PTSD is Mental Injury not Mental Illness

Types of PTSD

Simple PTSD is a reaction of the adolescent or adult subconscious mind to a single violent experience. (Caused by events such as: Car accidents, fires, natural disasters, etc… and is limited normally to single events)

Combat PTSD is the reaction of the adult subconscious mind to multiple short-term violent events experienced during acts of war or aggression. (Normally affects Military, Law Enforcement, Medical Professionals, Emergency Responders, etc…)

Complex PTSD is the reaction of the adolescent subconscious mind to prolonged exposures to multiple violent/abusive experiences lasting weeks, months, or years. Moreover, the longer the exposure to the violence, the more difficult it becomes to resolve the effects of CPTSD. (Normally starts in early childhood and continues into adult hood)

Mental Illness (Paranoia) verses PTSD (Hyper-vigilance)

Paranoia
  • paranoia is a form of mental illness; the cause is thought to be internal, such as minor variation in the balance of brain chemistry
  • paranoia tends to endure and to not get better of its own accord
  • the paranoiac will not admit to feeling paranoid, as they cannot see their paranoia
  • sometimes responds to drug treatment
  • the delusional aspects of paranoia are feature in other forms of mental illness, i.e. schizophrenia
  • the paranoiac is convinced of their self-importance
  • paranoia is often seen in conjunction with other symptoms of mental illness, but not in conjunction with symptoms of PTSD
  • the paranoiac is convinced of their plausibility
  • the paranoiac feels persecuted by a person or persons unknown (e.g. “they’re out to get me”)
  • sense of persecution
  • the sense of persecution felt by the paranoiac is a delusion, for usually no-one is out to get them
  • the paranoiac is on constant alert because they know someone is out to get them
  • the paranoiac is certain of their belief and their behavior and expects others to share that certainty
Hyper vigilance
  • is a response to an external event (violence, accident, disaster, violation, intrusion, bullying, etc) and therefore an injury
  • wears off (gets better), albeit slowly, when the person is out of and away from the situation which was the cause
  • the hyper vigilant person is acutely aware of their hyper vigilance, and will easily articulate their fear, albeit using the incorrect but popularized word “paranoia”
  • drugs are not viewed favorably by hyper vigilant people, except in extreme circumstances, and then only briefly; often drugs have no effect, or can make things worse, sometimes interfering with the body’s own healing process
  • the hyper vigilant person often has a diminished sense of self-worth, sometimes dramatically so
  • the hyper vigilant person is often convinced of their worthlessness and will often deny their value to others
  • hyper vigilance is seen in conjunction with other symptoms of PTSD, but not in conjunction with symptoms of mental illness
  • the hyper vigilant person is aware of how implausible their experience sounds and often doesn’t want to believe it themselves (disbelief and denial)
  • the hyper vigilant person is hyper sensitized but is often aware of the inappropriateness of their heightened sensitivity, and can identify the person responsible for their psychiatric injury
  • heightened sense of vulnerability to victimization
  • the hyper vigilant person’s sense of threat is well-founded.
  • the hyper vigilant person is on alert in case there is danger
  • the hyper vigilant person cannot bring themselves to believe that other people cannot and will not see the effect their behavior is having; they cling naively to the mistaken belief that other people will recognize their wrongdoing and apologize

Common features of Complex PTSD:

People suffering Complex PTSD report consistent symptoms, which further help to characterize psychiatric injury and differentiate it from mental illness. These include:

• Fatigue with symptoms of or similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (formerly ME)

• An anger of injustice stimulated to an excessive degree (sometimes but improperly attracting the words “manic” instead of motivated, “obsessive” instead of focused, and “angry” instead of “passionate”, especially from those with something to fear)

• An overwhelming desire for acknowledgement, understanding, recognition, and validation of their experience

• A simultaneous and paradoxical unwillingness to talk about the situation or abuse

• A lack of desire for revenge, but a strong motivation for justice

• A tendency to oscillate between conciliation (forgiveness) and anger (revenge) with objectivity being the main casualty

• Tendency towards isolation

• Extreme fragility, where formerly the person was of a strong, stable character

• Numbness, both physical (toes, fingertips, and lips) and emotional (inability to feel love and joy)

• Clumsiness

• Forgetfulness

• Sense of betrayal

• Difficultly in establishing true and meaningful friendships

• Hyperawareness and an acute sense of time passing, seasons changing, and distances travelled

• An enhanced environmental awareness, often on a planetary scale

• An appreciation of the need to adopt a healthier diet

• Willingness to try complementary medicine and alternative, holistic therapies, etc

• A constant feeling that one has to justify everything one says and does

• A constant need to prove oneself, even when surrounded by good, positive people

• An unusually strong sense of vulnerability, victimization or possible victimization, often wrongly diagnosed as “persecution”

• Occasional violent intrusive visualizations

• Feelings of worthlessness, rejection, a sense of being unwanted, unlikeable, and unlovable

• Extreme loneliness

• A feeling of being small, insignificant, and invisible

• An overwhelming sense of betrayal and views the appearance of betrayal as a personal rejection leading to further isolation

• An inability to trust others, especially those in close personal relationships

Fatigue

The fatigue is understandable when you realize that the fight or flight mechanism eventually becomes highly activated in a person with CPTSD.

The fight or flight mechanism is designed to be operational only briefly and intermittently; in the heightened state of alert, the body consumes abnormally high levels of energy. If this state becomes semi-permanent, the body’s physical, mental, and emotional batteries are drained dry. Whilst the weekend theoretically is a time for the batteries to recharge, this does not happen, because:

• the person is by now obsessed with the situation (or rather, resolving the situation), cannot switch off, may be unable to sleep, and probably has nightmares, flashbacks and replays;

• sleep is non-restorative and un-refreshing – one goes to sleep tired and wakes up tired

• this type of experience plays havoc with the immune system; when the fight or flight system is eventually switched off, the immune system is impaired such that the person is open to viruses which they would under normal circumstances fight off; the person then spends each weekend with a cold, cough, flu, glandular fever, laryngitis, ear infection etc so the body’s batteries never have an opportunity to recharge.

When activated, the body’s fight or flight response results in the digestive, immune, and reproductive systems being placed on standby. It’s no coincidence that people experiencing constant abuse, harassment and bullying report malfunctions related to these systems (loss of appetite, constant infections, flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome, loss of libido, impotence, etc). The body becomes awash with cortisol which in high-prolonged doses is toxic to brain cells. Cortisol kills off Nero-receptors in the hippocampus, an area of the brain linked with learning and memory. The hippocampus is also the control centre for the fight or flight response, thus the ability to control the fight or flight mechanism itself becomes impaired.

Common symptoms of CPTSD

The symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time. Sometimes symptoms appear seemingly unexpectedly. At other times, they are triggered by something that reminds you of the original traumatic event, such as a noise, an image, certain words, or a smell. While everyone experiences PTSD differently, there are three main types of symptoms, as listed below.

  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event
  • Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
  • Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
  • Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
  • Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
  • Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)
  • Avoidance and emotional numbing
  • Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Loss of interest in activities and life in general
  • Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
  • Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)
  • Increased arousal
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hyper vigilance (on constant “red alert”)
  • Feeling jumpy and easily startled

Other common symptoms

• Anger and irritability

• Guilt, shame, or self-blame

• Substance abuse

• Depression and hopelessness

• Suicidal thoughts and feelings

• Feeling alienated and alone

• Feelings of mistrust and betrayal

• Headaches, stomach problems, chest pain

Compiled By:
Guy Lewis
Payson, Arizona
Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Bible’s Perfect Example of Salvation

In the world of today’s there are many thoughts and theories in the various religious bodies concerning what it takes to obtain salvation and a home with God after this life is over.

These theories include:

• Faith only saves.
• Accepting Jesus into your heart saves.
• Belief only in Jesus saves.
• Sinner’s Prayer saves.
• Predestination saves. (God picks people and people have no say so in their own salvation)
• The laying on of hands saves.
• The Holy Spirit saves.
• Baptism saves.

Is it probable that all of these theories are correct?

Is it more likely that only one of these theories is correct?

What does the biblical example of Paul’s personal conversion to Christ tell us?

In this study, we will take an in depth look at the road to salvation of the Apostle Paul.

The Apostle Paul is considered as the most influential, effective, and spiritual of the Apostle’s. He authored the majority of the book contained in the New Testament.

Our two biblical texts for this study are:

• (Acts 9:1-19) “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. “And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. “And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.” (NKJV)

• Acts 22:1-16 “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.” And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent. Then he said: “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, “as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished. “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. “And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ “So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ “And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. “So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ “And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus. “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, “came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. “Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. ‘For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. ‘And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (NKJV)

First, let us look at the history of Paul’s conversion recorded in Acts chapter 9 by Luke.

In verses 1 and 2 we see the type of man Paul was before his conversion. He was a hater of anything and everything concerning Jesus as Lord and Savior. We can surmise from these two verses that Paul did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God and born in the flesh to reconcile a lost world back to God.

Paul, before his conversion, fit the definition of the Antichrist given by John. We read in John’s own words exactly who the Antichrist is. Consider the follow scriptures:

• 1 John 2:22 “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” (NKJV)

• 1 John 4:3 “and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (NKJV)

• 2 John 1:7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (NKJV)

According to the first two verses of Acts 9, Paul denied Jesus was the Son of God. Paul denied Jesus was the Christ born of human flesh. Paul would not confess that Jesus was the Messiah come in the flesh. Therefore, Paul meets the definition of the antichrist as defined by the Apostle John.

So according to John, Paul was eternally lost before his conversion to the Lord.

We read in Acts 9, verses 5 and 6 that Paul confessed Jesus as Lord. Was Paul then saved when he confessed through faith as many of the world’s religions teach? The answer is no he was not. We know this by the context of verse 6 when Paul asks what he must do. Jesus tells Paul that he has to go into the city to learn the answer to his question. This implies that something more than a mere “confession of faith” is required for salvation. This text shows clearly that “faith only” and/or “accepting Jesus” is not enough for salvation.

We further read in verse 6 that Paul finally believed in Jesus. Was Paul’s belief in Jesus enough for his salvation? The answer is again no. remember that Jesus told Paul that he had to go into the city to learn how to be saved. Therefore, mere “belief only” in Jesus is also not enough for salvation.

Next, we read in verses 8 and 9 that Paul obeys Jesus and goes into the city where he spends three days in earnest pray. Was Paul than saved because of his three days of earnest prayer? The answer to that question is no. We know he was not saved at this point in his conversion because of what happens next. In verses 11 and 12, while Paul is praying, Jesus tells Ananias that Paul is praying and that Paul is waiting for Ananias to come to him so that he can be told what he most do to be healed. Ananias has yet to speak to Paul. Therefore, “prayer of a sinner” does not save.

Jesus told Ananias in verse 15 that Paul was a chosen vessel of His. Was Paul saved at the moment Jesus picked Paul to do His will on earth? No because Jesus told Paul, that Paul would have to do something. As of this moment in Paul’s conversion he has not been told anything to do yet. Therefore, just “being chosen by the Lord” does not save.

Continuing further in this text of scripture, verse 17, we discover that Paul does receive his sight back once Ananias talks to him. Was Paul saved at that moment Ananias placed his hands on Paul? No because Ananias has yet to tell Paul what he must do. Remember is verse 6 Jesus tells Paul that he will be told what he most do. Therefore the “laying of hands” on a person does not save them.

Did Paul receive the Holy Spirit at the time Ananias placed his hands on Paul? No because Ananias merely told Paul that he is to be filled with the Holy Spirit not that he was filled with the Holy Spirit. We have already been told in scripture by the Apostle Peter at what moment in the process of salvation the Holy Spirit fills a person. We can read in Acts 2:38, precisely what must be done to receive the Holy Spirit. Paul has not yet complied with Peter’s directions of Acts 2:38. Therefore, “the Holy Spirit” alone does not save.

Finally, we read what Paul was told he must do. In verse 18 was see the results of what Ananias told Paul to do. We know this because Paul finally responds exactly how Peter directed people to be saved in Acts 2:38. Scripture tells us that Paul got up and was baptized after Ananias spoke to him. Remember that in verse 6 Jesus told Paul that he would be told what he must to do. The only thing Paul did after talking with Ananias was to be baptized. It is safe then to believe that Paul was told to be baptized by Ananias and that “baptism” is what Jesus wants people to do for their own salvation.

Now, let us look at the history of Paul’s conversion as described by Paul and recorded in Acts chapter 22 by Luke.

In verse 3 Paul confessed that he was a Jew taught by the man Gamaliel, according to the strictness of the law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. Paul in fact is saying he was a Pharisee. The Pharisees did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, and the Son of God in human form. Paul by his own testimony is saying that he was once an antichrist as defined by the Apostle John.

Paul than starts to share about his personal conversion to Jesus as Lord in verses 7 and 8.

Verse 8 shows that Paul finally believed in Jesus. We know that Paul did not believe that he was saved at the point he believed in Jesus, because Paul says he ask Jesus what to do in verse 10. Jesus answers Paul by saying everything he has to do will be told to him in the city of Damascus. By Paul’s own words, he was not saved by merely “believing in Jesus.”

Not until verse 16 do we hear from Paul exactly what Ananias tells Paul he must do for salvation. Ananias told Paul to be baptized. Not only does Ananias tell Paul to be baptized but infers that the baptism is where sins are forgiven. The final part of what Ananias told Paul was that the baptism was to be in the name of Jesus. Therefore, by Paul’s own testimony salvation comes at the point of baptism. Not before by any other means. Paul confirms in his own testimony what the Apostle Peter directed and commanded in Acts 2:38

• (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV)

Conclusion: Only baptism saves a person from their sins and brings salvation.

Hugs,
Guy Lewis
Payson, Arizona
Thursday, May 13, 2010

Silence of Scripture

 

Filtered Interpretation of the Silence of Scripture

• Deuteronomy 4:2 “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.” (NIV)

• Proverbs 30:6 “Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (NIV)

 

• Revelations 22: 18-20 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (NIV)

We all have our own filters that over shadow what we believe. These filters influence our personal opinions and interpretation of life and of scripture. I have learned that I am personally responsible for understanding God and growing a personal relationship with Him. Today, I seek my own personal understanding of scripture and understand the fallacy of blindly believing everything taught in church.

I have learned that anytime, I put my conclusions to scripture, concerning issues that are not addressed in the context, I am trying to say that I know more than God does.

A few examples of this in the religious world are:

• One independent congregation withdrawing from another independent congregation due to a difference of belief or understanding of scripture.

• Condemning others for their understanding of scripture when it does not agree with our personal interpretation.

• Claiming scriptural authority against something that is not addressed in scripture or is not condemned in scripture.

• Insisting that the silence of scripture, concerning any topic, is an automatic law of forbiddance by God.

• Condemning others for their personal expression of passion and praise during their worship and love to God.

• Use of guilt tactics: Comparing bananas to papaya justification tactics to create guilt in people that see silence differently with the use of the analogy of parents giving $5.00 to a child to go to the store and purchase milk. Claiming that the parents silence to not forbid using the left over change to buy bread is authority forbidding all other purchases.

I cannot personally speak for any of the bible writers concerning any topic that they did not address. I cannot personally speak for you either. I cannot put my words and opinions into bible writers mind or mouth. I cannot put my words and opinions into other people as to what they would personally do in any given hypothetical situation. All I can do is answer any hypothetical question or concern from my own opinion. This is not flip-flopping on questions or issues. To do so is nothing less than being a modern-day Pharisee by binding rules and regulations that God never issued.

You cannot personally speak for any of the bible writers concerning any topic that they did not address. You cannot personally speak for me either. You cannot put your words and opinions into bible writers mind or mouth. You cannot put your words and opinions into other people as to what they would personally do in any given hypothetical situation. To do so is nothing less than being a modern-day Pharisee by binding rules and regulations that God never issued.

I personally know the results of judgmentally bias people that call themselves Christian and who think their interpretation of scripture is the only correct understanding. My dad was one of these people. He was a preacher and the meanest religious hypocrite I have ever known. He was extremely abusive to his family (physically, emotionally, verbally, religiously, and sexually.) He had me, as a child, believing that God was looking for away to send me to hell. So when I was 17, I rebelled from all forms of religious belief; becoming an atheist for the better part of 32 years.

However, my years of personal bible study have taught me differently. I learned of grace and a loving God. I learned that God was not looking for away to send me directly to hell as a friend of mine says.

In the last 10 years or so, I learned of a compassionate God. I learned from all my years of personal bible studies of scripture that not everything taught by people concerning religion, salvation, and God were true. I learned over time and personal study that even honest people make mistakes due to the human filters and preconceived opinions taught to them by others or formed from their own personal filtered interpretations.

I believe that God does not make it hard for us to understand His will or to understand scripture. No, I do not accept any longer the organized religious written and unwritten creeds concerning God and salvation taught in Christendom.

To me it is personal. I believe that spirituality is the sum of my own understanding and relationship towards God, as I understand Him. I learned this from reading the bible for my own understanding.

Today I only want to help others grow in their personal walk with God. It is not my place, or desire, to bind my filtered interpreted opinions on others. Nor is it my desire to create or feed off people’s fear of hell by isolating them from the truth, which I find simple to see and understand. I do not believe that the New Testament is a prim-a-fascia law book of rules and regulations.

What I do believe is that our job is to help reconcile people back to God and help them understand and follow the simplicity of compassionate living as outlined in scripture.

Interpreting things as prohibited that God did not command or forbid is adding to the scriptures. The bible is clear that when we do this we commit sin.

Perhaps the silence of scripture just means silence because God has no opinion of the issue and it is time we stop finding fault with others because they understand and view things not addressed by scripture differently then we do.

Hugs,
Guy

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What is Complex P.T.S.D.

 

The following is a photomontage of my daily struggles with P.T.S.D.

I am posting this in hopes that others might be helped through better understanding.

Hugs Guy

The following is not for the faith at heart.

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