Sunday, 26 April 2015


I uni-cycled through stages 1-5 below at least 4 times yesterday... I would classify that as a bad day! But then I was inspired to finally work out what the fruck my problem might be...

My experience of stages for the repeated pattern of breakdowns caused by trauma cognitive looping disorder are:

0) Some kind of trauma in past that gets locked in.
- Most people have something that has traumatised them at some point in their lives but obviously going to war or dealing with terrible abuse in childhood is more traumatic than missing out on a promotion at work. 
- Because we only currently view the world through our own brains, we can't compare our trauma to others very well. There will be some people that others don't think have a big enough trauma but for them it's just as bad as fighting in a war and they too get flashbacks and have triggers.
- Cultural background and world-view may also affect how a person is going to cope with a traumatic event I would say
- Betrayal, abandonment, rejection, bullying, harassment, violence, abuse, loss, change, rights violation, failure, illness, loss of control, randomness of the Universe being clumpy and serving one up with a soggy sh*t sandwich, or what most people call being unlucky, are all examples.
- My betrayal/abandonment trauma goes back to childhood. I know, yawn, he's got mummy issues... (have you worked out that humour is one of my ways to calm me and let steam out of the pressure cooker?)
- No terrible abuse to me or my brother occurred but seeing my parents doing their thing did lead to prolonged psychological trauma and is very much frozen into our heads and can't be forgotten easily.
- In fact, without each other to be witnesses and corroborate the stories that our parents have wallpapered over, I may not even be functional enough to be writing this now. High 5, brother!
- I can't really blame them because it goes back at least another 2 generations that I know of so most likely a lot further. So what, I should blame Adam and Eve or the snake?
- I think my brother and I are the first generation to start to be able to unlock the puzzles and perhaps even break the destructive cycles. It's a hope anyway!

1) Doing OK 
- cruising along relatively smoothly and coping with life (back to my Zen Bubble obsession again!).
- The usual life stresses don't seem to be causing any harm
- But it is possible that one is just temporarily holding the Teen Wolves at bay and may be making the next steps more harmful to oneself and others!

2) A trigger lights the fuse (mixed metaphor)
- It could be a big thing like a violent scene in a movie or tiny like the smell of an aftershave; or even from the brain itself: negative thoughts or flashbacks
- Sometimes the trigger can be only tangentially related to the trauma
- Eg, A frenemy could have mentioned something innocuous at a dinner party and one has lost the plot. The mentioning of the old Australian TV sitcom 'Newlyweds' could have been the trigger. My number 1 trigger is my mother, so remember that next time I've hurt you by mentioning your trigger and you want to fight back!
- Could an attack on one's extremist view like 'toe juice cures cancer' be a substitute for a trauma or could a past trauma have triggered extremist views? It's good that the brain is nice and simple!
- Essentially it's impossible to remove all triggers unless one puts oneself in a coma or shoots up the hardest, most pure prescription drugs.
- Treatment of this stage I think involves exposure therapy. So for me, once I get my Oculus Rift VR headset, I'll program milder versions of my childhood experiences and maybe even change the plotline and character arcs so that I can rewire my brain.

3a) Extinguish the lit fuse
- Sometimes people have some time to defuse the bomb before it goes off.
- They may have all sorts of techniques to reset the brain and cut the red wire, or was that the blue wire? Meditation, sleep, air hockey, auto-fellatio auto-erotic asphyxiation, camping dogging, playing fetch with the cat, watching Borat for the 352nd time: Niiice!
- Sometimes they may succeed at resetting their brain or at least calming it, then return to step 1 ready to fight another day in peace and harmony.
- The people that have extreme difficulty with resetting the brain at this stage could have a brain resetting disorder perhaps?
- I have not yet been given the perfect drug on a 'Perfect Day' or an intervention or thin-tervention to reset my brain at this stage but I'm in good company

3b) Pour alcohol on the lit fuse!
- Many fall into addictions and destructive behaviour in a screwed up attempt to keep themselves together and hold off the breakdown. We all know addicts that are trying to suppress their trauma and actually causing more harm in the process. As Marek likes to remind me, my addiction is food and I am causing more harm than benefit by eating these chocolate wafer biscuits...

4) The Zen Bubble goes Nova and explodes
- One can take it no longer and falls apart
- Ranting / raving / violence / Self-harm
- Are a small series of controlled demolitions better than waiting for the big one? I suspect so and people that scream expletives into their Ron Jeremy love pillows or join an underground dead-arm punching club are probably doing exactly that.
5) The nuclear fallout
- Some can get over it quickly; others not so much
- I find that sleep is the only thing for me that does a pretty good job to reset my brain back to stage 1
- A brain reset drug or intervention at this stage would be nice too if I failed to blow out the fuse at stage 3a and don't want to mope around the house for 3 days watching the newer, unfunnier Red Dwarf seasons.

There are some people that seem to go through these stages multiple times a day and still keep trucking on and are seemingly fine overall. I have worked with people a bit like this! Others go into a downward spiral and get worse and worse with each explosion until they seem to be beyond any help. I'm somewhere in between so it could be worse...
Have I just shown my mental health team that I am He-Man: Master of the Universe and an engineer trumps a doctor or psychologist most days of the week? Hmmm, I'm probably just deluded... I'll see what my team thinks of my own diagnosis this week, then report back on the highly confidential and controversial findings.

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