It is such a complex biochemical process that it would be good for us to understand. It is worth educating yourself on what happens as we believe our emotions, responses and thoughts as if they are fact. They are not, they are a response that can actually be changed, nurtured and developed.Hey, come to a workshop and we can discuss this :-)
Firstly it isn't even sub and or dom drop! Athletes, performers etc all potentially suffer a drop post performance etc
People are culturally great at the physical in life, you brush your teeth, you exercise (maybe), you eat, you shower. What do you do for your mental health, especially after play?
The hedonic system is complexly clever and responsive. So, the more we play and fuck, the LESS chemicals we provide naturally as we don't want to feel "flooded". We end up needing the stimulus to create the chemicals or we feel a drop long term too. Tolerance is an aspect of addiction and also in play. Our ability to take more or for longer does grow the more we actively "do". So the more we play and fuck, the more we chemically need and want to. The cure to addiction (long term antidote) is connection, Portugal is having incredible results with addicts that the world should take on, affecting the limbic system. Ironically for us, part of play and sex IS connection so this can create more need afterwards within after care.
Drop can happen to anyone who plays, top, bottom, everyone! it happens after great news for example, after feeling you've achieved something and after a run of a show or a competition.
A top playing a fair few times is potentially in greater need than a sub playing once for after care. It is about the amount and the intensity REGARDLESS of dominant or submissive actually. There will be extra chemicals involved with pain but that is another story. BOTH are in need of after care, even if we have grown so disconnected that we say no I don't and I am fine.
Again we also need to look at expectations of males and females et al, as often men are taught to get on with it and 'be a man' and girls are taught to depend or seek counsel. This is clearly a generic statement and there are exceptions.
Children and adults who have suffered trauma also have a very different response generally and after play and sex potentially. IF you're in a bad place and think play may help, it may, it may also make things a hell of a lot worse. So the key is communication. I fucking hate the word trigger, even as a professional. We warn, we say this may trigger, trigger warning. A can of baked beans may be a trigger, we can NOT be responsible for someone else's triggers, we can however be responsible for our own and learn and take steps and TALK. It is scary to talk, to share and to feel vulnerable yet at the end of the day, after care needs to change if an old experience of trauma has been re activated. Plus, if it is re activated PLEASE get professional help from someone who knows how to work with trauma. Not a general therapist, you actually have to watch talking about it as this alone can re traumatise. So after care may be worse if you discuss a scene.
So, the practicality. There are two aspects to after care, the physical and the emotional/psychological.
What can you do?
BEFORE YOU PLAY PRE MORTEM
We post mortem events so do it before you play. Look at every eventuality and plan for it in your head as the top or bottom. Clearly negotiate and talk but even in your own head look at every bizarre possibility. What if... When you do every what if, when and if it does happen, again your panic response is lessened so you manage and cope better. It really is that simple. You do it when you go on holiday, insurance, passport copy or number, credit cards and cash back ups, so do it for session or scene. The more you do it the less you'll need to, that's why experience makes us calmer and more assured and settled. Maybe even write what you want, like a birthing plan, as in the euphoria and drop you may not say. If you are in a bad place think about not playing, the impact, if this affects me, can I do tomorrow?
BEFORE PLAY, MANAGE EXPECTATIONS, NEGOTIATE
S/he doesn't know what you expect unless you ask or say. Yep, ask for what you want, expect and or need and listen in an open minded day to what the other wants or needs. Both ways, top and bottom. Negotiate and agree, but more importantly FOLLOW through. Disappointment is a killer. There is a loneliness potentially after play and loneliness causes a 14% increase in morbidity, so show care. It actually is not hard and if you can't be bothered, don't play! Negotiate, what is ok and what isn't, regret is a horrible feeling, a no or safe word or stop is ALWAYS ok. If you're alone arrange contact.
Our brains reward us for naming emotions(dopamine) It's like suitcase left unattended at an airport. We feel calmer when we know what is inside it. So take some time and talk about your feelings. Not simply talk but name. I feel sad, angry, sad, scared, NAME your feelings and have a good talk.
This does not apply however if it is a trauma re enactment. Talking can be a re traumatisation chemically, so ask a professional. One technique if potential trauma has occurred is to talk about it in the third person initially, to actively disassociate. As a journalist for example reporting on the scene. Physical boundaries after trauma are important. Not to engulf but maybe stroke an arm ( with permission) or hold hands or lean against someone gently.
We can ruminate after a session, about all sorts. Negative and self deprecating words and thoughts. God, what was I thinking, did I look awful, was I good enough, did s/he like it. Shame is something that needs sharing not hiding. Post regret can be an issue, a big one that can create problems. Take some time, talk to people you trust NOT on here. Work out your own opinion first as we are easily influenced at this point.
Switch patterns, look at the facts, what they said, not what you interpret that as! Look at your thinking and change track, how you ask. Interrupt the pattern. Be logical for a minute, do your times table, count (yep mum and dad were right when they said count to 10, neuroscience proves this) Do something creative, draw, colour, knit, build, paint. But come back to your thoughts and feelings each time, avoidance isn't an answer. Check words, if a negative word keeps popping up, ask would you take to someone you love like that? If not, what word would you use or how would you say it and practice saying that to yourself too.
We are hard wired for warmth and care. A baby is soothed by being held and feeling warm. When a baby cries, we rock, sooth, sing. So recreate those things. A warm blanket that covers, maybe a little tighter than normal, a lavender cushion, a hot water bottle, stroking and soothing the hurts. Physically and psychologically. Sing or listen to music that enables you to feel. Classical music is actually better and again helps us revise, heal, you name it. If you can't stand it, listen to your music. Sing along, dance, move, rock. It all helps. Some gentle yoga can help too. Eye contact, it increases oxytocin. If you can sit opposite someone and look at them and catch their eye, then do so. If you don't have a person then a cat, dog, any animal also helps (no not fish) Our brains are incredible at creating new neural pathways regardless of age and we can learn, we have neuroplasticity so get eye contact going! A warm bath, we feel helps, add some candles for mood, some nice smells and you're away. Chamomile tea bags and some baking powder in a bath can also soothe physically too. Arnica and or Vitamin E tablets and or creams.
Eat and drink well before!
After, the go to is chocolate and sweets which I get but actually this creates a false short term high. Plus it's sugar and it's inflammatory and not helpful although It has certain properties to help in the immediacy however.
We want foods that increase serotonin and dopamine for a drop. Those are starchy bits, potatoes, whole wheat pasta, cereal, and brown rice. Increasing your tryptophans (think turkey) which we need for serotonin. Root vegetables are great too. Tyrosine is also needed and that's an amino acid, and can be found in dairy products, almonds, avocados, bananas and pumpkin and sesame seeds. So this takes planning, buy in advance, pre prepare, cook for each other even or with a friend.
Vitamin B6, Omega 3s can also help. Green veg, and leaves (preferably raw), cold water fish, salmon, mackrel, whole grain cereals an breads. Yep, bread is GOOD for you.
Avoid alcohol and drugs afterwards, preferably before or the drop experience is chemically two fold, or plan for it.
Writing something helps us sort it. We learn better when we write even. i don't mean type either, I mean physically write it down. Watch the thought section above, read it and apply it to writing too. Using the opposable thumb takes all parts of the brain which relaxes us (hence write not type) that's why colouring, sewing etc works)
Yep, staying busy can help but again its a balance between avoidance and active. Watching a film, listening to something, doing something with your hands, it can all help. Shake it out, like a dog ;-)
Hurting someone or accepting pain can make us feel guilty and ashamed. The only antidote to shame is to share, get a fellow perv to talk to who understands and practices the same. The last thing you need is "you did what". If you suffer from low self esteem or self confidence go see someone :-)
DO FUCK ALL
It is an option. When I'm sick I hate anyone anyone near me. Sometimes nothing is the best after care. Again, no one is wrong or right about this, it's about what's right for you.
Feel free to add any x
The latest research for anti depressants is opiate based with the FDA. Opiates are produced in the brain when we have close intimate contact. So get close after too X
If drop carries on it isn't drop. Depression, stress, you name it affects us all so see a professional.