What if PTSD is Not a “Disorder?”
Fox Company—Second Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment—were among the first troops to arrive in Iraq. They were there when the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down and people were celebrating in the streets. They were also there when the endless fighting began. They were right in the middle of more bloody battles than they care to recall. In the course of a single day they fought from second-story windows and fired weapons at unseen enemies from around the corners of damaged buildings. Their bullets broke windshields, pierced flesh, and exited into seat cushions. Enemy vehicles broke through their barricade. They tried to call for reinforcements, but their radio failed. A grenade bounced into their midst. Had it not been a dud casualties would have been much worse than they were that day.
All of the men of Fox Company made it back home from the Iraq war alive, but many of them came home changed. Within five years of returning home, one in four had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ten years later, one in two of them admits to carrying debilitating psychic wounds. They are jobless, homeless, disposed to drugs and alcohol, divorced from their spouses, and mere shadows of their former selves. They do things they would never have imagined they would or could do before they went off to war.
Military and mental-health establishments look at what is happening to these men and the other 300,000 men and women suffering from psychic wounds and give their wounds an official name—Post Traumatic Stress Disorder—but they rarely give them relief.
The explanation offered by those in the mental health arena is that PTSD is brought on by “events that involved actual or threatened death” and/or which led to “intense fear.” Clergy and spiritual counselors see the affliction as a “moral injury.” Both are partially right. Sometimes the source is intense fear and sometimes it’s intense guilt or shame for having committed acts that go against their morals.
Reactions vary depending on the source cause. When the source is fear, warriors bring the fear home with them and most try to stuff it by avoiding people and places and activities, and even their own thoughts and feelings. In time, relationships crumble, marriages explode, careers disintegrate, and the life of a hero begins to fall apart.
They have been taught in the military to “suck it up” and “be tough” so they try harder to manage what they are experiencing. They keep telling themselves they can handle it. Then a door slams, or a kid shrieks, or someone walks up behind them too suddenly and they are right back in the midst of the battle, mind racing, heart pounding, body sweating and tensed up in full alert.
When the source is guilt or shame, the response is typically different. It looks more like depression. There is no energy or interest in doing things that used to be important. Tears come when they are alone. They shake uncontrollably. They avoid people, even those they love.
Both forms of post traumatic stress are difficult to deal with, both can lead to personal despair, relationship problems and suicide... and both can be greatly diminished and even completely eliminated in hours, but not by the methods currently in broad use.
Since the term post traumatic stress entered the pantheon of official “disorders,” mental health professionals have tried many things, most of which have proven wholly ineffective. These mostly ineffective methods—a handful of pills, a course of talk therapy, desensitization exercises—continue to be used because some veterans do get some relief from these treatments. But despite three decades of research and billions of dollars in government funding, America’s service men and women are not getting better. In fact, they are getting worse. Self-harm is now the leading cause of death for members of the U.S. Army, which has seen suicide rates double since 2004, peaking in the summer of 2013 with 38 suicides in July alone.
As shocking as that is, it pales in comparison with the rate of veteran suicides. The 2015 rate is 30 per 100,000, which doesn’t sound very significant until you look closer. There are currently 21.9 million American veterans alive today. That means that every year 83,220 veterans (approximately 23 a day) take their own life.
When veterans no longer have the active support of their military buddies, the “be tough” training they received can put them at great risk. Divorce rates are skyrocketing, homelessness and joblessness among veterans are at all time highs, and every month over 1,000 veterans attempt to take their own lives. Every 63 minutes one of them succeeds. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told Congress in the summer of 2014 “Something is wrong. This is an epidemic.”
Indeed it is an epidemic and it won’t end until we look at the “something” that’s wrong and make some significant changes.
There are two big issues that prevent veterans and military personnel from seeking treatment.
One is the fact that post traumatic stress is labeled as a “disorder” and presented as a mental illness, which is an arena most people, especially military personnel and veterans, avoid stepping into at all costs.
The stigma of mental illness is very far reaching in the military. It results in being viewed as weak by peers and superiors. It often leads to early dismissal and generally the diagnosis goes into official records which can adversely affect the rest of that individual’s life. The “be tough” military culture does not lend itself to seeking treatment for a non-life-threatening injury, especially one that can’t even be seen. The problem is, trauma can be a life-threatening injury, as the epidemic of suicides proves.
The other big issue is the word on the street that PTSD cannot be cured. Soldiers and veterans hear that treatment is brutal and largely ineffective, and the treatment currently in broad use, such as exposure therapy and stress inoculation, certainly can be. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of talk therapy often require revisiting the traumatic event over and over again to “desensitize” the sufferer and/or teach coping skills in dealing with it, and the psychotropic pills doctors and psychiatrists dispense have horrendous side-effects, not the least of which is a foggy mind which prevents veterans from functioning fully. Why endure all that if there is no cure?
But, what if post traumatic stress is not a “disorder” or a sign of mental illness at all, but a perfectly normal and well executed defense mechanism?
What if the fact that the defense response remains long after the event is just business as usual to the subconscious mind, which never updates files without some catalyst for change? To call that a disorder is to say that the perfectly normal processes of the mind are disordered.
What if all that's necessary to eliminate trauma-related stress is to update those mental files?
What if those who get PTS"D" actually have high-functioning brains that are superior at developing effective strategies?
What if those strategies could be redirected so they become strategies for success, rather than strategies for survival?
What if all that was necessary to greatly diminish, or even completely eliminate, the symptoms associated with post traumatic stress and turn strategies for survival into equally effective strategies for success was to update a few subconscious files?
What if that could be done easily, pleasantly and in as little as a single hour?
Imagine being symptom free in as little as an hour even if you have been battling the symptoms of PTSD or depression for years. One Vietnam Veteran whose life had been derailed by post traumatic stress since 1967 was completely symptom free in 70 minutes and remains symptom free three years later.
An Iraq veteran was symptom free in 45 minutes after ten years of isolation due to severe post traumatic stress. Successes like this are quite common with the method called Rapidly Accelerated Mind Patterning (RAMP).
Imagine getting your life back and even improving it so that you are happier, freer and more effective than you have ever been before!
Imagine a completely confidential process that you never have to report to anyone so there is never any stigma or labels.
Imagine never having to miss a single day of work to receive treatment and never even having to leave your home because there is a fast, easy treatment which can be done by phone right from the comfort of your home (or anywhere else you choose to be) in an hour or so.
Imagine being symptom free for life. We don’t call being symptom free a “cure” because we can never know if something that wasn’t addressed might pop up in the future. What we do know after 23 years of longitudinal studies is that once a pattern shifts, the associated behaviors cease and never return. If something else comes up, it is something different and it can be handled just as quickly and easily.
Imagine getting these amazing results FREE. You can as part of an independent study being conducted by The Foundation for Positive Change and Wayland Baptist University, San Antonio to prove the efficacy of the RAMP method in alleviating the symptoms of combat-related post traumatic stress.
Imagine the good you can do for yourself, your family and every veteran now suffering the debilitating effects of post traumatic stress by participating in this completely confidential study.
Are You Ready to Be PTS Free?
We are currently taking applications for participation in the study. Participants receive FREE and completely confidential treatment. To apply, CLICK HERE.