Blog: Path of my Life
by Karlin

Compassionate Understanding - Neurological Aspects

PTSD has neurological effects of poor impulse control and a need to create chaos in their lives.

Date:   5/21/2011 12:52:58 PM   ( 11 y ) ... viewed 17565 times

I want to share a personal story with you, dear readers:

I met a woman who is close to my age, simply adorable, cool, thin, rides a bicycle... OK, I thought, lets give love a chance one more time.

She had some problems though. She has been through a lot of traumatic experiences, and it seems obvious that she is suffering some sort of PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder].

When I met her, she was just coming out of a "close to hitting bottom" scenario. She was living in a place with people that made recovery difficult; there was a "daily crisis" revolving around that house.

I was helping her find and move into a better place, and whatever else I could to help her become STABILIZED as we got to know each other.

However, within a month of moving, she let her mother move in. There are no two people less suited to be room mates than her and her mom!! Awful fighting screaming crying was followed by a return to drug abuse and basic chaos.

I could see my chances at love evaporating. I am a Virgo, I just cannot handle the chaos. I would have to be a lot stronger to be of any help to her, or to even hang around with her and listening to her "daily crisis" stories all over again [albeit different ones].

Then I simply Googled "PTSD - a need to create chaos", and sure enough people with PTSD agree that they seem to need chaos in their lives. Chaos is all they know, they feel uncomfortable without it.

Calm, or quiet, scares the heck out of typical PTSD victims. My friend said she was interested in meditation, and I am a long-time practitioner of meditation. It seemed to be a logical way to go - I would show her!! - but she just never let me get started. It turns out she was scared of having a quiet mind, for fear of what images might come up.

Actually, she had it all wrong. Meditation allows CONTROL of thoughts, it doesn't just let them run wild. It is a common misconception. But her fears backed up the idea that she "needs chaos" and is afraid of stability.

I could have been saddened by the hopeless situation. Oh ya, I am. She is adorable.

And I could have been a bit angry about how she would ruin everything I tried to do for her, but when I apply this "compassionate understanding" [the Dalia Lama calls it "infinite compassion"], I can only feel sorry for her, not angry or upset.

It turns out that similar "need to create chaos" occurs in teenagers. Risky behaviors is one aspect of that. Neurologists have discovered that the "risk/reward" leans heavily towards "reward" with little attention to "risk" - and they even pinpoint the neurons that are responsible.

They have a difficult time controlling their impulses.

Brain damage, Teen Age, PTSD all can result in this kind of behaviors.

If my friend DID have the ability to take the time to look at the risks, she would never have allowed her mom to move in. It was an IMPULSE, even if it was done over a period of a week.

Same with drug abuse. The impulse to take certain drugs takes over when something upsets her.

And so, I wait.

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