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Another PTSD Analogy (yawn!)

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Bear with me here people. I've been thinking again (really ought to stop, but it's so addictive!). I've been trying to think of a way to explain things to my friends/work colleagues, cos I don't particularly like the "you just need to relax more" comments. The whole point is that I can't relax - hence the problems!!!! By the way, this is just my view on how things work - not saying I'm right!

My new therapist was telling me about the autonomic nervous system: 2 parts: sympathetic does the stressy flight/fight thing, parasympathetic switches it off. Apparently, we ptsd people have a very sensitive sympathetic part, but a damn lazy parasympathetic part.

My thinking is: In order to keep going, we end up over-riding the sympathetic using willpower. Effectively, we are driving with no brakes. This is fine if the road is level and straight, but we are buggered when we hit a bend or a hill.

So we have to do 2 things. 1. Fix the brakes; 2. Not drive the damn car til the brakes are fixed. Trouble is, we need to go places, so we take risks (like going back to work too soon).

What makes it so hard is that we end up sitting behind the wheel and revving the engine, but we can't or are too afraid to put it in gear. Drugs help, but they are the same as using your feet to slow down - if you hit those bends or a steep hill, you are still buggered. You can take tranquilisers, but that would be the same as driving with the airbags inflated - doesn't hurt so much, but you can't see where you are going, so you are more likely to crash.

Any thoughts?
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Like I said to my therapist a couple days ago
(she said it had been one of the better explanations shes heard)
"Living with PTSD is like struggling through an entire day, flying emotions, THEN we have to try and fall asleep, basically impossible when you are feeling anxious, then after a terrible sleep... you wake up to have to do the whole damn battle again."

From my personal experience, I have chosen to only tell select few people about the fact that I have PTSD. My supposedly best friend told me to basically "get over it" and just stop being depressed.

And the fact that we not only have a hard time understand what is going on in our own head... let alone explain it to people around you... well, I honestly don't think that someone without PTSD to fully understand what we are actually going through.

I think one of the best analogys is the one about the "[DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread63.html"]PTSD cup[/DLMURL]"
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Piglet, you actually completely understand it, and your analogy is spot on from everything I know about the autonomic nervous system (we get taught everything on the PTSD course to help, hence why I recommend it to anyone with Australia).

Maybe its time I pull my finger out and start pulling out more of my notes to put up here about this exact thing, which will show everyone a bit more depth, in a simplified manner, what is going on within us in this facet? I think I will do that....
To an extent Anthony that would be beneficial, half the effectiveness of this forum is the balance between the professional and personal experiences, judging from the posts I am seeing that most people on this website have attended therapy sessions, I am glad to see that most of the advice is consistant. Nothing is more determental than "bad advice". I do not know how to explain the guilt I personally feel sometimes for not "getting over it" Watching everyone else around me manage (or mostly manage) their life without PTSD, it is a very alienating feeling.
Liza, if anyone tells you to "just get over it", just tell them to get f*cked (or whatever choice of words you desire). Just being depressed, or just being anxious, or just being forgetful... sure, you can actually get over those things, but these with other aspects combine to make PTSD, which nobody with PTSD can ever get over. I know what your saying, in that it doesn't matter what you tell people without PTSD, they will never ever get it. They can't grasp the concept, the feeling, the emotions, the internal torment, because they don't have it.

I believe the easiest way is, just don't try and explain anything to them. A spouse of PTSD sufferer can often find the words to explain things better than we can, because they see it from the other side, the side we can't explain.

Tell them to bite their backside and read some of the things upon this board that people have posted about what is going on within them. Most generally shutup about that stage.
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Direct and to the point. I like it...I am one who enjoys a good swear word once in a while to make my point..good one Anthony...
Thanks for the new phrase, Anthony. I will definitely be telling someone to 'bite their backside' sometime soon. :)
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