PTSD Spirituality: PTSD Shrapnel Makes PTSD Contagious

We remain responsible for PTSD-Identity induced sinful behaviors.  They harm our souls and harm others who care about us or merely interact with us.  These behaviors are part of what makes PTSD contagious.  Not on the physical viral level but on the supernatural level of our souls and eternal relationships.  While I am busy coping with the damage of PTSD trauma to my soul, I am also busy alienating those who care about me…passing on the misery and alienation. 

Hitting People with my PTSD Shrapnel

My PTSD behavior is like an artillery shell.  There is the initial impact, explosion, shock wave and shrapnel.  Artillery is the biggest killer on the modern conventional battlefield.  It kills whoever it hits, blows other people down, and maims and kills with its torqueing shrapnel.  This is why a lot of “collateral damage” and “friendly fire” casualties result from the poor application of artillery.  In the same way my PTSD behaviors have a direct impact, they have a shockwave, and I damage people who are in proximity to me with my shrapnel. 

Thus, when someone says, “I can do what I want” and “it does not hurt anyone else,” we know (and so do they inside) that they have damaged others – usually people who love them and whom they love – with PTSD shrapnel.  PTSD splatters shrapnel on others as it causes collateral damage and friendly fire…it likes it that way.

PTSD Shrapnel Makes PTSD Contagious

We can easily become alienated from those we love or respect when they inflict PTSD behaviors on us.  This alienation can damage their own souls and lead other people into PTSD behaviors.  A prime example of this is when someone finds out their spouse is having an affair.  Frequently the reaction, in amongst the rage and the hurt and the anger, is to say, “Okay, Fine!  I’ll show them!  I’ll have an affair, too!”  It’s like saying, so you cut off my right arm, well I’ll show you, I’ll just cut off my left arm…how do you like them apples?! 

If they do have a “Revenge Affair,” then they hurt themselves even more.  They also hurt whoever they are having the affair with and the people who care about that person.  The PTSD-Identity then spirals like shrapnel into others who did not receive the initial trauma.  Their souls are damaged in turn by the alienation inflicted by the original PTSD behaviors.

If I am hit by PTSD shrapnel I need healing the same as the one who had PTSD first.  I need to put aside the childish – but normal – desire for revenge.  The sooner I can realize that it is not all about me, the sooner I can heal and help my loved one heal.

As hard as it is, I need to pray, even if I am angry…especially if I am angry.  Write about it, cry with it, offer the horrible sorrow of betrayal and the pain of watching a love one crumble to God.  God can help you carry this burden.  Know that God loves you both.  Pray for the gift of forgiveness.

Semper Pax, Dr. Z


  1. You, Dr. Z, are the first PTSD expert I have encountered who has made the assertion that PTSD can be transmitted from person to person. As a marriage and family therapist, I have observed how PTSD is transmitted across generations. Your unique perspective is valuable and important; thanks for continuing to speak out on the nature of this disorder and providing your thoughtful insight.

    • Hello Dr.I recently wrote to you regarding my husband who has been on escort sites and has cheated on me physically. I discovered this by accident at first but since then it has all consumed the past 2 weeks since i first found out i have checked his email accounts the from there managed to log in to sites he has been on showing the escorts he was talking to and sessions arranged.

      I have everyday been looking for more and more and hsve discovered i am scared i still have more to uncover. If i stop i may not possibly know everything and that frightens me. What texts has he sent,what did they say to each other,did he put his wife down etc etc?

      I need to stop looking as i feel his ptsd is starting to become a part of me.i feel if i stop and heal the pain by the knowledge i already have then that is certainly enough to deal with.

      I know what he has done but i guess the fear of not knowing everything is strong. I have no problem not looking as the sites he was on were alot but it is the not knowing. Like im missing something.

      Through telling him all i know and have found out he is eventually telling me details now of those meetings or escorts or anything else i questioned. At first he was defensivs but as he has felt remorse he has been more relaxed in telling me. He has also just recently offered information that i had no idea of and would never have known if he hadnt told me.

      It is a dark place he is in and he has been in a very dark world with all the temptations on a completely dark and uncompassionate human disgusting should never be allowed level.

      I feel a part of all this because ive basically not wanted to leave any stone unturned and am frightened what i dont know. Not only do i feel ive bn involved in this dark world but also that i feel disturbed about all the things ouf there for thd weak.

      Regards adi

      • Hello Adi, The need and desire to know everything is normal. It can also become all-consuming in and of itself, which only tears us down and makes our pain worse.
        The fact that your husband is starting to be more forthcoming and less defensive is a good one. I am not usually an apologist for someone who has engaged in his kind of behavior, yet, if his infidelity is PTSD motivated, then he may not even remember every detail of what he has engaged in. This does not remove responsibility; we are always responsible for our actions (I am aware some will disagree with that).
        At some point a person who has been wounded as you have will need to make a decision…do I keep doing an autopsy on what has happened, or do I try to nourish, get healthy, and move forward. There is certainly a measure of autopsy work that needs to be done just so you will understand the depth of the wound, but not every inch of of the subject need be examined either. I don’t know if you have gathered enough information or not, that will be only your own decision (as you already know). If your investigation is causing you your own agony, then it may be time to lay off the search at least for the time being.
        You are taking the right steps to receive some face to face counselling yourself, keeping your own health is very important. Protecting yourself from despair is always an imperative.
        The transition to healing and rebuilding trust will be a gradual, lengthy journey. Unfortunately, these things are not like a light switch where we can turn it on or off.
        it sounds like you are taking the right steps and asking the right questions. That doesn’t make the pain suddenly vanish, but it does make the healing process more complete.
        Feel free to comment or write.
        Sempper Pax, Dr. Z

Leave a Reply