Moral Injury-PTSD

February 21, 2013

You probably know by now that I do a lot of reading and thinking about PTSD.  I try and look for signs in books or movies about PTSD even if it isn’t specifically stated.  So it is rather rare that I find something that I hadn’t noticed or heard about before about PTSD.

There is a new theory about PTSD and it is call “Moral Injury”.  I don’t know why I hadn’t considered this before but it makes a great deal of sense to me.   I was raised Catholic and though I am not a very religious person currently, my intial beginnings were.  Going through any war situation contradicts all of the teachings of most religions which is where we get much of our “Moral” understanding.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, becomes “we do unto you what we decide to do unto you and you should be happy because we are exceptional”.  “Thou shalt not kill” becomes “thou shall kill if a commander tells us to and don’t object or you will be court marshaled”.  You get the picture.

Situations are so much different when you see them on the big screen then when you are actually involved.  In my case, some of my experiences seemed like I was watching someone else in this situation even though it was me.  When the situation was over I still had a hard time understanding how and why I was the one in that position.  Later looking back on it I wish it hadn’t have been me to experience certain things.

My moral convictions were strained and damaged and never would they return exactly as they had been.  The black and white of things was completely shattered and the shades of gray are so much harder to deal with.  Easy choices and answers no longer existed.

I wish I had never experienced what I went through but the simple fact is that I did.  I wish I didn’t get PTSD but I did. The thing I have learned is that I needed coping mechanisms to deal with the new person that I had become. I found them through writing in my journal.

You can find answers too.You need to air your feelings out to yourself, to your loved ones and to anyone else who will listen.  This PTSD blog is an avenue that you are welcome to use.  It is still free and we are open 24 hours a day and the Internet is available throughout the World, so there is no excuse to keep your feelings hidden. It is the first step toward healing.