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PTSD and Spiritual Awakening

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posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:13 PM
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Suggestions concerning Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from a spiritual perspective:

The diagnosis is what it is, and while a disorder, it does seem to have some benefits. Persons diagnosed with it tend to be the first to perceive danger, and the first to react (make great watchdogs!) and tend to have a highly developed sense sometimes referred to as "highly intuitive."

Persons with PTSD also tend to live in the moment-- unfortunately, sometimes to the exclusion of planning for the future-- especially when coupled with the often accompanying diagnosis of depression (e.g., "I hate myself because I survived and others did not" sort of thing); but this, too, has a beneficial aspect.

Let me go a little deeper and see if anyone has thoughts and experiences to see if this has value in discussion here.

Foreshortened sense of future equivocal to living in the moment?

There is one criteria, not shared by all persons with this disorder, but which I find quite fascinating:


"Sense of foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)"--from DSM-IV(TR).


Many spiritual pursuits involve the person needing to put away worries and other distracting thoughts so as to attain a spiritual state.

From a Christian perspective (but there are similar teachings in many other practices and religions), we have Christ Jesus saying, "Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for itself."

Hyper-vigilance equivocal to Watchfulness?

Another criteria possible from the DSM-IV is Hyper-vigilance. There are several Christian scripture based teachings concerning being watchful and vigilant; and such behavior is defining of a person with PTSD; often discussed as a benefit, but also an exhausting one.

Those two-- "Sense of foreshortened future" being the spiritual equivalent of "living in the moment" and "hyper vigilance" being the spiritual equivalent of "being watchful" lead to yet another psychological process with beneficial potential: Transcendence.

One of the hallmarks of Transcendent Psychology is that the person has "abandoned the ego project"-- that is to say, has realized that the notion of the self as defined by career, status, relation and such is insufficient, at best. The person then begins to enter a process of spiritual awakening, spiritual journeys, and spiritual insights. What better set of circumstances to place a person on such a life-changing project than to have lost a sense of protracted future and yet remain constantly vigilant?

Thoughts?
-------

NOTES: For those not familiar with the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (Revised 4th ed.)) the manual provides a list of criteria used by professionals to aid in diagnosis of a disorder. The criteria are not a complete list of symptoms, but rather a sort of check list of symptoms with which, if a certain number can be matched with a patient's experience and behaviors, a diagnosis may be made. (see this site for the full version from which I will address two).

A very basic summary of the DSM criteria for PTSD is that a person has experience a traumatic event, and the event does not fade into a memory, but has continuing and intrusive affect on thoughts, essentially re-living the experience again and again, and because of the re-lived horror, the person becomes very vigilant-- as if the horror will repeat at any moment. There is more to it, so don't diagnose yourself based on this thread.




posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by Frira
 


Well written.

Let me start with say that I know the effects of PTSD.
I have two friends who experienced war, and my dad was a train driver and had a couple of jumpers, 9 in total. The last one was it for him.
And all 3 of these poeple may be more alert but won't react to it.
If my friends see fighting, war, violence of any kind they freeze up. Same goes for my dad, if he sees, hear, think trains he will freeze up.


So the claims you make in your posts might be applied to some people, as for my friends and dad it is not.

PTSD is a curse, I wish it on no one.

Thanks,
OnlyLove


edit on 8/6/2011 by OnlyLove because: (no reason given)

edit on 8/6/2011 by OnlyLove because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by Frira
 


This was very amazing eye opening info for me thank you so much brother! I went through my own very traumatic experience a few years ago. I have tried everything I could and have been to many mental haelth specialist to no avail. Like your post suggests I am just living for the moment afraid to rebuild my old self pehaps? Well a few weeks ago I actually came to think of this "curse uopn me" as a spirtuial awakening! I have been off my prescribed meds for about a week and a half now and I actually feel great! As to my point however I have found that being "awakened" to whats REALLY going on with our world and earth changes (aka conspiricies) have led me to an awakening somehow?! At any rate I feel like I am babbling and am a bit nervous but wanted to express my thanks to you for this post it really gives me plenty more help in my "journey" to self rehabilittion. Again thank you vey much!



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by Frira
 


How strange. Are you working in cahoots with the thread immediately above yours on the New Topics page that speaks of enlightenment? I believe you have given me cause to know why I was able to reach enlightenment without much effort. ( I was using TM and a now-banned electronic aid.) I have often wondered why that happened, because anyone that has reached enlightenment the standard way with perhaps years of meditation will reject my experience out of hand as a flight of fancy, a wannabe.

I will hasten to add that this shorthand manner of attaining enlightenment does not make you necessarily a saint! There are no teachings to go along with it as is with one who has practiced some complex religious doctrine for a long period. Once you glimpse the "as One" this way, you are on your own as to how you handle it. Nonetheless, it is a life-changing event and only for the better.

. ..



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 03:23 PM
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Hey I got it.VA connected 50%Here are my perceptions:
let's see...Political correctness seems to a dishonest form of communication that is used as manipulation and control vilifying warriors and attempting to form an artificial intellectual bias.
Violence is acceptable if the situation requires it and is is funny sometimes.
PTSD is guilt as well because we know better than to harm people:
(One must be able and willing to use force, tempered with intelligence, to prevent harm to the innocent. However, extraordinary understanding, self-discipline and courage are required to effectively prevent brutality, without being overwhelmed by the malice that motivated the brutality.)
(Matilda O'Donnell MacElroy"Alien Interview")
Most impolite and loud behavior is EXTREMELY dangerous around the worst cases of this condition aka no more bars.
We like weapons ,in my case to be ready to fight based some of the very subjects described on this board at a war level engagement.
Death and pain are normal parts of my life.
I am sensitive and intelligent so I do cry but owing to my cold war upbringing I don't like it.
I am now sardonic but better a smile than a fist.
I am fiercely proud of our warriors and honor is a very big deal to me.
Other than that I can answer questions if you wish.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 03:26 PM
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"Sense of foreshortened future" being the spiritual equivalent of "living in the moment"


I'd say that's pretty far off. Feeling like you won't live beyond 35 or whatever is not living in the moment. That's not to say life experiences, PTSD or not, don't help you to develop but conditions like PTSD should be somewhat isolated. Having flashbacks is hardly spiritual or living in the moment.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by Frira
 


This is a fasciating topic, if dangerous to generalize about.

I was once diagnosed with PTSD but I did not seek any treatment. It is hard for me to know what traits are part of me naturally, and what come from my various experiences, traumatic or otherwise. I spent many many years in poor and war-ravaged parts of Asia and post-Soviet states, where I experenced a fair amount, both good and bad. It is also hard to know, in general, what traits are beneficial and what are detremental, spiritually or in terms of life. Its usually a double-edged sword, isn't it? I mean, for any human, the traits that are most valuable to you as an individual also will tend to screw you up in some ways, right? I bet everyone can find an example from their own lives.

One of the things that might have happened to me is that my sense of humor became very strange. I tend towards morbid, gallows humor, and I really have to put a lid on that because it can offend people. I never used to have this problem but somewhere along the line I began to find things funny that nobody else did, and I began to not understand other people's senses of humor. I used to be "smoother" in conversation but then after a while I just wanted to be left alone for the most part. Is that PTSD, or just part of getting older, or some ideosyncratic thing all of my own? Where do you draw the line? What else...I think people in normal life are overreacting most of the time. to anything. People begin to freak out about something and I don't understand why everyone else is so worked up about whatever they happn to be worked up about. I don't think that it is a spiritually good state because it feels out of tune, but it does bring a certain calmness and detachment. And another thing - severe chronic insomnia. I only sleep a few hours a night most of the time.

One more -- and again I am not sure how much this is related to PTSD or to anyhing else, but it can be very very focusing and makes you one-pointed in mind to be in a dangerous or threatening situation. This feeling is, I believe, a spiritually advanced state of a sort -- its almost shamanic like the "sacred hunter" archtype or what have you -- but it can be addicting in its own way and when deprived of it, you can feel at a loss and turn to other sensations to make up for it. I became very compulsive, but I tried to channel that into something structured, like reading, compulsive posting on ATS, or workaholism.

edit on 6/8/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by Frira
 


While I can suppose these observations might be true for some, I agree with OneLove. PTSD is not something I would wish on anyone and is something I have struggled with personally. I can say that it is only a hindrance to my spiritual development, bringing to the forefront of my mind any possible negativity. This is not a healthy spiritual outlook. The traits you mention in PTSD are negative reflections of the positive spiritual traits, the same but different. That being said, I believe any experience is part of our collective spiritual growth and so valuable. In that light PTSD, or any other mental disturbance, is just as vital to our collective growth as any 'healthy' point of view.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by Frira
 


Persons diagnosed with it tend to be the first to perceive danger, and the first to react (make great watchdogs!) and tend to have a highly developed sense sometimes referred to as "highly intuitive."

Persons with PTSD also tend to live in the moment-- unfortunately, sometimes to the exclusion of planning for the future-- especially when coupled with the often accompanying diagnosis of depression (e.g., "I hate myself because I survived and others did not" sort of thing); but this, too, has a beneficial aspect.


Fantastic description - from one who knows.

Gimme some time to think about this when it's not late late after a long day and I will most definitely participate tomorrow.

In the mean time, thank you for the GREAT thread and I encourage everyone to participate!!!

peace



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 04:29 PM
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This is me.

Since i was child i always had a deep sadness within me which i couldn't understand.As i got older i watched people come and go, friends marry and have children, buy their first houses, the norm of society, but i never did. Their was something preventing me from perusing the normal peoples interests. I did work for 7 years as a laborer, all physcial work that required no thought. But my mind was still a wonder with this deep sadness. I was looking for answers, but was looking in the wrong places. It all feels like a great movie when i think about it. The thing that ended my deep sadness and started my journey to awakening was my self regression. This was very clumsy of me at the time, but i didnt know what could of happen without help, lucky indeed. The memory i had deep locked inside my head was of a man, arab looking, this guy was me in another life, my past life, that was my interpretation and "feeling" i had of him. In this memory this arab man was so sad about how no one one loved him, i felt the emotion he had and started to cry in real time. This arab man then what i interpret killed himself. I think this was the reason of my inherited sadness. My hell on earth. I had to get past this sadness, which i did thankfully with help of a multiverse slippage that happened that same evening, bizarre indeed. (Too long to type experience on that right now ;lol)

Those experiences were the catalyst to my personnel awakening. And jeez it hit me hard.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 05:12 PM
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As a Christian and a spiritual (though not religious) person who has had PTSD, I may be a good person to contribute to this discussion. I developed PTSD in two ways: first, from years of watching my son endure life-threatening episodes of chronic, intractable epileptic seizures. This included falls down flights of steps, trips to the ER in which he was in status epilepticus, and various injuries including his falling through a plate glass window. Later, I developed a secondary, entirely different case of PSTD after being run off the road by a truck at 70 mph. So, I'm familiar with both long-term and short-term symptoms and causes.


Originally posted by Frira
The diagnosis is what it is, and while a disorder, it does seem to have some benefits. Persons diagnosed with it tend to be the first to perceive danger, and the first to react (make great watchdogs!) and tend to have a highly developed sense sometimes referred to as "highly intuitive."

Saying this is like saying that a person with anorexia has the benefit of always being skinny. Please understand that this hypervigilance not only applies to real danger -- in many or most cases, it applies to perceived danger. It is unbidden and can be debilitating. In my case, for example, I developed a phobia for riding in any car on the highway, and when any vehicle changed lanes beside mine, I would panic.


There is one criteria, not shared by all persons with this disorder, but which I find quite fascinating:

Sense of foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)"--from DSM-IV(TR).

Many spiritual pursuits involve the person needing to put away worries and other distracting thoughts so as to attain a spiritual state.


This is not typically something that the PTSD sufferer consciously does; rather it is more like an automatic, self-protective shutting down of those areas of the mind.



Hyper-vigilance equivocal to Watchfulness?

Another criteria possible from the DSM-IV is Hyper-vigilance. There are several Christian scripture based teachings concerning being watchful and vigilant; and such behavior is defining of a person with PTSD; often discussed as a benefit, but also an exhausting one.

Those two-- "Sense of foreshortened future" being the spiritual equivalent of "living in the moment" and "hyper vigilance" being the spiritual equivalent of "being watchful" lead to yet another psychological process with beneficial potential: Transcendence.

I respectfully disagree. The important distinction here is that hypervigilance is an almost autonomic response performed by the sub-conscious mind, whereas the spiritual allusion to "being watchful" implies an act of the will.


One of the hallmarks of Transcendent Psychology is that the person has "abandoned the ego project"-- that is to say, has realized that the notion of the self as defined by career, status, relation and such is insufficient, at best. The person then begins to enter a process of spiritual awakening, spiritual journeys, and spiritual insights. What better set of circumstances to place a person on such a life-changing project than to have lost a sense of protracted future and yet remain constantly vigilant?

It took me many years to "abandon the ego project" and it was done through great circumspection and determination. (I'm still working on it, lest I give the impression that I have arrived.) I believe that the process must start from a healthy, truthful account of reality and the self, not as a shortcut from a psychologically handicapped state in which the person has "shut down" areas of the self and life because they simply can't deal with them at the moment. In other words, there are no shortcuts to spiritual enlightenment.

'Just my two cents. 'Hope it helps.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by OnlyLove
reply to post by Frira
 


Well written.

Let me start with say that I know the effects of PTSD.
I have two friends who experienced war, and my dad was a train driver and had a couple of jumpers, 9 in total. The last one was it for him.
And all 3 of these poeple may be more alert but won't react to it.
If my friends see fighting, war, violence of any kind they freeze up. Same goes for my dad, if he sees, hear, think trains he will freeze up.


So the claims you make in your posts might be applied to some people, as for my friends and dad it is not.

PTSD is a curse, I wish it on no one.

Thanks,
OnlyLove


edit on 8/6/2011 by OnlyLove because: (no reason given)

edit on 8/6/2011 by OnlyLove because: (no reason given)


Oh my! More responses than I anticipated-- I think there are nine below this one..

Yes, the way persons react to signals of danger tends to lean one way or the other. It seems that we are pre-wired but training and experience can overcome in either direction. Being more alert for danger is all that the diagnostic criteria mention-- not the external reaction(s) to danger. Clint Eastwood's character in the movie, El Camino comes to mind.

A story I like which illustrates that point: A person observing the actions of someone with PTSD in a crisis said, "You are either crazy or brave!" The person with PTSD answered, "Yes, but I never have know which it was."

But it would be interesting to learn what is going on inside when the trigger causes the outward appearance of "freezing-up." Is it re-living a horror, is it despair, is it once again having to face the ugly truth that horrors happen and that those horrors are part of their own lives, or is it quietly pushing away a sense of futility and looking for any opportunity to do something? All? Something else entirely?

The vigilance, though, seems to be a common symptom; but the reaction to danger varies just as it does to persons without PTSD.

I vaguely remember reading something about PTSD and railroad engineers. I think they were either the second or third most likely group to produce the disorder and for exactly the reasons you mentioned. But now for the hard part...

As for not applying to your loved ones. I am very sorry. I had hoped I was on to something... I hope for hope.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by AllUrChips
reply to post by Frira
 


This was very amazing eye opening info for me thank you so much brother! I went through my own very traumatic experience a few years ago. I have tried everything I could and have been to many mental haelth specialist to no avail. Like your post suggests I am just living for the moment afraid to rebuild my old self pehaps? Well a few weeks ago I actually came to think of this "curse uopn me" as a spirtuial awakening! I have been off my prescribed meds for about a week and a half now and I actually feel great! As to my point however I have found that being "awakened" to whats REALLY going on with our world and earth changes (aka conspiricies) have led me to an awakening somehow?! At any rate I feel like I am babbling and am a bit nervous but wanted to express my thanks to you for this post it really gives me plenty more help in my "journey" to self rehabilittion. Again thank you vey much!


Your welcome!

To no avail? I had two therapists tell me what I failed to find in any of my initial study of texts: Two or three things help all persons with PTSD, while a cure seems far off, but there is some hope there as well. First, coping skills for the stress and energy required; second, talk therapy; and third, telling the story of the trauma when it is safe to do so-- write, journal or speak it until the memory of it feels more like a memory than it does re-living it.

I wonder about the fear of rebuilding your life which you mention. It does not feel like fear to me, but feels like futility-- or something close to that. Your mileage may vary.

Babbling? Doesn't sound like babbling. In fact, one of the related points I had hoped would come out is the idea that persons with PTSD see the world more clearly-- the dangers, horrors, tyrannies and out-right evil that others tend to find too difficult to admit exist. I have heard one person describe it in the classic terms of "looking into the abyss and not turning away."

That looking, as much as the not turning away,... might it be an acceptance of what is which few others have been forced to face?

Well, your post kind of got me choked up a bit-- I'm trying to find answers myself, and worry I am grasping desperately for life-lines with my ideas. At the same time, there is a sense of facing a truth which others pretend is not real. For what it is worth, that matches my experience and the experiences of most of the others I have observed.

The Transcendent Psychology, with its concepts of discovering the true, non-egoic self, the spiritual emergence, and (often) a renewed spiritual existence which more than makes up in luster for the previous life lost-- those things not only offer some hope, but they offer reason and purpose for why I am the way I am-- and even, to a degree, an excuse for why I no longer seek the things most others around me seek, but instead seem to be one of the rare few who try something new, and something... well... something more.

Oh-- two books which were my first two concerning Transcendence of traumatized persons:

* Stanislav Grof's Spiritual Emergency, (nice rounded approach to the topic)
* Michael Washburn's Transcendent Psychology in Psychoanalytic Perspective (I like text-books, and I loved this one)
* Carl Jung's The Undiscovered Self was also useful-- but anything by Jung is useful to me).

Thanks again, for really good post.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by Aliensun
reply to post by Frira
 


How strange. Are you working in cahoots with the thread immediately above yours on the New Topics page that speaks of enlightenment? I believe you have given me cause to know why I was able to reach enlightenment without much effort. ( I was using TM and a now-banned electronic aid.) I have often wondered why that happened, because anyone that has reached enlightenment the standard way with perhaps years of meditation will reject my experience out of hand as a flight of fancy, a wannabe.

I will hasten to add that this shorthand manner of attaining enlightenment does not make you necessarily a saint! There are no teachings to go along with it as is with one who has practiced some complex religious doctrine for a long period. Once you glimpse the "as One" this way, you are on your own as to how you handle it. Nonetheless, it is a life-changing event and only for the better.

. ..


No, not working in cahoots, but I now know what I am reading next!

You bring up an interesting and important point-- about persons assuming that spiritual growth is accomplished the same way for everyone, and that no one can progress unless they have been through some regime . It simply cannot be so!

There are person with tremendous gifts seemingly from birth, while others struggle all their lives and make little progress. Likewise, there are person with wondrous experiences who think nothing of it while others work so hard and gain so little. It is as wrong to blame a person for their spiritual state as it is to credit them for it-- I have found little cause and effect when it comes to spiritual giftedness-- and I suppose that is why we say, "gifts."

That said, I am thankful for my own gifts, but must fight the resentfulness of what appears to be a cost I have paid afterwards. For all I know the "cost" I perceive has no association to the "gifts" I perceive. As for the "wannabe" assumed by some which you mentioned-- note that I write anonymously. I won't admit to such things to even many dear friends (and certainly not family!)-- it is not of any value to them or to me to do so.

Still, I am holding to the hypothesis that trauma assist or at least open or widen the spiritual component of us all.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by 7thcavtrooper
Hey I got it.VA connected 50%Here are my perceptions:
let's see...Political correctness seems to a dishonest form of communication that is used as manipulation and control vilifying warriors and attempting to form an artificial intellectual bias.
Violence is acceptable if the situation requires it and is is funny sometimes.
PTSD is guilt as well because we know better than to harm people:
(One must be able and willing to use force, tempered with intelligence, to prevent harm to the innocent. However, extraordinary understanding, self-discipline and courage are required to effectively prevent brutality, without being overwhelmed by the malice that motivated the brutality.)
(Matilda O'Donnell MacElroy"Alien Interview")
Most impolite and loud behavior is EXTREMELY dangerous around the worst cases of this condition aka no more bars.
We like weapons ,in my case to be ready to fight based some of the very subjects described on this board at a war level engagement.
Death and pain are normal parts of my life.
I am sensitive and intelligent so I do cry but owing to my cold war upbringing I don't like it.
I am now sardonic but better a smile than a fist.
I am fiercely proud of our warriors and honor is a very big deal to me.
Other than that I can answer questions if you wish.



Valuable account. I wonder about one statement-- about guilt. My understanding (never perfect) is that guilt can exacerbate the symptoms-- particular the anger response to the trauma, but is not necessarily an aspect of the causes of PTSD. On the other hand, as a symptom, the guilt of surviving a tragedy or the guilt of not getting the worst of the trauma because others were more deeply effected-- that sort of guilt does often appear as a symptom.

Of course, PTSD and Guilt can and do co-exist without being in anyway connected-- and it can be so even if resulting from same event. But now that you mention it-- that gives me a whole new perspective on one of my loved ones. As for the significance to this topic, guilt is a often a spiritual obstacle. Am I getting it?

I think I want to read "Alien Interview" while the summary of it I just read suggests it is "alien" to my own ideology, truth is truth no matter what symbols or ideology expresses it. Sounds very similar to a fictional story I wrote. Neat and thanks.

Moreover that book seems to hint at addressing exactly the topic-- a very different view of life than most will even know-- and while we may seek to protect others from what we have seen, we may do them no favors by allowing them to remain blind.

Love them guns, huh? Ha! Being a Texan, I'm rather fond of my Bowie Knife! And the smile rather than the fist, well, Yes. Exactly. But if spirituality is tied to pacifism, I haven't noticed. I tip my hat to Ghandi, but do not believe his is the only way, although it was a very good one for the circumstances.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:24 PM
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OP do you have PTSD and are trying to rationalize?
There is nothing spiritual about PTSD.

I have PTSD - and your description is so far removed from really understanding the issue I find it borders on harmful. I have begun to wonder if War PTSD is accutely different from Civilian PTSD? War PTSD is 24/7 and there are no bathrooms breaks. It is sustained release of cortisol over a prolonged period of time. It changes you and your brain on a physical level that can be measured. Or maybe Veterans have something else?

Combat PTSD defies description and there is nothing spiritual about your life slipping into an unrecognizable form when you return. It removes you from normalacy, foreshortened future (being in the moment? omg!) this means you can barely have relationships with other human beings because you are afraid something will happen to you or them or it is too painful to even allow emotion. This is also called flattened effect. You try and feel and you cannot - it is not about being in the moment.

Please don't "cherry" pick descripters and try and frame PTSD as a spiritual awakening!
PTSD is a disabling condition period, there is nothing spiritual about it - unless you are talking about dark spirituality as in Hell.


Let me add from an online search concerning real brain changes resulting from PTSD so you can see there is a bit more going on then "spiritual awakening":
Dr. Norbert Schuff captured his colleagues' attention when he presented colorful brain images of U.S. soldiers who had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The yellow areas, Schuff explained during his presentation at the city's Veterans Affairs Medical Center, showed where the hippocampus, which plays major roles in short-term memory and emotions, had atrophied. The red swatches marked hyperfusion - increased blood flow - in the prefrontal cortex, the region responsible for conflict resolution and decision-making. Compared with a soldier without the affliction, the PTSD brain had lost 5 to 10 percent of its gray matter volume, indicating yet more neuron damage



edit on 8-6-2011 by TheBirdisDone because: add too



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by Turq1


"Sense of foreshortened future" being the spiritual equivalent of "living in the moment"


I'd say that's pretty far off. Feeling like you won't live beyond 35 or whatever is not living in the moment. That's not to say life experiences, PTSD or not, don't help you to develop but conditions like PTSD should be somewhat isolated. Having flashbacks is hardly spiritual or living in the moment.


True, but I had not anticipated someone tying those two symptoms together which I had not intended in what I wrote, but may have unintentionally implied. Having flashbacks is one symptom while the foreshortened sense of future is another. For the life of me, the memories serve no valuable purpose I can find, other than to suggest that the lack of a solution to the past might direct the mind (and the soul?) to a very different contemplation of meaning, purpose, and existence.

Nor is the sense of foreshortened future an assumption like not expecting to live beyond 35.

It is more like a vague assumption that something will happen and you will not survive it. I have described it as being surprised that I am needing to buy another new toothbrush-- because when I bought the last one, I didn't think I would outlast it. I do not even know how long my toothbrushes last. However, such a description, in isolation, fails to convey the far more damaging.

Fictitious but realistic example: Your company has announced that your office will close in one year. You do not look for a job, because you have no expectation of being around that long. And even if it turns out you will be around, why bother? You have already lived through the worst that can happen; but whether it is an accurate belief or not, you do not believe you will ever outlive it. It is insidious.. except for the spiritual hope, if that indeed is a part of it.

But now, let's say your ego is comatose if not dead, so a job or even a roof of your head add nothing you value. That is a scenario which is presented by the sense of a foreshortened future. And that is the scenario which lives a life "in the moment," because it neither plans nor expects. The only powerful anticipation might be one of impending danger for which one must stay ready, or, in the best case scenario-- one of spiritual hope..



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:23 PM
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I was always wondering why the Psychiatric community says PTSD has to be about a specific kind of event. I have experienced --- alot --- of traumatic things in my life, and they are very very different, ranging from being in trouble like Gary McKinnon's, to handling the freshly dead, during security work, an on like that. Not only the super weird, but the unbelievable. And NO one to talk to about it. This will sound sorta cagey, but in years past, when I did try to garner an ear, from experts who'd normally be intrigued by the genre of one of my 'adventures', they behaved with hostility, just like some 'Authorities' who made me feel like my life could be in jeapordy. Therefore, negativity and rejection on top of traumas.

I did become hypervigiallant, and so sensory sensitive, I 'knew' what was occurring well out of my visual and auditory range, though, this might be labeled Schizophrenic, even though I was eventually diagnosed, in a VA hospital,but not with that. Staff were even split as to if I had PTSD. some said I should be so diagnosed, another who mostly worked with shell shock said "no".



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by TheBirdisDone
OP do you have PTSD and are trying to rationalize?
There is nothing spiritual about PTSD.

I have PTSD - and your description is so far removed from really understanding the issue I find it borders on harmful. I have begun to wonder if War PTSD is accutely different from Civilian PTSD? War PTSD is 24/7 and there are no bathrooms breaks. It is sustained release of cortisol over a prolonged period of time. It changes you and your brain on a physical level that can be measured. Or maybe Veterans have something else?

Combat PTSD defies description and there is nothing spiritual about your life slipping into an unrecognizable form when you return. It removes you from normalacy, foreshortened future (being in the moment? omg!) this means you can barely have relationships with other human beings because you are afraid something will happen to you or them or it is too painful to even allow emotion. This is also called flattened effect. You try and feel and you cannot - it is not about being in the moment.

Please don't "cherry" pick descripters and try and frame PTSD as a spiritual awakening!
PTSD is a disabling condition period, there is nothing spiritual about it - unless you are talking about dark spirituality as in Hell.


Let me add from an online search concerning real brain changes resulting from PTSD so you can see there is a bit more going on then "spiritual awakening":
Dr. Norbert Schuff captured his colleagues' attention when he presented colorful brain images of U.S. soldiers who had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The yellow areas, Schuff explained during his presentation at the city's Veterans Affairs Medical Center, showed where the hippocampus, which plays major roles in short-term memory and emotions, had atrophied. The red swatches marked hyperfusion - increased blood flow - in the prefrontal cortex, the region responsible for conflict resolution and decision-making. Compared with a soldier without the affliction, the PTSD brain had lost 5 to 10 percent of its gray matter volume, indicating yet more neuron damage



edit on 8-6-2011 by TheBirdisDone because: add too


I am tired, but yours is the most painful post I have yet read, and so will respond.

PTSD is hell. I can't find a way out of it and cannot find anyone who has. I am alone now, because of it, and I always be-- or so I assume. I love from a distance because I don't think anyone else can possibly understand-- much less want to understand, and like you, I cannot take the risk of another loss. And, damn it, Yes, I am rationalizing-- and just maybe I will grasp in the dark and find something.

The causes, and the symptoms vary, but what sparked my post was was seeing a potential relationship between those who find themselves being thrust from the life they knew before, and the theories of Transcendent Psychology-- that the majority of those who shift from egoic to non-egoic share much in description with many who have PTSD-- including my own. I want that. It is close enough to my own experience that I feel like I can almost touch it, but am afraid to hope.

My hope is that it does not matter if we will to abandon our former lives or if they were violently ripped from us, but what does matter is that many who have found their former lives beyond salvage and otherwise unattainable, have also found meaning, purpose, and truth in the inner life. I don't think I can get there, but would it be so bad if I died while in the midst of trying?

Want to start an argument among Christians? An easy one: "Blessed are the poor (and/or poor in spirit)." Blessed are those who suffer, who thirst, who hunger, who are persecuted, and so on. See how many of those living our former lives, "the American Dream" (in my case) find those words comforting. Just watch how those who know nothing of trauma squirm, and notice how those who have lived trauma, shake their heads and say, "I feel no blessing."

I'm saying, maybe the blessing may come. Maybe the blessing is. We all lose people we love, but for some us, the losses include horror, rage-inducing injustice and/or violence, broken hearts, broken spirits and broken lives.

I read a novel ( Code to Zero) a few years ago in which a person had been given a drug that erased his memories (good and bad-- all of them) while leaving his character-- the person he truly was-- in tact. I made an appointment with a therapist and asked, "Does this drug exist and can I have it?"

So can we discuss the topic without playing the game of "my trauma was worse than your trauma?" because I do remember those I lost and I do remember that I tried and failed to save them. God knows, I really thought I could.

A few years before, I was slamming my body against a window of a house on fire and the owners said children were in that room. The damn window would not break. I thought it would be so easy. I only stopped trying when the curtains burst into flame and the glass went from orange-red to black. I was exhausted, and sobbing. No one was there to help. No one was there to see me fail. It turned out that the children were safe at the house next door. Now I think, How can real life foreshadow my desperate attempt to save others and my failure... UNLESS, there is something spiritual taking place?

I'm tired and I don't want to talk about me-- not like that. I want to discuss if the spiritual life, the inner life, the mystical Reality, the journey of the non-egoic self, the Transcendent-- if those offer a life worth living for those of us cut off from the other life.



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 12:30 AM
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Having been to Iraq, and being in some serious and catastrophic situations, I have been diagnosed with PTSD as well. Seems the majority of those deployed especially, the ones who saw actual combat daily, are the worse.

I have been in martial arts since 1984, and having that form of structure has given me a foundation to fall back on. Now that I am no longer active duty and have time to myself again. I've used what I have gained since then and today the codes make sense to me, in a way they never would have. Of all the traditions, this one speaks for itself. As well as perhaps to me more so than others.


Bushido



I have no parents; I make the Heavens and the Earth my parents.

I have no home; I make the Tan T'ien my home.

I have no divine power; I make honesty my divine power.

I have no means; I make docility my means.

I have no magic power; I make personality my magic power.

I have neither life or death; I make Um my life and death.

I have no body; I make stoicism my body.

I have no eyes; I make the flash of lighting my eyes.

I have no ears; I make sensibility my ears.

I have no limbs; I make promptitude my limbs.

I have no laws; I make self protection my laws.

I have no strategy; I make the right to kill and the right to restore life my strategy.

I have no designs; I make seizing the opportunity by the forelock my designs.

I have no miracles; I make righteous laws my miracle.

I have no principles; I make adaptability to all circumstances my principle.

I have no Tactics; I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.

I have no talent; I make ready wit my talent.

I have no friends; I make my mind my friend.

I have no enemy; I make in-cautiousness my enemy.

I have no armor; I make benevolence my armor.

I have no castle; I make immovable mind my caste.

I have no sword; I make no mind my sword.

The Samurai Creed



Any spelling or other errors are mine, as I typed the above from notes.



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