Analogies and Self-Similarities for Understanding PTSD

Analogies often clarify reality. However, an analogy is not necessarily reality. One can be misled by analogies based on wrong assumptions ... the old "assume." Some analogies are reality worthy: self-similarities.

Timism elucidates and delineates many self-similarities as it has been constructed upon and from these reality analogies. The following analogies on mentality (mind, consciousness, or thinking) are paths to understanding and treating PTSD. Because the analogies draw upon other mental conditions (ADHD, dementia, narcolepsy, etc.), they lend insight to those conditions as well as additional perspectives on and descriptions of mentality.

This writer has tried to list as many analogies as he could think of that capture the metabolic factors that worsen PTSD in hopes that PTSD sufferer might have an epipheny of self-discovery that is an entry to a path of self-help and self-service. Ultimately, as learning occurs in the mind not in a classroom, so does the escape from PTSD begin and end in its victim's mind.

  1. Nightmares: The simplest, most common experience that shows the how different rates of integation (ROI) can cause bad experiences is the nightmare. For the sake of argument, let us say the average awake person can summarize five thoughts at a time. If standing on a high bridge, he knows there is a safety railing. In a dream of integrating only, say, three thoughts, the safety railing may not be one of those three thoughts with the dreamer suddenly worried about falling off of high structure.

    When front-line combat troops are given mental simulants to be more alert, they are encoding their experiences at, say, seven thought units. Later without the drugs, they recall the experience in five units. If they focus on the negative then the memory recall becomes negative because some of the reassuring safety thoughts are missing.
  2. Boiling Vegetable Soup: Have you ever compared a simmering soup in which an occasional vegetable will rise into your view before dropping back into the void of the pot versus a boil pot in which every kind of vegetable is banging together at the top before a rising chunk displaces a top bouncer? The same with our consciousness. At lower Rates Of Integration, fewer thoughts are rising to the top of consciousness with out thought of the moment being like a snapshot of the surface. At higher rates, there are more numerous thoughts forming our picture, conclusion or summary of the moment. If you experience something at the higher boiling point, it is hard to fully grasp it at a lower rate of boiling. In this analogy, one can see the relationship of quantity of thoughts underlying the quality or complexity of thought as rate of integation (aka iCube or dynamic density) increases.
  3. Combat Team: The US military justifiably prides itself on integrating professional teams that work as a team with each person having the back of the other team members. When a soldier/marine returns to a normal baseline mentality after frontline service, it is like being in combat with one or more team members missing. Any combat troop will tell you that security of the whole is greater than the security of the parts. If one out of ten is missing, it is more than a 10% drop in combat confidence. Likewise if a soldier recalling his combat experience, if 10% of the thoughts are missing, the security and confidence is reduced by more than 10%.
  4. Peripheral Vision: If the reader has ever experienced a migraine headache, one common feature is one's angle of periperal vision decreases. Often the diminishing peripheral vision is a sign of the impending headache which services as warning to run for the aspirin. Imagine being on combat patrol and suddenly you have no peripheral vision. The same sense of unease and anxiety is present when one's ROI decreases inasmuch as one can see the central throughts but not the related peripheral thoughts which one saw or thought at one time. You see the bad guy but not the accompanying security detail guarding the baddie.
  5. Visual Focus:  When using a telescope, microscope or camera, one adjusts the focal point for optimal clarity. When one experiences moments of life at one level or rate of information integration (ROI), experiencing those moments from other levels puts them out of focus. Whether the original experience was negative or positive, the recall is out of focus. The sense of uncertainty or unsureness causes mental stress, introducing unnecessary and unreal worries if one has not learned to laugh at certain kinds of unclear recalls or recolletions.
  6. Jigsaw Puzzle: When one attempts to recall an experience from another level/rate of integration, it is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with too few or too many pieces. You get confused. It is like having a jigsaw puzzle of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa with some telling you that it is half the actual size as they remove pizzas without your knowledge. The results? You end up with Picasso's  Guernica.

    Have you ever reassembled a device (engine, motor, or, the mother of all disappointing too few or too many pieces, a child's toy on Christmas morning) only to find that you have extra parts leftover. Important is how you handle the final experience. Likewise with vets who don't have full recollection of combat experience or wonder where the extra thoughts come from. First and foremost, laugh at them! If you fertilize and cultivate bad thoughts they grow into an ugly garden of life.
  7. Cogs, Gears & Wavelengths: Synchronicity: The term "cognition" to describe mental activity arose during the Middle Ages as the occurrence of cogs in machines became prevalent: People thought the mind might consist of invisible cogs meshing together to generate thinking. In a sense, a meme composed of numerous thoughts is like a cog which integrates smoothly with cogs of similar "pitch" memes. Like two gears with different pitches, dissimilar pitched memes do not mesh into a harmonious match. The same is true with the difference between the Providgal'd memes of battle, normal memes and smaller memes (of CNS depressants). And, while there is probably greater play between different size memes, the disharmony of different pitches can be seen in trying to run two 6-inch cogs with 31 and 32 teeth. Close, but no match.

    Anyone familiar with EMF transmission knows that the receiver must be tuned to the carriers frequency. The greater the deviation, the more garbled the communication. For society as a whole, there is an average wavelength of communication. The reader surely has met the "Robin Williams" faster than a speeding bullet avalance of thoughts, ideas and jokes. At the other end, are the slow output of morons, druggies and drunks. These are inter-personal wavelength mismatches. Environ-mental or emotion-mental experience stored at a different wavelength are out of tune for intrapersonal wavelength matches. As the drunk or stoned person cannot remember the night before nor can the returned warrior recall, in whole, the battle experiences meme'd at a different wavelength.

    If Vets are to resolve the combat traumatic memes, their minds must be a the original level of cognition (ROI) to smooth out the rough burrs of life.
  8. Truth Serums: CNS depressants like barbiturates or nitro-oxide are often used as truth serums to prompt people to recall and share things that they would otherwise not say. Borrowing from Freud, at one's higher ROI, one has an active Super-ego control information-sharing relative to the individual's overall views, values and goals. Lowering the ROI to where this super-controlling is not mentally possible, one answers questions more directly without a moderating overview. For the PTSD sufferer, the lower ROI back home lacks the moderating overview so emerging memories are more direct and graphic.
  9. Lobotomies: A lobotomy is normally a surgical destruction of frontal lobe tissue which reduces both intellectual power and memory recall. They are often used to reduce aggressive behavior or depressed personalities. Are the memories destroyed or does the brain lack the level or rate of integation to combine sufficient thoughts to formulate the previous unpleasant thoughts behind aggresison or depression?

    When one understands the common dynamic of ROI in mentality, one can see de facto lobotomies via drugs or medication, e.g., pot or SSRI. For some people, the lower ROI means they cannot construct the mental nightmare of everyday life. For some people who take pride in constucting beautiful mental objects, the loss of mental power is a greater depressing experience. This is akin to how some senior citizens experience the mental decline as a suicide potentiator. For higher integrators with good values, a lower ROI is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

    Expressed another way, frustrated people with bad values and high ROI's become happy, docile folk like a pot-smoking "Wasto ergo sum" personality. They do not have the ROI to realize their bad values makes them hypocrites since they cannot keep enough thoughts together to realize the contradictions. On the other hand, high ROI's with good values still have the good values which they realize they cannot observe as well. They become self-rejecting. Invariably, the lower ROI means questioning liberals and democrats become unquestioning knee-jerk Republicans. [This logical relationship has been seen in friends who became Zolog Zombies and Prozac Pudendas. They have gone from questioning how to better spend tax dollars to eliminating taxes and government altogether.] (Also see ROI-Flip.)
  10. Object Computer Programming: Object programming involves composing an "item" that contains operands and operators to a degree of complexity that reflects the programmer's expertise. A good object is like the difference "carborator" and "a device attached to an engine which mixes fuel with air to be drawn into the engine's cyclinders where a spark causes it to burn so as to push the piston, etc." As one's ROI decreases, one ability decreases to construct or recall objects. (This happened to this progammer when the VA cancelled his anti-narcolepsy medication. What took a day to program to program, became weeklong tasks of running in circle to recall what was what. Damn VA.)
  11. Computer RAM and Disk swapping: Before the advent of cheap, massive RAM chips for a computer's core memory, the software programmer would swap program segments or program data to temporary files on a drive. One example which the reader might have experienced is when "Windows" would say it needed to increase "virtual memory." Needless to say the computer performance decreased the more often it had to swap core content to a file on a disk. (This old programmer can remember using floppy disks as swap medium which allowed the programmer some free time the swapping went on, free time to make a cup of coffee or cook supper.)

    PTSD is like a computer that has had its core memory reduced with the software doing disk swapping. Not only is this slower, but the core memory (the PTSD sufferer's consciousness) cannot keep all the subthoughts together as an original, complete thought. Thus, like a person frustratingly waiting for the computer complete the program, a PTSD sufferer is frustrated. Another example of computer slowness is an old chip trying to download advertisement laden internet content--slow and sluggish--because 97% of a newspage bytes is advertising with news being only 3%.
  12. Music: One's rate of integration can be compared the difference between a four member and and a symphony orchestra. The range of music is greater with the greater quantity and quality of instruments that can be integrated together. How many ways can you play Pachebel's canon on a mouth harp? Might as well play it on a 6" howitzer. Another analogy is the music from a record player (when we had them). The quality of the sound was a combination of the quality of composition and the quality of the play back system. Bad music on a hifi stereo system sounds like good music on a bad monotone system. Likewise with combat moments experienced in a high intensity which are later played back on a lower cognitive level. Very frustrating.
  13. Record Player Speed: Way back when before the iPuddery of iPods, people listened to music on record players which had different rotational speed: 33, 45, and 78. Experiencing war on a CNS stimulant and then experiencing the memories without the stimulant is like playing a record at a speed other than its designed speed. While an occasional "hiphop" moment of pleasant music may result from playback at a different speed, most of the time the mis-speeded music, replay or memories are unpleasant. It is like the moments of "Out of mouths of babes comes words of wisdom" are so rare as to prompt the more frequently expressed or thought, "Children should be seen and not heard."

    The jarring discontinuity of music when played back at a different speed than originally recorded provides further insight into Timism's Rate of Integration. In a unit of clock time, the music has a certain amount of information when played at its recorded speed. The composer/singer chose a rate of integration in which the information was compatible with or parallel to the mental rate of the listener. The informational value of the music had a meme size designed for the listener. Changing the playback speed changes the meme size (information per unit of clock time) which makes it difficult for the listener to enjoy replaying the music or memories.
  14. Super-Charger: Many engines have a super-charger that increases the air pressure or higher performance. Battlefield stimulants supercharge the combat troops to keep up or stay ahead of the battle as they based on training and stimulants outthink and out-anticipate the lesser trained enemy. Without the stimulants, it is like being on a racetrack as the supercharged competitors go gunning by.
  15. Constipation: If you have ever been constipated and experience a change in attitude, personality, relief, etc. when once relieved of your burden, then you have an idea of the contrast between the higher ROI of combat stimulants and post-war, stimulant-free PTSD. There is a metabolic reason for the mental shift from constipation to clearification. The body manages the metabolism between a catabolic and anabolic focus in which it directs blood to the Central Nervous System (brain) or the Autonomic Nervous System (alimentary or digestive track). [A nice letter-dependent parallel of catabolic, CNS, consume, cancer and anabolic, ANS, alimentary and adiposic]. When you are constipated or at the end of the anabolic cycle, the CNS has less blood flow than after a bowel movement. It is in the thereafter that one experience the high of autonomic, alimentary relief. This CNS/ANS flipflop is common to all dynamic systems, that is, the consume/create, the matter/anti-matter, the spin/counter-spin, the ying-yang, etc.

    For those who do understand why others take drugs to get high (meth, crack, coke, uppers, etc.) the closest natural shift of consciousness is the relief after being constipated. Normal life for most people is going from one constipated mental moment to the next because they lack the values to transcend the pettiness of the moment. A complement to the biological reasons for PTSD (combat experienced at a higher ROI) is to have false values which simply lack the substance of reality-based values. Morality without practicality is immoral--see Values and PTSD.

    [Everyone who has ever felt "Oh what a relief it is" can be classified as bipolar.]
  16. Obesity and Dieting: In addition to hunger, one reason that obese people will continue to over-eat--despite numerous pledges, promises and resolutions--is the meme size difference between the states of hunger and non-hunger. The non-hungry memes do not communicate with the hungry memes. In a sense, the fatty in the state of hunger does not recall or recognize the memes of commitment as fully and completely when they were formulated in the non-hungry state. It is like the difference between being told not to do something by someone who says "It might be wrong" versus "I'll beat the shit out of you if you do it." Our values change based on our ROI because our personalities change based on the memes of the moment.
  17. Bipolar-Blind Counselors: Every person has bipolarity in their personality in reflection of the biological digestive cycle of 75 to 90 minutes that underlies the sleep REM cycle, a cycle that continues through the day. Individuals differ in the depth of the bipolar swings. A counselor who does not time sessions to the cycle swing will be counseloring more than one personality.

    (Simillarly, college students who take stimulants to study will find themselves unable to mentally retrieve memes when they take the test unless they risk addiction to 24/7 chemical stimulation. One cannot go through life being a variation of a crackhead.)
  18. Life's Trajectory: As one grows, one's mental density increases with the size and complexity of memes (memory structures) increasing. Memes apparently peak in size around age 33 before declining. As one ages, the recollection of last year is replaced by the recollections of the last decade before childhood recall is common among the demented sliding into silence. The reason for remembering longer ago is the mind formulates memories in a certain size. When one's mind reduces to half its max it recalls the half-witted moments more easily than the encyclopedic moments.
  19. Attentions Span: Concomittant with the decreasing meme size is one's attention span. A literary tragedy occurred when William Manchester said he could not complete his third and final volume on the life of Winston Churchill. Said he could not remember the beginning of a sentence let a compose a paragraph or a book. A literal tragedy occurs when vets that engrained horrible experiences at a higher, longer attention span try to recall those memories at a shorter attention span. One cannot cram a 12-second collection of thoughts into 8-second attention span. In 2015, a study funded by Microsoft compared attention then current attention span with a 2010 study: The average attention span had decreased from 12 to 8 seconds. PTSD is aggravated by the military giving front-line troop drugs that increase attention span (alertness) which means the troops will have mental memes which they later cannot experience in full to comprehend. Troops are like the aged who are frustrated because they cannot maintain a train of thought to complete a task or recollection they know they had. Troops need to know before hand that the benefits of chemically induced higher alertness with higher attention span has a down-side later on when one is not using the stimulants. The cure to PTSD is not drugs but, like most of life's problems, attitude. One must develop the response trigger to laugh at surviving a hellish life, perhaps putting the thought to diary, poetry or music. Drugs are not the answer.
  20. Thinkless Thinking: Most people have had the nightmare experience of trying to run away from danger but one's feet or movements are ever slower and slower as the danger draws ever closer. That is the experience of a PTSD sufferer, whether from post-combat, non-modifinil daily life or a person given some CNS depressant, e.g., SSRI or Tricyclics. For this writer who has structured his life and surroundings to think as optimally as possible--see Frog Leaping--it is a real nightmare as I know I can or could think better were it not for the VA's cutting my medication benefit. A true thinker is person who is capable of true thinking, that is, removing the sense and consideration of self in analyzing, juxtaposing and/or describing life's variables. Only a true thinker can appreciate the anxiety, frustration, anger, and fears of not being able to hold the quantity and quality of thoughts that one once did.
  21. Narcolepsy--My V.A. experience: Most of Timism's websegment on PTSD was written in response to mistreatment by the VA of this veteran. Having sparingly and methodically used a CNS stimulant to combat my narcolepsy for years, I found myself blindsided with a cancelation of my medication benefit.
    1. The PTSD symptoms that I accepted and tolerated on my non-med days (weekends and one weekday) became a 24-7 hell-on-earth journey. I could not longer work at a level commisserate with the level of thought invested into Timism in recent years. The noticeable ROI decline over the decades was pounded down by the lack of a clean CNS stimulant. Lucky for me, I had an understanding of the mental/chemical process behind my seven-day-a-week functional PTSD. And, I had timism. But it did not and does not lessen the anger at, resentment of and hate for the VA system of denying, stonewalling and gulagizing me as a complainer.
    2. Given the failure of anyone to stop the escalating complaints, it is the VA system, culture and mindset rather and a few VA employees that are at fault. On one hand, I wish I had never complained. On the other, being a person who lives for a better, safer and saner world, I had to complain for all those vets would are also vets of an ultimately insensitive bureaucracy in which CYA is the modus operandi.
    3. I used to be able to, when creating, editing or reviewing an essay,  assess and maintain mentally several other essays or articles. Now it is increasingly the case like a person with short-term memory (STM) problems, that is, out of sight and out of mind. I know that the integrity between different aspects of the timistic writings has fallen because the V.A. has castrated my thinkingy by denying me a $9/month medication.

Some will say the ROI/iCube model is too simple. Perhaps they cannot see the threads for the cloth?