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July 23, 2018

Hyperarousal Erotic and Erratic

Hyperarousal Erotic and Dangerous

Hyperarousal is not uncommon. Anyone who has ever been in love knows it well. A song on the radio, the waft of scent, the pitch of a person’s voice – Anything and everything seems to bring that special someone to mind. The body tingles, senses spin and you just feel alive. There is nothing else like it. 

Love or lust – Hyperarousal is not fussy. It takes over and transforms life without warning. Nothing else seems to matter. Memories are picked apart, moment by moment, and everything matters a lot more than it used to. Small things become very important. Anticipation builds up to fever pitch and cannot be ignored. Dizziness, insomnia, feeling isolated and “high” become the new norm. Nights apart are might be marked by long telephone talks followed by insomnia and hot dreams.

For most of us, this stage is short-lived and it passes. It is a thing of youth that recedes over time, making way for more adult emotions. It might pop up in a milder form during midlife, but it’s seldom as intense as it was in those days before reason. An emotion so intense and sensual that no real person could ever live up to its expectation and promise. It is a thing with a life of its own. A fantasy that cannot survive in the real world. 

Hyperarousal is one sign of PTSD

or any of its newly named offshoots.

While PTSD can survive in the real world, sufferers can find it a lot harder.

Love is a Drug

The phrase, love is a drug, must be rooted in the intoxicating feeling of hyperarousal. Some people get hooked on it, and flit from person to person, chasing that feeling of living on the edge. Narcotics can produce the same sense of euphoria and dissociation, but it is hard to sustain. The most resilient of people eventually burn out after a series of benders. We are made that way. 

People who have experienced intense emotions like abject fear, panic, horror, and stress can form a hate/love relationship with these intense emotions. Sleepless nights, bad dreams and jumping at sounds and movement is exhausting, unpleasant and abhorrent. Lack of rest and relief from these persistent disturbances result in grumpiness, mood swings and sometimes violence.

These same people may also miss these feelings.

The spectrum of mood and feeling that we experience in daily life can seem mediocre and pointless in comparison. Just like some people chase the feeling of lust found only in new (normally young) love, people who have experienced the adrenaline rush of strong (even very negative) feelings may chase them, too.

 

Adrenaline Addiction

It is not hard to understand why some people who have been exposed to extreme stress are attracted to substance abuse, recklessness, and self-destructive, high-risk behaviour. 

Any group of speed freaks, problems gamblers, criminals and extreme sports people will include PTSD sufferers. They chase the feeling they hate, the rush of fighting or running for their life attracts them like moths to the flame that will kill them. Many of these people will deny any idea that they might be struggling, unwell or suffering from any mental or emotional issue. Their families, if they are still around, would probably disagree.

I am working on a collection of short stories that explore emotional pain. If you have any thoughts on the subject, please let me know. If you would just like to help out because you also believe nobody should hurt alone, then I am extremely grateful. More info on the link  CREATIVE PAIN

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