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Bill Moyers and Friends- PTSD

July 30, 2012

I was watching Bill Moyers and Friends yesterday and on it there was an decorated ex-Marine (Vietnam) who was talking about his book.  The author was Karl Marlantes and the book was titled, “What It Is Like To Go to War” and he was a thoughtful speaker and talked about his PTSD experiences.

He touched on many of the themes that I’ve discussed and a lot about coming home and not talking about his own experiences.    He put it in a slightly different way.  He had been decorated and had killed over 20 people and said that he didn’t know how to talk about it since no matter what he said it would change people’s perception of him.  Think about the reaction to a discussion like this from one of your friends or family or a girl that you may have been dating.  No, it seemed just easier to keep it quiet and not say anything.

He said that it wasn’t until much later in life that he became aware of how serious and dangerous this “stuffing” problem had become.  He was bending over doing something in the kitchen and the cupboard was open and as he was starting to stand up he hit is head. His immediate reaction was violence and he destroyed the cupboard and a lot of dishes in it. He shocked himself on how violent his reaction was.

Another incident involved being in the car with one of his young children and while stopped at a light, the light changed and the car behind tooted his horn and it enraged him so badly that he said he was out of the car and standing atop of the car behind him ready to kick in the windshield before he realized what was going on.

Of course these are examples of PTSD issues that surface, in some cases, many years later.  He indicated that he excised some of his demons by writing the book.  I have not read it yet but I am very interested and will be sure to do so.

Getting out the demons and poison and bile may be painful but it will also be cathartic. Start today and don’t wait any longer.