Thursday, July 18, 2013

How much does love matter with Combat PTSD?

How much does love matter with Combat PTSD
De-tour PTSD Survivor's Guide
Kathie Costos
July 18, 2013

This morning I was reading How much does culture matter for PTSD? on the New Yorker by David Morris. It is a good article but it makes two points that have to be understood. The first one is the most important.
But there are a growing number of psychiatrists and researchers who are challenging our understanding of P.T.S.D.—even its very nature as an ailment. Modern psychiatry, they argue, is locked into a mindset that systematically overdiagnoses P.T.S.D. without nurturing veterans’ ability to heal themselves.

That is exactly what has been understood by researchers for the last 40 years but it is also what has been understood by Point Man International Ministries. Our group started in 1984 addressing the spiritual connection to PTSD. It works. What they need to heal is already inside of them. They just need help reconnecting everything else to it.

This is the other part.
As Jonathan Shay, the author of “Achilles in Vietnam,” shows in his follow-up, “Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming,” while the problem of returning from war is one of humanity’s oldest struggles, the use of P.T.S.D. to frame a wide variety of traumatic experiences is a relatively recent development. The growing criticism of our current understanding of P.T.S.D. suggests that what was once ignored or treated as a failure of character—the soldier’s weakness—has now been medicalized to the exclusion of discussing its moral and spiritual dimensions. “It feels to me as if the U.S. civilian population has pathologized the veteran experience,” Elliott Woods, an Iraq veteran-turned-reporter, told me not long ago. read more here

I don't know many I trust more on PTSD than Shay. I have been a big fan of his for years. If they do not address the spiritual aspect of PTSD, they fail the war fighter. The same quality of the human spirit they carry is what causes the deepest wound but God is marvelous. When He created their souls, He put everything they need inside of it. They have the ability to forgive, but need help doing it. They have the ability to forgive themselves, but need help to do it and see that they are not evil. They need to find peace but some want them to just forget. I have been credited with saving a lot of their lives but the truth is, they did it themselves.

All I did was get them to see all of it in a different way and help them find what they lost. I am a just a guide to what they need to find within themselves.

They are able to see that love lived within them, even in war, no matter what they faced. When they grieved, when they shed a tear or reached out to God for help, love was there. It lived in moments of horror and unimaginable turmoil. It is still alive but buried under the pain they feel.

Once they see that, once they are able to make peace with themselves, they heal. They are not cured. They don't need to be forced to forget. It is all part of them but they do need to be reminded of what they forgot. When they see it differently it did not create a delusion but it did help them acknowledge what else was there.

The best way to heal PTSD is to forgive. Forgive other people and yourself. The reason you feel so much pain is because of where you've been and what you had to go through. Trauma is Greek for wound and your wound is deep inside of you. You need to treat your body, your mind and your soul to heal. The hardest thing to do is forgive yourself for whatever you feel you need it for.

If you grieve, if you still care, know that it because you have the strength within your soul. It is why you hurt so much. Love matters more to you because it caused you to be willing to lay down your life for the sake of someone else.

You can give any answer on why you wanted to join the military but when you consider all answers the basic one is you loved. It matters more than anything else when trying to heal yourself.

You can see more of these videos on Vimeo Wounded Times

No comments:

Post a Comment