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PTSD, Perception, and Cognition

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posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 11:28 AM
"You are the Universe".

A huge claim - and for a little child, an overwhelming thought.

"You are the Eternal".

Am I? How can that be? unconscious process seems to say.

Am I an individual, or am I a process? Am I filled with the metaphors that precede me? Or is this speeding-train of a concept - "You are the Eternal" - occurring in some sort of "tabula rasa" way?


I have come to see it necessary to speak of "post-traumatic stress disorder" rather than trauma, as some people relate to the latter concept as if it didn't carry with it forces that complicate - and infect - how subsequent perceptions are made.

Humans are always to one degree or another carrying the information that comes from the "way others experience you." Natural selection is such that the states that I embody in certain situations are selected by the meanings that the cue's my attentional mind interacts with carry; we are always, in other words, being anticipated by our own unconscious affective processes. Previous meanings are "held in the body". The other person, in fact, is "held in the body" - and constitutes the counterpoint in the dynamic with the 'point' of our observing consciousness.

If a kid is viciously bullied long enough by other kids, what sort of symptoms will he experience when he contemplates "going out"? Will the movies carry with it the connotation that it carries for non-bullied kids? Or will any and every environment that 'is social' come to be experienced by him as dreadful? Is the dreadfulness a truthful representation of how other people are like? Or is dreadfulness an emergent property of how his brain was affected by the pain and terror he endured at the hands of other people?

Can such a dreadfulness ever be overcome - or, do traumas affect the organization of the brain - and leave it in an organization which forever (or so long as that brainmind exists) 'tinges' social contexts with a quality that remains under some degree of control by the environment? In my opinion, while 'ritual' and powerful experience can provide some degree of healing, that persons brain will - so long as they exist - be exquisitely sensitive to the specific traumas that they endured, and moreso, their ability to regulate themselves will always be subject to dissipative forces operating from within them - as their metabolic and homeostasis processes - and without them, in the form of recognition dynamics, or the way and manner other human agencies 'orient' to you i.e. the motivational processes they are experiencing as they experience you as an object.

Since we're all controlled by symmetry dynamics within the matter - atoms, molecules, cells, organs, organisms - that organize our perceptual and cognitive states, there's a certain degree of skepticism that seems mandated when we recognize and understand the perceptual effect that past experiences have had on us, and continue to have on us, by virture of the fact that our consciousness is not merely a developing process, but a process that is continuously carrying the meanings that have shaped its particular material structure in the past - which means, those meanings will reflexively 'pop out' of us under times of durress, and if we identify with the meanings they produce, and don't recognize how those meanings were constructed in us, we are non-consciously enacting a dynamic which, if we were acting with any sensibility, we would reduce the importance and relevance of in our minds.

The Power of the Mind

If you can understand your mind as constructed by metaphors, what are the most basic metaphors we can think of? First, how does cognitive science defines metaphors? In metaphor theory, metaphors are understood to be 'structures' with a point-counterpoint dynamic (I always frame this idea in terms of this dynamic) which can be carried from one domain of interaction into another domain of interaction. So, the structure of the relationship between caregiver and baby is the origin of what we mean by "self-other" interactions. This dynamic is metaphorically - or structurally - contiguous with the way the baby comes to regulate its feeling body, because its body is a reflexive representation of how the environment "takes care of it".

Self-Other is structurally the same as Observing (mind) - Object Observed (body). There is a structural connection between the two processes, and so, the material within the latter is 'metaphorically' representing qualities from the former.

What if we lived in a severely psychologically damaged society? How would the concept "you are the Eternal" be experienced if you were raised in an abusive context? If the caregiver isn't safe, how can you feel like you have control over your body? And if the body isn't safe, how could you ever feel like you could accept the nature of reality - of how the organism is connected to the world?

If the structure of metaphorical continuity were ignored and never understood, every one of your thoughts "about reality" would be read-through the traumatic structuring of earlier experiences, and every thought, because it is taken to be a "truthful representation" of the object described, would convince you - because you are always seeking to defend your existing identity structures and always wanting to project their truthfulness into the world - would replay the "stories" that you have learned in your development - stories that conceal and hide away the dialectical nature of the construction - the relationality of how the 'ideal' world you believe to be the true ideal (say, Plato's ideal society) is itself a construction of preceding interactions based in abuse and terror, and which leave you with the 'emergent property' that such experiences produce: an image of the world that seems horrendous.

A common behavior of traumatized minds is "either/or" perceptions. This is such a subtle process that notice how easy it is for someone to produce in you a contrarian position merely because your need to be heard (experience symmetry in response from the other), when not experienced, produces in you an exaggerated orientation to the position of the other. In fact, after you calm down you may find yourself thinking "he was right, he was being more logical" - and hence, while you were talking to him, you weren't doing a very good job recognizing how your affective response was being organized by how he - the other - was responding in a way that wasn't very conducive to the state of being that you were in. Hence - alot of energy on one side (yours, lets say) leads to a polarized relation as the other expriences you in a way that was dissonant with your needs.

We often go into the world with 'expectations', and, very often, people manage this difficulty by becoming polarized yet again. Take for instance the cliche "don't have any expectations". Isn't that an overreach? That is, an exaggerated and hyperemotional response? Polarizations in the human mind typically take the form of "gross generalizations", where we take a response to something which stresses us in a stereotypical way (a way we've often heard others speak from) and, instead of being more precise and accurate, such as "modulate your expectations with certain types of people", or even more precisely, with "people who are operating under certain circumstances and thus prone to receive me in a predictable way", we jump too far, and in doing that...

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 11:35 AM
subtly enact a sadomasochistic logic that more or less offloads the anxiety, anger and rage you feel onto the others around you.

Being polarized produces specific sorts of perceptions - and since the metaphor of psychoemotional relations passes through the caregiver-infant into the mind-body, you can't think about the universe - or, above all, identify with being the 'eternal', without experiencing that relation in a traumatic way - a way where the mind dissociates from the feeling body, producing a specific sort of "tension" such that existence can really feel like a profound mistake, and the gnostic demiurge or hindu maya can really seem like a plausible narrative - indeed, it can be taken as TRUTH - as if the supposed truth it represents had nothing to do with the metaphorical constructions that precede the emergence of its specific form.

The traumatized brainmind believes too deeply in the value - or accuracy - of its perceiving, primarily because it is bewitched, or obsessed, or fixated, on the quality of a certain experience, which it takes to be a genuine mirror of reality itself, as opposed to being a mirror of the social world they evolved.

There can therefore be no more intelligent response to an experience of reality as "defected", or reality as a "matrix" which "locks us in", then to step down from yuor overwhelming perspective as the "godhead", and come back to reality, recognizing that, yes, even if the human potential goes that high, it makes little sense to exist from that perspective when that perspective is inducing in you a faulty representation of the world - and Others - around you.

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 11:56 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte
The word 'dreadful' is what jumped out.
People feel fear and the mind steps in to help.... but it only has fearful stories about what might happen and then more stories arise to reassure and then it throws up another fearful story.
The mind tells you about the past... it tells you about the future and all the while the body fills full of adrenalin and cortisol and other drugs that prepare you to fight or flight.
Stop thought and feel the sensations and tensions in the body. Listen to sounds happening and see what is present.......the drugs in the bloodstream will stop being produced and the world will not appear so scary.
edit on 11-12-2018 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 12:48 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Any ideas how to break out of the kaleidoscope of fear?

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 01:13 PM
I never gave much thought to PTSD as I had no basis on which to compare. At least until I stumbled going down a set of stairs that had no handrails and fell, shattering my ankle.

Every time I look back on that situation, I feel the anxiety build and I actually cringe and shut my eyes in an attempt to block out the mental image of me falling, the pain, and the realization that had I not fallen at an angle where I could grab the seats (and instinctively, someone near me,) I would have fallen a long way down those hockey arena steps and probably broken a lot more than an ankle, not to mention taking the person I grabbed down with me as I tumbled. This was an NHL stadium, so it was a scary fall.

To this day, I cannot go down stairs without a handrail without some degree of flashing back to that night. The sheer fear and anxiety is bad. I just see that fall in my head and feel the pain and think of "what if I fell further and what if I pulled others down too?"

I've fought past it to a degree. I can get down our porch steps ok, and as long as my hand is always on the wall I can go to the basement laundry room, but other places, I either will not attempt it, or I have whoever is with me let me hold onto their arm. For a long while after my ankle healed, I would scoot down the porch steps on my rear. There was no way I was going to try stepping down.

I know it's silly. My fall was due to dizziness because of severe anemia. That's no longer an issue. My mind however, just doesn't let go of those few seconds of time. Add to that the embarrassment and humiliation of falling in front of thousands of people? Ugh...

No idea how to let that all go.

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 01:41 PM
a reply to: KTemplar

Good question.

When an individual goes through many years of various traumas in their lives, even if they aren't dwelling on it at all times, it is still beneath the surface and sometimes manifests as anxiety, depression or PTSD.

Trying to retrain the brain, thought process, perceptions might help? I will wait to see what the OP and others have to say.

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 05:44 PM
My very first call as a cop in Ca. was a SIDS (dead baby) luckily I was In-Training so I didn't have to do everything in the investigation. While I was trying to interview the father He was craning around Me to watch SportsCenter™ on the 40" color t.v. that sat upon a larger non-functional t.v. When I looked in the fridge, I saw what looked to be a 3rd grade science project where a skeleton of a fish in a pot is the main goal; there were no sheets on the mattresses, except in the Main bedroom, same t.v. set-up..

PTSD was one of the things I was prescribed poison for; then after switching and switching, it took a good 2 months to get that crap out of My system. I have started taking "Kratom" and that works real well... Although Cannabis, medically, still works the best for Me (Your Mileage May Vary)

Stay Hydrated...

P.S. And about 73% of Me thinks it was 'just another script' ...

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 09:36 PM
a reply to: KTemplar

Like opposes like.

Lets analyze fear, anxiety, and depression - three distinguishable states, one, the most mental, the second, strongest in the viscera (chest/stomach) while the latter permeates the whole - but isn't anxiety the worst of all - the scariest threat that can be foisted against us?

This is what I assume you fear - the power of the emotions that are released in you. It's overwhelming, and, if you've suffered to a threshold point, you likely have a dissociative identity relation to the source of the emotion, and hence, you deal with an amnesia that makes self-knowledge, or self-coherency, more difficult, insomuch as the fear/anxiety/depression you feel has a set of circumstances that are linked to it, and you can't know what it was.

So, what makes things different? How do you dispel the fear?

If human abuse caused the problem, then human love can heal it.

If an angry and sadistic and cruel face made you feel and believe as you believe, than a caring, compassionate, responsive, recognizing and witnessing face can have the exact reverse effect.

Problem is, there's fear of the emotion (its power), and a shame for feeling so pathetic - for being so needy.

Since metaphors are the tracks upon which thinking and narrative formation run upon, you cannot make sense of your thinking without understanding the metaphors implicit in your assertions, and from what circumstances those metaphors were created.

Humans aren't evil; they can embody evil, and behave evilly, but they are far too stupid - if they are behaving evilly - to think they can speak and use language without ultimately making a fool of themselves, insomuch as there is nothing reasonable in being self-destructive and loving pain.

On a final note: I believe anxiety is the worse form of suffering we can experience, insomuch as it is self-engendered, and includes fear and depression as co-activating elements which keeps the anxiety in place.

I think any truly anxious human being would "give in" to the other - and I mean in an existential sense in that you can never reach a point of strength where you can be 'invulnerable' to the rubber band flinging back. That is, the naive pursuit of power at the expense of others is like pulling a rubber band - pulling your identity more and more out of your body, all the while enhancing the delusion that you are "separate from your body". Or, if dissociation is not your strategy, embodiment of meaning entails amnesiac dissociation - the sort that really does separate the mind from its other modes of being.

Point is, to suffer and know your suffering so fully, and yet seek living, and being, or attach your self to some "object" - all we do in our head entails an "other" which we attach to to help ourselves. There is no knowledge which makes the truth of love more apparent than the crippling burn of an adrenaline infused anxiety.

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 09:50 PM
I know my words seem trite - but isn't it meaningful to contemplate the ramifications that would come from acting in this world, as opposed to having the inevitable happen when you leave this world - that is, returning to the love which you came from - the attractor of the human form?

In a certain sense, it is a powerfully difficult situation to be in. But logic - reason - is all you have to help yourself.

To change really is about understanding your "determined" until "an input comes around that is strong enough to overcome this defensiveness within me". People who think they're evil are evidently subject to a delusion which delusionally underestimates the deterministic nature of the environment; paradoxically, by listening to words of reason spoken in a way they've never thought before can have a more penetrating effect. That is, you change when the environment helps you change: change doesn't come from within, but rather, is sustained from within.

Inspiration comes from without. It comes from another human being who cares because he understands how #ing unfair it all is - for this world to work the way it does. To imagine that we our condemned is to exagerrate what can be managed - we just got to take smaller steps, and realize how much our recognition of one anothers situations can help one another overcome the emotional blocks were existing within.

posted on Dec, 11 2018 @ 10:01 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Thank you so much!

I don’t suffer from anxiety per say, I suffer ptsd flashbacks from an childhood alien abduction, and a human abduction when I was 16; I escaped both. Certain situations can trigger it.

My son suffers terrible anxiety in certain situations as well.

We’ve both had years of therapy, but what you said rings true with me.

Thank you again!

posted on Dec, 12 2018 @ 02:09 AM
a reply to: KTemplar

That's a very good question. I know I suffer from PTSD. Comes from nearly 30 years of dealing with all manner of violence.

Sadly, to me, I dream every night of all the crappy of experiences that I attempt to resolve. I am normally quiet, reserved sort of person but I have an anger towards bullies and senseless acts that harm innocents.

"Any ideas how to break out of the kaleidoscope of fear?" You ask?

Yes, I take control of my head space and accept my dreams are a circumstance of where "I" put myself, my decisions and ultimate actions. I no longer fear violence (perhaps this comes with my age and experiences). But that's my mindset now, which I can control.

My brother excused me one day to a friend of his. (a few years back) His words, "He's seen to much evil." At this time I was boxing it all in. I thought about this over the years and, yes, I saw evil in people. Still do. Well, the evil I saw wasn't all the violence or madness, it was corruption which I couldn't get my head around. Right now, at this moment I am shaking my head thinking of the, 'dirty, stinking, rotten filth' that I dealt with from day to day.

Well, the kaleidoscope attacks me every night but I sort it out. I wash, rinse, spin and hangout. It's taken me many years to get to this point. My next goal is to place all this in the garbage and try to sleep easy. I have no fear of it. I control that.

But,,,occasionally, it surfaces. Only takes seeing someone being unfairly dealt with and I open up. Not an uncontrolled rant but a forceful, to the point, "Back off bastard."

So this is my PTSD. I oblige myself to control it because not even a doctor could understand it, let alone believe what I have seen.

Kind regards,


edit on 12-12-2018 by bally001 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2018 @ 07:50 AM
a reply to: bally001

Thank you Bally, I understand. Like A says, fight it with Love, if I read that right.

posted on Dec, 17 2018 @ 08:56 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Have you heard of Dr Gabor Mate? .... loads of talks on youtube if you are interested.

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