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#215441 - 04/05/08 01:47 AM Exaggerated startle response
johnnymike Offline

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 56
Loc: Central Ohio
At 52 years of age I would like to not have an exaggerated startle response. Today while at work as a caretaker for an elderly man his dishwasher was running and all of a sudden it changed cycles with a sudden noise and I jumped. He asked what was wrong with me. He is 92 years old and I did not think he had time to hear it.

There are other times such as when talking to a neighbor and we are standing in the lobby of the apartment building. All of a sudden the timer for the lobby lights clicked on and I jumped. She knows some of my history and gave me a hug. Another time I was making toast for a friend and we were talking and the toast popped and so did I. I do not come across as nervous but I am so startled by sudden noises. It becomes embarrassing.

Has anyone tips on how to get over this problem? It began years ago when my father would take joy in hiding and scaring me all the time. He even liked to scare me out of a sound sleep. Years later when I shared that my father was always scaring me with my mother she said "you were always such a nervous child". Well now I am a nervous man and I am tired of it.

Edited by johnnymike (04/05/08 01:49 AM)

#215468 - 04/05/08 03:58 AM Re: Exaggerated startle response [Re: johnnymike]
Iroll Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 8
Hi Johnnymike,
I am new to this site and am 60 years old. About 6 months ago I learned that I had been abused as a child from my older brother. I do not remember any thing about the abuse. It was an eye opener for me as I had always had problems with life that I can now see where they originated. This makes me mad as hell, but to get to the point here I have always been uneasy in my skin and have a very strong startle response. I jump out of my skin at the slightest surprise. I just now realize that this is also resultant of the abuse. My brother is really pissing me off about now. Sorry for the rant but I just keep realizing how affected I am from my childhood abuse.

#215521 - 04/05/08 12:37 PM Re: Exaggerated startle response [Re: Iroll]
hogan_dawg Offline

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
At 27 years old a professor put his hand on my shoulder and I recoiled.

It looks like PTSD.

You might want to check out some of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and also a guy I think his name is Lindsay who wrote on PTSD variants he was suggesting to revise the DSM IV.

Best you can do is pull up the vignettes that are your memory for the event, if they are nasty, get treatment and then go from there.

A buddy of mine does yoga and it seems to work for him. There are also techniques for progressive relaxation.

I think you'll be coping with an exaggerated startle response for a long time. I haven't been able to rid myself of it personally. But other guys may have better experiences.

IROLL here's what you do: Get a compressed air horn for about $30 - they're full of compressed gas, and when you pull the trigger, it will make yer brother go through the roof. Sometimes reversing the trauma can be, well, if not healing, maybe satisfying. \:\) LOL

Appropriate times:
- when he's taking a dump, lol use the air horn.
- when he's on the couch sleeping after too much alcohol, put a lit cigarette in his hand let it burn for a minute or two, then scream "Brother wake up you're smoking in bed what're you trying to do burn the house down?"
-get creative!

Edited by hogan_dawg (04/05/08 12:40 PM)
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003


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