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I finally decided it’s time to tell my story for the benefit of others. I spent four years active duty in the US Army in the Infantry. For those of you who don’t know what the Infantry is, we are the guys you see on TV assaulting insurgent hideouts and killing/capturing bad guys for a living. I spent all of 2005, including my 30th birthday, in Iraq with a view from behind a M240B machine out the top of a HMMV. I was blown up by a roadside IED (improvised explosive device), shot at, shot back, saw plenty of blown up insurgents and US soldiers, and lost my battle buddy from basic training to an IED. RIP Dierks.
I was medically discharged in 2007 and thrust back into the civilian world. I didn’t really realize I had PTSD until I was getting out. I probably didn’t want to admit to myself I had symptoms of PTSD out of fear of being ostracized from the combat arms community. Think about it for a minute, would you admit having PTSD symptoms in a culture of “pain is weakness leaving the body”? The fear of being labeled a “broke dick” and getting sent to a desk job is real.
My purpose for this blog is to transfer the knowledge I have learned about trauma and how it affects the body’s natural balance. I hope to help my readers understand more about the physiological and psychosomatic underpinnings of trauma and finally how to self-regulate their autonomic nervous system. There is no reason why everyone should not be exposed to self-help solutions to managing their PTSD symptoms. As yourself this question, “Is there always a therapist around when my PTSD is triggered?” If your answer is “No”, then stay tuned to this blog and follow me on Twitter @mdust to learn more about how you can learn to manage your PTSD and get back to living.
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