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Saturday, February 23, 2019

I had a phone call from an angry and desperate wife. She reminded me of myself before I knew about depleted cortisol being the reason Bob would rant on and on once he was mad. (We don't have to live like that anymore.)
She was furious that he didn't seem to care what she said. I realized that like I once did, she was blaming him for a symptom of PTSD, emotional numbing, which is a survivor skill when you have seen and been through the kind of things combat vets see and do. It keeps you alive and doing your job in combat, but numbing bad feelings also numbs the good ones. When you ask someone to un-numb, you are asking them to face an amount of pain that is incomprehensible to us.
Numbness is not personal. It is self protection, but if you don't know that, it sure feels personal.
If this is you, please go read the Post-Traumatic Gazettes # 1 and 2 and After the War at It will help you see the suffering person and not the cloud of things that piss you off.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I just looked myself up on Amazon and saw that some new copies of the Patience Press version of Recovering from the War: A Guide for all Veterans, Family Members, Friends and Therapists in paperback are $33.95 and to $90+.
Only a few of the vendors have it at the cover price of $24.95.
This is bullshit. The list price is $24.95 which you can get through any bookstore, so the people who are selling expensive new copies on Amazon are doing you a disservice, and me too.
You can get it through a bookstore, or ABE books, or at cover price and should not have to pay more. The Viking Penguin version, the one with the helmet full of flowers is very expensive new online because it is no longer published, but the Patience Press version, which is exactly the same except for the subtitle, should not be more than $24.95.
You can also get a kindle for 4.49 and used copies starting at $1.29.
I'd much rather you get it used and get the help it contains, than wait to afford an overpriced paperback sold by some crook on Amazon.

Friday, February 1, 2019


I just read the new diagnostic criteria for PTSD in DSM 5 and I am so horrified I can barely stand it. What a crock of shit. Basically, it says, "Let's express our complete lack of understanding of WHY people have these symptoms and cluster them in an even more randomly ignorant way to make them look like nut jobs."
I fucking hate the American Psychiatric Association.
I lived through DSM II which came out in 1968 and on the basis of opinion, decided that if you were affected by a trauma for more than six months you had to be diagnosed with a preexisting condition like narcissism. Bob was diagnosed with "anxiety," so condescending to a guy who flew into hot LZ's day after day and never once said no to any request for help.
The DSM II actually was published DURING the 1968 TET Offensive and was used to mistreat Vietnam vets and ignore their post-traumatic reactions and pretend they were whiners and nut jobs.
It was not till 1980 that the diagnosis of PTSD was forced into the DSM III by people who had worked with veterans of all wars, Holocaust survivors, rape, incest and battering survivors, and survivors of disasters, natural and man made. That's a long time to be stigmatizing and misdiagnosing people.
So no wonder the women on the PTSD wives groups I joined have absolutely no understanding of what is going on. I know why they are so mad, because I was too. I took it all personally till I read the DAV pamphlet, "Readjustment Problems of Vietnam Veterans," which made me cry because there was a name for it and other people had it too.
But these women are being fed diagnostic criteria that make their husbands look mentally ill, instead of having a normal reaction to trauma. It is hard to live with but vets are not crazy.