TW: brief mention of sexual assault.
Continuing from part 1, this video explains more about what shutdowns are like (a key feature of the PTSD from trauma in children under 6 years old). It takes time for PTSD to develop full symptoms and avoidance and shutdowns are the main features for PTSD as a young child which can continue into adulthood, but it becomes unsustainable.
I share what shutdowns feel like for me. Shutdowns are an immobilisation state combining freeze and dissociation. I suddenly become still and ‘stuck’ in a slumped pose with glazed over eyes for several minutes. My mind can partially or completely shut down. When shut down, it is for me like being heavily sedated or under general anaesthetic.
I am vulnerable during shutdowns as I have no memory of what happens in between shutting down and coming back again. Just like with a surgery.
I make mention of freezing and shutting down during sexual assault which worsened my PTSD that I already had since childhood.
I fidget to help ground myself to try to keep myself from dissociating as this is a very difficult topic for me to talk about. The only way I can talk about this subject is to shut down emotionally – disconnect my emotions and thoughts. That is also another symptom of PTSD.
Part of the reason I am making these videos is to have a voice where I could not previously (because I was told to keep a secret and I literally could not speak). To try to help others understand so that hopefully they get diagnosed and have treatment much earlier than me. Even though it is very scary for me to speak ‘publicly’.