What If PTSD Is Like the Movie DOOM?

Disclaimer- This post is SOLELY my thoughts only and are no way in relation to Battling BARE or any of it’s affiliates. I simply think too much and like making crazy theories about things I don’t have enough time to research.

While I was in the shower this morning, I started thinking about our trip to Canada tomorrow. Mike & I were offered an AMAZING opportunity to go to Canada with Battling BARE to a “Wounded Warrior Weekend” bash up in Saskatchewan. We are going with several other couples from Battling BARE I have met most online but this will be the first time to meet everyone in real life. As I was thinking about packing and what this event will entail for our peeps with PTSD I came to this conclusion…  (Bear with me because I chain think.)

  1. Started thinking about our trip to Canada
  2. Then about the people I’ve met online through Battling BARE and how I can finally meet them in real life. 
  3. Then I connected my following of Jerry Hamilton over months and then made the light bulb moment when he was Battling BARE’s recipient for a service dog (aka Holly). 
  4. So then it was about how Jerry has had such a rough time with his PTSD yet people like my husband and his brother have been in similar experiences but it doesn’t affect them as much.
  5. Why is that? ( I ask “why” a lot. My mom can verify this.) 
  6. Now I started using some philosophical approaches I learned last spring in class and thought about our lesson on “Evil”. 
  7. Now bring in the movie DOOM. The two main characters inject themselves with “Chromosome 24” and a fight scene ensues. 
  8. One character becomes an outright monster while the other is still “good” but super human. 
  9. WHAT IF PTSD has the same effect on people like the “Chromosome 24” did? 
DUM DUM DUM!!! 
See what my brain does at 7am? Crazy right? That was the Cliff Notes version of what I was thinking about. #1 & 2 have been explained above. 
#3 Late 2012 I started following this guy @JerryHami on instagram through the #veteran & #PTSD hashtags. I “liked” a few of his pictures, he saw mine and “liked” a few of mine, so on and so forth. We started following each other on instagram. All while this was going on, Battling BARE was running a contest for a veteran to be selected to receive a service dog on behalf of BB & Alpha K-9. They finally selected someone and they were to meet at the Sportsman Expo in California for the presentation. It didn’t click until Jerry posted pictures on instagram with his new dog, Holly, and Ashley (Battling BARE) that I realized it was the same guy! Huh. Small world. 
#4 Later on Jerry joined the Battling BARE team as an advocate for service dogs to veterans with PTSD and it’s numerous benefits. He was our walking testimony. I kept up with Jerry and his story about how our justice system found ways to criminalize veterans because of their PTSD induced episodes. I’m not here to tell Jerry’s story, simply using his story as a comparison tool between people I personally encounter and their differences on how PTSD has effected them. Some people this hits them a lot harder than it does for others.
#5 Why? How? I can find a group of 10 service members who all had the same experiences, maybe even the same platoon/company and most of the time they are all a different level of PTSD. Some may jump at every little thing, while another person is fine to go about normal life, while another simply can’t watch war movies but is ok in everyday life. What causes this? How can two people with the same experiences become different afterwards. In the sense that they don’t react the same to those experiences. Interesting, right?
#6 This past spring I was required to take a philosophy class as part of my core curriculum. The class itself was interesting, the people irritated me. (Sidebar: I usually connected with the people in my class who had crappy life experiences like I did opposed to the ones who had the uneventful Christian-middle-class-white-holier-than-thou lives. One in particular was a delusional fool for a mother.) One of the class discussions was the presence of “evil” in the human population. I personally believe that everyone is born “evil” and because “God” has granted us with “free will” what we choose to do with that evil is up to us. (My professor loved me for this.) My reasoning was as follows: I often dream about smothering my husband with my pillow at night when he has gotten on my last nerve BUT because I love him too much and fear prison, I would never do such a thing. Ergo, we ALL have evil within us but our self-control is what determines how we exert said evil. Does genetics play a part in this? Absolutely. Let’s stick to the basics though. This website has some great overviews in regards to the philosophical theories on “evil”. (The Evidential Problem of Evil)
#7 Anyone see the movie DOOM from 2005? No? Here’s the trailer to jog your memory. 
Essentially the premise is that this highly trained Marines (OORAH!) travel over to a science facility on Mars because whatever research was being conducted has gotten out of hand and now there’s zombies or whatever taking over the facility. (Any of my video gamers out there who’ve played the PC version of DOOM know what I’m talking about.) Anyways, these Marines are sent over to get things under control and evacuate the people living there. The research being conducted is genome mapping and isolating “Chromosome 24” which has the capability of turning humans into monsters or super humans. The theory is that depending on your soul and your inherent “evil” level depends on how the gene reacts to you. 
#8 The two main characters Reaper (Karl Urban) & Sarge (Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock) both end up sole survivors and they both are injected with “Chromosome 24”. SPOILER ALERT!!! Sarge (The Rock) becomes a monster. He is evil and so the extra gene reacts negatively with his DNA. Reaper on the other hand has a “good” soul and becomes a super human. Of course there is always a final fight scene between good & evil and Reaper (good) wins. 
MY CONCLUSION (#9)

WHAT IF… PTSD is like “Chromosome 24”? One’s actions and experiences are based on one’s inner soul? (Yet again I do believe physical genetics play a HUGE role in this as well but I’m just sticking to my original theory for the moment.) If a platoon of service members all go through the same experiences together, why do some come home to addiction or beating their spouse or severely depressed while the others go about their normal lives? What causes or triggers that? Why are some of them more predisposed to PTSD over others? My husband has seen some INSANE things. I mean INSANE. Yet he has never laid a hand on me in a negative manner, doesn’t drink in excess or do drugs, can go to concerts and festivals with me… While some come home and they are all of a sudden a hermit and can barely function around their own families. I’m truly fascinated by this. It is a soul issue? A genetic issue? 
I can even take my account of nearly dying at the hands of my psycho ex-husband and all the abuse he put me through and I’m a well functioning adult in society. Do I have anger issues? Yes BUT I exert oodles of self-control every. single. day. when in contact with stupidity. Take a woman who went through a similar situation as mine and yet she snaps and is in therapy twice a week, medicated on anti-depressants, and can’t hold a steady romantic relationship. Why? What is different in each of us that causes this? 
Please don’t leave here thinking I’m minimizing anyone’s experiences or appearing to be on a pedestal above everyone because I happen to handle my own trauma better than the next survivor. It’s simply a theory that I was thinking about while in the shower this morning. Kind of makes you wonder what our brains and spiritual side are capable of or lacking that we have yet to tap into. It’s all very intriguing to me. I’m hoping by going to this retreat in Canada that I can pick the brains of some people and read them. I want to get into their minds and figure out why they interpreted an event in a particular manner that influenced them the way it has. 
And no I do not want to be a social worker or counselor. Not my thing. Thanks for thinking it though!
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3 thoughts on “What If PTSD Is Like the Movie DOOM?

  1. Raven Haagenson

    Great post Wren! I have had similar thoughts and ideas concerning victims of molestation. I was molested for a few years. I dont remember when it started but I know it stopped when I had the courage to tell my parents when I was eight. I do think it has affected me some but honestly I hardly think about it. I dont need medication or therapy to be a productive and healthy person in society. I see women with similar experiences like mine and their lives are a complete mess. I have been thankful for great genes that enable me to heal myself emotionally.

    Reply
  2. Mike & Wren

    Thanks Raven! PTSD is a fascinating circumstance that is present in almost everyone but only develops in select few. Hopefully our generation will be able to link genetics or something one day so we can have a little more insight to what causes this vast differentiation in one's personality after a traumatic event.

    Reply
  3. Jodi

    I have had similar trains of thought in the past as well. Well, except I've never seen “Doom”, LOL.

    I have PTSD following a traumatic birth experience. But not everyone who has a traumatic birth experience will. And my symptoms do not (usually) prevent me from functioning normally. I have a lot of missing time. Intense flashbacks that occur from time-to-time, especially around my daughter's birthday, but nothing that affects me regularly. But there are those for whom PTSD does hinder them on a regular basis.

    I have similar thoughts about depression. I was diagnosed with post-partum depression following the same birth experience. Now, how much was true depression, was PTSD related, anxiety, OCD, etc. is up for debate, but… what kept me from falling into PP-psychosis like others do? Why is it when I was depressed, that the cries of my daughter were what got me out of bed to take care of her, while other moms cannot muster the strength to even take care of their own kids?

    I don't know. I don't know if anyone knows. I think some of it is genetic (generalized anxiety disorder and clinical depression are both present in my family). Probably some more is based on your life experiences up until that point. But I think both of those are probably just small pieces of the puzzle.

    If only we could figure out whatever that trigger is, that causes different reactions to the same stimuli, perhaps we as a society could do a better job of treating / dealing with mental illness as a whole.

    BTW – you're right. The more I learn about PTSD, the more fascinating it is. How & why it affects some but now others, or affects two but in different ways is amazing.

    Thanks for posting!

    Reply

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