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Environmental Extremes

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I am curious about the prognosis and developmental impact of being exposed to extremes of human depravity at a young age. In my last therapy appointment we touched base on the fact that I wound up in the hospital after losing my grip on reality and entering a state of psychosis. I was hallucinating, somewhat delusional and cognitively regressed to about the level of a 4-5 year old, I'd say. (And which leads me to behave in very embarrassing, out-of-control ways. My memory also gets very f*cky, in these states I remember more details [and spew them uncontrollably] and when I return to normalcy, those details get a lot more fuzzy).

This happens to me a lot, and me and my therapist aren't exactly sure if it is due to an actual disorder (I am diagnosed [ADHD, SZPD, RAD, TBI] with several, and misdiagnosed with many [ASD, ODD, DDNOS]) or if it is actually just a normal, linear result to having experienced a wide array of physical and psychological torture starting from age 8 (and earlier neglect causing RAD from infancy, in what my therapist has described as a "very extreme" case of neglect; I'm not able to view this with any impartiality as I simply have no feelings, positive or negative, about it at all). All of the misdiagnoses on my record lend credence to the idea that modern medicine isn't very "clued-in" to what the long-term effects of trauma really are.

It's challenging for me to find resources on the outcomes of patients like myself; some things that I've experienced I've only seen documented in books written by folks like Gideon Greif or Iris Chang - when I say extreme, I sort of mean it? The only time I've ever seen anyone discuss an event similar to the one I experienced, that person was murdered during the course of it. But I wasn't; I am alive, and now have to deal with the impact of having endured this at age 8-9. It's sort of like I can't deduce if this is just serious disorder with an environmental basis or if this is just what happens when kids are exposed to mutilation and atrocity.

What kind of effects does this type of violence have on a person's mind and psyche? I have known one individual who got incarcerated, and he was diagnosed as schizophrenic in late adulthood. AFAIK this is pretty much very peculiar. Because they just couldn't really figure out what was wrong with him - he was constantly delusional, paranoid, psychotic, hallucinating, etc. And it was about trauma, it wasn't random. I believe it was because he was traumatized, not because he was schizophrenic, but his clinicians literally just didn't know what to say was wrong with him. For me, it is definite that at least some of my divergence is due to genetics.

Schizophrenia and autism are rife throughout my whole family, and having schizophrenia in a relative increases the risk of developing SZPD - which I have. It's sort of put things into making a little more sense for me, especially the noodle-brained psychosis stuff, but part of me wonders if that's truly a factor of disorder or whether there's at some point, a certain level of trauma that goes beyond human resilience altogether.

Kind of like how lots of people can endure a great variety of physical trauma, but at a certain point, you'll be overwhelmed beyond your capacity. If I light you on fire, you're not going to be resilient to that - you will die. Yes, some people can survive with burns over 80% of their body or more, but at that point it's really a matter of luck. You wouldn't say that all the people who died had "dying of being on fire disease," since surviving that is what is actually uncommon.
 
I am curious about the prognosis and developmental impact of being exposed to extremes of human depravity at a young age. In my last therapy appointment we touched base on the fact that I wound up in the hospital after losing my grip on reality and entering a state of psychosis. I was hallucinating, somewhat delusional and cognitively regressed to about the level of a 4-5 year old, I'd say. (And which leads me to behave in very embarrassing, out-of-control ways. My memory also gets very f*cky, in these states I remember more details [and spew them uncontrollably] and when I return to normalcy, those details get a lot more fuzzy).

This happens to me a lot, and me and my therapist aren't exactly sure if it is due to an actual disorder (I am diagnosed [ADHD, SZPD, RAD, TBI] with several, and misdiagnosed with many [ASD, ODD, DDNOS]) or if it is actually just a normal, linear result to having experienced a wide array of physical and psychological torture starting from age 8 (and earlier neglect causing RAD from infancy, in what my therapist has described as a "very extreme" case of neglect; I'm not able to view this with any impartiality as I simply have no feelings, positive or negative, about it at all). All of the misdiagnoses on my record lend credence to the idea that modern medicine isn't very "clued-in" to what the long-term effects of trauma really are.

It's challenging for me to find resources on the outcomes of patients like myself; some things that I've experienced I've only seen documented in books written by folks like Gideon Greif or Iris Chang - when I say extreme, I sort of mean it? The only time I've ever seen anyone discuss an event similar to the one I experienced, that person was murdered during the course of it. But I wasn't; I am alive, and now have to deal with the impact of having endured this at age 8-9. It's sort of like I can't deduce if this is just serious disorder with an environmental basis or if this is just what happens when kids are exposed to mutilation and atrocity.

What kind of effects does this type of violence have on a person's mind and psyche? I have known one individual who got incarcerated, and he was diagnosed as schizophrenic in late adulthood. AFAIK this is pretty much very peculiar. Because they just couldn't really figure out what was wrong with him - he was constantly delusional, paranoid, psychotic, hallucinating, etc. And it was about trauma, it wasn't random. I believe it was because he was traumatized, not because he was schizophrenic, but his clinicians literally just didn't know what to say was wrong with him. For me, it is definite that at least some of my divergence is due to genetics.

Schizophrenia and autism are rife throughout my whole family, and having schizophrenia in a relative increases the risk of developing SZPD - which I have. It's sort of put things into making a little more sense for me, especially the noodle-brained psychosis stuff, but part of me wonders if that's truly a factor of disorder or whether there's at some point, a certain level of trauma that goes beyond human resilience altogether.

Kind of like how lots of people can endure a great variety of physical trauma, but at a certain point, you'll be overwhelmed beyond your capacity. If I light you on fire, you're not going to be resilient to that - you will die. Yes, some people can survive with burns over 80% of their body or more, but at that point it's really a matter of luck. You wouldn't say that all the people who died had "dying of being on fire disease," since surviving that is what is actually uncommon.
I'm so sorry to hear about the experiences you've had and the difficulties you've been facing as a result. It sounds like you've been through unimaginable trauma, and it's understandable that you're seeking resources and answers to better understand the impact it has had on your mind and psyche.

The effects of exposure to extreme violence and trauma at a young age can be profound and complex. Research in the field of trauma psychology has documented a range of possible consequences, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociative disorders, attachment issues, and impaired cognitive and emotional development.

While it can be challenging to find specific resources that relate directly to your experiences, it's important to acknowledge that trauma affects individuals differently. The impact can depend on various factors, such as the severity and duration of the trauma, individual resilience, available support systems, and genetic predispositions.

Regarding your question about whether psychosis and cognitive regression could be part of a disorder with an environmental basis or a consequence of extreme trauma, it's important to note that a comprehensive assessment by a qualified mental health professional would be necessary to determine an accurate diagnosis. The diagnostic process typically involves a thorough evaluation of symptoms, history, and psychological functioning.

Given your family history of schizophrenia and autism, it's understandable that you're considering the potential genetic factors at play. It's worth exploring these possibilities as part of a comprehensive understanding of your unique situation.

In terms of your analogy about resilience and trauma, it's true that there is a point where trauma can overwhelm an individual's capacity to cope. Resilience is a complex interplay of genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors. While some individuals may appear resilient despite significant trauma, others may experience significant challenges even with seemingly less severe experiences.

It's important to remember that everyone's experiences and responses to trauma are unique. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to how trauma will impact an individual. It's essential to be compassionate with yourself and seek support from professionals who can provide guidance and therapeutic interventions tailored to your specific needs.

If you haven't done so already, I would highly encourage you to reach out to a mental health professional who specializes in trauma and can provide a comprehensive evaluation and support. They can work with you to develop a trauma-informed treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and helps you navigate the challenges you're facing.

Please remember to take breaks and practice self-care as you continue on your journey of healing and growth. Feel free to reach out again if you have any further questions or need additional support.
 
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