Hypervigilance and the drive to "fight"

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Not sure what my point is here. This is the question, I think. How do you know when hypervigilance crosses into paranoia? Can you be paranoid when the threat is real or is that just appropriate hypervigilance?

Sorry for being abstract and not getting into specifics.
 
some of us have a heightened sense for sniffing out danger, we are awake and alive to life’s dangers.

I can pick up a potential threat or a change in the mood immediately from the slightest body language or vocal change.
The vast majority of the time I read a bad or selfish intention on someone, my suspicions are proven correct.

And almost all of the time when I share my conclusions on a situation, the other people who are involved in the scenario, argue that I’m being paranoid and I’m reading it wrong. These people don’t see it as they are not tuned in that way.

I don’t see it as an illness or a weakness. For the vast majority of history mankind has lived a tough dangerous life. And those people, even the kids would all of had heightened senses, it would have been a requirement for survival.

Now people have so much comfort and ease theyve got lazy and lost that edge.
 
Vigilance? Useful.
Hypervigilance? Not useful.
Paranoia? Pointless bullshit.
I guess it depends on the scenario.

Take for example someone who’s in the army at war, or in a gang fighting against rival gangs potentially facing serious injury or death.. all the people in that environment will be in a hyper vigilant state, it’s a matter of life and death.

In a survival of the fittest environment, it’s the most hyper vigilant who are the last ones standing. They have that little edge that sees them through.
 
for my psycho nickel, paranoia is part and parcel of hypervigilance. without the paranoia i would have useful, healthy vigilance to warn me of the clear and present dangers of life i could easily let go when the danger has passed and/or trust the precautions i have already taken.
 
Take for example someone who’s in the army at war, or in a gang fighting against rival gangs potentially facing serious injury or death.. all the people in that environment will be in a hyper vigilant state, it’s a matter of life and death
Right. But post-trauma (hence Ptsd), it’s the brain’s inability to recognise that it’s no longer in one of those life-or-death scenarios, and retains the same level of vigilance even though the majority of the threat is gone.

That constant level of arousal isn’t just a learned skill, it’s a physiological response, with serious side effects that cause dysfunction if it persists after the threat has gone. The folks who go round almost subconsciously checking for people hiding under or behind cars? There is a physical and psychological cost for sustaining that level of vigilance - it doesn’t come free.

The person in our day and age who has zero vigilance will get hit by a car the first time they try and cross a road. But the other extreme leaves a hormonal and cognitive deficit that is also untenable.

I don’t think anyone ever wants to switch their amygdala off entirely, but dialling it back from where it sits when we’re in a continuous state of threat is critical to function.

To return to the OPs question, the assessment required to gauge whether we’re entering into hypervigilance territory is going to be subjective. But talking it through with someone outside the situation, who can help out with the question “what are the real threats here?” can be immensely helpful. We tend to see things through our ptsd-lens, with our over-active amygdala. Asking someone compassionate outside that sphere can be hugely beneficial!
 
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I totally get your point of there being a physical and psychological cost of sustaining that level of vigilance.
I am that guy who literally is constantly scouting even on a walk to the shops, or in my kids school car park. I’ve been like this all my life I’ve never known any different, and when I was around 20 I felt old like I’d done a million miles but I was strong and healthy it didn’t wear me down so much.

Now I’m in my 40’s and I feel like I’ve crammed 100 yrs of living in. I’m exhausted, everyday gets harder it’s like piling another brick on top the weight has warn me down. It may not look it from the outside but i reach breaking point everyday, and pull myself up to go again the next day. This rules out any chance of having a consistent meaningful relationship with anyone.
 
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