PTSD and Cognitive – Intelligence Impairment

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U.S. Military – Dog Tags … U.S. Military Suicides in 2012: 155 Days, 154 Dead (June 8, 2012) …item 2.. flaws still plague the handling of PTSD (14:58 EST, 8 March 2013) … (Photo credit: marsmet511)
Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.
Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not mean you are broken.

I was given a great gift yesterday… my life timeline, which I had never seen (which was updated every PTSD therapy session) based on what came out of my mouth… experientially. My family tree (blood family and former “secret” family) and how they intertwine…

I have eight different scales of IQ testing and two scales of personality testing… Let me make this clear before you read further… in general, I don’t like standardized testing because it doesn’t tell you the whole story about a person. I’m a firm believer that atmospheric, cultural experience, life experience and education define who you are and your potential.

In my case, I’ve been suffering a bit of demonstrable cognitive difficulty for about five years. And… having never been told, (which I can assume is part of the PTSD therapy), I now see that everything “standardized” about me has remained fairly static throughout my adult life. My cognitive impairment is not due to a loss of brain function… but rather, “interference” from within. perceived threats. hyper-vigilance about my surroundings. space invaders. leeches.

With what I just stated about my opinion of standardized testing… I’ve never been under 90th percentile on any standardized test and primarily 99th percentile to be more specific. In general, I don’t advertise that, because, these numbers can influence others and cause difficulty in certain situations, specifically social. I’ve actually always tried to keep these numbers locked away. But I am what I am.

First… I’ll expose what’s inside my head, in the absence of the stress disorder. This is only representative of brain function and not personality. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the juicy personality abstracts. No worries… it’ll be worth my weight.

My IQ is 133; 98.61 percentile, however, under the influence of triggers and stressors from PTSD there is a dramatic decrease. For example, my 90-100th percentile math skills are reduced to 60th percentile. My visual / spacial percentile goes from 90-100 percentile down to 40-50 percentile. My linguistic percentile (my greatest strength) again drops from 90-100 percentile to 40-50 percentile. My logical percentile drops from 90-100 percentile down to 50-60 percentile.

It’s been proven that my baseline number(s) and percentile(s) is still where it was before, but that’s not the way my brain functions when tasked with stress. Not with PTSD.

Most people can only read as fast as they can talk… as that is what they are doing as they read text of any kind. I was always a fast reader… by the time I was 25 I was reading up to 1300 words a minute with better than acceptable comprehension. I learned to read in chunks and shape (math) and thus I could read faster than anyone could speak. In recent years (4-5), you might get me to read a page or two at 1000 words a minute but with no recollection of what I had just read. It got to the point where I stopped reading books and trade paperbacks. I had no focus… no attention. no interest. disinterest. I was only reading as fast as I could talk… if I could stay focused and attentive.

As an example of what my PTSD therapy has done for me… I have completely read and comprehend two full books… cover to cover in the last 30 days. I haven’t read or focused on two books prior to this for at least five years. Eva knew exactly when to tell me to read.

My brain is coming back to me. The fog is lifting… the ground stop can’t be far behind.

I’m a precision processor. I am able to whittle even the most complex task or problem to understandable component parts. Because I think in numbers. none of that has to do with emotion. My life is a pile of numbers. It’s second nature for me to cut to the middle of an issue and uncover fast solutions to problems while other people get lost in detail and translation.

Since… I am labeled a precision processor, anything that involves numbers is a piece of cake for me. Let’s make that chocolate cake… mmmm. Chocolate itself is better than sex.

This is me in the absence of PTSD:

I am resourceful.
I am detail oriented.
I am highly efficient and economical…

I am lightning fast with responses.
I think in numbers.
I am experimental.

I am an innovator
I’m a writa, not a fighta.
I convey my ideas by means other than verbal.

I write, therefore, I am.

My logic abilities can outweigh reasoning when necessary. The distinct disadvantage to this is everybody calls marc when da puter breaks. what’s wrong? how do I fix it? how do I always find a way to recover lost data? don’t ask the men in black or how they took me to work.

Here’s my predicament. I don’t want to do what I used to do. I do what I have to do to survive, but, because of the way my brain processes data, any career my mind is suited for I have no interest in. I don’t want to be a scientist… ok I think in numbers but I don’t want to be a mathematician. accountant? no fucking way. Data analyst? I am the epitome of anal, but no thank you. Astronomer? uh huh… no. I am not a fucking physicist.

I think I might be able to retain the the ability to say “I am the architect”, but, but, but…

what do I do now???

If you think this was a little long winded… wait until my personality evaluation. Can you hear me? I think in my personality analysis is where I’m going to find my path… my new path.

This entire post was written while under the influence of cannabis.


One response to “PTSD and Cognitive – Intelligence Impairment”

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