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You've Gotta Be Crazy to Go to War

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The job of the combat soldier is to kill. There is no simple way of saying it. In order to do such certain traits are brought out. What is too often misunderstood as PTSD are instead the characteristics of a good soldier. This is a presentation that I gave at the 2011 Oregon Counseling Association Conference. It focuses mainly on military culture. PTSD is very real, so too is an overly rigid adherence to a soldier mentality. Yet not understanding either diminishes grasping the totality of the returned veteran and that person's needs in reintegration.

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You've Gotta Be Crazy to Go to War

  1. 1. Ya Gotta Be Crazy To Go To WarPTSD in the Context of Military Culture
  2. 2. www.ptsd.va.gov
  3. 3. • It is important that therapists* to be educated in the warrior tradition and its rituals in order to recognize and help veterans identify with [the use of] warrior traits. Ignoring these traits is harmful to the veteran, for then the inner warrior remains invisible. Pathologizing the traits is also harmful, for then the vet is further wounded by reductionist interpretations that may minimize their importance to him… or empty them of their spiritual potency.• Edward Tick, Ph.D. War and the Soul
  4. 4. eddie.black@me.com
  5. 5. Women inCombat
  6. 6. Fighter Soldier Warrior
  7. 7. Three Reactions to Stressful EventFight Flight Freeze
  8. 8. Three Reactions to Stressful EventMove To Move Away Move Nowhere
  9. 9. Push Beyond Initiative Breaking TeamworkMilitary Bearing ObedienceAttention to Detail Support Your Team Abusive Uniformity Communication Style Individual Quick Action Mistakes cost EVERYBODY PUNISHMENT
  10. 10. Dissociative SymptomsEmotional numbingReduced awareness ofsurroundingsDerealizationDepersonalizationReduced ability to recalldetails of event
  11. 11. Increased ArousalTrouble falling or stayingasleepIncreased irritability andanger outburstsDifficulty concentratingHyper-vigilanceExaggerated startle response
  12. 12. B Buddies VS WithdrawalA Accountability VS Controlling InappropriateT Targeted VS AggressionT Tactical Awareness VS Hyper-vigilanceL Lethally Armed VS Locked and LoadedE Emotional Control VS Detachment Mission OperationalM Security VS SecretivenessI Individual Responsibility VS Guilt Non-defensive DrivingN (combat) VS Aggressive Driving Discipline and Ordering VS Conflict
  13. 13. To meet destruction or tocome through:these are the terms of war. Homer, The Iliad
  14. 14. Did you kill anybody?
  15. 15. Do you patrol your neighborhood?
  16. 16. It is what it is
  17. 17. Any phenomenon inhabited by a particular god must be addressed in the rhetoric of that god. James Hillman - A Terrible Love of War
  18. 18. Psychology
  19. 19. Couragecowardice rashness
  20. 20. What are youguarding soldier?
  21. 21. Thank You

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