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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Colour Theory

Updated on February 12, 2012

Are We Just Chemicals?

So our body is this collection of different chemicals right? There’s one for happiness, one for sadness, one for excitement. And unfortunately, but fortunately we have ways of producing them artificially.

So what happens when you are older, and are diagnosed with a chemical imbalance? I have this theory that just as a person can develop an addiction to a synthetic drug and experience severe withdrawal symptoms when not using, so can we with emotions.

Say we simplified the process of feeling , where every emotion was assigned it's own chemical color in the brain.

Think about how feelings would look like in your brain. When you're happy, a yellow liquid is deposited in the appropriate vessels and carried through out your body so that you feel it all over. When you're sad, it's the yellow liquid, so that they can all occur but independently of each other. Now lets imagine that a person lives most of their life constantly getting the blue, orange, and green liquids. After many interactions, the brain starts to expect just these three colors. Not only is your brain used to it but, it begins to depend on it and understand it as the only possible colors. So for the person who is used to anxiety their whole life, every experience will bring some level of anxiety, not because the occasion calls for it but because it is the only thing the brain knows in depth. Just like the addict who craves the drug that once gave pleasure to maintain normalcy, so does the brain begin to crave the orange, or the blue, or the green.

To better understand the concept, we can use military personals who have been in battle. Many who survive are shell shocked, or plagued with recurrent and all-too-realistic memories of combat. The most common form of this is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a diagnosis that when combined with the above color theory, simply means a person has been exposed to too much blue, orange, and green in a short period of time. While the brain might be able to identify the other colors, it's dependence on those three causes it to experience a sort of withdrawal when those colors aren't present. Eventually, your entire life is defined by those three colors. For those who have PTSD, could it be that at a point in their life their brain was constantly getting hit with the orange, the orange, the orange; OVER AND OVER AND OVER again till that’s all it was used it. Hardly any yellow, and when the yellow did come, it was so unusual that it was ignored. Now later after the trauma you’re put in a normal situation and asked to behave as so. You suddenly get a surge of yellow chemical in your brain and it becomes just like this. Happiness is the absence of sadness, and bam it hits you. You haven’t had happiness in so long that when it finally does come, you go into a state of withdrawal. Your brain can’t make heads or tails of what’s happening to you. In that confusion your brain tells you, this is what you're used to, this is what makes sense, find it and create it now! So you recreate the same emotions that you felt when the trauma occurred.

Here lies the problem though, that we are human and so we experience life in many vivid color combinations. While our brains may get stuck on a moment in the past and not be able to pry itself away from the obsession with one color, we need to know life through different hues. The partiality of PTSD to one area of damage in our lives, is somewhat of an addiction to chaos. In order to remove ourselves from that momentary color blindness, recognition of avoidance is key.

What I mean by that is to realize that you're addicted to happiness, or sadness, or anger, or anxiety. You're addicted to how it makes you feel, and it's familiarity. You have situated yourself into one emotion and allowed it to define you beyond what others can bear, beyond what you should have to bear. The first step in addressing this addiction is finding how it presents itself in your life. Some things to look at are those vices or bad habits that you can't seem to stop such as:

  • Procrastination
  • Drinking Excessively
  • Drug Abuse
  • Cutting or other self-inflicted wounds
  • Putting yourself down
  • Bullying
  • Etc.

This is however not to say that all those things are bad for you, or terrible. At this point, I can honestly say to each his own, and that although certain actions may be deemed taboo by society, we all need some bad to keep us good. The aforementioned vices, in my opinion, become "bad" when done excessively to where they impact other areas of your life severely. This brings me to another point.

The Perfect Imbalance

The Color Theory explains what I believe is happening to us when we go through something rather traumatic, then undergo the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, with/without major depressive order. Look at most of the great geniuses of the past centuries. Lets face it, ff most of them were living today, they would probably be on some kind of anti-something or the other. Some examples of such people are.

  • Nikola Tesla - Did everything in threes

  • Howard Huges - Locked himself in a room for four months among many other things

  • Emily Dickinson - Recluse

  • Sylvia Plath- Depressed

  • Vincent Van Gogh - Cut off his own ear.

Eye-Opening Semi-Documentary

It is what made Nikola Tesla perfect at what he did but self-destructive in his paranoia. The same with Howard Hughes and the other great people we know of history who the public knew as geniuses but their family knew as depressed or compulsive or manic.

Vincent Van Gogh, he had such an ability to make an image so intense that we who see it can almost feel what he felt when he painted starry nights or his portrait. I speculate that like myself, he found it hard to tell the difference between past dreams, memories, daydreams, or just what I’ve been told. But what does this have to do with the colors of sadness and or happiness. It has everything to do with it!

These people's genius were one color, the way they thought, the way their minds worked was one whole color. But given another color, it was probably close to impossible for them to comprehend ever thinking otherwise. I understand this doesn't make any sense, but comment, ask questions! And if you get what I'm saying, please don't hesitate once again to tell me. Is there any life out there?!!


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    • Ashmi profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere out there

      We take comfort in the familiar even if it is painful. Our personalities are so conditioned by our environment that it is practically impossible to break little habits, never-mind big destructive ones. The mind is afraid of the unknown and avoids it, preferring what it already knows even if it secretly knows it to be harmful to itself. An imbalance always leads to suffering which nature then tries to restore.

      The mind is a good servant but a bad master. Unfortunately we are dominated by it for we know little about how it works. It is an instrument that interprets information brought to its attention by the five senses. It evaluates according to what it has been taught by custom, convention and experience. The original purity of the mind will only come about when the prison of established "truths" are seen for what they are; a misapprehension of the facts.

      Deep down hidden within our being we sense things are not quite right yet we cannot put our finger on it. We accept too easily the established norms and guide our lives so they do not rock the boat so to speak. We do ourselves a great disservice by not questioning everything.

      I believe Van Gogh's favorite colour was yellow. He said it was the colour of life. Envy he depicted with green and anger with red. Check out his paintings of interiors. I love the lyric in the song dedicated to him "this world was never meant for someone as beautiful as you."

    • catalystsnstars profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Land of Nod

      Thank you cupid, but it really is just an opinion. Non of it is based at all on facts that i know of.

    • cupid51 profile image


      8 years ago from INDIA

      It’s very amazing! I admit I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing.


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