Message to Veterans from Dan Nevins.

Yesterday, it was my birthday, and while in southern France we lost another Iraq vet, Arnaud Beltrame, in a sort of pointless attack to a supermarket, who swapped with a lady, in order to do his job, and then lost his life after injuries, I sent a message to Dan Nevins. And I mentioned that it’s my honour to promote his mission as warrior to help other human beings to heal.

Here is his reply: “Hi Anto! You’re welcome to include my story 🙂 Thank you! 🙂

He called me like friends usually do. Shall I tell you more about how I feel? It is a honour for me to spread out his message. Not only to vets, but whoever is suffering from PTSD.

My unique experience with a french Afghanistan vet wasn’t lucky. He was 29, a nice guy with spanish origins, who was very much likely to feel shell shock. We met just once, and then chatting almost during two years, and never met again.  He lived in Paris, and I felt like we were living overseas from each other. His early pictures were quite different from his last pics, after he spent 4 years in the army, as helicopter sniper.

We crossed our path during 2015 attacks, and I thought he would be my hero, but he definetely couldn’t. Nobody’s fault. Self-growth is not suitable to anybody.

Never mind, this post is really meant to focus on who still give a damn to humbly seek for help and want to rehabilitate back from any war missions. And that’s all I want to say about it.

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What’s PTSD?

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If you agree, we – as human beings – were born to be a wholebalanced, and strongindividuals. Greek philosophers, and physicians, say that the natural state of things is calm and, sophrology – the science that studies the Consciousness – promotes body, mind and spirit harmony (SOS = free from diseases, balances. PHREN = diaphragm, emotional heart and by extension, spirit, conscience. LOGOS = Science, study, speech).

So, naturally, PTSD occur as a consequence of a lack of it. The fact is that you don’t realize at which cost, until your life becomes a mess, when you finally admit that something has broken, and you need help to fix it. It can be a physical wound, or invisible, when it concerns heart and soul, or if you are blessed enough, as brits would say, both.

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Before 2015, I used to practice Yoga, once a week, basically to keep healthy, in a good shape and mood, it was relaxing, and I could fully stretch my body, especially my neck, happily turning 40.

After the 2015 events (january and november), I got completely unbalanced, both emotionally, and physically, put on weight, panic attacks, anger outbursts, no way to do my job anymore, like dealing with typical visitors problem solving (e.g. lost baggages, fully booked restaurants,..), or simply baring mood swings of my bipolar colleague. As soon as someone started crying or yelling for any reason, my self defense felt in danger (“that freeze, fly or fight thing”).

In february 2016,  I was diagnosed obviously inadequate to my position, until today.

For the short storytime, I knew panic and fear on a terrorist attack at workplace and PTSD soon started with insomnia, poor emotional intelligence like Hulk’s syndrome,  inability to put words on my own feelings, anxiety and fear of going crazy, exhaustion and chronique fatigue disease, after sleep burn out, tremors (mouth, legs, hands), tachycardia, and memory loss, just to mention a few. Others symptoms you can’t just describe, like a sort of electrochemical pinching in your veins, especially in legs, or warmth flames in the back, which give you the right sense of burning inside.

“A short circuit of your soul.” 

It goes without saying, my health was severely damaged, as you know stress is quite dangerous for neurons, once they are gone, they don’t regenerate, so you start aging earlier, that’s also why, today, it’s not so rare to see stress effects in people who suffer Alzheimer’s syndrom much younger than 60, or stroke and heartattack victims.

By the way, I lost three colleagues between 27 and 43, in 5 months, does it count for stress disorders statistiques? Of course, it doesn’t, except if you can prove it. And you can’t. Occupational joke between Medicine and Managament states that it’s confidential.

During my journey, back from burn out, I have been told several times that this is the illness of the strong. And this is one of the main reasons why I feel a proud trauma survivor, today. Of course, you have to consider a deep cleaning of your personal life, as well as a full transformation of your jobcareer and lifestyle. 

You can’t figure out coping with PTSD and holding on the same life schedule than before trauma. It involves stop overthinking, letting go, and modulating negative emotional responses compared with the healthy controls.

“You need some yoga in your life.”  

Yoga practice really made a difference for me. It brought “justice” to my body and mind, especially since I am doing it regularly, almost everyday.

Check out Ted Nevins’s story “a soldier’s surprising journey to becoming a yogi” on the following: Warrior Spirit Retreat

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Thanks to a welsh penpal, and army brit, nicknamed Salad Dodger, my attention was caught by an association for Combat Stress, and reading an article I was quite shocked, because some of my burn out symptoms were perfectly matching with war vets PTSDafter battlefield.

This study led me to another article written from the american journalist, Sebastian Junger, published by Vanity Fair, who experienced PTSD on his way back from Afghanistan, where he spent 15 months on a mission with a Battle Company.

“Sometimes, we ask ourselves if we can save the vets, I think the real question is if we can save ourselves.”

To resume up, PTSD symptoms can be:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dissociation
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability and outbursts of anger
  • Suicidal thoughts and suicide
  • Alcohol misuse and dependence
  • Sexual problems and confusion about sexuality

Other effects:

  • Eating disorders
  • Self-injury and self-harming behaviour
  • Transient psychotic episodes
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Somatisation – Emotional distress experienced as physical pain
  • Increased rates of physical conditions like heart disease and cancer
  • Homelessness Re-victimisation Prostitution
  • Criminal behaviour (including, for a small minority, sexual offences)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of confidence
  • Sleep problems
  • Parenting problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Trust issues

 

 

via What’s PTSD?

Understanding is the key to trauma healing.

Brendan Obyrne speaks out about his alcohol addiction, and what really helps healing back from combat. Talking to other veterans, or alcoholics, more than VA associations or other civilians.

Yes, I might repeat my self, but I really appreciate the work of this journalist, and completely support it. I find that he gives finally back humanity to the troops, behind patriotism propaganda, politics, and bla bla bla….

And, dealing with trauma, of course, I feel concerned.

Btw I am on the “War” reading, and the book starts with a visit to a veteran interview,  from Sebastian and Brendan. Here, in this video, you can see both.

Soldier’s woundwort, if Achille suffered from PTSD, anyone can do.

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Greek Mythology never end to amaze me. Not only because it’s psychology in disguise, but further more because it’s so modern, that you could use it to explain today’s society to your children (like Fulvio Terzani, Tiziano’s son, says in his conference about Ultra Marathon).

To say it all, this article was supposed to start with a gengitivis, yes, I wanted to put an example of trauma in our body. The last time I have been at the dentist, he told me that my gums were not infected, but they kept the memory of an ancient gum disease. Oh my gosh, I admit that teeth brushing wasn’t my fave sport until quite late, and that I have been neglecting this must-have habit for too long.

So, how can I send the message to my gums that it’s okay, war is over… or is it? No, it is not. My self defense system is prepared to striking news, at any moment of the day. Consider that, on 13th november, Paris terror attack I was watching Star Wars on streaming. The day after I went to work, as I usually do, by train, and I was taught about the situation (8 attacks, 13 kamikaze, hundred wounded and dead, doctors called back from strike to help with rescue operations) only once over there. Yes, terrorists won their cause, with my brain cells. For me, the real fight starts now, with goals like regaining confidence, trusting other people, and building hope for the future by taking actions (and moving forward from freezing).

Before I go to the topic “14th november” (the awake after attacks), in another article, I would like to finish what I started. Gum disease, I said. Ok, let’s go.

Yarrow-cultivar

Yarrow is commonly called nosebleed or soldier’s woundwort because the juice of its leaves and stem can stop bleeding. Many North American tribes chew the leaves as a remedy for a toothache as well as a number of other ailments. The anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic, effects of yarrow can help with receding gums at any stage.

Sorry, if I skip the part where you are suggested to chew on the leaves and stems or gargling. If you don’t want to mess with the herb, you can use the essential oil of yarrow. This blue-colored oil is very potent, so mix in a few drops of coconut oil or another carrier oil before using it as a gum paint.

If you don’t know where to buy essentiel oils, please, contact me, and I will be happy to give you some ideas, for free.

Yarrow’s latin name, like a thunder lighting, sounded too familiar. Achillea Millefolium… go away. No kidding. Because I am already used to another powerful plant, which helped me with bipolar disease, mood swings, St. Johns Wort, Hypericum perforatum, I am very eager to test this plant on my gums.

Hypericum is worth a full other article, but if you have any questions, don’t miss and go to contact, or leave a comment. Hypericum leaves have got deep wound-healing potential, as anti-depressant, especially in seasonal change.

My Spirit-Self is a being of pure Light.
A shield of radiant light protects me as I travel in Starry worlds.
I learn to trust my own inner Light.
The Sun is shining in my Soul.

crociato-ferito

Now, back to our greek warriors, and PTSD

“Beyond the universal soldier: combat trauma in classical antiquity”, have now retrospectively diagnosed ancient Greek fighters as “traumatised by their experiences of war”.

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American infantrymen grew up in a society based on “Christianised norms and values, stressing peace, mercy and the sanctity of human life”. They largely “served in military units comprised of complete strangers” and often had to fight round the clock for extended periods. They could do little more than “seek safety in cover and concealment” on battlefields “traversed by red-hot, razor-sharp shrapnel and high-velocity gunfire”. Sleep deprivation, lack of social support, enforced passivity in the face of lethal danger and a sense of going against their underlying values all combined to make war deeply traumatic.

None of this, Dr Crowley’s paper goes on, applied to Athenian hoplites. They lived in a “profoundly pugnacious” society that “venerated war”, and where “battlefield bravery” was “considered an unqualified social good”. Soldiers “mobilised, deployed and fought alongside” those from their local communities in “a close-order formation predicated on mutual protection and tactical interdependency”. “Largely protected against progressive exhaustion and sleep deprivation”, they faced a limited range of threats from “warriors armed with muscle-powered weapons”.

All these factors, Dr Crowley’s paper concludes, protected ancient soldiers against the dangers of PTSD. The whole idea of feeling bad after harming an enemy is totally alien to Greek culture,” says Dr Crowley. “Grave markers include tallies of the numbers a soldier has killed, something very hard to imagine today.”

With courtesy of Battle scars: Did Achille suffered from PTSD?