Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

Military suicides up as much as 20% in COVID era

FILE – In this March 31, 2020, file photo a U.S. Army soldier walks inside a mobile surgical unit being set up by soldiers from Fort Carson, Col., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) as part of a field hospital inside CenturyLink Field Event Center, in Seattle. Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year compared to the same period last year, and some incidents of violent behavior have spiked, as service members struggle with isolation and other impacts of COVID-19 added to the pressures of war-zone deployments and responding to national disasters and civil unrest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year compared to the same period in 2019, and some incidents of violent behavior have spiked as service members struggle under COVID-19, war-zone deployments, national disasters and civil unrest.

While the data is incomplete and causes of suicide are complex, Army and Air Force officials say they believe the pandemic is adding stress to an already strained force.

And senior Army leaders — who say they’ve seen about a 30% jump in active duty suicides so far this year — told The Associated Press that they are looking at shortening combat deployments. Such a move would be part of a broader effort to make the wellbeing of soldiers and their families the Army’s top priority, overtaking combat readiness and weapons modernization.

The Pentagon refused to provide 2020 data or discuss the issue, but Army officials said discussions in Defense Department briefings indicate there has been up to a 20% jump in overall military suicides this year. The numbers vary by service. The active Army’s 30% spike — from 88 last year to 114 this year — pushes the total up because it’s the largest service. The Army Guard is up about 10%, going from 78 last year to 86 this year. The Navy total is believed to be lower this year.

Army leaders say they can’t directly pin the increase on the virus, but the timing coincides.

“I can’t say scientifically, but what I can say is – I can read a chart and a graph, and the numbers have gone up in behavioral health related issues,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in an AP interview.

Pointing to increases in Army suicides, murders and other violent behavior, he added, “We cannot say definitively it is because of COVID. But there is a direct correlation from when COVID started, the numbers actually went up.”

Preliminary data for the first three months of 2020 show an overall dip in military suicides across the active duty and reserves, compared to the same time last year. Those early numbers, fueled by declines in Navy and Air Force deaths, gave hope to military leaders who have long struggled to cut suicide rates. But in the spring, the numbers ticked up.

“COVID adds stress,” said Gen. Charles Brown, the Air Force chief, in public remarks. “From a suicide perspective, we are on a path to be as bad as last year. And that’s not just an Air Force problem, this is a national problem because COVID adds some additional stressors – a fear of the unknown for certain folks.”

The active duty Air Force and reserves had 98 suicides as of Sept. 15, unchanged from the same period last year. But last year was the worst in three decades for active duty Air Force suicides. Officials had hoped the decline early in the year would continue.

Navy and Marine officials refused to discuss the subject.

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passive, navel-gazing

Pixabay: stux

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“The practice of meditation is not a passive, navel-gazing luxury for people looking to escape the rigors of our complex world.

Mindfulness and meditation are about deeply changing ourselves so that we can be the change that we see needed for the world. —

Larry Yang

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My two cents: A daily meditation practice is an auger, uncovering fear, doubt, worry and traumatized parts.

My practice was extremely violent when old trauma was forced to leave my being.

Yes, extremely scary the initial journey but an enjoyable violent exit after that.

Never give in, Never give up!

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My two big traumas laid dormant for decades.

https://pixabay.com/users/newinsight2life-11560936/

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I knew something was different about me, but had no idea why I did not feel worthy as others or could not trust.

Childhood trauma exploded first with a family crisis and my inability to help one of my kids.

My dominate trigger happened in restaurants with someone staring at me. A daily benign slice of normal life, anyone can do. I was ashamed of this limitation.

Always knew there was no danger but my fight or flight mechanism sensed imminent danger and would explode.

Two months ago my girlfriends gangraped surfaced, my second big trauma.

Finally I understood my trigger.

It was from college, the aftermath of the frat boys who assaulted her would stare at me, kind of celebrating their gangrape at my expense.

Public shaming and them bragging about pulling a train on Cheryl, made a permanent mark on my being.

Hard to believe college guys could be this barbaric and demean for no reason.

Lesson: Now that I understand the origin of my trigger, unplugging it should be easier.

This event needs to have all the stored danger and emotional damage exit my body.

The last two months have been hell as this trauma exploded inside me.

Hopefully the intrusive thoughts run their course and I can integrate what’s left.

I can not run from this or suffering will never end.

As I use to teach, trauma is up, active and available for integration.

Childhood trauma makes us vulnerable to being traumatized in the future, our brains did not wire like a normal brain, with some parts of our development damaged.

I had to learn survival skills, ways to endure physical and emotional abuse instead of developing social skills.

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Fear and Shame from “Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness”

Pixabay: lechenie-narkomanii

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“But here are two factors that are immediately relevant to trauma-sensitive mindfulness.

The first is fear.

Trauma can make us terrified of our internal experience.

Traumatic events persist inside survivors in the form of petrifying sensations and emotions.

Understandably, survivors become afraid to feel these again. Van der Kolk described it this way:

Traumatized people . . . do not feel safe inside—their own bodies have become booby-trapped.

As a result, it is not OK to feel what you feel and know what you know, because your body has become the container of dread and horror.

The enemy who started on the outside is transformed into an inner torment. (Emerson & Hopper, 2011,)

A second barrier to integrating trauma is shame.

Connected to humiliation, demoralization, and remorse, shame is a complex, debilitating emotion that often arrives with traumatic stress.

A person who was sexually abused may berate themselves for not having fought back—even though they may know it would have made matters worse.

A soldier who freezes under fire during combat is demeaned by others, and comes to feel fundamentally flawed.

Someone who is discriminated against can internalize the form of oppression being directed at them and begin to feel defective and unworthy.

Shame is a powerful, paralyzing force.”

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Public, Sexual Humiliation and the male ego

https://pixabay.com/users/titopasini-15384917/

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Trauma has narrowed my life, helped develop these intense fears of ever being vulnerable again.

I lacked any healthy attachment to either parent, instead I received criticism and coldness.

My dominant emotion besides fear, was hating my dad with a passion while he terrorized me.

In college, my girlfriend snuck away with a guy and ended up gangraped at a frat house. It was betrayal then a horrendous assault on a young, innocent 19 year old.

We were humiliated publicly, they bragged about pulling a train on her.

This event changed me, brought nightmares, suicidal thoughts and despair. I wanted to leave college that day, run away.

The rest of college was a battle zone. Animosity boiled over, Fights became part of college for me. I hated those bastards. Still do to this day.

I would rather die than experience this again.

I saw her young life destroyed and that traumatized me more. She ate and went to class in same room with them until she transferred.

Cheryl never felt safe again, never would be that innocent, free spirit.

The opportunity of college turned into a scary nightmare she would carry the rest of her life.

Sex was an act now, only a cold act, the gal I loved was assaulted by 10 guys and demeaned publicly. Sex changed, it never had emotion attached to it again.

I could never endure being vulnerable to a woman ever again.

I broke.

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Healing: The need to find others who share your experience

https://pixabay.com/users/kevinbism-1821196/

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Benne Brown documents the need to find others who have experienced what happened to you.

• “I understand—I’ve been there.”

• “That’s happened to me too.”

• “It’s OK, you’re normal.”

• “I understand what that’s like.”

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My two cents: Yesterday’s post was my way of trying to connect with any guy who has experienced their girlfriend being gangraped.

I am searching for someone who can say “That’s happened to me too.”

Male shame is a taboo subject with male on male rape the only subject addressed.

We men do not talk about shame, bury our shame as deep as possible.

If it is done publicity in front of your peers, it changes life.

I can not find evidence others have experienced this, and more importantly how did they survive.

I guess I am unique , a guy sharing the most humiliating event in his life, honestly.

This is different for me, instead of being the authority and helping others, I am asking for help.

It’s been a long journey to find this trauma hidden underneath a whole childhood of abuse. It feels overwhelming when combined with my childhood.

Is there a guy who has experienced my trauma, please comfort me a little?

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Ptsd on Campus: Rape and Gangrape

Pixabay: geralt

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PTSD by definition is irrational.

It is a survival reaction when no real danger exists.

Life is irrational inside my trauma, experiencing the event.

My girlfriend was gangraped at a frat house.

I saw what it did to her, I experienced the assault through the damage it did to her.

They bragged about what they did on that small campus, gangrape was not enough to fulfill their brutal lust, public ridicule and humiliation was added.

Now, this event and the terror and humiliation I felt are alive like it was yesterday.

That is irrational but the drugs and movie that plays brings enormous sadness.

One gals dreams ended that night.

I witnessed a kind 19 year old girl be destroyed emotionally.

She was never the same.

Life’s value took a big hit for me. Nothing I could accomplish could fix or change what happened to her.

Life is so cruel at times.

Life would never be same for her or me.

Rationally I know this has no power in this moment but it brings a deep deep sadness to my soul.

No,wonder I buried this.

Comments or opinions are welcomed.

How does It make you feel?

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PTSD is a bluff, the real danger is over. Sometimes for decades

https://pixabay.com/users/Prawny-162579/

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In my life two big traumas dominate all others, childhood and a horrific assault in college.

Neither one caused PTSD until decades later, childhood trauma erupted after a family crisis triggered my panic, the latter exploded during this pandemic and quarantine.

I thought healing was complete as my childhood trauma integrated. Then isolated with this quarantine, an old horrific event surfaced with enormous energy (fear, humiliation, shame and unworthiness).

In the beginning trauma becomes real for us, I was transported back to the event with all the highly charged fight or flight drugs being dumped into my blood stream.

The neurotransmitters are real, the emotions are the same, saved then stored at the time it happened.

For me, a short emotionally charged movie plays, whenever and wherever it decides.

Remember, we can not reach our trauma consciously, it has full autonomy to come and go anytime.

If I interact with these images and judgments, my trauma grows and gets worse.

Staying present, observing this movie is the best I can do.

We all try to manipulate and change the outcome of the event, but the danger is over and the event is now implicit memory.

No real danger exists now, PTSD is a bluff, an over compensation of our defense mechanism to protect from future trauma.

If I try to influence these judgments or the movie it grows. Avoiding, denying and dissociating are jet fuel for PTSD.

Pulling back, focused on my breath, watching the judgments and movie leave my consciousness, is my goal.

I do not control how many times I need accomplish this task for healing to be complete.

Our journey has more well being when we stay in the present moment, whether we be a normal person or a sufferer of complex PTSD.

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PTSD is not a normal memory, it is stored as imminent danger

Pixabay: jarmoluk

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PTSD stores trauma in a special place, different than normal memories.

Regular Memories are easily accessible for viewing, trauma memories are not.

Trauma memories can bring the past back in vivid color with all the emotions, even terror like it just happened.

Normal memories never elicit the fear and terror that implicit memories bring to our nervous system.

Of special note, Trauma activates our fight or flight mechanism, brings a slew of symptoms from avoidance to dissociation to hyper vigilance.

Normal memories can be joyful, pleasant and calming, trauma memories bring imminent danger.

PTSD makes us relive our past abuse until we integrate that trauma memory (implicit memory).

This implicit memory is stored in our right hemisphere, unaccessible consciously.

This is why talking has no impact on healing Implicit memory or PTSD.

PTSD is a dilemma, it does not improve with time, actually PTSD gets worse as time passes.

PTSD is complex, healing very simple, no not easy.

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The human experience

Pixabay: quicksandala

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“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.”

Unknown

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