5 Tips To Cope With Tragic Flashbacks

Certain moments in our lives scar us forever. These scars take longer to heal and can hardly be forgotten. Just like Laurell Hamilton says, “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”  Flashbacks are such wounds that are vile; they bruise you internally and can be consuming. When a neurological patient starts having a flashback, it’s like being stuck in an infinite loop of the same horrific moments being repeated. They can’t be ignored and have a profound impact on one’s mental health.  Flashbacks can be in the form of images, sounds, smells, or places similar to tragic event. 

Many people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may experience flashbacks. Here you can learn how to cope with PTSD flashbacks. The trauma attached to the event triggers flashes. One may sense intense pain, fear, vulnerability, and a feeling of powerlessness. Facing these emotions all at once can be overwhelming, the flashes start to seem real, and one may forget the safety and comfort of the present. Repeated flashbacks can savagely disturb your mental peace resisting coping with PTSD flashbacks and can cause stress and anxiety. 

How to deal with flashbacks?

Flashbacks can be very debilitating, but the wounds can be healed. Here are a few tips on how to cope with flashbacks that will help to cope up with them 

  • Know the root cause of flashbacks

The first step to coping up with tragic flashbacks or dealing with flashbacks is to find out the prime factor that triggers these memories. Flashbacks can easily be stimulated with a simple reminder of the tragic event. This can be an object, sound, image, or even a place or a person. For example, survivors of the war can be triggered by images/memories of the war or objects such as guns, fireworks, etc.   

Identifying these triggers can help in coping with flashbacks to nip them in the bud before they bloom. Once you are aware of the source, it’ll be easier for you to avoid them. Flashbacks are unpredictable and may occur at any time without any warning. However, you can detect some early signs of having flashbacks. This could be blurry visions, feeling dissociative from the surroundings or people near you, a change in breathing, losing touch with reality, loud noises, or a sudden deafening silence, etc. Recognising these signs can help you initiate a process of limiting your exposure to them and control the flashbacks as much as possible. 

  • Practice breathing 

If there’s something that will soothe you and give an instantaneous relief, it’s breathing deeply. Start taking deep breaths. Exhale a bit longer than when you inhale. This will help in releasing the bottled-up stress and make you conscious of your surroundings. 

You must be aware of the present safe environment.  Flashbacks make the current world in front of you surreal and make you vulnerable and scared.  As a result of this, there might be fluctuations in breathing or breathlessness. The mind pushes you into a panic mode when there is a lack of oxygen. Hence you must learn diaphragmatic breathing. This will help you regain control and calm your senses down.


  • Grounding- use five senses to cope. 

Grounding is an effective method to cope up and immediately connect to the present. By learning grounding techniques, the chances of you slipping back into flashbacks are reduced. One of the major characteristics of flashbacks is that they make you lose touch with reality, and the traumatic memories come alive. Here’s how to deal with traumatic flashbacks. Grounding uses the five senses – smell, sight, sound, touch, and taste that will help you distinguish the real from the unreal. Grounding is simple and can be done anywhere.

Given below are some of the grounding techniques you can use – 

  • Sight – start reading a book, watching something on TV, counting the room’s furniture, etc. By doing so, your mind will be distracted and make you aware of the present. 
  • Sound – put on loud music, read a book aloud, or just call up a close friend who can remind you of the present. 
  • Smell– take a whiff of a scented candle or perfume. You can also sniff strong peppermint. It has a soothing effect on you. 
  • Touch – take a piece of ice and run it down your skin. Try popping bubble wrap. Massage your temples. Hug someone near you, your friend, pet, or even pillow and blankets. This will give you a sense of security.
  • Taste – Grab a lemon and bite into it. You can also use chocolates, or warm soup, hot beverages, etc.

Grounding technique is all about using your five senses to concentrate on the present. 


  • Self-care 

Self-care can be a soothing balm to cope up with terrifying incidents. Self-care is all about healing by prioritising your mental, physical and spiritual health.  Indulging yourself in activities that you love will keep your mind busy and engaged. You will be able to keep all the negative thoughts aside and focus on better things. Self-care is a conscious effort that one makes to regain the lost love and respect of yourself. 

Self-Care activities like meditation, yoga, exercises, leisure activities like painting, reading, etc., help create normalcy in life. Pampering yourself enables you to heal and restore the feeling of security and comfort. So feel free to eat foodstuffs of your desire and snuggle in those cosy blankets. Meditation helps in calming the nerves and helps in creating a connection between the mind and the body. Self-care is all about rekindling the lost spark within you. You can even channelise your grief into creating art and express yourself through it.  

  • Reach out for professional help 

Professionals can help you gain insights into what is happening with you. Seeking treatments from professionals like neurologists or booking online neurologist consultation, Dr Chandril Chugh can be a great and quick way to recover for neurological patients. You can also find him as a neurologist in Punjab, the best neurologist in Faridabad or brain specialist doctor in Faridabad , a top neurologist in Jaipur or neurologist doctor in Jaipur, the best neurologist in Saket, neurologist in South Delhi or best neurologist in South delhi, neurologist in Agra, mind doctor in Delhi, top neuro physician in Patna and a top neurologist in Gwalior, famous neurologist in Gwalior or neurologist doctor in Gwalior. He is also amongst the top 5 neurologist in Patna and top 10 neurologist in Delhi,ncr, and is also famous for his long distance senior care services. They will guide you to the right path and assure you that you don’t lose track. Having a piece of expert advice with you is of the utmost importance when you’re in a deplorable state. 

A therapist will look after you and direct you to take the right steps. Apart from this, you’ll be talking to someone who can attend to your mental needs and give solutions to all your questions. They will help you regain your composure and draw you out of the tragic shock. They can be of further help in recognizing a pattern in your flashbacks- How they occur? When do they occur? How do you feel? Etc. Thus, helping you cope with them.

Dealing with difficult situations is never easy. Losing hope and feeling vulnerable is quite normal. Healing is a slow process, and one should not lose hope, instead overcome all the challenges thrown at you. You must be in constant touch with people who will support you throughout the journey of recovery. 

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