When Do the Nightmares Stop? Part 2

…when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. NLT – James 1:2

The young Marine, I mentioned in my January 17th post, was seeking help after receiving 4 DUI’s in a 7-month period after returning home from Afghanistan. Drinking had never been a problem for this individual before entering the military, but now became the only means to numbing the pain. The young Marine was trying to avoid the problems caused from combat by attempting to drink the nightmares away. Unfortunately, the dreams never went away and was now faced with a new set of problems.

I met the young Vet when all avoidance/numbing made things worse. A few days after seeking help, the individual went back home frustrated because the only treatment offered was for alcoholism and not PTSD. That made things even worse because alcohol had not become an issue until after active duty. I’m not really sure if the Vet was getting any help at all because a 28-day program offered was the start of care. Unfortunately, this young Marine wanted help dealing with the nightmares rather than drinking. Now the Afghanistan Vet is back on the street with not receiving any care at all.

Based on my interaction with this young Marine, the health-care providers may have missed the chance helping this Vet by focusing on the drinking (avoidance/numbing), rather than re-experiencing of nightmares.

PTSD has been reported as a disorder of the brain that afflicts individuals who have suffered trauma. Theories of treatment have differed for a number of years. Though, it has been identified with any individual who has experienced trauma, however this blog will mainly focus on military Veterans returning from war since September 11, 2001. PTSD was brought to light through media exposure of the returning Veterans from the Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom—O.I.F.) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom—O.E.F.) wars. Majority of psychologists and psychiatrists now defend the medical diagnosis of PTSD, but still cannot agree on treatment. Researchers continue to research the areas of the brain that are most affected by post-traumatic stress. The findings have indicated, that more research is needed in both understanding how the brain responds to trauma and that medical treatment along with behavioral treatment, may further improve the lives of veterans and their families. A Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy grounded in Scripture, is the most effective treatment for Veterans with post-traumatic stress. In order to do that though, PTSD must be defined, symptoms need to be examined, and proper treatment discussed.

…when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. (NLT – James 1:2) Henry Halley wrote ..whether they be persecution, sickness, or suffering of one kind or another. Perseverance proves our faith and helps build us into the kind of person that Christ came to make us. What kind of person are your troubles making you?


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