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View Diary: Personality and PTSD (38 comments)

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  •  When your brain chemistry is altered, you are in (1+ / 0-)
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    Horace Boothroyd III

    effect, in an altered state of reality. How people interpret that altered state is dependent upon the individual.

    Feeling unreal, or the world feeling unreal is a commonly reported description that happens when someone is in a process of disassociation.

    This is usually a step towards emotional numbing after being triggered.

    When you are triggered, you are Over Stimulated, and eventually you run out of adrenaline, and perhaps in response to this or maybe just because you are overstimulated emotionally, something happens that causes your body/mind to partially shut down either due to exhaustion or simply as a defense mechanism.

    It's like a safety valve to protect one from an excruciating dive into the minutia of interpreting your surroundings. You are in a defensive mode, only there is no true threat. So the brain attempts to find a threat, and begins interpreting normal stimuli in a more intensive way.

    Suddenly you are sensitive to every sight, sound, intonation, your perception of others body language changes. This is the hypervigilance or hyper awareness phase. And if you don't know what is happening or what to expect, not only can it be weird, but down right terrifying.

    So eventually you just shut down, and become less sensitive for a while.

    This is why PTSD is sometimes mistaken for BiPolar disorder. Because Hyperawareness can look a lot like Mania, and the disassociation and exhaustion after the fact, looks like depression and can lead to depressive episodes.

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