relations and social networks are lacking.

When you find yourself demonstrating antisocial behavior, it’s important to:

  • Address what’s causing you to want to be alone.
  • Reach out to your friends or family members even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing. Research shows that spending time talking with family or friends improves your mood and has a positive effect on health.
  • Connect with Veterans’ groups or participate in clubs or hobbies focused on something you enjoy.

Southern California Veterans Coalition is based on three pillars of healing, Communication, Education and Socialization. We understand the danger in veterans isolating themselves and falling into the abyss of depression. In order to combat this issue, we hold veteran events, educational seminars and opportunities, with support to help their local communities and have get back to doing the things they enjoy in life.

If you are a veteran or you know of a veteran, who is showing signs of withdrawing and isolating themselves, please contact Southern California Veterans Coalition because we have been there and we understand.

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