My story/headcanon, is set in the UK in modern times. I have a 43 year old male character that has been through a few traumatic events and has developed delayed onset PTSD.
My questions are mostly to do with how it would present.
For background, the original trauma was that he was given a drug that paralysed his muscles and therefore stopped him being able to move or breathe unaided, while his son was being threatened. He was conscious the whole time until he was taken to hospital and sedated. His best friend and four year old son were with him at the time. His knee was disclocated as well, if this is relevant. I have come to the conclusion that his triggers would likely be difficulty breathing and being restrained or unable to move.
Later on he is poisoned in an unrelated incident, and 6months later still, the man who first paralysed him, beats him up quite badly. It is after this incident that he develops the PTSD.
The questions I have are mostly related to the flashbacks he would experience.
1) is it reasonable that his flashbacks would make him freeze up and hyperventilate? If so, would his son(or a friend/member of the public) be able to get him to move somewhere safe or is he going to be stuck where he is until it passes? (His son is five at onset but this question is relevant for the rest of his life as his son is often the one that's with him when it happens)
2) How will he come out of them? Is it a gradual thing where he starts to move and talk again haltingly, or is it something that he will 'snap out' of?
3) What will he be like afterwards? Is is reasonable that if he has a flashback in a supermarket, he will be able to pay for the shopping and drive his son home without incident? Or is it a case of forcing himself to do things even though he still feels out of sorts. Will he be physically tired after the flashback?
4) Is it likely that in his old age, aging processes and illness will bring the flashbacks back even if he gets control of it as a younger man, because his general health (arthritis and illness related breathing problems), would be triggering in itself?
He does have a good friend that supports him, especially when his son is only young. This friend was also around during the trauma so knows what it is that happened. He does eventually seek professional help when the PTSD symptoms start to appear but its not straight away. His son is very loving and looks after him as well as he can when he needs it, as well as in old age.
I feel like I have read every article on the internet about flashbacks and still couldn't find a definitive answer on these questions even after a month of research.
Thank you for reading this and if there are any further details that are needed, please let me know and I will answer any questions.