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This post was inspired by the song Waterfalls from the band TLC. Here’s everything I know on post-traumatic stress disorder. TLC would say: CrazySexyCool!

I get it, you’re an Italian. Ah? You’re Jewish, love your nails. You must be a Libra. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious issue. From war children to millennials disgusted by the open space, everybody will find clues about health in this post. And believe me, I’ve done a lot of research.

That post is based on several years of research on my side. It seems my experience is bringing me to my knees. As if it was the hit of the century.

But the hit of the century is debatable. I know a lot of rappers who enjoy success at the moment. I’m not a big fan but they know cool music to sample like Eminem. I have found several angles on post-traumatic stress disorder (aka burnout).

Watch Your Bankroll, Don’t Go Broke

This song by American recording group TLC was written by band member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes with Marqueze Etheridge and Organized Noize for TLC’s second album, CrazySexyCool (1994), featuring production by the latter. The song was released as the third single from the album (1995).

Often considered the group’s signature song, “Waterfalls” was an international hit, topping the charts in many different territories. “Waterfalls” received critical acclaim, earning two Grammy nominations at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards in 1996 for Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

The song tackled issues of the illegal drug trade, promiscuity and HIV/AIDS. Jarett E. Nolan of BMG noted that “Waterfalls” was the first number one song ever to reference AIDS in one of its verses. The accompanying music video for the song reflected its socially conscious lyrics.

With a million-dollar budget, the video was an MTV staple credited for giving the single much of its success. It stayed atop the MTV Video Monitor chart for over a month, making TLC the first act to ever achieve this feat.

The video won four MTV Video Music Awards in 1995, including top honors for Video of the Year. TLC was the first African-American act to ever receive the trophy. The video won the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year in 1995, beating out “Buddy Holly” by Weezer and “Basket Case” by Green Day.

“Chasing Waterfalls” is TLC’s way of expressing how people chase intangible dreams with no thought of the consequences. Cee-Lo Green sang backup on this. He’s well-known as a songwriter and producer, and as a member of Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley. Cee-Lo recalled to The Guardian newspaper March 22, 2008: “I was working at the same studio and of course I know the girls too, because we were on the same label, so they just asked me. I didn’t realize at the time what a big song it was going to be.”

Pleasure And Pain Are Unavoidable

The first angle I want to talk about is what I call “Uhu Yeah”. What I mean is that people suffering from heavy stress might think about the following:

  • they were unprepared,
  • they felt helpless,
  • it was unexpected.

As Mathieu Ricard put it, pleasure and pain are unavoidable. What’s important is the sense or the meaning of that experience. Ricard is a French writer and Buddhist monk.

My main source of wisdom is music. But I can’t help reading a book or watching a movie sometimes. Can you deliver one truth that will unlock my potential?

It’s about control. Freud said that young children were proud to control their sphincter! And when you think about it, he might be right. Think about activities that give you pleasure. The one thing they have in common might be control.

When looking for antonyms of control, you can stumble upon the words “freedom” or “chaos” and “neglect”. An urgent matter would be to determine a frame where freedom can be expressed. Slaves, for example, lack rights and obligations.

Context Is Critical: Cereal Complex

I read a science magazine a few months ago. That magazine had his point of view on the subject. People suffering from that illness tend to recall a detail of the experience and forget about the context.

The solution they propose is to avoid rumination and intensity of feelings. They also pointed out the role of new neurons, or new experiences.

Words are not trivial. It’s the basis of emotions. Of course, instrumental music might be helpful when you’re lost for words.

I like the idea but sometimes you don’t feel right. The challenge would be to keep the emotions in a habitable zone. For example, if the Earth’s distance to the Sun was not the right one, life would never have been possible.

A habitable zone is the range of orbits around a star within which a planetary surface can support liquid water given sufficient atmospheric pressure. If I try to translate, I would come up that definition.

A habitable intensity is the range where emotions make people connect with each other, instead of separating them. You can beat your enemies if you only knew the first enemy you have to deal with is yourself!

Words Are Trivial, Feelings Are Intense

Another angle is the following: a part of the brain monitors intense efforts. Their cost and their benefits (call it return on investment).

It’s kind of a spy inside your heart. And rest assured that kind of business requires 2 spies: the one monitoring your brain and the one monitoring the one who monitors. 2 riders approaching.

It’s like falling into the abyss. You stumble and you don’t get up. Your compromise is insane. You can’t stop self-destruction.

As if that shell shock was too much to handle. Make sure to remain home and don’t get out until the storm has passed. “There must be some kind of way out of here, said the joker to the thief”.

If you like the spying business or espionage, you must be careful because, when you find the reason, you will have trouble getting used to it. Anyway, it seems sometimes being ruined is the only happy ending (think of Russian roulette).

Music Hits You, As Hard As Influenza

Yet another angle is what a lot of people call burnout. It happens a lot in the corporate world. How many Japanese people finished their lives with suicide?

You might call that the Tokyo blues: “when the music hits you, as hard as a case of influenza”, what are you going to do? Feel all flushed with fever and embarrassment?

But what’s important is that you’re afraid to feel. You will end up calling your lawyer and aim for justice. By the way, you will miss a lot of opportunities.

A chance to love, a chance to have fun, a chance to grow, a chance to work on your passion.

When you’re afraid to feel, you might wonder what’s this new emotion. In fact, it might be an old one that your memory is rearranging. Because memory is associative but it also is a matter of reconstruction.

With time, the memory will live inside of you. Let’s make sure it can be helpful instead of being a threat to humanity. Think of World War 2 and fundamental rights of mankind.

Still Waiting For That Compensation

Do you know the Phoenix Suns? It’s an NBA basketball team who allowed some old players to regain form when they were injured previously.

You have to pass a physical. When you can’t, the Suns medical staff explained that, in a nutshell, you tend to compensate. For example, at the moment, I’m having a hard time digesting an experience (the role of the liver). Thus, I’m putting a lot of hopes with the heart (associated to summer).

Minutes change like seasons, don’t they? Are you rearranging hell at the moment? One minute is fine and the next is black.

If you feel scarred for life, and are having troubles finding an adapted compensation, protect your neck and shoulders. And maybe the jaws of the alien inside. Alienation is defined by medicine as “a state in which a person’s feelings are inhibited so that eventually both the self and the external world seem unreal”.

And remember: treachery and treason, there’s always an excuse for it.

Bad To The Bone: Muscle Museum

When muscles can’t handle the load anymore, the load is transferred to bones. Bones are where the secret alchemy of mankind takes place.

Fatigue fractures are commonplace everywhere you go. But scientists have found some in a dinosaur called Allosaurus Fragilis. They say fatigue only happens in healthy persons.

The heart is an involuntary muscle and it’s the most vital organ among the vital organs (liver, pancreas, lungs, brain and kidneys). Do I need to paint a picture in your mind?

The heart is an involuntary muscle. Use it wisely and listen to the music.

You need to practice if you want muscles like a sign or symptom of good health. Of course, if you become intolerant to exercise (which will happen as you get older, wether or not you worked in high pressure environment), maybe the solution would be to consider you suffer from decompression sickness.

The bends. Radiohead made an album on that subject. You tend to scratch your eternal itch. Some will say it’s a 20th century bitch. Others will find something else.

May You Have A Strong Foundation

Another angle was inspired by a Bob Dylan’s song. What do you do when you’re down and out?

There is a fact inspired by my short career in signal processing that the fundamental frequency of a sound produces harmonics. Those harmonics are multiple of the fundamental frequency and may have a specific amplitude.

The ear can only hear sounds between a fundamental frequency of 0 to 22.050 Hertz (approximatively). If you have a A sound (La in French), then the fundamental frequency is 440 Hz and the next will be 880 Hz. The amplitude of the harmonics characterise the timbre of the sound.

The timbre (also known as tone color or tone quality from psychoacoustics) is the perceived sound quality of a musical note, sound or tone.

When I was young, my fundamental frequency was: “no pressure, thanks”. And the harmonics were wonderful. I can prove it with several pictures. Now, my fundamental became “20th century bitch”.

And the smallest task requires a wonderful effort to get its meaning.

Too Much, As Sure As None At All

It seems the last angle I could think of is sobriety. Or maybe balance.

When you lose your balance, you start to compensate. And your knees can tell. Changing directions becomes very hard. Maybe you overdosed? The dose is very important. Sometimes the poison has no effect if the dose is not enough or too much.

Mithridatism is the practice of protecting oneself against a poison by gradually self-administering non-lethal amounts. The word is derived from Mithridates VI, the King of Pontus, who so feared being poisoned that he regularly ingested small doses, aiming to develop immunity.

I was high on sobriety, but I realise the important word is balance. That’s why I’m writing that blog; I want to clarify my mind. When I think of balance, I also think about the subconscious mind that 90% of humans uses.

There are allusions among us. I guess if you lack something, you tend to be excessive. The contrary might be true. The longest journey starts with a simple step.

Courageous Like The Land Of Lebanon

There is a level of consciousness called courage. The first level of true force.

Courage happens when you see life as a challenge, and not a burden. We might wonder how life can become a burden. The first thing that comes to mind is “burden of proof”. Someone lost with narcissistic perverts (or allusive junkies) might experience that.

If your height is less than 1m78, it is improbable that you would qualify for playing NBA basketball. Although there are exceptions for every rule.

Muggsy Bogues (born 1965) is an American retired basketball player. The shortest player ever to play in the National Basketball Association, the 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m) Bogues played point guard for four teams during his 14-season career in the NBA.

My point is the following. When your skills are high, you will experience relaxation, control and flow. No doubt control is the first level where you experience a real pleasure. But when the challenge is high, you might experience apathy, worry and anxiety.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to!

And let’s try to summarise our level in marketing in 3 words: WorriedAnxiousApathetic? What about CrazySexyCool? No doubt this key might use a little turning.

Post-traumatic stress is a complex topic but here you have clues about it. As an experienced human being, I will think of another blogger: it’s nice to have solution, but it’s better to practice them! The song reminds me of poker: at bigger limits, there are a lot of sharks.

[Verse 1]
A lonely mother gazing out of the window
Staring at her son that she just can’t touch
If at any time he’s in a jam, she’ll be by his side
But he doesn’t realize he hurts her so much
But all the praying just ain’t helping at all
Cause he can’t seem to keep his self out of trouble
So he goes out and he makes his money the best way he knows how
Another body laying cold in the gutter
Listen to me

Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast

[Verse 2]
Little precious has a natural obsession for temptation
But he just can’t see
She gives him loving that his body can’t handle
But all he can say is, “Baby it’s good to me”
One day he goes and take a glimpse in the mirror
But he doesn’t recognize his own face
His health is fading and he doesn’t know why
Three letters took him to his final resting place
Y’all, don’t hear me

Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast

[Verse 3: Left Eye]
I seen a rainbow yesterday, but too many storms
Have come and gone, leaving a trace of not one God-given ray
Is it because my life is ten shades of gray, I pray
All ten fade away, seldom praise Him for the sunny days
And like His promise is true, only my faith can undo
The many chances I blew to bring my life to anew
Clear and blue and unconditional skies
Have dried the tears from my eyes, no more lonely cries
My only bleeding hope is for the folk who can’t cope
With such an endurin pain that it keeps ’em in the pourin rain
Who’s to blame for tooting ‘caine into your own vein
What a shame, you shoot and aim for someone else’s brain
You claim the insane, and name this day in time
For falling prey to crime
I say the system’s got you victim to your own mind
Dreams are hopeless aspirations in hopes of coming true
Believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you

Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast
Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast


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Written by na1man

I've been listening to music for more than 20 years, trying to get a message in each of the 5000 songs I listened to. I'm interested in all topics (sports, art, science, philosophy, health, travel). I connect the dots with contemporary music. This blog will be the result of more than 20 years of work on humanity (ripples in the curvature of spacetime).

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