New Approach on Overcoming Combat Trauma

I’ve been doing a lot of speaking to Troops returning from combat about my own experiences of  effectively dealing with Combat Trauma which most Warriors, past and present, are challenged with.  I wrote a book about it… The Warriors Guide to Insanity.

The keys to my success results from changes in the current thinking about the treatment of Combat Trauma.  It’s shifting from a Disease or Illness modality (something that happens to Warriors caused by mental illness or disease resulting from combat stress) to a Cognitive-Perceptive perspective (something that is a latent part of everyone’s mental processes and awakened in the Warrior through training and further nurtured by combat experiences).  Solutions to the negative aspects of this phenomenon can be achieved from two perspectives:

  1. Proactively, using Prevention by Inoculation or enhanced understanding approaches.
  2. Recovery and Clinical Intervention solutions involving enhancing the Warriors understanding of the self and coaching on the approaches to achieve self-directed recovery.

Simply stated, the process involves:

1.  Enhancing understanding:

  • Of the self, at the cognitive level and the role awakening the primal self (the Monster or the Beast) during the training and combat experience is necessary to achieve Unit Cohesion and success in battle and which is further nurtured by combat experiences, drives the Warrior mind-set.
  • These feelings once initiated never go away; the lust for the adrenaline rush of battle will always exist.
  • These feeling are normal and reoccur in most Warriors long after their combat experiences.
  • Unresolved, these feeling can negatively impact the Warrior’s life in many ways, sometimes ending in suicide or the abuse or death of others.
  • It’s possible to control these feelings and Innovate, Adapt and Overcome to achieve a meaningful life.

2.  Solutions:

  • Confrontation & Reprogramming the self by enhanced understanding, obtaining help from professionals and other Warriors further down the path to recovery as well as self discovery with help from others.
  • Mastering techniques to Innovate, Adapt and Overcome.
  • Using achievements to make further progress by helping others who are at other points along their journey.

This is the foundational thesis of my book The Warriors Guide to Insanity.

This was further reinforced by some recent information posted on my website you might find helpful.

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We’re very pleased that the US Military is recognizing the value of The Warriors Guide to Insanity as a guide for our Troops dealing with combat related stress issues.  It’s recently been approved by The Department of Veteran Affairs for the distribution to all the Vet Centers around the country as a “clinical tool”, a communication bridge between the Combat Veteran and the clinician.

The primary focus of The Warriors Guide is to (in the harsh language Combat Vets can relate to) help the returning Combat Veteran survive the residuals of combat trauma and then successfully survive life. This is accomplished by demonstrating through example, how to effectively deal with primal issues that never go away, but can be controlled by applying “effective” self-control  techniques.  It’s the candid story of my odyssey from the horrors I’ve experienced as a combat rifleman in Viet Nam, and later a Force Recon Marine, being diagnosed with PTSD (which I now call “Psychological Training for Superior Discipline) and  living 40 years with the residual effects of war.  Since then, I have found effective ways to deal with the painful memories of the battlefield to find a measure of peace and a worthwhile life.  In fact, life can be better than good, it can be excellent. That is, if we’re in control.

We’re really excited about this opportunity to carry forward our mission of getting the word out about understanding that the feelings Warriors are dealing with relating to their combat experiences are normal, that there is hope and that a path to healing can be found.

My personal hope is that by sharing my experiences in dealing with my own combat trauma, PTSD and transitioning back to civilian life and how I found the path to healing can provide help to our young troops returning from battle as well as veterans of previous campaigns.  There is hope, and it begins with understanding how the warrior’s mind works, effectively dealing with  these feelings which will always be with us and the importance of getting help to successfully make the transition back to a more normal life.

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Sgt. Brandi here…On Duty… ready for action!

I’m now on duty and ready for action.

This is where I’ll post information about what I’m doing and warriors will be able to post their comments, experiences and ask questions they don’t mind sharing with others.

If you’d prefer to discuss something on a “need to know basis” contact me by email…

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