Monday, June 24, 2013

Defining The Deep Pain PTSD Doesn't Capture

It is ridiculous how some researchers think testing rats and killing them to study their brains will even come close to what PTSD does to humans. After all is said and done, they have no way of knowing what other emotions and memories will be altered. Above that, they ignore the human spirit. Some researchers have failed to begin to understand the complexities of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They lump all PTSD cases together. Great researchers understood a long time ago, PTSD varies from different causes, number of exposures and length of time they were in fear of dying. There is also the factor of doing a job. First responders, law enforcement, fire figting and combat.
Defining The Deep Pain PTSD Doesn't Capture
By Martha Bebinger
June 24, 2013

BOSTON — An estimated 22 veterans kill themselves in the U.S. each day. And suicide among men and women on active duty hit a record high last year — 349. As veterans and researchers try to figure out why, there’s growing interest in a condition known as “moral injury,” or wounds to a veteran’s spirit or soul from events that “transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.”

The concept has helped former Marine Corps Capt. Tyler Boudreau understand years of pain that medication and therapy for PTSD didn’t address. He tells his story, somewhat reluctantly, from the living room of his blue clapboard home in Northampton, Mass.

‘This Is What Occupation Looks Like’

Boudreau arrived in Iraq in the March of 2004 at the age of 33 shortly before four American contractors were killed in Fallujah. His unit moved into position for a planned assault on the city.

“We were always getting shelled, constant rocket and mortar attacks,” Boudreau explained. “An IED, the roadside bomb, blew up right next to my vehicle and I was involved in some firefight that was pretty, you know, pretty intense.”

The constant shelling wore on Boudreau. But the daily duties of war, what he did to Iraqis, also took a toll on him.

“It’s like this accumulation of presence and searching and patrolling and detaining people who, maybe they’re guilty, maybe they’re not,” Boudreau said, his voice building. “Bringing them back and putting them in locked rooms or in cages or putting bags over their heads and flex cuffs on the hands and all of these things that we do, day after day after day. This is what occupation looks like. Searching this house, searching that house, patrolling through the neighborhoods, questioning people.”

Boudreau has thought a lot about one evening when, as darkness fell, dozens of Marines pulled up to a farm house, ordered the family outside, swept their home and found nothing.
read more here
Wounded Times Blog • a few seconds ago This was understood back in 1984 when Point Man International Ministries began working with Vietnam Veterans. Bill Landreth, a Seattle police officer didn't want to keep arresting Vietnam veterans. He started Point Man and Chuck Dean, noted author and Vietnam veteran, took the idea further. Today Point Man is still taking care of the spiritual wound, or as Shay put it, the "moral injury" because that is exactly what this is. I am Coordinator for the State of Florida among other things because this works.
Jonathan Shay was not the first psychiatrist to talk about the connection between veterans and type of PTSD they suffer with but he is fact among the best.

Combat used to be hand-to-hand, face to face and it was brutal. While they did not have term for it back in Biblical times, it has been recored throughout the Bible. All one need do is read Psalms to discover how deeply they were changed by what they had to do.

Now there is not just the violence of bullets but the bombs planted in roads that causes a psychological wound as much as a physical one. These weapons have more than the purpose of killing, more than maiming, they are designed to cause fear that with every step there could be another one.

Soldiers see opponents die, but they also see civilians die along with their friends. They see them maimed. Then they take all that pain upon themselves. These people are unique because they were willing to die for the sake of someone else but they forget that when PTSD has invaded their soul. They believe they have become an evil creature failing to understand that had they been evil, they would not feel so much pain.

There is so much they do not understand but if they learn from people like Jonathan Shay and Point Man, they are much closer to the day when they are living better lives and healing from where they were sent.

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