Tag Archives: Health

PTSD and Cognitive – Intelligence Impairment

U.S. Military - Dog Tags ... U.S. Military Sui...
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.

My Brother Says I Exhibit Passive Aggressive Behavior

Next is to identify what causes the behavior and the motivation for continuing it. Basically frustration is what ultimately causes passive aggressive attitudes and what the child gets out of it is added attention. It is important to note that if Attention is not the motivating factor for the child’s behavior; Then you will need to re-evaluate whether or not your child really is passive-aggressive.

People close to those with passive aggressive behaviour should not simply ignore it, or let the other person get away with their bad behaviour by adopting a ‘forgive and forget’ attitude towards it; otherwise they will never learn from their mistakes, and will continue along their self-destructive road.

My recommendation for fixing this begins from the bottom up. Here are the 3 reasons I mentioned in last weekAc€â„cs blog article for why employees undermined their co-workers, stab each other in the back and act passive aggressively often with an Ac€A“itAc€â„cs not my job attitude:Ac€Â?

Learning to refuse upfront is a technique learned as a part of assertiveness training. Being assertive is healthy for the mind and your environment. It curbs grudges, manipulation and passive-aggressive attitudes.

How do staff speak to the residents? Are the patronising, passive-aggressive, or disrespectful? You want to make sure your loved one is treated with the respect they deserve, and this kind of attitude is a sign of a terrible care home

Things They Don’t Teach You in Management Training I once had a boss who, when hiring a Manager would half jokingly tell the Staffing Manager, “If they say they like working with people, don’t hire them!” She knew that “working with people” is arguably the most difficult aspect of a Manager’s job. Training prepares Managers to delegate, motivate, influence, coach, communicate, recognize and strategize. Often it does not prepare a Manager for the difficult employee who is resistant to most motivating, influencing, coaching, and recognition techniques.

The key to managing the difficult employee is to decisively deal with their performance, behavior or attitude very early on. Unfortunately some organizations develop a tolerance for negative behavior and unwittingly reinforce it by ignoring it, managing around it and hoping the problem employee soon quits or retires. Most employees will not cause a Manager’s hair to turn gray. But then, it only takes a few dillies to transform the darkest brunette to snow white. What makes an employee difficult? Usually, it is a problem in performance, behavior or attitude. No surprise there, right? But what about the employee whose performance persistently “hugs the line?” And, what about “poor attitude” in an employee? The courts only care if an employee is performing his or her job and not about the “attitude” of an employee. So, what’s a manager to do? First let’s look at our “line hugger.” You know….the type that works hard at hardly working. The barely marginal employee not only hugs the line most of the year but confounds the Manager by raising the level of his or her performance sometime within the last quarter of the performance review cycle. As the Manager struggles to write the “line hugger’s” review, you can almost see the natural hair color begin to fade. As with all poor performers, a Manager must determine if the employee lacks the information, skill, or motivation to do the job. A performance improvement plan (PIP) combined with regularly scheduled coaching sessions will provide the answer. Generally speaking, a well written 60 day PIP that includes specific tasks, objectives and deadlines accompanied by weekly coaching sessions with the Manager will do the trick. (Of course, Human Resources should be actively involved in this process.) If the employee rises to the occasion it is a win for the Manager in two ways. The employee has now demonstrated he or she can do the job effectively. And, the Manager has the documentation to prove it. At the end of the PIP period, a memo written to document the now “effective” performance needs to include language that states the effective level must be “sustained.” If the employee reverts to “hugging the line,” the Manager can now safely consider termination. During the PIP period, the weekly coaching sessions will help the Manager determine if the employee needs additional training in order to be more effective. The PIP period can always be extended to allow time for further development. Employees that really hasten the graying process are those who have a bad “attitude” but acceptable performance. Is it possible to have a bad attitude and good performance? It is not only possible, but there are people whose entire being seems wrapped up in maintaining these seemingly opposite values. This type person will have a Manager reaching for antacids on a regular basis. Can the hair dye be far behind? But maintaining good performance with a poor attitude is tricky. Even those who are good at it will slip every now and then. Here are a few examples of how to handle some difficult types: The Passive Aggressive/Passive Resistant Employee The passive-aggressive is the intentional bully and the passive resistant is the sneaky bully. Both these types are people who do not or cannot deal with the feeling of anger. But make no mistake. They are angry and will look for opportunities to “stick it” to the Manager or anyone else who has the nerve to tick them off. For example, the passive-aggressive employee assigned to a project he or she doesn’t like will intentionally provide bad or poorly researched information, skip meetings, spread rumors, openly criticize the boss or refuse to accept the helpful suggestions of co-workers. The sneaky bully will “yes” a Manager to death but seldom delivers on promises. This bully will intentionally “forget” commitments, be chronically late for meetings, miss deadlines, strategically call in sick on days critical to the Manager or project, intentionally leave out data or information or find other ways to “inadvertently” make a Manager look foolish. Talking to the employee is always an option but this type behavior is not likely to change. These employees are very manipulative. Managers need to understand that anger is the underlying emotion and not be intimidated by the employee’s behavior or manage “around” it. Remember, they don’t handle anger well. The more the Manager holds them accountable for their lapses, the angrier they will become. They angrier they become the more likely they are to give the Manager cause to formally address their behavior or conduct. Ultimately the employee may learn to save this behavior for other unsuspecting soles and be more circumspect with the Manager. The Victim Never underestimate the power of helplessness. To clarify, the “Victim” is not the good employee who has an occasional personal problem that may interfere with work. The Victim is a problem employee who always has a “poor me” story and an interminable number of reasons why he or she must leave early, can’t finish an assignment, can’t meet a deadline, etc. “Can’t is their modus operandi. Inevitably, some co-workers will feel sorry for the Victim and pick up the slack while others, who are wise to the Victim’s tactics, will sit and steam. A chronic victim impacts the morale of the entire workgroup. Those who “steam” want desperately for the Manager to intervene. To effectively manage the Victim, a Manager must first get the Victim’s rescuers to stop “helping.” It is easy to get lured into feeling sorry for the Victim as their problems can be legitimate. But we all have problems and it is how we handle them that determines whether we become victims for victors. Deal with this employee by making a referral to the Employee Assistance Program. If you don’t have one…get one. Some EAPs even offer services on a case-by-case basis. When not talking about personal problems, the Victim is one who usually asks a lot of “why” (or whine) questions. Such as: â€c Why is this happening to me? â€c Why do we have to go through all this change? â€c Why did they hire her? â€c Why doesn’t he/she/they communicate better? â€c Why don’t you give me more of your time? Victims are excellent procrastinators and ask a lot of “when” questions such as: â€c When will you take care of this problem? â€c When will we get the information we need? â€c When will we get more resources? A Manager needs to talk to a Victim in a way that puts responsibility back on the employee. Start by countering with “how” and “when” questions that focus on action, such as: â€c What have you done to help solve the problem? â€c What are you doing that contributes to this problem? â€c What could you do to better understand each person in the office? â€c What efforts have you made to adapt to change? â€c What can you do right now to change this situation? â€c How can you achieve your goal with the resources you already have? â€c How can you do your job better today? â€c What do you think you need to do in order to contribute more to the team? Using this tactic will frustrate the Victim and reinforce the expectation of accountability. The Victim will realize the gig is up and, in order to avoid a performance warning, shelve the avoidance tactics. However, because these tactics did work at one time, they are hard to give up. The Manager will have to remain vigilant and ensure the workgroup doesn’t revert to “rescue” mode. The Injustice Collector There are people who are “right” and there are people to have to be right. Welcome to the “Injustice Collector.” Injustice collectors are always “wronged” but are never wrong. This employee would rather alienate everyone than admit being wrong. To an Injustice Collector, alienation is proof that their superiority sets them apart from everyone else. Since they can never be wrong, everybody else must be! This employee is an expert at putting people on the defensive. Managing this employee can feel like being on trial every day of the week. Managers must resist the bait and not get drawn into a debate or get defensive with this type person. Blame is the modus operandi of the Injustice Collector. Blame is also a block to responsibility. The Manager can put the blame game into “check” by not entertaining a debate and insisting on personal responsibility. This can be done by posing questions similar to those listed above. There are lots of ways an employee can drive a Manager crazy. Before you turn prematurely gray, get professional help.

Andre Giant - Obey
Andre Giant – Obey (Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer)

People Say That Money Can’t Buy Happiness

A fluorescent light bulb Deutsch: Kompaktleuch...
A fluorescent light bulb Deutsch: Kompaktleuchtstofflampe („Energiesparlampe“) mit integriertem Vorschaltgerät (EVG) und Edison-Schraubsockel E27 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marriage is a firm bonding based on love, passion and sexual desire. Each equally important in its own sphere as we know that life should have a complete balance of love and commitment. Marriage is an ultimate commitment of life to peruse the natural way to attain happiness.

Psychologists have used several models including bio psychosocial and PERMA models to explain happiness suggesting that happiness is attained when our biological, psychological and sociological needs are met or when there is pleasure (bodily for instance), engagement (in some activity for instance), relationships, meaning (for instance purpose of life) and accomplishments. These models suggest that happiness involves something deeper than just our fleeting pleasures. I would differ and suggest that happiness being extremely subjective, some people may just be happy attaining pleasures whereas some others would seek meaning or possibly accomplishments and relationships. So the level or type of attainment that makes one happy would vary from one person to another.

This is a first shot at defining happiness. Before continuing further and addressing the logical questions that result from this, I would like to stop here and ask you what you think about this “preliminary” definition. Do you spot any flaws in thinking? Did I miss out anything important? I would love to hear your thoughts.

What is happiness? Different people have different experiences. In my opinion, happiness is a feeling, a feeling of inner peace and contentment, is the soul’s experience with no-worries, fears, dreamless and other complicated thinking. When we did what we like to do, or have won and obtain valuable things we think, we will feel very happy. Happiness appears to be results of â€oa good thingâ€?, in fact it is an inner feeling triggered by external circumstances.

Happiness has become a common discussion topic in popular culture, especially in the Western world. Many studies have undertaken to demystify the factors involved in happiness. The following describes related research.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges wrote scathingly on the social dangers of “positive psychology“, both in his column for Truthdig and, more extensively, in his 2009 book Empire of Illusion. Hedges stated corporations appeal to “positive psychology” to force employees to be happy at all times. In a similar vein, Hedges is critical of “positive psychology’s” law of attraction. However, while popular in media and business, psychologists generally do not take seriously the notions of permanent happiness and law of attraction.

Others may just want to work on thinking and speaking more positively, and then there are those who feel that happiness stems from meditating, getting into a relaxed state regularly. There are numerous ways we can reach this space we call happiness.

In the article ” Finding Happiness after HarvardGeorge Vaillant concluded a study on what aspects of life are important for “successful living”. In the 1940s, Arlie Bock, while in charge of the Harvard Health Services, started a study, selecting 268 Harvard students from graduating classes of 1942, ’43, and ‘4He sought to identify the aspects of life contributing to “successful living”. In 1967, the psychiatrist George Vaillant continued the study, undertaking follow-up interviews to gauge the lives of many of the students. In 2000, Vaillant again interviewed these students as to their progress in life. Vaillant observed: health, close relationships, and how participants dealt with their troubles. Vaillant found a key aspect to successful living is healthy and strong relationships.

Just reading your hub on Happiness makes me happy! I share your belief that sometimes you have to work at happiness by forgetting some bad things and concentrating on the good. You’ve given some wonderful examples of happiness in your photo collection, and proven that happiness can come from many different sources. Great hub!

An emotionally stable (the opposite of Neurotic) personality correlates well with happiness. Not only does emotional stability make one less prone to negative emotions, it also predicts higher social intelligence – which helps to manage relationships with others (an important part of being happy, discussed below).

Vincent, let me share with you something I have learned. A few months ago I’ve realized that the love that had founded me – all of them – were contaminated with viruses and parasites causing sorrows of all sorts. So I’ve decided to leave my comfort zone and search for the love – if that is what they call pure happiness – I want and need. I have literally interviewed seven possible candidates before I’ve met Mr. B. He passed the first test, the second, third, forth and so forth…. He is an achiever per excellence; by now I have no choice but to call him The Dux. And let me tell you, I am surprised. I knew men like him exists, but I thought they were not meant for me.

The challenge with defining happiness, however, is that the physical constellations and processes that occur in the brain are a “black box” for us. Today, our knowledge about the brain is very limited, and we are far from stating the exact happenings in the brain that could be considered as happiness. Although we have some knowledge of emotional centres in the brain and their functions, we are far away from describing what exactly happens when we are “happy” (which is also tightly linked with being “conscious”, another term that will be left to the future to define).

Martin Seligman writes: “Unlike money, which has at most a small effect, marriage is robustly related to happiness…. In my opinion, the jury is still out on what causes the proven fact married people are happier than unmarried people.” (pp. 55–56). Married persons report higher levels of happiness and well being than single folks. Other data has shown a spouse’s happiness depends on the happiness of their partner. When asked, spouses reported similar happiness levels to each other. The data also shows the spouses’ happiness level fluctuates similarly to one another. If the husband is having a bad week, the wife will similarly report she had a bad week. There is also little data on alternatives like Polyamory, although one study stated wife order in polygyny did not have a substantial effect on life or marital satisfaction over all. This study also found younger wives were happier than older wives. On the other hand, at least one large study in Germany found no difference in happiness between married and unmarried people. Studies have shown that married couples are consistently happier and more satisfied with their life than those who are single. Some researching findings have indicated that marriage is the only real significant bottom-up predictor of life satisfaction for men and women and those people who have a higher life satisfaction prior to marriage, tend to have a happier marriage. Surprisingly, there has been a steady decline in the positive relationship between marriage and well-being in the United States since the 1970s. This decline is due to women reporting being less happy than previously before and single men reporting being happier than previously before. A two-factor theory of love was developed by Barnes and Sternberg. This theory is composed of two components: passionate love and companionate love. Passionate love is considered to be an intense longing for a loved one. This love is often experienced through joy and sexual fulfillment, or even through rejection. On the other hand, companionate love is associated with affection, friendship and commitment. Both passionate and companionate love are the foundations for every variety of love that one may experience.

Nicely done, Martie…the search for happiness is a lifelong task for so many because, as your verse points out, it is either something in the past to be remembered or something in the future to be attained. Sadly, they never define it as you so masterfully have in “the present”. If we are to know that we are happy, then we must be able to describe it and know what drives it. Then and only then can we recognize it….your poem speaks volumes on the subject. Nice work! WB

There could be several reactions to happiness and this could range from smiling to engaging in rigorous physical activity as happiness could mean a sudden surge in energy levels. People who engage in physical activity are more likely to be happy due to improved blood circulation and general good health. However happiness being an extremely subjective emotional state, in order to feel genuinely happy, some achievement in terms of long term goals such as love or conjugal life, wealth, spiritual liberation, or professional achievement could help a person to attain a continued happy state of mind. This is the prolonged state of happiness that has causes similar to any transient state of happiness although the effects could be long lasting. The people who have a prolonged state of happiness are generally lively, sporty, fun loving and optimistic. A child may show a prolonged state of happiness when adequate care and love are provided by their parents or carers. However transient states of happiness are more common as prolonged states of happiness could be interrupted by adverse life events so momentary joys and pleasures provide us with reassurance to accept and embrace life.

It’s about our frame of reference. It depends upon who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going. It’s about who we grew up with, who we choose to spend our life with, who we choose as friends…who we mirror and who mirrors us. Have you ever looked in the three way mirror in a department store dressing room and noticed that there seem to be mirrors, upon mirrors, upon mirrors, going on seemingly to infinity? Isn’t it interesting the way the first mirrors create what seems to be an exponential increase of other mirrors? That’s the way that mirroring happiness works. Have you ever been in a bad mood and then stepped into an elevator and met someone who tells you they like your sandals or holds the door for you, and then felt a little uplifted by their brighter mood? That’s because they have mirrored happiness to you. Happiness can be contagious if you allow it.

A lot has been written about happiness and from psychology to philosophy, different theories of happiness have focused on issues of satisfaction, contentment, and even spiritual liberation. But happiness is one of the most subjective mental states and several factors could be at play when a person is truly happy. Whereas anger or fear could be defined with physical reactions and certain behavioural patterns, this is not so for happiness and that is how happiness is extremely subjective. For example one bar of chocolate could make one child happy whereas another child would want two chocolate bars to feel truly happy.

Throughout the ages linguistic scientists have searched for a formula for happiness and love without success and to this day there still is no definite formula. Advertising agencies and copywriters were sharp enough to see the gap to create false happiness by creating tangible products of high value to fill the gap.

The need fulfilment or attainment that triggers happiness could be biological such as bodily pleasures as when we quench our thirst, satisfy physical desires etc. The attainment could be social when we form relationships and feel happy or simply talk to strangers at a large event or remain engaged in social activity, or the attainment could be spiritual when we seek and even find some kind of spiritual liberation. The attainment or need fulfilment could be psychological when our love needs are fulfilled or when we reach our goals or fulfil our ambitions. The biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of attainment could provide happiness according to their needs. Thus happiness is intricately tied to our specific needs although these needs could be interrelated as for example the need for status or power could be both social and psychological.

Rewards: Happiness comes from rewards as well. They can be simple things. You find a great bargain on something you been wanting. Maybe someone offers you a simple item of interest. You do a task and are complimented on it by someone else or yourself. Even finding a coin on the sidewalk can give you a “Reward” feeling that can bring happiness to you.