I’ll never forget that day…A tidal wave of love as large as eternity washed over me the minute I laid eyes on the man Jean sent.
I soon realized, Jean had orchestrated the meeting, not only to bring me love, but to also assign me the divine appointment of helping to heal vets with PTSD.
For, as I soon discovered, this man I adore is a four-time Afghanistan war vet.
As a shrink, I soon knew that he was suffering from undiagnosed PTSD. More on this in a moment.
It is my love for him that has motivated me to find a more natural remedy to help rehabilitate him and every other vet who is suffering alone and in silence.
In the months that follow, I will share more stories of my love’s healing along with the healing of my patients who also suffered (past tense) from PTSD. But I’m getting ahead of myself....In this first article, I want to reveal the actual prevalence of PTSD among vets.
When evaluating statistical research, the percentage of those afflicted with PTSD varies widely from study-to-study.
According to Dr. Moore, author of Treatment of PTSD in Military Personnel: A Clinical Handbook-Second Edition, using the most conservative estimates, and only including veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we have hundreds of thousands of military members who are struggling with the after effects of military related trauma.
Most researchers agree that PTSD exists in 20-30% of the vet population. But these stats are very misleading when you consider that some studies adhere to the DMS-5 PTSD diagnostic criteria. This means that all those who suffer a co-existing disorder, like depression, are not assigned the PTSD diagnosis.
According to the BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY 2000), 177, 144^148 "It is rare for patients to present with 'pure' PTSD.”
In other words, most vets have other mental health issues alongside PTSD.
But, due to the rigidity of our diagnostic criteria, vets who have a mental health issue as well as PTSD are not assigned the PTSD diagnostic label. Therefore, they are denied PTSD treatment. This is just plain wrong!
In addition, there are vets whose symptoms are not severe enough to qualify for a PTSD diagnostic label. Meanwhile, their symptoms are sufficiently troubling to disturb their quality of life. These vets aren’t getting help either.
This is why I venture to say that the number of vets suffering with PTSD is in the millions, not the hundreds of thousands.
We must also not forget the millions of loved ones and family members who are also affected by this disorder. This is because PTSD interferes with relationships. My point is, we actually have millions of life partners, spouses and family members who are also suffering their own private trauma in attempting to navigate a relationship with a vet suffering PTSD.
One more point, most people don’t realize that PTSD is actually a neuro-physiological chemistry imbalance, which means PTSD is the result of (not the cause of) imbalances in both the brain (neuro) and body chemistry.
To quote a prominent medical journal:
“Recent research demonstrates that PTSD
is a neuro-physiological disorder, with demonstrable effects on the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary axis), hippocampal
volume, and endogenous opioid function.”