What if you are hypo-arousal ctpsd?

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Dart

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What if you are hypo-arousal ctpsd?
« on: May 06, 2022, 03:24:39 AM »
I've read Fisher's "Healing the shattered selves..."

Through it I have gotten some contact with some of my parts. 

I don't get much opportunity to work with them.  One pshrink commented, "Patients don't come with their problems.  They come with their unsatisfactory solutions."

I show a lot of the markers:  Difficulty in decision making, low self esteem, a very inventive inner critic,  feel that I'm a burden, I'm broken.  One list of 56 markers, and I have 40 of them, emotional numbing, lack of interent, lack of ambition, NSSI, suicidal ideation.

But overall I'm a functional producer/consumer economic unit.

A nightmare in January started my journey, and my diagnosis.

Fisher opened my eyes.  She gets it about the self loathing, the internal conflicts.

But Fisher's examples all deal with people who are to some degree non-functional.  Emotional numbing is mentioned a couple times in her book, but not dealt with in any detail.

I have so deeply buried this stuff, that I have the odd emotional flashback, when an odd mood comes.  And some interesting somatic flashbacks.  Fisher's patients have intrusive memory of one sort or another frequently. And those are the contacts that fisher uses to help patients get re-acquinted with their parts.

I get so few, it makes me wonder if I'm really sick.  But I'm tired of having no emotions, or rather watered down ones.  I'm tired of the loss of interest.  I'm tired of cutting myself just to keep the depression away.

While I've identified parts, my communication with them mostly are pretty feeble.  With a few  exceptions they don't speak to me.  I project an idea, and sometimes there is resonance.  I sometimes think they are all just imaginary friends.

Any pointers to a book of similar scope to Fisher that deals with hypoaroused folk, that live 90% of their lives on the bottom edge of window of tolerance?

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Armee

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Re: What if you are hypo-arousal ctpsd?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2022, 05:04:48 AM »
I don't know about books but you described me. So numb and hypoaroused i actually had no idea anything at all was wrong with me. Oops. I was hyper functional though when I started therapy. I finally had a very sane breakdown a few months ago and can no longer consider myself hyper functional. I did think Fisher's book was interesting in that she talked about people with DID so very severe symptoms being very functional...holding relationships and jobs...

And if I may? Suicidal ideation and numbness are serious symptoms. I don't think you need to doubt that you have cptsd or real symptoms.

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Dart

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Re: What if you are hypo-arousal ctpsd?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2022, 12:24:23 PM »

Here's my reason for doubt:

The first 3 symptoms align with PTSD: 

RE: Intrusive memory in the form of nightmares,  flashbacks.  These can be visual, auditory, other senses, somatic, emotional.

AV Avoidance of triggering.  Places, people, sounds, etc.

SOT: Sense of continued treat.

I barely have RE.  Indeed, until I started doing mindfullness training, they were subtle enough to not be noticed, or ascribe as Scrouge  did to "Because, said Scrooge, a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!

AV:  I have ONE semi consistent trigger that has happened twice now.  Doing grocery shopping after about 20 minutes I blend with a part that does cold hypervigilance.  Calm.  very wary, slightly afraid, ready to run.  But it's not overpowering.  I can still function at picking up groceries if I'm working from a list.  All my other triggers are uknown.

SOT:  No real sense of threat.  Rational Me knows of no real threats.  (I'm ignoring threats that everyone deals with:  Nuclear War, climate catastophy, corrupt governement.)

In the process of becoming more or less functional, can I squash the symptoms down *that* far?

Does this mean it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better?

Then there are the 3 unique to CTPSD:

    AD Affective dysregulation (shame, fear, anger/rage, grief; hypoarousal - numbing, dissociation, depersonalization, derealization) 

    NSC Negative self-concept (highly critical of self; feeling defective/inferior/worthless; perfectionism)

    DR Disturbed relationships (attachment disorder, social anxiety, desire to isolate, feeling different than others, mistrust, fear of vulnerability or intimacy)

AD:  Got the T-shirt, the hypo one in particular.  I've been working on hypo for some time, and some traces of emotiono are coming back.

NSC:  Big time.  I have a very creative part that programs the mantra machine.  I'm getting on top of the machine, but the critic is still very much there

DR:  I don't have NO relationships.  I have a wife who is delusional:  She thinks I'm wonderful, lovable, kind, generous, etc.  I have a sister who has similar delusions.  I don't know what love means.  My relationships are based on duty, respect, self interest.  One list said "Loss of interest in peers"  I have peers?



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Kizzie

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Re: What if you are hypo-arousal ctpsd?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2022, 06:57:18 PM »
FWIW Dart, if you've honed the survival skill of hypoarousal you may not be getting the three symptoms we share with PTSD sufferers as strongly because you have such a tight hold on your memories and the feelings associated with them. If you are also self-harming, you may be reducing some of the intensity of the symptoms.

I can't think of a particular book that deals with hypoarousal specifically or in more detail but perhaps have a look at Boon, S, Steele, K. & van der Hart, O. (2011), Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists. There are several annotated bibliographies here you can also take a look through - https://www.outofthestorm.website/books-1

We have lived experienced here and can often relate and can make suggestions based on that, but we're not therapists so it might help to ask these questions of a professional too. 

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Dart

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Re: What if you are hypo-arousal ctpsd?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2022, 07:44:08 PM »

I am seeing a therapist. But at age 69 I do not want to do this for umpteen years.  My theraplist tends to be reactive, rather than pro-active.  I accept this, as she is very good at making me feel ok by the end of the session, and ready to go back to work.  But if I can add direction with the right learning, I hope to push her reactions a bit.

In essence I'm seeking to heal myself, but using my therapist as a general contractor and work inspector.

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littlebluejay

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Re: What if you are hypo-arousal ctpsd?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2022, 04:20:23 AM »
Hi Dart,

I tend to be in the more hypoaroused state. I had a very scary episode recently where my body physically shut down and that's when I learned this term. I don't have much advice because I'm new to the terminology but one thing that was emphasized to me by a friend, my therapist, and my dietician, is that our body does this to protect us. I think it's a good reminder for me that in the short-term it serves a purpose... one to protect me from the scary emotions and memories. But of course we don't want to stay there forever. I have been trying to engage my senses when I feel this, and the emotional flashbacks, start to take over. Stretching my legs. Starting a conversation with a friend. If I'm driving, I play the music loud. And I keep telling my body it is safe now.

Sending you a hug, if you would like one

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Dart

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Re: What if you are hypo-arousal ctpsd?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2022, 02:18:38 AM »
My therapist says stuff like this too. 

Story time:

In one of * frances's novels, the protagonist, a jockey, breaks a bone, leg i think.  Now the normal way to deal * this is to be in a solid cast for a few weeks, then a walking cast.  Our hero doesn't get paid to watch horses, only to ride them.  So under a physician's supervision he deliberately uses a walking cast right from the start to put stress on the fracture to force it to heal faster.  This is very painful.  Too much painkiller, and you re-injure the break.  Too little and you're out of your gourd with pain.

I'm willing to exchange pain for healing.

I suspect that a lot of the suppressed memory and emotion is habit.  When I've been able to contact parts, they are very open to change.  I always thank them for their service, and suggest new roles for them.

I do not want to get rid of my parts.  Indeed, I sort of like being the Dart Collective.  None of my parts have shown themselves to be people I don't like.   Overall I like my teen parts better than I like me.  I feel very protective about the younger ones, always making them feel welcome, and safe, and reminding them what whatever happened, can't happen again, and that many years have passed.  And if they want to tell me their story, I am ready to listen.   Mind you, I think there are at least two major parts that I haven't persuaded to talk to me yet.  The one that thinks I should be punished, and the one that brushes with the idea of suicide.  I think that part that wants me to cut is one of these.    There is also some form of critic.  I don't understand the diff between inner and outer critics.