Anxiety from talking about my trauma and ment... - Heal My PTSD

Heal My PTSD

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Anxiety from talking about my trauma and mental health.

stingray_lover profile image

I recently first heard the term "trauma dumping". For anyone who has not heard of it, essentially it is unsolicited, unprepared way, where a person dumps traumatic thoughts, feelings, energy onto an unsuspecting person. This unsuspecting person can be anybody and everybody. Close friends, parents, siblings, literally anyone. After learning about the term I realized that I have most definitely done this to people in the past.

I have had several traumatic events and situations throughout my life. I am diagnosed with PTSD. I am in my first semester of college and am trying actively to make friends. After hearing about the term I now am anxious about having meaningful conversations with anyone. Because trauma dumping also includes feelings and emotions I feel like if I talk about how I am feeling about something that I am trauma dumping on someone.

I honestly feel like nowadays you have to carefully think about what you say about any subject. I am not saying that we should not be thinking before we speak but I am always anxious about talking about anything that might be a remotely touchy subject. Which I think is almost every subject currently. I don't want to hurt someone or make people uncomfortable in any way. But my social anxiety has skyrocketed after learning this and I can hardly have a somewhat meaningful conversation. I want to know how other people feel about this, different perspectives that I may not see, or any advice/experiences that may be helpful. If you have a different opinion or perspective on this, I really want to hear it. I am not one to say that there is only one correct view, I try to understand all other views before coming to my own conclusion on any subject.

19 Replies

I have never heard of this term. Thank you for explaining it.

I don't bring up my personal stuff with anyone until I really get to know them. Even when I know them it may never come up or it may come out in bits and pieces. I'm not expecting people to understand. My story is quite complex with multiple traumas. In order to fully get my point across I would have to go back years because I now know it's all connected.

I definitely agree there is so much division in our country right now that many subjects lead to debate and sometimes arguments. I try and stay away from those.

This is a great post.


Roxylox profile image
Roxylox in reply to Dolphin14

I said in my above reply that I recently dumped some of my trauma on friends. These friends do go back more than 20 years. I would agree that it is all connected

I would definitely say that a lot of people who have experienced multiple traumas found that they were intertwined and connected. I can for sure say that is my case.

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Dolphin14

Good reply. You are a very nice Dolphin and I will feed you some lovely fish when I see you. Until then it will have to be virtual fish. Enjoy. 😁😘💖 x

I do get it . I recently dumped some of my trauma when out for a meal with friends. Had held it back until then.

Me having done that doesn't really sit well with me. I don't really know how it went down.

I think it's a tough one to call. I feel it's not worth getting anxious about though. Just act with more caution next time. There are plenty more subjects to talk about.

I have one experience that I would say really caused most of the anxiety for this subject. Basically I was hanging out with a small group of people (10ish) one night. We were going around the room answering questions. I guess you could define the questions about one's sex life. It was made clear before we started that it was completely okay if you chose not to answer, it was not a game. Anytime someone chose not to answer there was always a response from multiple people in the group that it was completely okay with no sense of hostility or judgment from anyone towards the action of declining. I answered one of the questions with an experience of mine that received an awkward silence from everyone with the only verbal response being "wow, I am so sorry that happened". I did not tell the story with a sadness in my tone, if anything I was laughing about it like it was just a funny, semi-embarrassing experience.

I now am starting to realize that things that happened during my high school years are not normal and not okay for someone that young. I believe that after that moment of reaction to the story I realized that the majority of my childhood and teenage years were very traumatic and abnormal. So when people are talking about their past stories I am almost have nothing to say that is appropriate and causes a normal reaction.

I hope that as I continue therapy I can work through this anxiety.

Well , you are very honest sharing this ecperience.

To me it seems a strange enough subject for the group to broach in the first place.

I'm wondering you had a few drinks on board when you made your revelation,

l had when l made mine.

I meant to include that answer to that question as I knew it would be the first thing people would wonder when reading that reply, apologies. I was not under the influence of any substance. There was only one person that drank any alcohol. He only had one beer and there were no other substance use that night. I was with the group from around 5 pm to 1 am so I am confident that no one was under the influence unless the use happened before we all got together.

I hope you didn't think I was sort of accusing as l had said I had a few when l told some of my story. Just afew, but enough for my guard to be down.

I didn't think you were accusing me of anything! I'm sorry if my reply sounded like I thought so! But that typically is a common factor in situations like these.

I must add a Creative writing group I'm in were covering a topic that caused me to blurt out a few things as well.

The group is Mental health based also, but I probably gave too many clues about what work area l was in when my trauma took place.

I really think that the amount you share about a trauma depends on how comfortable are with it personally. My therapist has said my reactions towards the traumas are very untypical. That may be a reason why I find myself in these situations.

Nathalie99 profile image
Nathalie99Partner in reply to Roxylox

Hi Roxylox,

You mention Creative writing group. Are they trauma aware or trained?

In a different group people were encouraged to share and at the end of the meeting they would go home in a triggered state, not knowing how to go out of the triggers.

It can stir up all sorts of things.

Roxylox profile image
Roxylox in reply to Nathalie99

I am not sure if they are or mot, to be honest.That is. I don't know about the host.However there is usually a mental health professional sitting in.

We are not put under pressure to share.

I suppose I did feel a bit triggered at times.

Nathalie99 profile image
Nathalie99Partner in reply to Roxylox

It is good that there is a mental health professional sitting in. Those things can be incredibly productive even if they are a bit triggering.

Roxylox profile image
Roxylox in reply to Roxylox

Thanks for your reply Nathalie. I think it might be a timely reminder that l should be more cautious about sharingI think I can be guilty of overthinking at times.

Nathalie99 profile image

My personal experience is that my trauma is inside me if unprocessed and it doesn't matter whether I tell anything or not.

In the past I had really bad reaction to triggers publicly or at home with friends so it wasn't possible to hide. I had to withdraw from being around people for that reason.

I had no choice but to go through therapy and process the trauma because it impacted my whole life in such a way that it wasn't anymore possible to hide or do any normal thing.

People usually wanted to know, they asked questions so I had to tell a little bit.

Now I choose very carefully when to tell as I'm trying to proceed with my life without the trauma shadow. I only talk about it with my husband and my therapist.

I feel like I'm not true to myself but I don't want my friendships to change if I tell I have PTSD. I fear judgement and exclusion.

I think it is important that we have friends or someone who we can confide in because it feels like I'm not authentic. This doesn't have to be in great details, it could be just a few general words.

If it happens, it's because something triggered it. The issue is, others who are not trauma aware, might say the wrong thing and make things worse.

I wish there was more trauma awareness in the world, that way people would know that bad things can happen and this is how body reacts.

I am very sorry about your anxiety. I hope you can trust some friends. I think if it's mutual then it is different too.

Just my initial thoughts...

Hi if you pick your people wisely I don't see it as trauma dumping but rather problem sharing. Everyone has issues whether they have had trauma or something else and we all need to share with loved ones and friends.

I have a couple of friends I am close to and have shared a lot with them, but then again they have a lot with me too. It's always best not to share too much or overwhelm them as it can be too much for them to deal with, and vice versa.

Try and think of it as a problem shared and halved rather than trauma dumping. We all need connections with people who get us but it always has to be a two way thing.

I always think that if you need more than others can handle then it is a good idea to go to therapy as you can dump there without guilt!

Hi, I totally understand what you're saying. I heard of trauma dumping recently and it made me overanalyze everything I've told everyone about my trauma before. Of course I have shared more than enough at times, but remember "trauma dumping" is a made up term. Obviously it's important to take into consideration who you're talking to. A stranger on the street is someone I'm sure you wouldn't want to "dump" your trauma on, but when you're with a group of trusted friends, you should feel free to be yourself. I tend to go down "shame spirals" where if I hear of something related to social cues, trauma, etc., I will think about it endlessly, and it has no point. That's what I did when I heard of trauma-dumping. All it's made me do is question myself, and I realized I don't need to do that. If I feel comfortable to talk to someone about my PTSD, I should and will. It's empowering. So good job talking about it, and good job having friends to listen.

I hope you keep it up :)

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