What is this experience ? Inner feelings of 'over arousal ' ?

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Boatsetsailrose

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Hi I am yet to read Pete walkers book but wanted to ask if anyone knows anymore about cortisol in relation to cptsd and over arousal symptoms ?

A lot of the time I feel like electric charge is running through my body and don't feel calm.. I practice meditation / quiet time everyday and it does help -

I read in one post about doing exercise to help - maybe this was in relation to what I am trying to explain here ?

It def feels like a physical response to being around people -

I would like to learn more about this 'electric charge feeling and maybe the link with high cortisol and over arousal and how to work with it - ways to reduce it

Many thanks in advance :)

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fairyslipper

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Re: What is this experience ? Inner feelings of 'over arousal ' ?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 07:42:49 AM »
Interesting you brought this up. I have just recently become aware of something that feels very similar to what you are describing. I hate the way it feels. I think over arousal is a perfect description AND I think that is exactly what it is. Although I do feel like some of it can be part of the CPTSD, I also feel part of it can be due to being an introvert or empath and not being authentic to MYSELF.

I have realized and this is just for me......over stimulation, talking too much to people online.......talking to people that are unhealthy for me and make me mad......are HUGE precursors to this feeling. Agree with you exactly like it is a physical response to being around people. Most of mine is online and over the phone due to the isolated area we live in, but for me it can still be too much. Stress = HUGE Cortisol spike. I have been journaling a lot lately and am realzing these two behaviors (being online and messaging online) might be coping mechanisms for me.....distractions and escape even. So when I start to feel this way, I completely go off of chatting with others online or even the phone where some are concerned. It can be hard for me to SLOW down but I work really hard at doing it and have a day of journaling, being outside, maybe something pampering and do my BEST to not feel guilty but to indulge myself in nuturing and just taking care of me. I try to NOT think of other people and what they think. The first day of doing this is usually the hardest for me, and I am fighting that electric feeling for most of it.... the second day feels so much more relaxed and the electric charge feeling is usually almost gone. I feel much more balanced.

I have also re-commited myself to a daily yoga practice. Even if I don't feel like it I do it and always feel so much better afterward. I do feel exercise can be a great release for this and a balancer. I like to workout with kettle bells and weights......also go hiking. ALL of it helps to relax me and get rid of that feeling. I am so glad  you brought this up. The best way for me to describe it is like you are driving a stick shift car and the clutch is in and your foot is on the gas revving the engine. A lot of energy is being expelled but nothing productive is happening and like the engine, you  get over worked. I do believe cortisol has a huge part in it too.

I don't know if this is exactly what you are talking about........I think for me it leads to an almost over tired feeling where I really have to work that first day especially at deliberate relaxation and it really is work. I am just beginning to sort this all out so I hope this makes some sense.


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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: What is this experience ? Inner feelings of 'over arousal ' ?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 04:10:16 PM »
Fairy slipper
Yes yes and yes !:)
Thank u for your response I really relate to the first day is just to help even get over the first stages of it and the 2nd day is more relaxing .. I now work a 4 day wk for this very reason
I did read that trauma people find managing stress much more difficult and it stands to reason hey

Yes balance and that thing of relating to people but not taking in their energy too much --- it's a work in progress for me

And yes u are right exercise is so effective - but I often don't have the energy to even start ( a big one for lots of people I know

Mindfulness is great and meditation really help to calm and smooth that electric feeling
Any type of healing is good too and I've had some sessions with an energy healer
Yes my biggest thing is being in society but not being 'of it ' a challenge for many in sure

Keep up the good work is good to share with another :)

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Kizzie

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Re: What is this experience ? Inner feelings of 'over arousal ' ?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015, 09:20:50 PM »
BSSR - here's a link to a post Bee made about Cortisol and adrenal fatigue you might find helpful/intersting - http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=111.msg756#msg756
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 05:13:37 PM by Kizzie »

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fairyslipper

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Re: What is this experience ? Inner feelings of 'over arousal ' ?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015, 10:12:12 PM »
^^^^^^^^ That thread is so good. Thank you for posting it.  :hug:

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bee

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Re: What is this experience ? Inner feelings of 'over arousal ' ?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 05:26:30 AM »
I understand about feeling like there is an electrical charge when around people.

This is a perfectly normal response to being traumatized. According to Polyvagal Theory (Stephen Porges) trauma can change the way we operate. We switch to either fight/flight or freeze response. This switch happens with small stressors, and people then switch back(self-regulation). But, sometimes self-regulation was not learned as an infant, or there is too much accumulated trauma and we need extra help to get back to normal. In either flight/fight or freeze states we are no longer able to accurately read social cues. The social interaction parts of our brain are shut down in favor of parts that scan for threat detection. This makes social situation stressful.

Recent poking around on the internet has led me to abdominal breathing. There are several recent studies that show abdominal breathing stimulates the vagus nerve. This is because the vagus nerve passes through the diaphragm. Stimulating the vagus nerve can increase vagal tone, which reduces anxiety, inflammation and pain. In other words it is a way to calm anxiety(self-regulate).

I gave a super short explanation here,  but if you're interested look up Stephen Porges Polyvagal theory.
Then look up abdominal breathing and the vagus nerve.
Then you can see if it's worth trying for you.

The study results seem to indicate that the breathing alone can have results, meditation is a bonus, but not required. This is important to me, because making myself sit still (as most meditation requires) is a trigger for me.

If you think about breathing it ties to lots of things that are said to help - yoga, meditation, exercise...


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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: What is this experience ? Inner feelings of 'over arousal ' ?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 10:22:39 AM »
Thank you for this
And yes ! I have been identifying more the importance of the breath in helping
I did some conscious breathing work with someone and it was magical
Just yesterday I was thinking how the electric charge feeling reduces after exercise
I shall read the article and breathing

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steamy

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Re: What is this experience ? Inner feelings of 'over arousal ' ?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2015, 08:53:40 PM »
Pete Walker points out four states of hyper arousal fawn being the fourth. Fawn means to roll over, give in and do what you're told.

Many of the hyper arousal states are those linked to our childhood, feeling threatened in some way, say when somebody criticises your work, it sends you into a flashback to a time when a critical parent tries to make you feel worthless. As an adult,  instead of being able to sit and discuss the criticism in a healthy way, a person with cptsd will become overly defensive (fight), walk away (flight), go into a state of panic (freeze), or just fawn and agree with all the criticism to try to buy favour from the critic. I also believe that passive aggression can also take place, although the person might be outwardly fawning they might also be very angry and then perhaps refuse to do another task by "forgetting" about it.