PTSD Triggers and Emotional Flashbacks in the Workplace

Our topic tonight: Managing PTSD Triggers and Emotional Flashbacks in the Workplace

Many adult survivors of childhood abuse experience PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). When we are in a public place, specifically at our place of employment, we have less control over our environment and therefore feel less safe. Deep down we can feel ashamed of our inability to manage our triggers and emotional flashbacks. Today, we will discuss practical ways we can manage our post traumatic stress response and emotional flashbacks when we are in public, specifically in the workplace.

First, let us describe what a trigger is. How do we know if we are triggered? A trigger is something which occurs in present time that causes our brain to recall a memory of our childhood abuse. The memory evoked can be pure emotion (also referred to as an Emotional Flashback), or the trigger can carry with it visual or sensory components, as well. Sometimes the triggered memory is so powerful it can cause a visceral response. For example, Sue’s abuser always made a point of commenting about how pretty her blue eyes were. Now, whenever someone compliments her on her eyes she immediately remembers her abuse, feels deeply ashamed and becomes sick to her stomach.

Triggers, although seemingly harmless, can evoke such strong emotions that we feel terrified and overwhelmed even though there is no present moment cause for such a strong reaction.

Sometimes we know ahead of time what might trigger us in an upcoming situation. At other times we will encounter something which has never triggered us before, but now does. Triggers that come from “out of nowhere”can be the most difficult to cope with because we were not prepared.

As we process our past abuse, in time the memory will no longer be triggered. If we do work in the present day to eliminate our response to triggering events that will also provide us with tremendous relief.

Join survivors and trauma recovery coaches,  +Athena Moberg and +Bobbi Parish for this open discussion on Managing PTSD Triggers and Emotional Flashbacks in the Workplace.

It is an honor to serve the survivor community. As always, we hope to see you there with us tonight and every Monday 6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET using the hashtag   #NoMoreShame .

Links to Richard Grannon’s books:
Link to the DBT Workbook mentioned, “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook” by McKay, Wood & Brantley:

* As seen on Dream Catchers for Abused Children

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