P.T.S.D. Kills – And Love Heals. Post-traumatic stress disorder kills, and love can certainly heal. We at home can only imagine what traumatic experiences led to the expression on this soldiers face. What isn’t so easily seen is how this soldier will cope over the long-term with the pain he’s carrying, or which loved ones in his life could be collateral damage. One in five soldiers will come home from Iraq or Afghanistan suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD can show up as anything from panic attacks, flash backs, insomnia, depression to nightmares, or all of these. “Trauma has been defined by experts as a perceived life-threatening event in which our ability to respond is inhibited and the meaning we create about it damages our ability to connect with ourselves or with others,” reports Peter Levine in Healing Trauma.
Our soldiers (and many of us civilians) are suffering from what Francine Shapiro (trauma expert and originator of EMDR - eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) calls the big “T” events like war, abuse, or severe car accidents. Big “T” traumas are more visibly damaging and PET scans show where in the brain trauma shows up and as healing occurs how it lights up a different area.
How does love heal? Imagery based therapies (EMDR, Emotional Freedom Technique, Guided Imagery) “increase serotonin levels in the bloodstream and heighten the feelings of love, gratitude and connection.” (Belleruth Naparstek (Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal). Love is the ability to connect with self and others from the heart (care, compassion, kindness) and heals the internal war that PTSD creates.
I’ve used Emotional Freedom Technique (FREE mp3 Stress Relieving Imagery download) to clear and heal shame from my own childhood abuse that years of talking therapy didn’t relieve. I’ve taught Imagery and EFT to hundreds of clients individually and at workshops. I particularly like EFT because once it is learned the client has a strategy they can employ outside of the therapists office anytime they’re emotionally overwhelmed, are having nightmares, or flashbacks.
(For more info about EFT www.emofree.com or Intentional JOY: How to Turn Stress, Fear & Addiction into Freedom)