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 Mental Health and your Fear Blog, or shit you need to watch out for
RedRockingHood
 Posted: Jan 6 2013, 10:53 PM
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QUOTE (pullingoffmasks @ Jan 6 2013, 05:39 PM)
For every person with PTSD out there who will re-experience and re-enact the scene of most stress, there are just as many who will 'shut down' (a bit like a silent meltdown to those of you familiar with ASD topics)...


Also see: shell shock.


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No Cowards - stand and be brave.
Over the River, and through the woods.
Residency; mind over matter.
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Creepypasta: 'The Cage', "The Suicide Note of an Anonymous Mother', and 'The Shrouded One'.
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pullingoffmasks
 Posted: Jan 6 2013, 11:10 PM
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Panic attacks

Okay, sorry if this post goes off into ramble territory. I have a hard time writing about panic attacks, because I've discovered discussing them can occasionally cause me to induce one. Which is a right bitch and a half...and thankfully this was a discovery I made by myself, in solitude, not in public.

A panic attack is a response to stress. They can come with something triggering them (read, linked in with PTSD) or can occur 'out of the blue.' (Which, from personal experience, is even scarier than knowing that something you've bumped into will tick you from 'oh stressed' to 'FUCKSTRESSEDPANIC!!!!!')

Sometimes, like migranes, panic attacks can come with 'pre-symptoms' before the proper panic attack (I'll explain this in a bit)

What do they look/feel like?

Short response, depends on the person.

Long response, because a panic attack is a somatic reaction to a mental state/condition (read, it's a psychosomatic response) it has a varied expression.

The general response is that they're fucking terrifying and because they can vary from time to time there's no real 'getting used to them.'

Undoubtedly, you're familiar with the Dream Theatre song "Panic Attack"?

If not:

QUOTE
Why do I feel so numb
Is it something to do with where I come from
Should this be fight or flight
I don't know why I'm constantly so uptight

Rapid heartbeat pounding through my chest
Agitated body in distress
I feel like I'm in danger
Daily life is strangled by my stress

A stifling surge
Shooting through all my veins
Extreme apprehension
Suddenly I'm insane


It's based off of the experiences of one of the band members.

On the other hand, my heartmate just gets very quiet and starts hyperventilating/breathing heavily.

On the other, other hand, a former room-mate of mine got very yelly and shouty when in panic attack mode.

As far as I know, they both don't have pre-symptoms before they click into panic mode...and they usually have cause, such as a build up of stress or bad situations, before their panic attacks occur.

I?

Well, I've had about a handful of them...some without any cause, others with cause.

I can tell, sort of, if I need to take care...as I get this feeling of derealization or nausea beforehand or my face/extremities will get numb and tingly. (Sometimes)

Sometimes, someone can say the most innocuous thing and I'll start laughing. And laughing. And laughing. And at some point amusement switches over to panic, because I can't breathe, but I'm still laughing. There's nothing funny, especially, it gets to the point where I'm hyperventilating, but still laughing.

All the time, there's that sinking feeling that the world is going to end, and somehow, it's your fault.

At the point I reach full blown panic attack mode, I essentially 'shut down' regardless of where I am. I get incredibly hypersensitive to light, sound, and touch. I'll hyperventilate, my heart is hammering away. Usually tuck myself up into a tiny little ball and rock back and forth....providing I have enough air to do so.

I hate having people around me at this point. People always want to know 'what is wrong,' 'can we get help,' and loud.

Eventually, I'll start breathing normally again, uncurl, and still feel generally miserable...mostly because I'll still be incredibly tactile defensive.

But that's just me.

(And this is when I say, with typical gallows humour, all my panic attacks have ever done is inspire me never to have another one...when it caused a song in another person.)


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RedRockingHood
 Posted: Jan 6 2013, 11:20 PM
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You'll also find that if you write someone reacting to someone having a panic attack, the whole individual-response thing varies from person to person, too.

Like, someone people having a panic attack will get so much worse if you touch them. Others might start to calm down.

Giving someone having a panic attack a puffer is also not a helpful thing. I mean, it might be mentally reassuring, but there's medicine in a puffer that they don't need.

My second-hand information (AKA what people have told me from my own panic attacks) is that I latch to sentences, either in a Madness Mantra Trope fashion or Camper fashion (repeating the last thing I heard, or a snippet of it, without being aware of what I'm saying).

What other random trivia have I got on this one...

Oh! Sipping water.

That, and giving the sufferer something to chew are typical effective methods of helping them breathe again.

The 'breathe into a paper bag' thing is halfway-myth. The purpose of that is to physically see how the sufferer is breathing, basically. When it crumples only a little, and in quick succession, you know they're taking shallow breaths that aren't really getting to the lungs, whereas if the bag crumples fully into itself, that's obviously a deep breath. So, really, that's just a monitoring tool - it doesn't actually change the way someone's breathing, itself.


Incomplete/ongoing projects:
All There Is To Life - the mundane musings of a housewife (collab with GraciousVictory).
Darker Side of Sympathy; it's almost like understanding.
The World is Crazy... We're not the crazy ones (multiple author collab).

Completed projects:
City of Sinopia - join the Scarlet-Marked.
No Cowards - stand and be brave.
Over the River, and through the woods.
Residency; mind over matter.
This Could Be Heaven or this could be hell.
Within the Game Master's Universe: Blair H, Alice Baxendale, and Marcus Finn.


Other Mythos-related projects (non-blogs):
Be Careful. You only get three.
Virtually Reality. Would you like to quit the game?
Virtually Reality 2: New Game Plus. Would you like to continue the game? (Collab with GraciousVictory.)
Creepypasta: 'The Cage', "The Suicide Note of an Anonymous Mother', and 'The Shrouded One'.
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pullingoffmasks
 Posted: Jan 6 2013, 11:25 PM
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QUOTE (RedRockingHood @ Jan 7 2013, 12:20 AM)
You'll also find that if you write someone reacting to someone having a panic attack, the whole individual-response thing varies from person to person, too.


Yeah. Should have mentioned that...Though, I will say more people will try to reassure with touch than without.

I have vague memories of snapping at a room-mate who was trying to hug me out of a panic attack. Which, combined with not breathing....yeah.

QUOTE (RedRockingHood @ Jan 7 2013, 12:20 AM)
What other random trivia have I got on this one...
Oh! Sipping water.
That, and giving the sufferer something to chew are typical effective methods of helping them breathe again.


This only works if the person isn't fully hyperventilating... and is willing to interact with people. I think someone has tried this on me once. Then again I also get nauseous with panic attacks, so anything on the stomach not already there is a very bad idea in my books.


Tea Time with the Traitor Masks and sewers and trains, OH MY!
525,600 minutes of absolute bullshit and bastardry James appears to be a bit busy with life, blogging shall resume shortly
~+~+~+~+~+~
Mental Health and Your Fear Blog A very brief primer to things to consider when writing a character that is 'going crazy'
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RedRockingHood
 Posted: Jan 6 2013, 11:28 PM
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QUOTE (pullingoffmasks @ Jan 6 2013, 06:25 PM)
This only works if the person isn't fully hyperventilating... and is willing to interact with people. I think someone has tried this on me once. Then again I also get nauseous with panic attacks, so anything on the stomach not already there is a very bad idea in my books.


Oh, very true. Some people's gag reflexes get hyper-sensitive, and if they're hyperventilating hard, that can trigger them vomiting, making it even harder to breathe...downward spiral.

Yeah, it's all very much an individual thing, every person is different with their attacks, like you said.

EDIT: Oh, another thing I thought of...

Don't assume the same methods/tricks will work twice. Some cases can be the same person, but the situation might be changed.

Like, if I'm hallucinating (which you have no way of knowing)? Don't touch me. I might get violent. Maybe it's not even that I'm hallucinating; maybe I just feel there's something dangerous in the area, and that's what triggered it.

Then say the next panic attack I have, I'm not hallucinating, and it's something like Squeek's example - I laughed too hard, or something set off a reaction where I can't breathe and I've started to panic. I don't feel there's an outside danger. Touching me might be okay.

It's hard to know.


Incomplete/ongoing projects:
All There Is To Life - the mundane musings of a housewife (collab with GraciousVictory).
Darker Side of Sympathy; it's almost like understanding.
The World is Crazy... We're not the crazy ones (multiple author collab).

Completed projects:
City of Sinopia - join the Scarlet-Marked.
No Cowards - stand and be brave.
Over the River, and through the woods.
Residency; mind over matter.
This Could Be Heaven or this could be hell.
Within the Game Master's Universe: Blair H, Alice Baxendale, and Marcus Finn.


Other Mythos-related projects (non-blogs):
Be Careful. You only get three.
Virtually Reality. Would you like to quit the game?
Virtually Reality 2: New Game Plus. Would you like to continue the game? (Collab with GraciousVictory.)
Creepypasta: 'The Cage', "The Suicide Note of an Anonymous Mother', and 'The Shrouded One'.
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pullingoffmasks
 Posted: Jan 6 2013, 11:38 PM
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JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING.

Panic attack versus Meltdown versus shut down

Okay. Realized that I've used some terms that I haven't defined.

A panic attack, see above. Prevelent in NT, allistic, and autistic folks.

Meltdown...autism spectrum related.

Essentially it's the point at which most instilled coping methods (read stimming, avoidance, reduction of stimulus) fail and you just can't cope!

They will continue until stimuli are removed, 'normalcy' has been obtained, and the body-brain realizes it is 'safe'

They are, very nastily, often referred to as temper tantrums. They aren't.

Temper tantrums invariably originate from a behaviour pattern or things 'just not going the right way' and are fairly short (2-5 mins) in duration.

Meltdowns much more resemble panic attack, both in origin and length.

Shutdown...sensory sensitivity related, more often observed in older 'passing' autistic folks

Exactly as it says on the tin. The brain has had enough, it's going to hard reboot...a person experiencing a shutdown will often get very quiet, very still, and 'zone out ish.'

It is distinct from a specific form of seizure, in levels of awareness.

Often times a person who's shutdown will be present, but in the sort of 'long lecture after lunch' sort of way.

Best bet is to, for both meltdowns and shutdowns, remove/minimize offending stimuli and offer the person 'an out' (access to a sensory safe/safer zone)


Tea Time with the Traitor Masks and sewers and trains, OH MY!
525,600 minutes of absolute bullshit and bastardry James appears to be a bit busy with life, blogging shall resume shortly
~+~+~+~+~+~
Mental Health and Your Fear Blog A very brief primer to things to consider when writing a character that is 'going crazy'
~+~+~+~+~+~
Want to find out why my blogs are so slow to update, or real life the blog?
~+~+~+~+~+~
Finished blogs
Pulling off Masks ...but with a whimper...
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ZacksQuest
 Posted: Jan 6 2013, 11:42 PM
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I might frequently have what may be a shut down... not sure though. My vision becomes 95% blacked out, my hearing decreases drastically and most of what I hear is a ringing, I get disoriented and my arms go numb. I'm not sure if what I experience is a shutdown, but it happens usually 3-4 times a week...


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alliterator
 Posted: Jan 7 2013, 01:08 AM
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I just want to point out that a really good representation of PTSD is The West Wing episode "Noel." In the beginning of the season, the character Josh Lyman suffered a gunshot wound during an assassination attempt and in this episode, it shows that he's suffering from PTSD because of it.

Spoiler: (highlight to see)

Specifically, the sound of bells or ringing becomes sirens to him and he relives the events. His psychiatrist even tells him that he has to be able to remember and not relive what happened.


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proxiehunter
 Posted: Jan 7 2013, 01:18 AM
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QUOTE (ZacksQuest @ Jan 6 2013, 06:42 PM)
I might frequently have what may be a shut down... not sure though. My vision becomes 95% blacked out, my hearing decreases drastically and most of what I hear is a ringing, I get disoriented and my arms go numb. I'm not sure if what I experience is a shutdown, but it happens usually 3-4 times a week...


I seem to recall you having a medical practitioner to discuss such things with, have you done so? That seems to be distressingly often and sounds like it would be a rather nasty impairment on ones professional/educational and social life.

It also occurs to me that IIRC you mentioned having been diagnosed as having Antisocial Personality Disorder or something similar and that people on the spectrum, especially those diagnosed post childhood, are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as having Antisocial Personality Disorder rather than a spectrum disorder.
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ZacksQuest
 Posted: Jan 7 2013, 01:30 AM
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QUOTE (proxiehunter @ Jan 6 2013, 08:18 PM)


I seem to recall you having a medical practitioner to discuss such things with, have you done so? That seems to be distressingly often and sounds like it would be a rather nasty impairment on ones professional/educational and social life.

It also occurs to me that IIRC you mentioned having been diagnosed as having Antisocial Personality Disorder or something similar and that people on the spectrum, especially those diagnosed post childhood, are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as having Antisocial Personality Disorder rather than a spectrum disorder.


I do have a practitioner I go to, but I keep forgetting to tell him about it. Mainly because it only happens in my own home or indoors and not outside. I don't know why.

Also, what do you mean by spectrum disorder? I'm not sure what spectrum or disorder you're talking about.


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RedRockingHood
 Posted: Jan 7 2013, 01:39 AM
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QUOTE (ZacksQuest @ Jan 6 2013, 08:30 PM)


I do have a practitioner I go to, but I keep forgetting to tell him about it. Mainly because it only happens in my own home or indoors and not outside. I don't know why.

Also, what do you mean by spectrum disorder? I'm not sure what spectrum or disorder you're talking about.


You could try writing everything down so long as you're thinking of them? Then bring 'em in?


Incomplete/ongoing projects:
All There Is To Life - the mundane musings of a housewife (collab with GraciousVictory).
Darker Side of Sympathy; it's almost like understanding.
The World is Crazy... We're not the crazy ones (multiple author collab).

Completed projects:
City of Sinopia - join the Scarlet-Marked.
No Cowards - stand and be brave.
Over the River, and through the woods.
Residency; mind over matter.
This Could Be Heaven or this could be hell.
Within the Game Master's Universe: Blair H, Alice Baxendale, and Marcus Finn.


Other Mythos-related projects (non-blogs):
Be Careful. You only get three.
Virtually Reality. Would you like to quit the game?
Virtually Reality 2: New Game Plus. Would you like to continue the game? (Collab with GraciousVictory.)
Creepypasta: 'The Cage', "The Suicide Note of an Anonymous Mother', and 'The Shrouded One'.
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ZacksQuest
 Posted: Jan 7 2013, 01:40 AM
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QUOTE (RedRockingHood @ Jan 6 2013, 08:39 PM)


You could try writing everything down so long as you're thinking of them? Then bring 'em in?


That... would probably have saved a lot of headaches.


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RedRockingHood
 Posted: Jan 7 2013, 01:49 AM
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QUOTE (ZacksQuest @ Jan 6 2013, 08:40 PM)


That... would probably have saved a lot of headaches.


It's what I used to do with chatlogs between myself and the friends I used to talk about stuff with. I'd copy the relevant stuff into a document and bring it to my psychiatrist.


Incomplete/ongoing projects:
All There Is To Life - the mundane musings of a housewife (collab with GraciousVictory).
Darker Side of Sympathy; it's almost like understanding.
The World is Crazy... We're not the crazy ones (multiple author collab).

Completed projects:
City of Sinopia - join the Scarlet-Marked.
No Cowards - stand and be brave.
Over the River, and through the woods.
Residency; mind over matter.
This Could Be Heaven or this could be hell.
Within the Game Master's Universe: Blair H, Alice Baxendale, and Marcus Finn.


Other Mythos-related projects (non-blogs):
Be Careful. You only get three.
Virtually Reality. Would you like to quit the game?
Virtually Reality 2: New Game Plus. Would you like to continue the game? (Collab with GraciousVictory.)
Creepypasta: 'The Cage', "The Suicide Note of an Anonymous Mother', and 'The Shrouded One'.
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proxiehunter
 Posted: Jan 7 2013, 01:54 AM
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QUOTE (ZacksQuest @ Jan 6 2013, 08:30 PM)


I do have a practitioner I go to, but I keep forgetting to tell him about it. Mainly because it only happens in my own home or indoors and not outside. I don't know why.

Also, what do you mean by spectrum disorder? I'm not sure what spectrum or disorder you're talking about.


A disorder on the Autistic spectrum. Around my area "spectrum disorder" is often used as a shorthand.
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ZacksQuest
 Posted: Jan 7 2013, 02:02 AM
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QUOTE (proxiehunter @ Jan 6 2013, 08:54 PM)


A disorder on the Autistic spectrum. Around my area "spectrum disorder" is often used as a shorthand.


Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification.


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