PTSD Spirituality: Can I have PTSD And Ever Be At Peace?

Can I have PTSD and ever be at peace?  The goal of PTSD is to destroy my peace and that of anyone who knows me or interacts with me.  PTSD seeks to change my identity so that I ruin all of my relationships and become unable to ever be at peace.  But, what does it mean to be at “Peace”?  

It seems that peace is often one of the goals everyone talks about.  We often go to war and shoot people, to bring about peace.  One remembers the now immortal phrase from an Army Major in the Vietnam War:

“We had to burn the village in order to save it.” 

And even though I am a proponent of the Just War Theory (and not how the previous Administration abused it), sometimes it seems that if we say we need to kill to get peace that that is also like saying I have to fornicate to promote chastity.

 Violence is Dehumanization and Immoral:

What is peace?  It is more than merely the lack of physical violence.  Anything that dehumanizes us is a type of violence.  Being screamed at by one’s verbally abusive spouse or partner is violence, even if no one actually physically touches the other.  Why?  Because in this behavior one person makes an object of the other.  To make someone into an object is to dehumanize them.  This is one of the reasons that pornography is a form of violence.  Typically you have men or boys gazing at other men’s daughters and hoping to interact with them on the level of meat, as objects.  But porn as violence, for both the indirect victim of the porn viewer and the direct victim of the porn object, will need to wait a future essay. 

 For our discussion, suffice that violence

–   is much more than merely physical disruption. 

–   is anything which dehumanizes another person.

–   occurs when someone tries to exert undue (immoral) power over another person or thing.

The last part mentioned above, that violence is attempting to exert undue or immoral power over someone or something  else, means we can also commit violence not only against people, but also animals, and the environment.

 While some scholars write tomes, and even meaningful research papers, on the subject of violence, I want to shift away from violence per se and move onto the topic of peace.  Specifically, peace and the soul wound of PTSD.

 Peace is a Series of Properly Ordered Relationships

There are four right relationships of peace.  One could also call them properly ordered relationships of peace.  If they are not in proper order we will end up harming ourselves through destructive behaviors and alienating ourselves from those we love, those we care for, and the rest of society.   In each case we interreact  in these relationships with both our mortal body and our immortal soul.

 Recall that the goal of the PTSD-Identity is to isolate us and sever all of our relationships.  The PTSD-Identity not only wants you to get rid of all of your relationships, but it wants those relationships to despise you (all the better to make you further isolate yourself).  If these relationships are properly ordered and are being nourished, then PTSD will have a harder time destroying us.

 PTSD wants to deprive you of peace.  It wants to:

–   make you give up on others

–   make you give up on yourself

–   make you give up on God

–   make others give up on you

 Note that all of the above items are understood in terms of “relationship.”  PTSD harms our souls, but its corrosive functions lie in eating away our relationships.

 The Four Relationships of Authentic Peace:

We live and interact in a web of relationships.  To be at real peace requires that each of them be breathing and viable.  They are as follows:

 The Four Properly Order Relationships of Peace:

–   Right Relationship with Yourself

–   Right Relationship with Your Communities

–   Right Relationship with the Creation

–   Right Relationship with God

 Over the next while I will be writing and posting essays on each of the right relationships.  Each of them deserves some space of their own. 

I’ll continue to write on topical items such as PTSD and morphine as they come up and I will continue to write about why PTSD causes people to engage in infidelity, adultery, and porn.  There is a connection between the PTSD-Identity and sexual misadventure, whether in the flesh or through the lens of pornography.  That addictive behavior connection will be easier understood after we have discussed the relationship aspects of peace and PTSD.

 Semper Pax, Dr. Z


  1. PTSD is a new concept to me. For 40 years I have wondered why am I like this. Thank you so much for what you are doing here on this site. Most importantly bringing God and his word into the center of our healing!

    • Hello,
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate that.
      Granted that I have a bias here, but I do believe that while science and physical medicine have a lot to offer us, they do not offer us everything we need. An acknowledgement of the spiritual dimensions of one’s healing journey is crucial to our avoiding despair.
      Semper Pax, Dr. Z


  1. […] out.  While this post can stand alone and be understood by itself, it also builds on the essay, Can I have PTSD and Ever Be At Peace? and PTSD Despair Destroys Self  […]

  2. […] an earlier essay, Can I Have PTSD and Ever Be at Peace?, we discussed that peace is more than just the lack of physical violence.  Indeed, peace is a series […]

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