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What is combat trauma?:

Being involved in a life-threatening event while deployed to a combat zone. Such as: having experienced, witnessed, or confronted with an event or circumstance that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity to self or others, such as from an actual or potential improvised explosive device; vehicle-imbedded explosive device; incoming artillery, rocket, or mortar fire; grenade; small arms fire, including suspected sniper fire; or attack upon friendly military aircraft. Ultimately including  the fear of hostile military or terrorist activity

Common Signs of PTSD:

  • Remembering, or dreaming, about a specific situation while deployed, replaying it over and over in your head but not wanting to talk about it.

  • When a specific situation is brought up, you feel anxious and your body goes into a higher state of alert.

  • Flashes of anger or irritability

  • Experiencing flashbacks, a feeling as if the event were happening right in front of you.  As if you could reach out and touch what was happening.

  • Avoiding situations, places and people who remind you of the event.

  • Feeling detached from close family, friends and loved ones.  Your emotional range feels tighter and more restricted, your "cold and hard."

  • Feeling on high alert during normal activities.  Watching other people when stopped at a light, paying attention to everyone at the gym.

  • Can't be in large crowds or small areas with a lot of people.  You feel as if they are all looking at you and you can't see all of them or that you can't get out.

There is help and support

PTSD Self Help Tips:

  • Implement a workout routine.  Anything to get your blood pumping and create strain on your body, allowing you to work out some of the stress and anxiety that you're feeling.

  • When remembering about the event, give it its' time when you can.  This allows your body to  begin working through it.

  • If a flash of anger hits or you're feeling irritable, stop and start counting down from 100 in increments of 7.  i.e. 100, 93, 86, 79.  Even if you get the subtraction wrong, continue counting until you get to zero.

  • In large crowds or when your feeling angry towards someone or a group of people.  Take a minute and stop to reflect why you're angry.  Finding an underlying cause can help you work  through the anger.

  • Fighting with family or a loved one at home, stop and go to a different room.  Give yourself 10-20 minutes to breathe, count and relax.  It is important not to leave the house entirely, but to just go to a different room to give time.

  • Feeling of tense, anxiety and high alert.  Relax your muscles and stretch out your jaw.  Feel where your body was tightening and tense (chest contracted, shoulders tight, jaws clenched), knowing this will help the therapy process.

  • Write down situations and issues you've had as well as the feelings you've gotten from them.  Remember there is always someone by your side.  Come in and get help to work through everything you've gone through.

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