During the recent "siege" I did a lot of research online. Might as well do something if I can't get out and do yard work. I listened to several lectures - while so much of it just doesn't seem to apply, one did. I don't have the reference at hand, so, in layman's terms, here goes. Someone else might recognize it and post a link.
Think about how when you are truly frightened, your senses ramp up. Your hearing becomes hypersensitive, your heart beats faster and your body releases adrenalin. What if that hearing hypersensitivity was like a switch in your brain that you couldn't turn off once it was activated?
If right now someone were to surprise you with a loud single clap of hands, your brain would react. If that clap was followed by a second identical clap, most people's brains would NOT register the second clap as strongly in their brain as they did the first clap. For some people, both claps register equally - its as though their "switch" stayed open.
They did research with babies and did find that they could replicate the results in babies. Some of the babies reacted equally to both claps.
You could see how someone in a war zone with an open "switch" could end up with PTSD.
My son had been practicing hypervigilant behaviors during that last bad stretch. He was turning off his air conditioner to hear things outside his apartment and peeking out his windows at the slightest sound and yelling. I found that if I went outside and his ac unit was off, MY hearing amped up listening for him to start yelling. While I would startle each time he began to yell, I would also "unstartle" and be able to listen to what he was saying in a detached manner.
I can't imagine how awful it would be if my brain kept reacting to each word with the same initial startle effect.
They found this quite by accident as a result of a brain surgery, whether it can mean anything going forward, I don't know. It does help me understand that this is possibly the case with my son.The more I can understand about his experience ,the better I can communicate with him when i have the opportunity.
Its back to the reason so many families complain they have to sound wise "walk on eggshells" around their family members with scz.
It really explains why my son totally freaks out if his dad raises his voice. I believe I have finally gotten through to my husband about this, but if my son startles him - he is still likely to yell back. Hasn't happened in over a year, I hope we can keep that streak alive.