When PTSD has you feeling like you are operating in a bubble, feeling numb, and unable to express your emotions .................
June is PTSD Awareness month, and I wanted to talk a little about one of the smaller, but more troubling symptoms of PTSD.
But first, let’s get on the same page about PTSD.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It can cause a range of symptoms, like flashbacks, aggression & anger, and includes some lesser known symptoms like emotional disconnection, “spacing out”, or “zoning out”. For those who suffer from PTSD, these symptoms may feel weird and difficult to understand.
Yes, one of the symptoms of PTSD is emotional disconnection or feeling numb. This can make it challenging for individuals to connect with their emotions and the emotions of others around them.
They may feel like they are in a fog or like they are watching their life from a distance.
They may feel emotionally disconnected from their surroundings or feeling like one is in a daze.
This experience of spacing out and zoning out can have a huge impact on those with PTSD. It can affect their daily lives and relationships. It can make it difficult for them to focus on tasks at hand, remember important information, or even engage in social activities. It can lead to feeling disconnected from surroundings, or difficulty focusing on conversations.
Emotional disconnection, or numbing, can be triggered by various factors such as flashbacks, triggers, or intense emotions. This experience can be incredibly frustrating and overwhelming for those affected by this disorder, as it disrupts their ability to function normally in everyday life. Understanding this is crucial in providing support and empathy for individuals struggling with PTSD.
Zoning out and spacing out can happen to anyone at any time, but it can be particularly concerning for individuals who have experienced trauma or have PTSD. Some common signs of zoning out include losing track of time, feeling disconnected from your surroundings, and having difficulty concentrating or remembering things. Signs of spacing out may include feeling detached from your emotions or experiencing a sense of numbness.
It's common for folks to get lost in their thoughts from time to time, but when it starts affecting their daily life, it may be a cause for concern.
Coping with emotional disconnection and PTSD-related zoning out can be a challenging task. Coping skills for "zoning out" involve a combination of self-care, emotion regulation strategies, and seeking professional help when needed.
One way to cope with disconnection is through self-care. This includes engaging in activities that promote relaxation, such as meditation, mindfulness, or yoga, practicing good sleep hygiene, and maintaining a healthy diet. Here’s a 8 minute video to help you practice mindfulness!!
For those experiencing zoning out or spacing out due to PTSD-related triggers, grounding techniques like deep breathing exercises or physical sensations like holding onto something cold or rough can help bring them back into the present moment. Here’s a video on grounding exercises !!
Developing healthy coping mechanisms like journaling or talking to a trusted friend or therapist can also be beneficial. When you learn coping skills for this kind of disconnection and practice self-care, you can take control of your emotions and improve your overall well-being.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause a variety of symptoms that can be difficult to manage. Trauma can leave a lasting impact on our emotional well-being, that could lead to emotional disconnection and zoning out. Learning to reconnect emotionally with yourself and others after trauma is possible with the right support and resources. By acknowledging your experiences and seeking help from trained professionals, you can begin the journey towards healing and reclaiming control over your emotions.
Remember that you are not alone in this process, and there is hope for a brighter future ahead.
If you are having trouble with someone who is emotionally disconnected, and they've experienced a trauma, join the Trauma Support Squad. This support group can help you manage your loved one's symptoms, while getting a safe place for yourself