PTSD as a mental-psychological brain injury...

Lionheart

Sponsor
I am finding out that it is much easier to tell people I am medically retired (disabled) from a brain injury (PTSD) than it is to explain the details to them as well as helping me to accept my condition. It is sad but there are many people who still think you had to be in military combat to have PTSD. I guess trauma is like a war tho' huh? But anyway I just wondered how many people view their PTSD as a brain injury or psychological injury? Why? and does it help you in dealing with "outsiders"? Or with accepting your diagnosis?
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
Wow, that is cool, thanks for sharing that @somerandomguy. I have to say that I agree. Where is the organization MenHealing at, is it a website, group, book??? I would like to know more about it if you wouldn't mind sharing a bit more.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
I don't actually consider it as being either a condition or an injury. N neither definition is helpful to me. Like it's a way to explain how I react or reacted to things that have happened. I don't think I put much more thought to it than that.

If I was *forced* to, I'd say condition. Because injury to me is "if this happens this injury will occur" n that's not true to me, but maybe I've just been a physical health nurse too long already. But injury to me is a solid "this results in this" n that is not how I view my mh symptoms. Cos PTSD is like "this happened. So pick a disorder out this hat. N you have that one"
 

grief

Sponsor
i view it as a psychological injury. there is also some not-insufficient evidence to show that ptsd changes the way your brain processes and receives information. i have yet to receive a diagnosis as i work with law enforcement and i was afraid to get counseling for years. but that has changed, and my counselor believes that i have it. it is just a matter of time. what happens in my line of work is that you become desensitized. you become numb. the parts of your life that led you to this point bubble over. it is epidemic. but until we create an AI that we trust in a court of law to make these determinations, it is necessary. what happens when you are repeatedly exposed to trauma, even if it is not your own? i feel my brain and my mind reacting deep below the surface, underneath the rushing tide. the waves.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
Thank you for your response @grief, I tend to think the same way about it myself, but it has taken me a long time to get to this point. I guess because I used to consider PTSD, as a curse. Which made it harder to accept.

what happens in my line of work is that you become desensitized. you become numb. the parts of your life that led you to this point bubble over. it is epidemic.
Yes, I recognize this happens in law enforcement. It makes me sad. I am glad you found us here and have a counselor. I am a survivor of sexual child abuse and it took me about 39 years before I accepted that I needed some assistance in dealing with the past and the way it affected me. Things can and do get better. I am 60 yrs old and have had 20 years of therapy/counseling and things are a lot less intense than they were. Being here as a member has been invaluable for me too I hope it helps you as well.
 

grief

Sponsor
Thank you for your response @grief, I tend to think the same way about it myself, but it has taken me a long time to get to this point. I guess because I used to consider PTSD, as a curse. Which made it harder to accept.


Yes, I recognize this happens in law enforcement. It makes me sad. I am glad you found us here and have a counselor. I am a survivor of sexual child abuse and it took me about 39 years before I accepted that I needed some assistance in dealing with the past and the way it affected me. Things can and do get better. I am 60 yrs old and have had 20 years of therapy/counseling and things are a lot less intense than they were. Being here as a member has been invaluable for me too I hope it helps you as well.
i very much appreciate this. i have similar experiences from my own childhood. i have still not truly processed most of it. my memories are entirely fractured until they come bursting out of me, it is toxic waste. particularly if i am drunk or insomniac. it is a physical sensation, a twisted nausea throughout the entire body. how can the brain process some of these things, how do you process being dehumanized? literally taken from the point of human relational constructs. our culture. or civilization. i apologize this has come as a bit of rambling, haha.
 

lovak

Confident
Hmmmm. I don't say I have a brain injury, but when I try to explain what i go through, I do use the physical part to explain. People can relate better, is my conclusion. I tell them about the reptile brain, the mammal brain, and that huge lump in the front: Cognitive brain. I explain to them how fight/flight/freeze/fawn is activated before passing through the cognitive brain. Everyone can remember a time where they reacted before they thought it through. Maybe pulled their hand back from a hot oven before actually registering the pain. People get that. It's the alarmsystem for danger that acts before thinking. People nod.

Then I tell them that my alarmsystem is broken and out of control. That it registers danger everywhere, and all those stresshormones are flooding my body. This causes all kinds of physical problems, because my body is getting ready for danger. Muscles are tense, breathing and heartrate intensifies, I have to pee all the time because when you need to run, you don't need the extra weight of a full bladder. I'm alert at everything and get distracted or spooked by everything, because that alarmsystem is SURE there's danger... somewhere. Sometimes it feels like taking a nap, that alarmsystem, and I shut down and register nothing.

And sometimes another part of my brain is malfunctioning along with the alarmsystem. I explain that the alarmsystem is usually quite nifty and links experiences together; if it's a similar situation, you should learn from what happened the last time. But my memorysystem is also a little out of whack, and doesnt fax over the relevant information, but puts me in a full on 3d experience. Even worse; the alarmsystem links things and situations together like it gets a bonus for doing so, and often it doesnt really make any sense, and Im stuck in that 3d experience. Or just an emotion. Or a body sensation.

Basically, I explain it like my brain is malfunctioning, which isnt exactly false. Its easier to relate to for most people, and I find it helpfull to explain it like this because it doesnt get personal.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
how can the brain process some of these things, how do you process being dehumanized? literally taken from the point of human relational constructs. our culture. or civilization.
The way it was explained to me is that for some reason, our brains are hard-wired to save us from insanity. I dissociated, in other words, in my case, I went bye-bye with the birds. I flew away in my mind with birds and it helped protect me from losing my mind. The rest was processed with a counselor, a little at a time because that's the only way I felt safe enough to face things. We used journal writing as one tool and I was lucky that my therapist has many modalities she could use to help me with healing. Those are the only answers I have. We seem to be built this way and it helps us to process it when we feel safe enough to do so.
Basically, I explain it like my brain is malfunctioning, which isnt exactly false. Its easier to relate to for most people, and I find it helpfull to explain it like this because it doesnt get personal.
I really like this! that is another way of looking at it that I like a lot. Thanks for taking the time to share.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
Some people think that what they know about something is enough to form an opinion about something and unfortunately these same people are the ones that have a hard time changing an opinion. I say screw them. If thats all they want to know then I am not the guy to try to educate them. If they think only weak people get PTSD and only the weakest of those get it without being in a combat situation, screw them twice.
Yes, I think it is an injury. It is why I try to heal it. It is why I don't care who knows anymore. Firefighter of the year, ex first responder medic, and victim of numerous physical injuries with like 2 yards of suture scars to show for it, but my PTSD started with having parents that thought working out on me to save my soul from eternal damnation was a good thing to do. Go figure. It's an injury.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
I did have a traumatic brain injury and was knocked out cold. Then I had what was called post concussion sequel, which actually felt somewhat like ptsd (anxiety, depression, distraction, sleepiness, lack of focus, etc) I think this is what made me very vulnerable to ptsd when I was attacked. However, I had childhood neglect and abuse too....also predisposed me. I dont think an injury can always be healed. Only because of my injury do I use TBI as an explanation. I think its very fair to say that PTSD is an injury as well.
 
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