“Symptoms of hyperarousal are characterized by feelings of vigilance, fear, and hesitance.”
This is how I lived my life for the past few years and getting past hyperarousal is not easy, but I did it! Every day, I fought the need to isolate myself and hide away from the target I feel that is on my back from various websites online filled with nasty allegations about my personal life. That is their intention, to make me feel afraid of retribution for what they spread about me online.
Learning about their intentions for me and my life has saved me. Knowing they are doing all this, especially the sites in my personal name and nickname, out of spite and resentment, helped. It is easy enough to see they do what they do, out of revenge. They don’t like losing and do everything possible to make people suffer, for their losses. It is petty gossip from a miserable Toxic Bully who refuses to accept the accountability that he caused his own eviction. Instead, he prefers to blame others. It has become obvious and as a result, I have become more confident that they are wasting their time. Their maliciousness and jealousy come out in all their writings toward all their targets, it can’t be missed.
I spent way too much time feeling on edge, afraid to outside in public out of fear of personal attack, verbal or physical. No More. Due to their gaslighting, I thought that what they thought, everyone else did too. I learned my mistake over that in time. Every individual can make up their own mind over this situation if they choose, they can’t be forced into believing their domain contents and avoid me and others.
I am tired of living in distrust of the outside world! While I lived in Ontario, I lived where I worked and saw and spoke to people every day and it was enough socialization for me. For the past few years, I have been isolated, not just because of the pandemic either, it was a choice I made so I could concentrate on myself and my own recovery and self-care. I have fought these feelings, as I now feel the need to socialize and be around others. I know that these Bullies have no power. They have no influence in my life and are grasping at straws. I have shown myself this past year, that these people have 0 influence, not even over my emotions anymore. Nothing anonymous people can do or say to influence anyone against anyone! I have shown myself that I am safe from Toxic Bullies and their many antics with incitement of Hate against me.
I am tired of the fear and decided to fight back. I will always fight back, it is not in my nature to give up and give in to manipulation and gaslighting. I know now that these Bullies are not worth my time and effort. No matter how many websites they have online about me, it does nothing to me and never will. I have all the power these days. I have been able to go out and engage with other members of my community with no issues. I speak to people every day and have been involved in various community events taking place by various agencies and have gone to concerts too! I have not had any issues with anyone I have met over the past couple of years since I moved back home.
When you look at these sites now, they are all HTTP and most browsers don’t access those, as they are not safe. They don’t even show up in a search unless your safety is off. No one is interested anymore in what these domains contain, not even me. It is old news and no longer pertinent. The Wayback Machine is there to show the history of a domain and that is all these sites will be, history.
I am now able to maintain these symptoms, just like all the symptoms of PTSD I have, as I learned how. I have the determination and always will. Nothing these Bullies do will ever cause me to feel as I did in the past, as they are not worth it. No one is. I have gained personal autonomy!
I am living my life, doing what I want, when I want, and I will continue to ignore these Bullies and their domains. I went to the George Street Festival this past summer, exposed myself to my greatest fear, and nothing happened. Going to go to a Music Festival with tons of people around and even had a beer… lol I listened to Alan Doyle and had some FUN! I faced my greatest fear, and nothing happened! I am able now to ignore these sites and ignore these Bullies, as they absolutely have no power anymore! Their time in my head is done.
Symptoms of hyperarousal often manifest in jumpy behavior, constantly being on edge, or walking on eggshells. Loud noises might be overwhelming and painful, while surprises, even from people you trust, can send you into an all-out panic attack. PTSD essentially forces people with PTSD into a state of chronic stress, which means constantly living in “fight-flight-freeze” mode. In this mode, even everyday occurrences can take on heightened sensations and can make daily living an arduous task.”
Avoidant behavior is any type of behavior that seeks to avoid triggers by refusing to visit certain places, entertain certain thoughts, or see certain people. Avoidant behavior must have a significant impact on your life to qualify as a PTSD symptom. Behavior changes cover any significant shift in behavior. For some, this means isolating yourself when you used to be outgoing or friendly, while others see this in the form of increased anger or irritability. Mood swings are also typical of PTSD, wherein people with the disorder move from pain to joy to fear to anger and back again, without feeling as though they can control or manage those emotions.
PTSD is a serious mental health concern. It comes with other mental health issues and self-destructive behavior such as self-harm. According to experience and research through peer-reviewed studies, there is hope for people who have PTSD, even if the trauma comes in vivid memories and is severe, such as from childhood abuse, a natural disaster, combat, domestic abuse, or other circumstances. Coping mechanisms, wellness professionals, PTSD support groups or another strong support system, professional treatments like exposure therapy, and other treatments are available. The rest of this article will focus on one possible symptom: hyperarousal in PTSD.
PTSD and Hyperarousal
Embedded within the symptoms of PTSD is PTSD hyperarousal. Symptoms of hyperarousal are characterized by feelings of vigilance, fear, and hesitance. Symptoms of hyperarousal often manifest in jumpy behavior, constantly being on edge, or walking on eggshells. Loud noises might be overwhelming and painful, while surprises, even from people you trust, can send you into an all-out panic attack. PTSD essentially forces people with PTSD into a state of chronic stress, which means constantly living in “fight-flight-freeze” mode. In this mode, even everyday occurrences can take on heightened sensations and can make daily living an arduous task.
Effects of Hyperarousal
Experiencing hyperarousal over the short term does not have any severe or lasting effects. In cases where adrenaline is necessary, for instance moving quickly to escape a runaway car or requiring strength surpassing your own to tend to your child, hyperarousal is immensely useful. It can be the difference between staying safe and being harmed. When your body is constantly hyper-aroused, however, many of your physical and mental systems begin to break down. Experiencing PTSD can lead to chronic stress.
When experiencing hyperarousal over longer periods of time, your brain essentially begins to prioritize its functions. This means that mood regulation and other “nonessentials” become secondary to accommodate the constant need to potentially fight, flight, or freeze. In your body, this form of stress can manifest as sleeplessness or oversleeping loss of appetite or excessive appetite, depression, and brain fog. Symptoms of hyperarousal exacerbate the other symptoms of PTSD and is arguably the most painful, exhausting symptom. Experiencing PTSD and experiencing hyperarousal can lead to being on edge all the time, which is overwhelming and can lead to a host of other mental and physical disorders.
The treatment to manage hyperarousal for people with PTSD is incorporated into standard PTSD treatment. Typically, the first course of action in treating PTSD is working through the trauma or the individual traumas leading up to your diagnosis. PTSD treatment will likely begin with talk therapy. Initially, your therapist will teach you some self-soothing techniques so that when you begin to talk about the trauma, you will be able to better manage your emotional responses. Then you will walk your therapist through the event/s responsible for your PTSD while taking note of any details that are prominent or conspicuously missing. Your therapist can then identify which portions of the trauma have become stuck in your brain.
Hyperarousal in PTSD
Hyperarousal is a classic symptom of PTSD, and symptoms of hyperarousal can cause a significant upset in daily life from trouble with sleep to perceiving real danger everywhere. Hyperarousal describes a state of chronic stress, marked by the sense that you must walk on eggshells, that no one can be trusted, or that something bad is lurking just around the corner due to past and sometimes relevant experiences. There are different symptoms of hyperarousal, and this type of constant fear can wreak havoc on your emotional and physical state and can trigger a domino effect of both physical and emotional health conditions. Hyperarousal is dangerous in its own right for the profound effects it has on the human body.