Military and Combat Trauma

Seeking counseling for someone who has time in the service is no joke. Many men and women have a hard time doing it cause we feel like it means we have failed in some way. We are used to pushing through everything and getting stronger. What does not kill you makes you stronger right?  Just the idea of sharing feelings in some way with a counselor can feel fluffy, weak and ridiculous. “Feelings”; for someone trained to kill and be like like steel, feelings are a liability. That is until you start to feel the symptoms of PTSD. These symptoms may seem subtle and unimportant at first but may become more and more pronounced over time. Deployments have taken a heavy toll on marriages, family, friendships, and children. This is a historical fact.

Have you ever experienced a memory that is so strong it seems to swallow you up? You have to fight to keep yourself really in the present moment? Has this ever happened while you were at work and you did not want anyone to know because you’re afraid of what it might mean?

You can tell when PTSD starts as suddenly you feel like your steel container has sprung a leak and you find yourself getting angry or tearful and you might have no idea why. Combat trauma is funny that way. It can sit in the background without you even knowing it’s there. Trauma; to define it simply just means; a single or series of negative events that continue to affect you and influence your behavior for a long time after it has happened. You don’t have to have been through extreme torture to be experiencing the effects of Posttraumatic stress, anxiety, panic attacks, or nightmares.

Have you ever experienced a memory that is so strong it seems to swallow you up? You have to fight to keep yourself really in the present moment?  Has this ever happened while you were at work and you did not want anyone to know because you’re afraid of what it might mean?

When this kind of experience happens it does not mean you’re weak, or losing your mind. It means that you’re re-experiencing something that is unresolved in you. It just means you need to consider getting some help from someone who understands and knows you are not weak or crazy.

I get really angry sometimes and don’t know why.

Sometimes we don’t really notice what we feel or care. We may just drink and party and isolate and try to hang out with other people who are the same. Your wife or partner may want to talk with you and you may not want to talk at all. You may feel incredibly angry or guilty all the time and not really know why. You just may have really underestimated how much combat has affected you. Getting angry for no reason at all is a symptom of PTSD as anger is fundamentally a defensive emotion and is a part of the fight or flight response biologically wired into us. Conversely for those working in the armed forces or law enforcement, we are trained to live in the state of fight or flight. A state of being hypervigilant to trouble and responding. However, most of us do not realize that we are not biologically built to live in a perpetual state of limbic system arousal or hypervigilance. Being ready for the worst all the time is going to affect how we perceive the world around us outside of work.

If I get a Diagnosis I could lose my job. I love serving in the Military.

A lot of therapists and counselors don’t understand that when you serve in the US military or securities you are part of a subculture within our culture. Currently there are a total of 1.46 Million active personnel in the US military. Strangely with so many people active in the service, counselors do not understand that it is its own culture. As part of that culture you have worked to earn a certain level of respect and honor. Level of pay can also be for some a level of respect and a way of measuring progress in an otherwise chaotic world. Often time when a diagnosis is given from the diagnostic statistical manual of mental illness (DSM 5) that information is not kept confidential by your insurance company but reported directly to your CO. Having your career, rank and financial support taken away because the therapist felt they had to give you a DSM diagnosis to get insurance reimbursement; or because they believe in the DSM as some sort of methodology of diagnosis is a sad shame that is unnecessary.  Someone who respects your culture should understand it and work to support you within it.    

But I’ve already tried therapy at the VA and it doesn’t work!

We have heard this from a lot of people in the service. And we believe you. We know its true. There is a huge amount of research emerging that demonstrates and suggests that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure therapy and talk therapy in general are not helpful in resolving PTSD for veterans. Looking at the dropout rate studies alone in prolonged exposure therapy attendance is enough to show you there is something wrong with this method that people don’t want to stick with it.

We not only do not use these methods but will introduce you to cutting edge methods that can reduce anxiety and help resolve panic attacks and anxiety.

Can you help me stop nightmares without drugs?

Do you ever find yourself waking up from just bad dreams? Or just waking up anxious and you don’t remember why? Do you wake up in the middle of catastrophic thoughts or feelings? or just have a hard time sleeping generally because of anxiety?

Sleep is an important time that allows the mind to enter into a state of rest and regeneration. It allows the body to relax the nervous system. When this is not happening, when your sleep is like being awake, its like continuing on in the same stressful reality, this wears you down. We can show you how to gain back control over your sleep time through teaching you the ancient art of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a technique that has been shown to be known as far back as 5000 years ago in the Egyptian book of the dead. It is now continuously studied for its psychological applications in the Stanford University sleep laboratory.

Serving the Community and Making Life Seem Positive Again

Call now to schedule a free consultation session