I’m not usually much of a hypochondriac, except with mental health/developmental stuff. Reading Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker has thrown up a lot of questions about whether I have complex PTSD, as I’ve mentioned in recent posts. Today I read about the Flight-Freeze Hybrid. The idea is that there are four primary responses to trauma (fight, flight, freeze, fawn) , but lots of people have a mixture with two predominating. If I have C-PTSD, then I’m probably a flight-freeze hybrid. Flight means I run away from danger, freeze means I shut down.
According to Walk, people with a flight-freeze hybrid response are usually men who were traumatised for being vulnerable in childhood. They work until exhausted (flight often translates as workaholism or sometimes OCD) and then collapse and vegetate (freeze translates as depression) until recovered enough to take flight again. They seek isolation or intimacy-lite relationships and often have love lives that are primarily fantasy/pornographic. It would, I suppose, explain why I go through cycles of work-depression. I haven’t been well enough to be a workaholic since 2003, but I do push myself with work, recovery and, sometimes, social engagement, which sometimes gets results and sometimes results in burn out, often both. I have had psychiatrists say to me that for someone experiencing the kind of intense depressive thoughts that I have, I’m surprisingly functional. It would also suggest that I’ve been self-sabotaging my attempts to find like-minded friends and a wife, although I’m not sure how I’ve done that, as it looks to me that I’ve just been really unlucky.
I guess it’s something to think about, although I don’t know if I would have the confidence to speak to a psychiatrist about it. I feel that psychiatrists can be dismissive of my ideas about what might be wrong with me.