Talk:Flashback (psychology)

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(untitled)[edit]

This must me moved to WikiBooks best:

If You Are Suffering From Flashbacks:

-- Tell yourself that you are having a flashback.

-- Remind yourself that the worst is over. The feelings and sensations you are experiencing are memories of the past. The actual event took place long ago when you were [younger] and you survived. Now it is time to let out that terror, rage, hurt and/or panic. Now is the time to honor your experience.

-- Get grounded. This means stamping your feet on the ground so that the little one knows you have feet and can get away if you need to. ([If the trauma occurred as a child]. . . you couldn't get away: Now you can.

-- Breathe. When we get scared we stop normal breathing. As a result, our body begins to panic from the lack of oxygen. Lack of oxygen in itself causes a great deal of panic feelings: pounding in the head, tightness, sweating, feeling faint, shakiness, dizziness. When we breathe deeply enough, a lot of the panic feeling can decrease. Breathing deeply means putting your hand on your diaphragm and breathing deeply enough so that your diaphragm pushes against your hand and then exhaling so that the diaphragm goes in.

-- Reorient to the present. Begin to use your five senses in the present. Look around and see the colors in the room, the shapes of things, the people near, etc. Listen to the sounds [around you]: your breathing, traffic, birds, people, cars, etc. Feel your body and what is touching it: your clothes, your own arms and hands, the chair or floor supporting you.

-- Speak to the victim in you and reassure him/her. It is very healing to get your adult in the now, that you can get out if you need to, that it is OK to feel the feelings of long ago without reprisal. The child needs to know that it is safe to experience the feelings/sensations and let go of the past.

-- Get in touch with your needs for boundaries. Sometimes when we are having a flashback we lose the sense of where we leave off and the world begins; as if we do not have skin. Wrap yourself in a blanket, hold a pillow or stuffed animal, go to bed, sit in a closet... any way that you can feel yourself truly protected from the outside.

-- Get support. Depending on your situation, you may need to be alone or may want someone near you. In either case, it is important that your close ones know about flashbacks so they can help with the process, whether that means letting you be by yourself or being there.

-- Take time to recover. Sometimes flashbacks are very powerful. Give yourself the time to make the transition from this powerful experience. Don't expect yourself to jump into adult activities right away. Take a nap, or a warm bath, or some quiet time. Do not beat yourself up for having a flashback. Appreciate how much your little one went through. . . .

-- Honor your experience. Appreciate yourself for having survived that horrible time [when you were younger]. Respect your body's need to experience those feelings of long ago.

--Be patient. It takes time to heal the past. It takes time to learn appropriate ways of taking care of self., of being an adult who has feelings, and developing effective ways of coping in the here and now.

-- Find a competent therapist. Look for a therapist who understands the processes of healing from [trauma: incest, rape, war.] A therapist can be a guide, a support, a coach in this healing process.

-- Join a self-help group. Survivors are wonderful allies in this process of healing. It is a healing thing to share your process with others who understand so deeply what you are going through.

--Know you are not crazy, it is all part of the healing process.

By Garfield Wilkinson

Resources http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/mental_health/flashbacks.htm - By Laurieann Chutis, A.C.S.W.

--Lord Snoeckx 10:48, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

are you suggesting transwiki? 'cuz agreed. --M1ss1ontomars2k4 06:41, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

When it occurs involuntarily, the flashback may be due to a disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as in cases of remembering a war trauma or sexual abuse trauma, or Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder, and may be related to the use of psychedelic drugs.


The (well-meaning) advice above makes the strange & unhelpful assumption that flashbacks are experienced when the person is fully conscious. Flashbacks may be experienced while asleep or half asleep, making it impossible for the person experiencing them to follow the advice given. Unfortunately that assumption over-simplifies what is in fact an extremely confusing and difficult-to-understand (for the experiencer as well as any would-be helpers) experience, and in doing that it can, unfortunately, come across as rather invalidating (because the person who wrote it does not come across as really understanding the nuances of the experience).Tyranny Sue (talk) 14:42, 6 February 2009 (UTC) (moved & copy-edited Tyranny Sue (talk) 03:41, 6 April 2009 (UTC))

Good Flashbacks[edit]

Flashbacks need not be pathological, or suffered only by those in need of therapy: I quoted a well-known example from English poetry in the main article, but it was silently removed by the anonymous editor writing from 71.30.27.254. I am restoring it to the discussion section, to illustrate that this is a more general phenomenon of memory than confining the examples to post-traumatic stress disorder would imply.

Flashbacks are not always unwelcome. An example of this occurs at the end of William Wordsworth's poem "Daffodils."

"I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:


"For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude:
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."

NRPanikker 15:59, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank You Its nice to know someone understands.

That poem isn't expressing a 'flashback', it's expressing a pleasant, uplifting memory or thought. The meaning of this entry should be confined to the post-traumatic sense, which is an extremely important area of research. Tyranny Sue (talk) 03:34, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Flashbacks have nothing to do with HPPD[edit]

While flashbacks from psychedelics get you back inside the experience for a few seconds, including emotinal rushes and that, HPPD is a permanent annoying visual distortion with no effects on thought processes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.0.194.53 (talk) 20:30, 19 December 2007 (UTC)


I should have checked the talk page before I made an edit, but I had the same idea and removed the HPPD link. Check the DSM if you don't believe us, but HPPD and flashbacks are completely different things. 173.79.164.219 (talk) 18:38, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

date "1960" cannot be correct[edit]

In the second paragraph of the "History" section, this date - 1960 - is an obvious error. It probably should be 1860, but the original editor or someone familiar with the reference needs to fix this, not me. Tom Cloyd (talk) 19:36, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

thsi is completely ridiculuos, flashbacks are not cause by allusigenics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 186.24.21.1 (talk) 05:09, 12 January 2011 (UTC)