But not the standard type of ‘Vietnam-war vet’ experience of PTSD, more something that’s now referred to as Complex PTSD.
The following quote comes from Ace Tray’s answer to this question on Quora:
What distinguishes complex PTSD from PTSD?
Unlike formally recognized PTSD diagnoses, C-PTSD doesn't stem from a singular event, but is instead the result of sustained abuse and powerlessness, from which the victim has little hope of escape.
"C-PTSD occurs when the hyper-vigilance of PTSD is accompanied by a breakdown in the ability to self-regulate," said Julian Ford, a psychology and law professor who heads the Center for Trauma Recovery at the University of Connecticut. "Intense emotions or emotional deadness will overwhelm the person's ability to cope. Mentally, they will suffer lapses in consciousness or in problem solving or judgment. And interpersonally, they will have extreme conflict in or withdraw from relationships."
The distinction between PTSD and C-PTSD was first introduced by Harvard Medical School professor Judith Herman in her 1992 book Trauma & Recovery. Her research found that the effects of chronic neglect, stress, and subjugation were creating an entire class of people—including survivors of sexual abuse and domestic abuse; persecuted racial, religious, and ethnic groups; and former hostages—whose trauma didn't fit the profile for PTSD diagnoses because it had been sustained over time.
PTSD manifests as a range of things, including depression, disassociation (‘spacing out’) depersonalisation (feeling like you don’t exist, you’re not real), panic attacks, social anxiety, anxiety generally, and a whole bunch of other things that DEFINITELY happen when you spend any amount of time around emotionally abusive people.
The following infographic hopefully sums it up a little more clearly:
But the short answer is absolutely, positively yes.
After the last post, where I pointed out how Big Pharma has completely corrupted modern psychiatry (particularly in the US) and misled millions of people into believing that their brains are ‘broken’, and that only being permanently on the pills can ‘fix’ them, someone tweeted me the following:
“It’s attitudes like yours that are causing the huge rise in suicides.”
Now, I found this tweet odd for a few reasons: Firstly, I wasn’t quite sure what ‘attitude’ my correspondent was referring to. Presumably, it was the ‘attitude’ that refused to buy into the lie that people are permanently ‘broken’ and irredeemably flawed if they have mental and emotional issues.
My attitude on that subject is that everyone can get past mental health issues, albeit with some huge effort, patience, self-love and prayer, and that the main thin causing emotional problems is a broken heart, not a broken brain. And broken hearts can mend, without drugs, once the person affected knows what’s really caused the problem.
The next thing I found strange about the tweet was the suggestion that saying drugs are bad could cause a huge rise in suicides. I haven’t checked the stats recently, but any rise in suicide rates is undoubtedly being mirrored by a similar rise in the number of people being prescribed anti-depressants.
This is one of the things that psychiatrists and drug companies have gone all out to fudge and obfuscate, but anti-depressants can double the risk of someone committing suicide, especially if they’re an adolescent.
Even just chemically-speaking, studies have shown that many anti-depressants cause people to have much stronger suicidal urges than otherwise, and to encourage them to take that final, drastic step towards turning their suicidal thoughts into suicidal actions.
With more people on anti-depressants than ever, if pills really do cure the problem of people’s depression - as the drug companies and the shrinks are lining up to tell us every 5 minutes - then surely the suicide rate should be going down, and not shooting through the roof?
But another reason my correspondent’s tweet was either extremely ignorant or extremely misleading is because the ‘broken brain’ model being peddled by the psychiatric drug dealers is causing so much suffering to so many people, many of whom are mislead into going on to these ‘wonder pills’ to ‘cure’ their problems, only to find over the medium-long-term that their problems have multiplied and worsened.
At this point, they go back for a different, or an additional pill, or they get their dose ‘upped’ - and this continues either until the side- effects become so unpleasant the patient just can’t hack it any more, or they turn into a drugged-up spiritual zombie who doesn’t feel depressed, because they don’t feel anything any more, including any joie de vivre, connection to others, love, appreciation or hope. I.e., all the things that make us feel glad to be alive.
Often at this stage, the patient is told that their depression has become ‘treatment resistant’ - ie, the drugs aren’t helping, and there is nothing more the shrinks can suggest. Clearly, the drugs aren’t helping because they aren’t addressing the true causes of depression in the first place, namely a broken heart, not a broken brain.
At this stage, the poor patient is stuck with worsening symptoms, an addiction to pills, an inability to cope with their worsening situation, and often a huge number of very unpleasant additional physical and mental health issues, that are politely called ‘side-affects’.
If you continued to buy into the ‘broken brain’ paradigm being peddled by the shrinks, this is the point where you’d fall into utter despair and seriously think about ending it all. Mental health issues like overwhelming anxieties and panic are so unpleasant, a person would do almost anything to put an end to their suffering.
But if you knew right from the beginning that your suffering was rooted in traumatic experiences, and / or growing up in an abusive and / or emotionally-neglectful environment - i.e. your heart was broken by the things you’d experienced, and your brain was fine - then that would change the whole picture.
You’d have some hope that things could change. You’d have some motivation to make that happen. You’d be empowered to dig deep, hang on to God, and to face your inner demons head on. In short, you’d have every reason to keep going, and to live.
Giving people hope that they aren’t permanently broken, and that healing is possible without pills, is not causing anyone to kill themselves, quite the opposite. By contrast, telling people they are defective, ‘broken-brained’ people who are permanently disabled and in need of medication for the rest of their lives is guaranteed to cause many, many people to lose the will to live.
So it’s not my attitude problem that’s causing the huge rise in suicides; it’s all those people who continue to peddle false theories of mental health that tells people they have chemical imbalances, broken brains and no hope of improving by themselves, without medication.
I’m part way through reading ‘Psychiatry Under the Influence’ by Rob Whitaker, and it’s shocking reading. In a nutshell, the book sets out how from the 1980s on, when the American Psychiatric Association (APA) decided to pursue a ‘disease’ model for mental illness, they basically jumped into bed with Big Pharma to ‘create’ discrete mental illnesses that Big Pharma could ‘cure’ with their latest on-patent pill.
Psychiatry eagerly embraced the ‘disease’ model for mental illness - you know, all that stuff that tells people their brains are ‘broken’, and that they have a chemical imbalance - for two main reasons: money and power. ONLY psychiatrists can prescribe psychiatric drugs, while ‘talk therapy’ can be done (often much better and much cheaper) by any number of counselors, coaches, social workers and I don’t know who else.
Psychiatry was steadily being run out of business by all these alternative avenues to healing mental and emotional difficulties before 1980, and the APA knew that something had to be done, fast, to prevent its members from losing their incomes. Enter: the disease model of mental illness.
The whole DSM III was redrawn along pseudo-scientific lines, to back-up the false premise that mental illnesses could be broken down into discrete ‘diseases of the brain’, which could ONLY be treated by the psychiatrist’s prescription of the right little pill.
But right from the start, the disease model had precious little science backing it up. What it had - in spades, thanks to all the funding of studies and clinical trials and ‘information sessions’ by Big Pharma - was a huge number of psychiatrists getting paid big bucks to talk up the ‘disease’ model of the brain, and to completely twist the research around that showed that psychiatric meds didn’t work better than placebo - and often, caused even more problems to patients, particularly over the longer term.
These money-hungry psychiatrists really couldn’t lose: Big Pharma was paying them money to conduct (bent) research into the disease model of mental illness that would (falsely) show how psychiatric drugs were the only way to ‘cure’ these problems - which would lead to millions of people showing up at psychiatry’s door, to get their wonder cure pills.
Who cares that there was no science, or evidence, backing up all the claims of a ‘chemical imbalance’ causing everyone’s mental illnesses?! Who cares that the pills didn’t work and were often trailing destruction in their wake, including increased risk of suicide, increased risk of serious brain damage like tardive dyskinesia, physical illnesses, weight gain and a bunch of other things that could and did seriously compromise the patients’ quality of life?!
There was money to be made - huge money - in convincing more and more people that their brains were ‘broken’, and that psychiatry and Big Pharma were the only way to fix the problem.
That’s why with each new edition of the DSM, hundreds of new mental ‘diseases’ have been added to the list, because each new ‘disease’ requires a new pill to cure it. But you should know: there is hardly any science, precious little evidence, to prove any of these new ‘diseases’.
While proudly trumpeting it’s pseudo-scientific basis to anyone who dares to question the ‘disease’ model of mental illness, the APA and psychiatry continues to move the goal-posts and to create new illnesses out of thin air, that have precisely zero research to back them up. Even worse, the vast majority of the people sitting on the DSM committees that draw up the criteria for all these new ‘diseases’ are also on the payroll of Big Pharma.
The self-same people who are ‘creating’ new mental illnesses with the APA are then being paid enormous sums to run clinical trials of pills that are going to ‘cure’ them - and man, are they going to make sure people know that the pills are the only way to go, even if it means falsifying and doctoring the so-called ‘evidence’ to prove it.
And the result of all this is utter confusion and misery.
More and more people are now being convinced by the marketing initiatives jointly undertaken by the APA and Big Pharma that they are mentally ill, have broken brains and require pills in order just to function as normal, happy human beings, in what must be one of the biggest quackery operations ever known.
At the same time, as the number of ‘diagnoses’ continues to mushroom - with hundreds more being added to each new iteration of the DSM - even the professionals have no idea what ‘disease’ most of their patients have, resulting in one person often being given 6 diagnoses for one problem - and a pill to go with each one.
And then to top it all off, the pills don’t even work for the ‘disease’ they are supposedly meant to be curing, and often leave the person taking them addicted, anxious and in a deteriorating state of physical and mental health.
But who cares about all that, because the psychiatrists and Big Pharma are continuing to rake in the cash!!!!
Modern psychiatry is completely and utterly corrupt.
When God is out of the picture (as it is with the medical profession generally, and psychiatry in particular) the worst unethical abuses and immoral activity can flourish so easily. All mental illnesses are rooted in the soul, and affected by the emotional environment a person finds themselves in.
If they are in a loving, nurturing and caring environment, they thrive mentally. If they aren’t - they’ll often experience any number of mental issues and emotional problems. Things like proper nutrition, adequate sleep and enough exercise also have a part to play in staying healthy, body, mind and soul.
But you won’t hear about any of that from most psychiatrists these days, who are so invested in the completely false ‘disease’ model of mental illness in order to pay their mortgages and keep the punters rolling through their doors.
When is the corruption going to end? When are people going to wake up to what’s really going on with modern medicine and psychiatry? When are we going to put God back into our healthcare picture, instead of relying on little pills to get us through life?
Who knows. But it can’t happen soon enough.
A little while ago, I bumped into an old friend of mine from the motherland, who used to be one of the most creative, deep, spiritual and loving people I think I’d ever met. Of course, being ‘deep’ like that doesn’t come easy, especially in today’s world, and this person had gone through a lot of depressive periods and other forms of emotional turmoil.
Depression sucks, and is a very hard situation to accept and deal with. BUT - and it is a big but, depression also comes for a reason, a very good reason, and the key to resolving it is to accept what’s actually triggering it off in the first place, and to take steps to properly deal with it.
Depression is triggered by a couple of things:
There’s just one problem: accepting that your mum / dad / sister / husband etc is the one making you feel like you want to just disappear out of the world for good, or like you don’t exist in the world, and that no-one really loves your or cares about you, is not easy.
In fact it’s usually so difficult to accept that your ‘nearest and dearest’ are literally making you emotionally ill and even suicidal with their emotionally neglectful and / or abusive behaviour, that most people prefer flat-out denial and Prozac.
Thankfully, the pharmaceutical companies and corrupt psychiatry have an alternative theory for depression that is much easier for most people to swallow: it’s just a chemical imbalance, silly! Take this little pill, continue to carry on hanging out with your abusive family members, and don’t worry about a thing!
There’s just one problem with this theory (OK, I’m lying. There’s actually loads of problems with this theory, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself…) - it’s completely false. There’s not a single shred of scientific evidence to back up any claim that any emotional difficulty, from the most severe issues like schizophrenia, all the way through to depression, anxiety and ADHD are caused by any ‘chemical imbalances’.
(There’s so much to say about this issue, and I’ve written about it in more detail elsewhere. Try HERE for a good first place to start, and also use the search box on this site to find more articles on this subject.)
But the point of this post is this: When someone takes a pill, even a prescribed pill, to make their emotional pain go away, then they have become a drug addict. Spiritually, there is no difference between a drug addict who’s shooting up heroin, and a drug addict who’s downing a bottle of Johnnie Walker, or smoking their pot, and a drug addict who’s throwing back the Xanax, Zoloft or Prozac.
Let’s remember that PRESCRIBED DRUGS are killing 30,000 people a year in the US alone, with the late popstar Prince being one of the more recent victims of prescription medicine gone mad.
When I saw my old acquaintance, all the light in her eyes had gone. Even in her worst times, her eyes had shone with pain and sadness, but also with feeling, humanity and spiritual depth. That light now was gone. What had happened?
The answer was: Prozac.
After years of fighting off all the ‘helpful’ advice from other people about how to handle her depressions, she’d finally caved in and gone the drug addict route of dealing with the problem. It was just that much easier than acknowledging how dysfunctional her family life and relationships actually were.
Of course, she didn’t say that. All she said is that the anti-depressants were working a treat, and she felt great, really good, the best ever, actually. But the light was gone from her eyes, and I just couldn’t catch hold of my old friend any more in anything more than the most superficial way.
Because the first thing that disappears when you take pscyhotropic drugs - even prescribed drugs - is your connection to God, and your soul.
But that’s not all: whatever we don’t fix in ourselves simply gets passed on down the line, and compounded, for our kids. When people are drug addicts, they emotionally neglect their nearest and dearest. When people are drug addicts, they become emotionally abusive to others, simply because they’ve lost their normal human sensitivity to what is appropriate behaviour.
As well as the spiritual coldness, my old friend had also developed a mocking manner of speaking to others, too. After five minutes of trying to talk to her, I really just wanted to run away as fast as my legs could carry me, because she made me feel really, really uncomfortable.
Ahhh, what a mess our world is. When God is out of the picture, so much suffering and destruction occurs in the void. My old friend feels ‘great’, but she’s now treating other people like dirt, and is completely oblivious to that fact, because the pills she’s taking have dulled her true feelings, including her empathy and compassion.
Anti-depressants are meant to change how the brain works. That’s the whole point. Changing how the brain works is also a classical description of brain damage, and there we have the problem in a nutshell: anti-depressants cause brain damage, and change people’s personalities.
Not for the first time in my life, I saw how Prozac doesn’t just ‘disappear’ the external signs of depression, it also ‘disappears’ the essence of the person themselves.
But when God is in the picture, it can always come back.
As we've been discussing, when people adopt the atheistic, God-less lifestyle, belief system and outlook that is the hallmark of the followers of Darwin and the theory of evolution, that strengthens the more 'animalistic' part of their brains, aka, their primitive brain.
This is the part of the brain that has 'looking out for number one' (or what Darwinians like to call 'survival of the fittest') as the top priority. And if it's not reined in, this part of the brain causes people to act like selfish animals, to use other people for selfish procreation purposes, to rationalise and justify anything that gives them an advantage over others, however immoral or destructive, and makes lust-gratification the number one priority.
That's why people are becoming more narcissistic - and more mentally-ill, generally - because people were designed to have a connection to their Creator, and to go after a higher purpose, and when that doesn’t happen, all sorts of problems occur instead.
When a person's frontal lobes go awol, then a lot of the functions we associate with a ‘higher self’ and with a more spiritual outlook and grasp of life disappear.By the time you get to this stage of things, you really need a miracle to reverse the literal brain damage that’s been done (and that’s causing things like Narcissistic Personality Disorder, to quote one of many mental illnesses that have reached epidemic proportions).
Here’s where the spiritual side HAS TO come in, because if people have a Creator to turn to, they can still get their miracle (and I have seen this happen with a bunch of people) -and stop being mentally-ill / NPD-type egotists.
When God is out of the picture - there’s nowhere to turn, really, and the person will continue to treat others very badly, and probably pass on a whole bunch of mental health problems to the next generation, too.
I think that’s part of why modern society is so Godless and atheistic: the frontal lobes are ‘out’ on a whole bunch of people, and as well as leading to huge spikes in NPD-type behaviours and mental illnesses, it’s also cutting people off from their innate spirituality, which is compounding the problem in myriad ways.
The following describes the scientific basis for what I describe above, namely how a connection to God via meditation and prayer can reverse narcissistic tendencies, and other mental illnesses:
Regular personal prayer and meditation can help us get a grip on our subconscious ‘fight or flight’ response.
Remember how we said that the frontal lobes is the home of free choice, and is responsible for most of the attributes associated with being a sentient human being, like empathy, consideration for others, patience, moral behavior etc? (All things that are either ‘missing’ or severely impaired in personality disorders like NPD.)
When we’re dealing with a potential threat, the fight-flight-freeze response will kick in if either the emotional brain believes the danger to be overwhelming and close to home, OR if the rationality and higher functioning of the frontal lobes are unable to restrain the emotional brain’s baser impulses.
Let’s describe a couple of situations, to demonstrate what we’re really talking about. Say, there’s a psycho who decides to drive their Harley Davidson at full throttle up on the sidewalk, and they’re heading straight at you. The danger is objectively serious, objectively real, objectively imminent, so there is pretty much nothing your frontal lobes could say to your amygdala in that situation to call off your fight or flight response – and rightfully so! By the time you’ve thought things through, you’d could already be meatloaf.
But now, let’s take another example: your neighbor accidentally bumps into you coming up the stairs. If you haven’t been previously traumatized, then your fight or flight response shouldn’t be overwhelming, and your frontal lobes should be able to get you to calm down relatively fast, and to apprise the situation from a calmer, more compassionate and understanding point of view: accidents happen, it wasn’t on purpose, they aren’t out to get you, no real harm done, etc.
BUT – if your frontal lobes are kind of shut-down (as happens a lot with people who have experienced a lot of trauma in their lives), and / or your knee-jerk reaction is much stronger than normal (another common occurrence with traumatized people) – then even a minor event like this can turn into a big deal, especially if you go ballistic and start yelling at the neighbor aggressively, or panic and start going to great lengths to try to avoid the ‘dangerous’ neighbor.
Whenever someone is acting irritable, highly-strung or hypersensitive, that’s a sign that their frontal lobes are struggling to keep things together, in the face of some overwhelming internal stress.
When the emotional brain is in the driving seat, conscious free choice about how to behave in the danger of a perceived threat is effectively out the window. Here’s the thing: most of the time, we’re not being running the risk of getting flattened by a Harley Davidson.
The more patient, calm, understanding and un-reactive we can be in the face of provocation and external ‘triggers’, the better that will usually be for us, and the easier we’ll find it to get on with other people, to enjoy our lives more, and to avoid getting all stressed-out and irritable all the time.
So how can we do that? What can we do to strengthen the frontal lobes, and lessen the unnecessary knee-jerk reactions coming from the emotional brain?
In a word: PRAYER / CONNECTING TO GOD. That’s the top-down approach that goes from the soul, through the emotions, then to the body.
(There’s also a bottom-up approach that starts with the body, goes through the emotions and ends with the soul, but that’s a post for another time.) Here's some quotes from the scientists in the meantime, who have started exploring the 'mindfulness' part of praying and connecting to God:
“Practicing mindfulness even decreases the activity of the amygdala, and thus decreases reactivity to potential triggers.” SJ Banks, “Amygdala-Frontal Connectivity during Emotion Regulation; also, MR Milad.
“Mindfulness has been shown to have a positive effect on numerous psychiatric, psychosomatic and stress-related symptoms, including depression and chronic pain. SG Hoffman, The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Anxiety and Depression: A Meta-Analytic Review.
Many studies show that practicing mindfulness reduces stress. In 2010, Hoffman et al. conducted a meta-analysis of 39 studies that explored the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. The researchers concluded that mindfulness-based therapy may be useful in altering affective and cognitive processes that underlie multiple clinical issues.
Those findings are consistent with evidence that mindfulness meditation increases positive affect and decreases anxiety and negative affect. In one study, participants randomly assigned to an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction group were compared with controls on self-reported measures of depression, anxiety and psychopathology, and on neural reactivity as measured by fMRI after watching sad films (Farb et al., 2010).
The researchers found that the participants who experienced mindfulness-based stress reduction had significantly less anxiety, depression and somatic distress compared with the control group. In addition, the fMRI data indicated that the mindfulness group had less neural reactivity when they were exposed to the films than the control group, and they displayed distinctly different neural responses while watching the films than they did before their mindfulness training. These findings suggest that mindfulness meditation shifts people's ability to use emotion regulation strategies in a way that enables them to experience emotion selectively, and that the emotions they experience may be processed differently in the brain (Farb et al., 2010; Williams, 2010).
Definition of Mindfulness / Prayer
Is basically when you pause for thought and reflection instead of going straight into a knee-jerk reaction, and you try to be more objective about what is really 'correct' and 'good' according to God, not just according to the warped and biased perspective of your inner snake brain.
Whenever you do this (i.e., personal pray, or hitbodedut) you’re strengthening your frontal lobes, and you’re slowing down the reaction-time that’s hardwired into your emotional brain. That gives your frontal lobes those crucial couple of extra seconds it needs to be able to more rationally assess a situation, and avert an inappropriate knee-jerk response.
When this ability to think before you react is absent, then your relationships very quickly start to break-down, as you react with ‘fight or flight’ in the face of every real or imagined trigger (and as mentioned, the imaginary triggers and genuinely serious threats tend to outnumber the real ones by many thousands to one.)
Now, here’s the next super-cool thing. In experiments done with neuroimaging, they found that when participants were experiencing very intense states of fear, sadness or anger, this empowered the activity in the emotional brain (effectively, giving it even more juice and sway), while severely reducing the activity and ‘power’ of the frontal lobes, and particularly the medial prefrontal cortex.
To put it another way, when you get very angry, sad or scared, (all bad character traits, and the basis of most mental illnesses, including personality disorders) you lose the frontal lobe ‘break’ on your knee-jerk reactions, which means you can get completely overwhelmed by external triggers and stimuli.
You start to feel suffocated, irritable, cagey, impatient. Small difficulties become impossible problems, you snap at people, you startle at the smallest noise, you tense up when people stand too close, or freeze when you have to talk to even a small group of people, etc.
Personal prayer, meditation and talking to God helps us to regulate our emotions, and maintain self-control - all things that are severely lacking and / or completely missing when God is out of the picture, and the 'animal' brain is firmly in the driving seat.