Comorbidity of high IQ and PTSD?

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
I find the proposed connection between latent inhibition and stress cup makes a lot of sense - like in a ... epiphany... why didn't I think of that before because it's so obvious kind of way.

Latent inhibition is a very typical "problem" (I hate to call it that for it's negative connotation, but can't think of a better word right now) for neurodivergent people. (tangent: I recently read an article why ADHDs (and probably applys to ASDs too) often avoid eye contact, because their brains are *already* taking in so many more information - eye contact would overload the brain as maintaining eye contact? Really f*cking hard work for the brain. Let me see if I can find that article.

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Little bit of a tangent, because I really like that here in the discussion at least, HIQ seems to be regarded as neurodivergent without question.

I've actually been in a little bit of a headed-turned-ugly discussion in a ND community earlier this year (which ended up getting me kicked out - I elaborated in length in my diary on it) because folks there took beef with me defending the HIQ=ND standpoint DESPITE there being actual studies.

With everything that is and might be wrong with the concept of "intelligence" (mostly because it's been abused/caused a lot of bad things and because people apply some sort of judgment/value to it (aka high intelligent == better) - something that's completely alien to myself), I find all this, especially the connection between high IQ, comorbid ASD/ADHD - and particularly the neurodevelopmental/biological component to those three - and mental disorders extremely interesting and have myself spent a lot of time researching and reading.

But I've repeatedly found myself unable to actually discuss it with anyone because of that widespread tendency of not being able to discuss anything "high intelligence" because of the previously mentioned problems of being regarded as arrogant/elitist/narcissist. My genuine (scientific) curiosity is regularly confused with social/character traits ... (yeah, one of those things I've struggled all my life with being a high IQ inquisitive person ... it's always been regarded as stubborn and challenging when in reality I just really wanted to discuss a subject from various angles/to better understand ...)
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Yup, there is also a lot of exploitation of people with HIQs too, with specific coaching programs etc. I mean, why not as long it remains in the spheres of the reasonable, but most of the time it’s just expensive bullshit. From the societies such as Mensa it gives near-cult creepy vibes.

At school after the tests had leaked, they had to say something to the class. They came up with the metaphor "Y’all know these folks got Ferraris and you’ve got an old Fiat, but you still can drive faster…" Sort of hare and turtle fable. At that moment everyone started to stare at me and I knew I was screwed for the next 6 years.

I guess the problem or the limits with communities centered around a disorder or a specificity is that at some point it can become an identity placeholder. And with something that has emerged in a formulation that is inherently hierarchical like the IQ, it’s just asking to trigger narcissistic behaviors.

I have also read that from a certain point in personality disorders, some consider that it constitutes a form of neurodivergence in itself. Then you have the problem to define what’s divergent, what’s not, what the heck is normality, where is the middle of our Gaussian curve?! Understanding intelligence as a sort of "distribution" among human beings is I guess rather distorted and fails to encompass dimensional data, intersections and also changes over time for the same individuals.

At the end all these labels are tools for understanding, but their existence is based on corrective/adaptive values and notions of normality. I guess it’s where you reach the limits of psychiatry and psychometrics. In a sense, they give a frame to read (and more importantly, predict) behavior based on present information and once you start to see things according to this grid you arrange the world following its rules, which can make you blind to other things.

In a sense, this frame distortion can also be found in religion, astrology or actually any structure of collective thinking, values and beliefs. What’s interesting I guess is how it’s experienced from the inside, what it means for the people who adopt this or this way of thinking, and obviously as being someone else is the most inaccessible thing, it’s really a tricky matter. Note that in this thought itself is one of constant self-doubt.

But at the end I’m happy that with the ND debate, there is at least the recognition that it is possible to be biologically different in terms of information and emotional processing. With this understood, the will to correct a divergence as a problem has diminished a lot and it’s been I guess extremely crucial for all people on the autistic spectrum and with ADHD (both my mum and my brother have it btw) to be accepted to be different and try to find adaptions from both parties rather than forcing them into a norm that actually doesn’t really exist and guilt everyone.
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
w) for neurodivergent people. (tangent: I recently read an article why ADHDs (and probably applys to ASDs too) often avoid eye contact, because their brains are *already* taking in so many more information - eye contact would overload the brain as maintaining eye contact? Really f*cking hard work for the brain. Let me see if I can find that article.

Can't find the exact article I was reading back then (still looking), but came across this one and thought I'd share because they also talk about eye contact issues in PTSD, so thought it was relevant.

(though really tangential to the HIQ topic of this thread - sorry if out of place)


Edit: Found it!


To circle back on-topic, somehow, maybe... my personal experience with people in the HIQ realm is that they either are very intense in their eye contact (stare) - or too avoid eye contact. And I think that too makes sense as HIQ brains also tend to run in overdrive a lot.

Sooo... bottom-line: Stress Cup. HIQ/ND PLUS PTSD? Input into that cup from all kinds of various same and different sources, and potentially overflowing faster/easier. Maybe? Dunno.
 
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Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
It comes to mind after following this thread that I recall causing quite a stir in the field of testing. First they tested, then sub tested, then they asked if I would see some other guy who wanted to test further. He was really quite fascinated because based on my testing I should not be able to do xyz, so they kept su testing and the last guy that saw me wrote the findings up in some medical journal. In the end, it really only mattered to them! I did not benefit from their findings, albeit I do understand now why they were so intrigued, but not of it really matters. I am unique, and I prefer to keep that to myself.
 

Friday

Moderator
So I wonder that by having this deviation in patterns of thought and communication, it couldn’t actually create a more vulnerable terrain to develop PTSD or CPTSD
Whilst there are many disorders that are associated with above average or below average intelligence? To the best of my knowledge, PTSD can strike anyone. Regardless of innate intelligence level.

Just as an example, in reverse? Someone of below average intelligence is far more likely to be buffeted by events unfolding in a way that they have no capacity to predict, or even understand. Vulnerable in every sense of the word.

So, I would posit, that rather than making someone more or less vulnerable to acquiring PTSD... that baseline intelligence is far more likely to both affect recovery, as well as present unique challenges in each of the 5 rough subgroups of intelligence, not seen in the other 4.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
IMHO various kinds of neurodivergence can play off of PTSD and vice versa. I have sensory issues (documented from birth) and my old therapist told me that it’s impossible to differentiate what is PTSD and what is SPD (sensory processing disorder) for one of my symptoms as both disorders feed into that specific symptom.

Thus, I think it’s an interplay between disorders (in my case, anyway, as high IQ isn’t a disorder). Maybe this is a different way of viewing things, instead of correlation or causation? I think I said that right!
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
@siniang , also reflecting on the AS, I’ve heard of it too. I’m reading the links.

Yup, BPD at times is this all-goes-there diagnose for more or less everything we can’t explain, I almost got it too because of emotional dysregulation and fear of abandonment… I perhaps would have bought that if I didn’t spend, like you @mumstheword , so much time with someone who wasn’t just ticking the criteria boxes, but exploding them with smoke. Like my pdoc would say "Frankly, f*ck the DSM-V. Who isn’t scared of being abandoned?! There is a point where everything can have a name, but what counts is what we can do to help you." She’s quite certain on GAD and CPTSD and pdoc2 also is oriented towards CPTSD. I find it tricky when you’re sort at the crossroads of everything but never completely fitting in, at times it gives me the impression you aren’t allowed to suffer because even suffering you do it in your weird ways.
I suspect, everyone, is, actually, a weirdo, some are just more skilled at hiding it than other's.

Any "boxes" can never encompass the sheer and awesome complexity of an actual human being.

We are awesome like that.😁🤪🙃

So all the boxes are merely approximations to guide and direct treatment plans, nothing more.

For me, it's was lighbulb
brain-shifting-into gear, moments that followed the realisation of my "correct" DX's.
I figured them out before outside comfirmation, but, I did get a little sidetracked thinking I might've been a bi polary type at a time. Luckily I struck upon a knowledgable GP who dissuaded me of that notion and affirmed the suspected PTSD.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Whilst there are many disorders that are associated with above average or below average intelligence? To the best of my knowledge, PTSD can strike anyone. Regardless of innate intelligence level.

Just as an example, in reverse? Someone of below average intelligence is far more likely to be buffeted by events unfolding in a way that they have no capacity to predict, or even understand. Vulnerable in every sense of the word.

So, I would posit, that rather than making someone more or less vulnerable to acquiring PTSD... that baseline intelligence is far more likely to both affect recovery, as well as present unique challenges in each of the 5 rough subgroups of intelligence, not seen in the other 4.
Yes and no.

HIQ often accompanies low EQ; emotional intelligence. So that doesn't really give us "HIQ" individuals any social edge. Just a propensity to research the hell out of what went wrong and why we took the turns we did.

Because of the overthinking, I think we can bask and bathe in any and all kinds of paranoid delusions due to wild imaginations fuelled by trauma-induced extreme fear and a tendency to take an avid interest in the why's what for's and WTF's of our world.
Also, the expectations of being able to DO SOMETHING about the pain of the world or just our own suffering can be overwhelmingly weighty and angsty.

I suspect, suicides are, perhaps, a tad higher the higher IQ ascends.

I haven't, actually, got any statistical basis for this, I don't think, but that could be just because I also have a shit memory aka trauma fog brain and too many years in stoner fog and other injurious-to-the-brain activities.

I could probably find out. Jordan Peterson would know. He's one of my favourite sociologists. Much more truthful and with comforting integrity , I find, than the cultural marxist types who dominate the academic landscape, these days.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
I suspect, suicides are, perhaps, a tad higher the higher IQ ascends.
This is true. And attributed to basically dwelling on stuff. But also.. people with high IQ are also more likely to improve with the right therapy because of the understanding thing. So yes. It's true. But I'm not sure diagnoses are higher for high IQ folks, just they dwell more.
HIQ often accompanies low EQ; emotional intelligence
Not necessarily. Only because people diagnosed by psychologists with autism (so the ones considered autistic in the studies I've read) also tend to score high in an IQ test which messes up results. Because of the low EQ associated with autism.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
I despise IQ tests. I have had them done and after the first time, refused to allow any provider to tell me any numerical results, only any "take home" information I needed. I didn't like them because I have tested as having an IQ much higher than expected because what people see first are the areas where I struggle. I tested as both "learning disabled" and "gifted" as a child. Even typing about this subject weirdly stresses me out... I can't explain why. But that all being said, I'd like to jump into the discussion for a moment. I have a pile of studies I collected on this very subject for another project lately.

I'm going to present some positions that refute some of the conclusions being drawn as food for thought. As always, take what's helpful, disregard what's not.

1.) IQ tests are becoming increasingly debated and debunked: Scientists debunk the IQ myth: Notion of measuring one's intelligence quotient by singular, standardized test is highly misleading -- ScienceDaily (There are a lot of other studies and work being done on showing IQ tests are highly flawed measures of intelligence.)

2.) Psychological research as a whole is in a sort of crisis moment because many are failing to meet reproducibility standards: Two More Classic Psychology Studies Just Failed The Reproducibility Test (sciencealert.com)There is more and more information coming out about why this might be happening. For example, many psych studies use mostly white middle to upper class college students as the sample, which isn't a good subset of the human population as a whole.

3.) One's experience online or in a specific setting with people of a high IQ does not mean that's a good sample of people with that IQ, or that it's all that different from people with a lower IQ. I.e. before making conclusions that a group of people tend towards one way, one should consider the sample source and setting, and what it's being compared to - and the source of that sample as well.

But what has struck me is that during my endless nights on the Internet and having been on high-IQ forums by curiosity.
To be short, it would affect your capacity to share on your comfort level. And what I observed in these high IQ forums (never been to a society, sounds super creepy), were loads of people complaining about getting triggered with an immense tendency towards rumination, emotional distress and dysregulation, and quite unaware of it. I also was unaware of the entire world of triggers, emotional dysregulation and all sorts of behavioral disorders before I’d say a year ago. Anyway, I’m diverging!
The observations of the behavior of people on a online forum may or may not have anything to do with their IQ. It could be due to other factors common in the group of people drawn to be online on a particular forum. We see that happen here. Forums generally tend to attract more introverts than extroverts, etc. More verbal thinkers than visual, etc. There is also only a limited amount of information about the people online. I was in a political online group once. Someone took an anonymous poll and quickly found out the majority of the group were recovering from substance addiction. The group had nothing to do with substance addition. A particular group online may be populated with a group of people that do not represent an accurate sampling of the population of the group as a whole. I've seen this happen in an offline setting too.

4.) There seems to be a paralysis of analysis that occurs for some people with high IQ where they struggle to disbelieve they could be wrong more than people with lower IQ. 10 Surprising Disadvantages Of High Intelligence
It’s the exact opposite, however, when it comes to looking inward and being able to challenge one’s own beliefs when irrefutable evidence is provided to the contrary.[6] Studies indicate that people with higher cognitive abilities are less likely to budge from their positions when an alternative viewpoint is presented with facts, no matter how reasonable or unreasonable their current stand is, something that’s much easier to gauge for obviously dumb beliefs like the Earth being flat.
6.) Drawing conclusions about BPD, PTSD as it relates to IQ and EI is challenging. The majority of people with BPD recover with or without treatment within a few years of diagnosis. Some studies show recovery as high as 99% with most studies landing around 60-80%. Studies also show people with BPD appear to have the same emotional intelligence as those without BPD. If high IQ = more likely to low EI... and High IQ = more likely to have BPD.... well, it doesn't line up with the data to make jumps between High IQ/EI and PTSD and BPD.
Borderline personality disorder and emotional intelligence - PubMed (nih.gov)
So I wonder that by having this deviation in patterns of thought and communication, it couldn’t actually create a more vulnerable terrain to develop PTSD or CPTSD as
There have been many studies on these matters. Keep in mind what I started off with at the beginning -> psych studies as a whole should be taken with a lot of salt. Many are getting overturned. Plus, correlation does not always equal causation.

Low intelligence linked to suicide risk later in life
High intelligence: A risk factor for psychological and physiological overexcitabilities
This implicates high IQ as being a potential risk factor for affective disorders, ADHD, ASD, and for increased incidence of disease related to immune dysregulation. Preliminary findings strongly support a hyper brain/hyper body association which may have substantial individual and societal implications and warrants further investigation to best identify and serve this at-risk population.
High IQ may increase risk of mental illness: Bad News for the Highly Intelligent

However, when we jump to emotional Intelligence, that may not be all that important for happiness: The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence

There is a popular idea that people with autism can't feel empathy or understand others emotions. More and more information is coming out to show actually many and possibly most with autism can and do feel empathy and understand emotion, maybe even more than the general population. This opinion articles goes into it well: People with autism can read emotions and feel empathy

And then there is this: The higher the IQ, the less likelihood of PTSD, study suggests (apa.org) (Which yeah, surprised me as well.)

Are there studies out there that refute all of these conclusions that these studies claim? Probably.

All this is to say... it's complicated. It may be important to hold any conclusions lightly about online group behavior and personal experience of how IQ and PTSD play off of each other. Do really brilliant smart people get PTSD? All the time. Do some struggle to recover because of how their intelligence interacts with their trauma and symptoms and treatment? Yep. Is that usually the most important driving factor in success of recovery from PTSD? I am doubtful of this. There are so many other factors beyond cognitive abilities alone. But hey, I think we could use a study on it. ;)
 
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ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
@Justmehere , first of all thank you for your answer, because it took time and research.

I just feel quite misunderstood and am under the impression that you’re interpreting what I said as affirmations while they remain very, very vague hypotheses, and the bit about BPD and empathy really doesn’t reflect what I said as I never suggested people with BPD have a lower emotional understanding than anyone else? Nowhere I have equated HIQ with low EI. My stance actually was more to think that these tests might actually accidentally measure something else that we aren’t defining here, potentially a different pattern of thoughts, or a different approach to thinking.

On the total, I really don’t know. I was also quite interested in knowing people’s experiences towards this, because what we seem to share all here is quite a strong negativity towards having been tested and the tests themselves, with "positive" or "negative" results. Basically to boil it down, they say: you deviate from the norm. In itself, that’s quite a problematic message and it’s been quite a problem with psychiatry and medicine in general as its aim is to be corrective and to correct you need a norm.

The entire point here was more to identify divergences with which one can work rather than forcing them back in an expectation, in the method of let’s say, therapy, or in its results.

Overall it really wasn’t my objective to trigger anyone in one direction or the other but I can see the topic in itself is highly triggering.
 
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