Contact

Welcome to the PTSD Spirituality Contact Page.

You can e-mail me at DrZ insert the AT SIGN PTSDspirituality.com

Please place “PTSD” and anything else you like in the subject line.

I usually check the contact submissions once in the morning and then again in the early evening. I will reply as soon as I can.

I wish I could just give you the normal e-mail format, but then I’d get swamped by spam robots.

I have quit using the previous Contact Form widget on this site as it has not proven compatible for all web browsers. I did some searching and discovered the problem is not the result of my low techno-wizard skills, but it is a problem across the board. Oddly enough, while PCs are usually able to handle many widgetized applications, the Mac and Firefox worlds are less tolerant of them. Since I desire Mac and Firefox users to be able to read this website, I have gone to a manual set of contact information.

No matter what, there is always hope. PTSD is a hard journey, but it does not have to ruin our lives forever. Every life has value, including your own and the lives of people who care about you.

Thank You for Visiting and Semper Pax, Dr. Z

Comments

  1. Hi Dr. Z,

    Thanks for your article. I noticed a few good ones around this weekend in what is usually a blanket silence.

    I wanted to let you and your readers know about the film we are completing on this subject and share where we’re at with you.

    Here are the latest clips:

    1.

    5a90ae9045

    2.

    cf5b6d7d84

    The film has been shot over the last 4 years, with lots of footage in the can, both in Afghanistan and in the States. The filmmaker is a young journalist who was embedded with a helicopter medevac unit, and who then remained friends with the pilots and medics, interviewing and filming them over the following years.

    We are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a solid edit and we have the rest of the post spoken for. We’re about 3/5ths of the way to our target and hope to reach it however we can so we can get the completed film to screens as soon as possible.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/956531418/trauma-0

    If you can help at all to get word out, it would be greatly appreciated, not just in terms of the Kickstarter effort but more importantly just awareness of the project and the coming film.

    Many thanks for your time. I hope you enjoyed the clips. We hope the film will open eyes and minds and hearts to the reality of individuals’ lives as they return from the theater of war; the personal disruption and the disruption to families and communities which can only be healed through awareness and sensitivity.

    Best regards,

    Steven Kelleher

  2. If anyone wants to notify me privately to talk about my own healing process from twice PTSD that works for me, you can contact me through my website at: http://RisaRuse.com and there is contact information listed, as well. Peace, Risa

  3. Hello.is there a way to contact you that is more private.i really dont want everyone else to keep reading my posts as i have had a very abrupt reply that to be honest upset me as someone was forcing their opinions of their experience onto me.
    Regards

    • Hello Adi,
      You can email me at DrZ ATSIGN PTSDspirituality.com
      Replace the word ATSIGN with @ and it should get to me just fine.
      Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  4. I miss your words and thoughts of hope and help. Looking forward to more articles when you are able. Four years of surviving this and thankful for you. Thanks for everything…

    • Hello Josh,
      Thank you for taking the time to say this. I am honored. The year 2013 has been a real series of health adventures for me. On the bright side, I don’t have a brain tumor (Hooray!), on the other side, there remains a lot that grinds me down. While I know I should be a “stronger” person and all that, I also had some “negative feedback” this year from a few who don’t like what I have been writing. While I should not let it, it can be discouraging at times. Your comment is a reminder that I need to get back up on the horse, take my own advice, and start writing again.
      Thank You and Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  5. Dr z I hope you are feeling ok. I am praying for you. Did you ever write about what the significance of the number 40 was? Thx L

  6. Hi Dr.: Can you please offer insight if your book could help with sexual harassment PTSD? Ex company boss was “bothering” all the women and degrading everyone. Lying, stealing, coveting, misusing money really caused a lot of people a lot of headaches and heartaches. REALLY BAD PERSON. 3 years later can’t get this dude out of my head. Any suggestions?

    • Hello, I regret that my book is not yet complete. Persistent health problems have bogged down my writing. That said, there is real hope to recover from PTSD due to sexual harassment. Some of the book links on this website may be useful for you (and I must admit, if someone buys an Amazon product or clicks on a google link I will receive a small commission). You may also get some leads from the good folks at http://theabilitytolove.wordpress.com/ While not an exact match, they have insights which you would probably find useful. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  7. Need your insight. Please keep writing.

    • Thank you. I shall. Folks are sending in good ideas. Once class let’s out this afternoon – there are no big school or grading projects this weekend. Hope to spend a good portion of the weekend writing. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  8. PTSD response
    You’re very welcome, Jason. You have to be ready to open your heart to receive the blessings waiting for you when you connect to Eternal Spirit. We all have life lessons to learn. Some of us take longer than others. Know that you are loved and not forgotten. Take as much time as you need.
    Blessings sent your way,
    Risa

  9. Thank you, I appreciate that very much. I need people to bounce ideas off of sometimes. I will write to you when I realise what I have to say. But for now thank you.

  10. Oops, Jason here is the link for the published articles in rhyme to connect you to our Divine: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Risa_Ruse
    I look forward to your email response.
    Positive thinking to share,
    Risa

  11. Hi Jason,
    I was very moved by what you shared and complement you on what you honestly said. As a twice survivor of PTSD (once as a child losing my mother to suicide and then as a mother) I certainly do know how alienated we can feel when the “spilling out” is taking place in our lives. Dr. Z gave you some worthwhile advice as I also will validate the necessity to have a connection with your Source (Jesus is mine.) Without that connection there can really be no peace. Others without PTSD can only ponder what we go through. Please my brother in kind, go to this article directory and you will find my free articles in PTSD rhyme that will most certainly help you get that must needed connection. I’d be happy to lend an empathetic ear. My contact information is on my website listed here. Yours in His trusting Power, Risa

  12. Thannk you, For right now I will just say that. Later on I will tell you what I have been doing what has worked and what has not. I will not get rid of insurance either. Never was going to but if I could switch my medicaid to medicare that could be pretty huge.

    God bless,
    Jason

  13. Hi guys. I am still in shock from a lot of things I have been through. I have gone through the “mental health” system and have not recieved to much help. My insurance is crap and I get crap services. I am trying to find a safe place to be “fucked up”. So I can work on this and have people around me to make me feel better. Shit just knowing a few good people were around and could deal with me it would really help. I am trying to get donation to get some intensive ptsd therapy. I wish I was in the military and got ptsd from there. Then I would be respeted and people would take this shit seriously. I was working before and that really helped then I hurt my knee and it fucked me because sports and work kept me grounded. Plus I could socialize with my co-workers. It really helped a ton. Soon after I couldn’t work t all flooded back. It has been to long. I just got out of the hospital a few weeks ago and it really did not lead to and substantial solutions.

    • Hi Jason, Many of us are struck with the illness of PTSD and one of its by-products is to isolate us and make us feel so desparately alone. Your desire to seek out a safe community is a healthy one. I know what you mean when you say you do not get respect for your PTSD and how you wish you had been in the military so people would respect your illness better. Often, even combat veterans do not get much sympathy from the American public. Whether civilain-based or military-based, PTSD is an awful condition to have. Many people will use any excuse they can to deny compassion to another human being. I don’t run a forum on this web site (I can barely keep up as it is), but I have ben told Yahoo has some PTSD forums that may prove useful to you. The fact that you are seeking help and actively looking for community is a very healthy sign – don’t think otherwise. Seeking out God in prayer, writing and art will also help, even though the PTSD will try to convince you otherwise. You have value and you should continue to seek community. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  14. PTSD response from me!
    Dear Dr. Z:
    What a heartfelt reply you sent me.
    On all facets I surely agree.

    Thanks for the tip from the Vet Art Project.
    Please excuse any words of character that cause you to object.

    What we both can share also needs to be expressed.
    Giving thanks for little things keeps us from being depressed!

    Yours inspired in rhyme from the Divine,

    Risa

  15. Dear Dr. Z:
    The hardest part of sharing this valuable Self-Help Alternative Healing is to get through to health care providers. They seem to have their own mind-set and are set on not listening to anyone that does not have a few letters after their names in their degrees. Any thoughts on removing this barrier to make a very worth while “Art” into a “healing” resource?
    Sincerely,
    Risa

    • Hello Risa, I too find that art (in its many manifestations) can be healing. Your motif of “Rhyme with the Divine” helps people see that our words, while spoken in the mundane, also can illuminate the Divinity that we can explore and heal with in our on-going exploration.

      As a traditional Roman Catholic I experience the Rhyme/Divine in our scriptures, for example, in the Old Testament the Psalms, Proverbs, and Canticles. In the New Testament Song and Rhyme are also parts of the presentation of the Divine, e.g., the first 19 verses of John’s Gospel shares a poem about the Word. Paul the Apostle also uses meter in parts of his work and we even find poetry in the Book of Revelation. Indeed, the Liturgy and the Office of Prayer are also replete with life-giving poetry.

      I think the barrier you have encountered with some in the Medical Industry has a lot to do with financing (insurance does not pay for what often is considered “alternative healing”) and the personal competiveness among many physicians. If I used all of the professional initials that go with my training/credentials I think there are over ten letters. That said, quite a few people with alphabet soups after their names lack compassion, while others have it. I am doubtful that the medical industry and the insurance companies will ever be willing to pay or acknowledge those means of healing which do not provide them with profit and/or adulation. While I have met some fine individual medical doctors they tend to be the exceptions and not the norms. The same is true of many of my peers who have the PhD. Yet, compassion does not require an academic degree.

      In your shoes I would expect continued barriers. But, if you are meeting with PTSD and trauma survivors and they benefit from your work, then you have already won, so to speak. It has been pointed out to me that I could have made more money as a lawyer than a theologian and PTSD guy, but I think in the big picture I do more good by doing what I do now. If your poetry promotes life, then stick to that.

      You may be interested in searching the internet for the Vet Art Project. Poetry is one of the healing venues they explore. Thank you for taking the time to visit this site.
      Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  16. Dear Dr. Z:
    I find that after having the time I needed to heal through unemployment that I was able to creatively connect to my lost feelings through the power of the Divine in rhyme! My own poetry book and published articles I use as the materials in facilitating small group PTSD Healing Poetry Workshops. I would love to share more with those interested. So far I do them informally at a Church soup kitchen and also a recovery house for men with PTSD issues.
    Here’s to healing in rhyme from the Divine,
    Risa

  17. This is in response to Pier. I have not shown his comment as it is very personal and perhaps not suitable to be widely read. Suffice that he mentions several challenges which his PTSD gives him and his journey to thrive in spite of it.

    Hello, Your situation is certainly a journey to Golgotha. On the medical side, as you know, I am not qualified to speak to the medications and treatments of your PTSD. I can say it is good that you are trying to work with the medical community as well as exploring spiritual options. In a case as challenging as yours it is necessary to keep seeking the medical solutions – at least to help make the symptoms bearable. You mentioned your wife helps you. That is extremely valuable. Having a spouse who can help with things like getting dressed, bathed, etc., is very helpful… as much as having someone who understands your PTAD and loves you. You seem to have identified your challenges and goals, especially in the role of parent. Do what you can and try to do it well. Know that there are things you cannot do and you will have to make your peace with that. That is very difficult. In my own life I have had to make my peace with disability. It is frustrating, but I know God does not expect more of me than I am able to do. Continue to see your medical advisors and continue to keep your relationships as alive as they can be. If you cannot voice your love for your children, then write it down and give iut to them. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  18. Hi Dr Z.

    Solomon asked for wisdom, I am trying to do the same because with wisdom comes knowledge and from knowledge, understanding. Two excellent resources I have come across in recent times are ‘The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth’ by Glenn R. Shiraldi and ‘Understanding Trauma: How to Overcome Post Traumatic Stress’ 1st Edition by Roger Baker. Leaning on my own understanding is tiring and can resuilt in ‘ping pong’ thinking. Renewing our minds through challenging tired attitudes about our experiences is very hard but is exciting with God behind us.

    God bless, Leigh

    • You are certainly right about the value of having someone else there to help. One of the points about PTSD Spirituality is that no matter how isolated we may feel due to our PTSD, that we are never actually alone. God is on our side. As a Christian I often feel that I can have Jesus “Walk Point” for me so I don’t have to do it myself yet one more time. We can “break trail” with other people and other resources as well. I am familiar with the first book you mentioned and have it in my own collection as well. I don’t know the second one. Depending on the human resources a person has available to them, and with PTSD we often have few of those, a good book (and the Good Book) can help us in our journey. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  19. Thank you so much for your reply, it’s much appreciated and means alot. Neverunder estimate your writing and the positive effect it has on peoples lives. I held a job last year that required me to work with some troubled young men. Assaults were common and I was a victim of a sustained threat to my safety while on duty.

    I took six months off work, I did some voluntary work for about 10-15 hours a week to keep up social contact. I wanted to go through a work cover claim but the bureaucracy is very exhausting and I didn’t go through with it becuase I was tired all the time. In recent times with improved energy I have decided to enlist the other legal help to obtain six months worth of lost wages due to stress. I am now back at work with a different employer. Legal advice tells me I have a good chance due other witnesses to the attack and therefore adequate documantation.

    The problem is my doctor. As I have a pre existing case of depression, which he diagnosed from my teens, he has submitted a report to the work cover compensation people that this pre existing condition has not changed post incident. I am annoyed and frustrated as I feel I am not being validated through my experience. To spare details a young man hid a knife in his sock and threatened to stab me repeatedly. I looked myself in the office for a few hours.

    I am not asking for much. Six months wages while I was on disability benefits for ptsd. I am back working. I fear the process of gaining any restitution and acknowledgment will make me exhausted and more cynical. I feel that my doctor is not working with me.

    • I am glad that the reply is of some use. Your experience with the young offender and the sustained threat of death reminds me of how some people in the service get traumatised. They undergo a sustained threat but are not in combat. People think they never actually got shot so they can’t have PTSD. Yet the disruption of their world safety and the loss of a sense of self due to threat occur. Sounds lkike some of the damage you went through.

      You may need to replace your doctor and I know that is easier said than done. One of my physical injuries is actually the result of an angry doctor who took it out on me – and you can’t sue an army doctor for malpractive. Doctors, like the rest of us, are huimans and there are good ones and some jerks as well. You may need to seek out a doctor who is willing to listen with a fresh view – and not just reinforce his earlier finding (as he collects a fresh fee).

      You mentioned “not asking for much,” just six months wages. While the money is allways important as we do have to eat and pay bills, what is perhaps really at stake is the formal recognition of what you went through and what it has done to you. In my own life with PTSD it has been important to me that my PTSD be recognized, admitted to. If the PTSD is offically recognised then we know and out souls know we are not slackers, but are actually victims. Just as it is tough for PTSD sufferers to recognise and admit they have PTSD, socciety also has to take its responsibility and recognise it as well. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  20. I stumbled across your blog by accident while trying to find some practicial information on post traumatic stress. What a breath of fresh air for my soul your writings have been, God has used your trauma to encourage others in similiar positions. I know this sounds like a cliche but I find that your knowledge of scripture and the relationship you have with God serve a very powerful purpose to sufferers who find it very hard to find grace and mercy in amongst deep rooted scars. I must admit though because I am thirsty for reading about your experiences and thirsty for righteousness I too have been guilty for being impatient with how often you post blog entries. Please forgive me because there have been times in my life where I have wanted others to be patient with me. Keep fighting th good fight

    • Rather, it is I who should apologize to you. Readers of the PTSD Spirituality website are not the folks who have vexed me about writing. My complaint about the individual who complained so vocally about my lack of writing volume did it in such a way as to put my university teaching position at risk. I know that no person who reads these web essays and who finds them useful would like to see me out of my job. I apologize for being less than clear about that.
      I am grateful, however, that some of the essays are useful to you. We can indeed discover grace in our suffering. We don’t seek this suffering and we certainly don’t desire it. But given that we each have this amount of pain, suffering, and confusion in our lives, then we can be blessed to seek compassion. This is the compassion we hope to receive from others and we hope to extend to others as well. We know we will not always receive it and that is certainly frustrating. Yet, we then discover if we can extend compassion to those who lack it themselves. If we can, then perhaps they will find they need compassion and need to extend it themselves to others. One of the lessons I have learned in the last week, after I wrote the post, is I must be careful to not make myself vulnerable to that particular priest such that he can endanger my employment – and at the same time I need to pray for his own healing all the more.
      Our pain is often deep-rooted after years of neglect and perhaps even denial. Yet, we can always choose a path to eschew the temptation to bitterness and take the risk to endeavor on the path of love for the sake of love. And, as 1 John tells us, God is Love.
      I am grateful for your taking the time to read the website and encouraging me to keep writing. It is both physically and spiritually painful to write for this site, yet I remain convinced that it does some good in the world beyond my own need to write. We all need reminding that we have value. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  21. I just stumbled across your website and was amazed. I have been in therapy for 2 years diagnosed with PTSD from service. They have told me this and told me that and put me on all kinds of dope. But your first few sentences and even paragraphs were right on…I mean right on. So a question. Im completely bored, unsatisfied, just blah, about life. I try to find things do to , like hobbies that I used to love, they mean nothing, thats if I can get out of the house to do them. Every time I do something thats supposed to be way fun , Im so disillusioned afterwards because it wasnt that cool.
    Im seriously thinking about going back to Iraq..actually Afghan this time cause thats where its at. I want to go back to war, I want to get shot at, I want to get rocketed, I want to be scared for my life every minute, I also want that military discipline around me, civilians kill me(aggravate me). I have a feeling its going to make my PTSD worse…like Id have to stay there till I do die because if I went for the 4th time Id probably kill myself upon my return(going from past experience) but damn man, if that is all that you think going to make you happy , if life sucks in the US, if owning a house and a few cars and a dog “he american dream” is boring and makes life seem worthless…is it ok to go back to war? Could I resolve these issues while at war? Ive heard theres no cure for PTSD, I know you can overcome it and get used to it, I have heard drugs alcohol and prostitutes seem to ease the pain. So whats the difference in that and war, at least war youve got a better chance of living. I guess the question is, Can you overcome PTSD while at war, if being at war is more comfortable to you, could it be a better place to “heal” somewhere youre comfortable? Thanks

    • Hello, From what you describe it sounds as if you are caught in a PTSD Normal is Upside Down cycle. That means PTSD has made normal things feel so un-normal and weird things feel like normal, that the PTSD soul wound makes you crave the weird in order to think you are experiencing normal.

      You crave to feel alive again. Many of us do. America and its pampered, don’t care to know, civilians drives us batshit (to use the theological vocabulary). We seek intense experience to give us meaning and it fails. If you go back to war the PTSD will become worse, not better. You will probably unintentionally bolo a mission and someone will get hurt or die because of it. You will need to discover how to feel alive in new ways, but not the old ways.

      Going back to war is a mistake. You will crave going back to America soon after you get in-country. Once in America you will soon crave war. It is a cycle that whiplashes the soul and helps screw up our relationships with other people. People who go back to war for this reason are a serious risk to themselves, fellow troops, and the mission.

      Just like an alcoholic needs a morning shot of vodka (or three shots) to feel normal and get the day going, or a dope user needs the morning hit, PTSD makes us need some sort of hit to feel like we can face the day. That is usually booze, illicit sex, violence, drugs, etc.

      Every time we take that hit, to just cope, to just feel normal a little while longer, we then dig the PTSD soul wound in to a deeper hole. It is as if we make the addiction stronger. Giving up the evils which PTSD wants us to engage in is tough, you will feel a bit of spiritual “withdrawal” and a strong temptation to get a hit of something to calm down. It hurts, it’s tough, and yes, it is achievable.

      If you go back to war you are only reinforcing PTSD’s grip on your soul and will be a risk to yourself and others. There is no good that will come from it.

      Just like a person who has lost an arm, we too, with the PTSD soul wound, can recover our abilities, but we will always be a bit different from so-called normal people. We usually become more compassionate, caring, and respectful of life. It is hard to get there and it takes immense courage to not keep feeding the PTSD with porn, drugs, booze, violence, and going back to war.

      Let me know what you decide. Your life has value, you have value. I am interested to know.
      Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  22. michele says:

    Hi again Dr. Z,
    I’m writing with some hopeful news for PTSD warriors out there. An org. called Dog Bless You is running a campaign to pair PTSD-trained help dogs with up to 100 vets if they get enough “like” votes on their facebook site between now and July 4, so please spread the word to all, as I think it’s legit and a great option for some vets.
    All you have to do is vote like , all is free, from what I can tell. Hope you’re doing well.

  23. Thank you Dr. Z!

  24. Hi Dr. Z-
    I have 3 more questions for you- You say that you have been healed of some of the symtoms of ptsd but not all of them- Can you share with us which ones you have beeen healed of and the ones that you havent been healed of? I understand if you cannot, reason being- I see alot of Trama people that are able to just roll right out of bed and start their day and it takes everything in my power to get up in the morning because my depression is so bad- Why am I depressed? Because the spark that I have had in my life seems to be gone and when the spark is there its not a spark but a little suggestion of a light! Do you know of anyone that has ever been completetly healed of this? If not you can be honest with me- I am brave. I feel like in my own little world I’ve been a hero- I also want you to know that I have been on 100’s of sites regarding this issue and you have been the only realistic one I’ve found- I am totally aware of what I will do if I let the ptsd get the best of me- from losing my friends and family , too drinking. Avoiding good friends I do not do , no matter how much I want to, I answer the phone I show up to the coffee meeting , I tell my children that I love them verbally , and even though I hurt so bad I still sleep close to my husband at night and tell him how deeply I care for him and what a hero he has beeen to me. anyways !! I just wanna say thank you Semper Pax, Dr. Z , I have no idea where you live or what you look like but you have helped me tremendously and I pray that you would know in your soul that you are a HERO! Thank you
    Jenn

    • Hi Jenn, I hope you are well. I have kept you in prayer. I am happy to answer your questions, but am swamped with grading and one PTSD essay at the moment. Just don’t want you to think I have ignored your kind words. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  25. Dr Z-
    I would like to thank you for the work you have done on this website. I am blessed to be able to help veterans with their PTSD and other readjustment issues as a counselor at a Vet Center. I have been utilizing some of your articles in my spirituality group. I have found spirituality to be such an important part of helping our veterans to heal. There are only a few resources out there for spiritually based healing of PTSD. I thank you for being one of them. I notice that it has been a month since you have written a new article and I want to encourage you to keep writing. You are a blessing.

    • Hi Bill,
      Thank you for the wonderful encouragement for me to write more. As the saying goes, “From your lips, to God’s ear…” I just posted an essay while you were kind enough to write. I have finally felt strong enough to do some writing.

      Unfortunately I had two back to back bouts of illness, one which I just wrote about. I was lucky to keep up with my teaching and other folks on this end. If things settle down with my health, then I will be back to writing more regularly.

      But more to the point: I am very gratified to know you find these essays to be useful in your spirituality group at the Vet Center. One of the things I always lack is energy, and your telling me that is very energizing to stay at this.
      Thank You and Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  26. I just read the essay you wrote for yesterday. Wow. I think you have validated everything that I have been thinking, reading about and dealing with. I am pretty sure my ex husband has PTSD. He was abused as a child, had 2 alcoholic parents (who were divorced), was in the Navy as a Religious Program Specialist (RP) and did a tour with the Marine Corps to help the Chaplains. Did a tour in Afghanistan and was on the ground with the Marines as they entered Iraq. Of course working so close with a Chaplain and the hurt and dying soldiers got the best of him.
    Things were rocky before, but it just got worse when he went to shore duty after serving in a war zone. He started to physically abuse the children and that is when I drew the line.
    I was a pretty confident person before all of this. The abuse and crazy making wore me out and down. After my divorce I did go back to school and I think that boosted my self-esteem, yet I was never very comfortable around other people. It used to not bother me at all. Now it takes quite an effort to be around people.
    I do go to a synagogue on a regular basis. I was raised a Christian, yet have converted to Judaism about 10 years ago. So faith is very, very important to me and I do rely on God for my comfort and strength every day. Without Him I would have been gone a long time ago.
    Thank you so much for your response. I know that I have to take it a little at a time. I was in counseling and have fallen out of it and I know I need to go back.
    I have this yearning to volunteer with service members who have come back from war and are suffering from PTSD. I know they have them working with animals and on farms in my area. Do you think that would be a good idea for me, or do you think I am too damaged to help anyone?
    Thanks again for your insights….
    Amy

    • Your description of your ex’s background is certainly a recipe for PTSD. And, as much as we can strive to understand and forgive, oine cannot allow physical abuse to continue. In those cases we wtill strive for the grace to forgive, but at a safe distance.

      It is also good that you have found a spirituual home. It can be very nourishing.

      Your question about helping those who have PTSD. You can certainly volunteer to help. I imagine any VA hospital is always looking for volunteers. Your faith community may have some programs you can pluig into. This kind of work is one to best be taken by degree and small steps. When we learn how to swim we start at the shallow end of the pool. Perhaps it would be wise to start volunteering with people who just need a listening ear or a converstion partner before diving into the deep end of the pool. One learns skills that way and one does not get overwhelmed that way. The best people to help with PTSD on the spiritual level are those who have already walked the journey for a good long while. Any sort of volunteering will help get you re-acclimated to people. But I would be hesitant to jump into a full PTSD situation until you have had some more time for your own recovery. I say this because from your description you are still in the middle of the journey. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  27. Hi Dr. Z-
    Just wondering if you ever run into wives of service members that have been physically, emotionally and verbally abused and have suffered PTSD. I have now been divorced for 6 years and still cannot get over what was done to me by my ex. I feel that it has controlled my life. I am actually now remarried, and in a much better place, yet I am still haunted and I still suffer from so much anxiety and I hide like a hermit. My husband would like me to get a job, but it is so hard for me to even continue the job search for fears that are probably just my imagination, yet they seem so real. Just wondering if this kind of abuse can cause PTSD and wondering what I should do about it.

    • Hi, I started writing a response and then ended up writing today’s essay. It was too long to be a reply, so I made it an essay.
      You have indeed been wounded and your PTSD will try to induce you to despair and fear and isolation. Seeking information and understanding about PTSD is one of the ways to control it and take yourl ife back. It is not hopeless and you can heal.
      Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  28. Thank you Dr. Z
    I pray that God will continue to give you the words to write and the strength to type.
    Your friend
    Jenn

  29. Ok, thank you so very much and bless you.

    ~Jenn

    • Hi, I’ve gotten tied up with my teaching. I’ve drafted an essay about asking God the “why” of our PTSD and also about how do I hear God’s voice. It’s not done right yet, so I will keep at it and then post it as an essay on the site. Know that God loves you. While people may abandon God, God never abandons us. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  30. Hi Jenn, I am glad that this site has been of some good use for you. I have spent some time thinking and writing about what you asked me in your last comment. Tomorrow or the next day I will post my response as an entry to the website as I think many people have the same questions you do and could benefit from your questions and what we come up with. Unless my hands quit on me, I will post a response in the next 48 hours as a regular website essay.
    Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  31. Thank you Dr. Z
    I dont know who you are, but I thank God for your kind and loving words, I thank the Lord up in heaven that he has lead me to a person who has been through this and I pray for blessings upon blessings that would be with you from God’s hand. I have been seeing a phycologist and she has had me write down what has happened on paper a few times so I will instead start writing it in a journal. I believe God’s love is all one person needs. I have one more question for you, if you want to answer it have you ever tried to ask God why this happened to you? and if so has he ever responded in a “VOICE” or is it through scripture that you have had certain questions answered?Because I have asked and alot of times for him to speak to me but its these little miracles that will take place maybe a friend calling to let me know they are praying or a verse that speaks to me but all in all I havent heard his direct voice and I beleive its possible. I pray for the holy spirit to be with my family every day and I also pray for others, I just want you to know I pray for you.
    from
    Jenn

  32. HI there
    I just wanted to ask you a few questions, I am struggling with a memory that hurts me so much that I identifly with most of the sytems listed for this. I am a christian woman who has been dealing with this for the past few months, I have 3 daughters and a wonderful husband. What happened to me is that another man took advantage of me in a inappropriate way. I am 38 years old and I have never heard of this before? and its christimas time and I am depressed and on a medication for this and I love the Lord with all my heart but all I want to do is make this end. God keeps bringing people in my life that are wonderful and full of advice but none of them can understand what I am going through I feel like I went so far away from my walk with God that he is done with me and even though I say I am sorry I dont feel his forgivieness and I do BELIEVE that he has forgiven me but its just confusing. Does this mean I am not saved? I have so many questions and I know our memories are so different and people sometimes get mad at me saying well yours is not involving war or murder but I want to say the memory hurts me just as much as theres does. I love my life and I love life in general I want to be cured so bad. But only GOD can heal me, so how do I live in the mean time?

    • Hello, Know that God will never forget about you or deny you. God loves you. In many ways, God loves us the most when we feel the most lonely and on our own. Jesus came to help the wounded, not the healthy. You are saved. PTSD does not disqualify us from salvation.

      I work with many people with PTSD. Whether they are soldiers, or survived sexual abuse, clergy abuse, or an accident, they nearly all have the same sorts of PTSD symptoms. The common thread is trauma and it often will manifest itself later, well after the fact.

      God loves you and cares about you. You may have to be careful about who you share your story with. If they just want to compare you to combat soldiers, then they are not worthy of hearing your story. They will not help you heal. Not everyone is mature enough to allow you the truth of your own story.

      Besides prayer, keep a journal and write your story to yourself. Putting it into written words will help you take command of it. Also write about how you feel, the anxieties, and struggles that go with having PTSD. Writing helps to heal part of PTSD.

      As best as possible, share with your loved ones or someone you can really trust more about your story and what you go through now. Having a strong loving relationship will help you heal.

      Lastly, you don’t have to feel this way all of your life. PTSD will ebb and flow, like the tide. Some days are worse, other days are better. But, regardless of which day it is, know that God loves you. And, one day, you will be helping others deal successfully with their own trauma.
      Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  33. I am Desert Storm/Shield Vet with Gulf War Illness. As of lately I have become very proactive, I have only been with the VA since this last Feb, and the tools are working…..today I just woke up very angry so angry I did the 4-7-8 breathing exercise 4 times to no avail, I am keeping it cool but this has had not happen in a long time! Any comments! Greg

    • Hi Greg, In many ways, veterans of Desert Shield/Storm are treated like the Korean War was treated: Forgotten and Discounted. Just being a veteran of that time is a challenge. American society does not really want to give people credit for your service and they pretend not much really happened over there.

      Desert Storm produced life-altering experiences, traumas, for so many peopled. That by itself produces PTSD soul wounds. Add to that mix the general indifference America treats its Desert Storm veterans and it is no surprise a veteran would experience anger.

      Your comment got me thinking more about anger and I have written more about it in my most recent post (“Doused with a Bucket of PTSD Anger”). It continues the thoughts begun here.

      The fact that you can identify the anger and the surprise that you been attacked by it, along with the fact that you are seeking PTSD care and doing the breathing exercises is a testament to your healing journey. There was probably a time you would not have been able to identify this as PTSD or know to try the breathing exercises. You are seeking to control your PTSD and not be ruined by it. That is immensely admirable. Many people can learn from your example. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  34. Dr. Z.,

    Thank you for your work.
    I discovered your place though links others have provided. I would like to tell you our Facebook group The Truth In Numbers (TTIN) has placed your site link in our resource section under PTSD Holistic Health/Spirituality in hopes to bring others to your page. Again thank you for your work.
    Sincerely,
    Karen

    • Thank you, Karen. I very much appreciate the link to your group. While I have not been able to do much writing lately, I still “work” on the subject of healing from PTSD soul wounds daily – my own and others. I am out of the classroom for the next two weeks and I am hoping my hands stabilize enough to resume more serious and lengthy writing. Thank you very much for the link to your facewbook group. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  35. Please don’t ever apologize for conserving your strength for the people whom it can best benefit. I am only sorry to hear the struggle is so constant and draining. Thank you for the affirmation of past contacts and current concerns, and if it is no imposition, I will continue to check in with thoughts and prose? It is sufficient for me to feel I have an eye and ear out for those who are trying to do good for the rest of us and if my correspondence binds us in this way, that is sufficient. Warm Regards, Michele

  36. michele says:

    Hi Dr. Z:
    Just sharing the grim news I heard yesterday that suicides are up in our troops to record highs last month; 32. Thirty two lives lost because they despaired–and for all the military is trying to do, too many of its messages are working on a parallel track which segregates suffering veterans from the rest of us who need to be included in the debate.
    It’s my belief that PTSD will never ebb in our society as long as Society makes it an us-them disorder and turns away from the confusion and stress that accompanies natural impulses tied to aggression and war. Until we can collectively take the burden and ugliness of war off our soldiers when they return home and make it our collective burden, our collective mourning, I fear our soldiers will always feel isolated in their pain and not heard enough. We need not be witness to their individual stories (that is for them and their professional helpers to work through), but we can all be silent, nonjudgmental escorts to their communal struggle over the long term, visible presences who do not fear or turn in discomfort or boredom from troop narratives, who do not make them feel alone or of low priority in their reconnection to “peacetime” Society–which for too many vets is just another kind of hell on earth.
    There’s tremendous pressure and expectation laid upon soldiers coming home and no “boot camp” for readjustment provided to teach not only marketable job skills, family readjustment skills, but also how to protect themselves from the emotional rollercoaster “ignorance” they will face from civilians–hearty handshakes and thank yous, then quick dismissal. Many of these people need to tell their stories over and over–every time a memory or nightmare hits–and still the hoped-for exorcism of these thoughts will not come quick enough or easily enough. Soldiers with PTSD suffer from an inability to tell it “right” , so that “the rest of us get it” and they are too often “sorry this doesn’t make sense” . They end up frustrated and feeling more alone.
    What the rest of us civilians don’t do enough of is make these sufferers understand the burden should be on US, not them, for not being willing or able to listen. That is our communal shortcoming, our weakness, and they need to forgive us.
    I would like any troops reading this to please forgive the rest of us for not being available enough to you–in being uninformed and unnecessarily scared, we fail you.
    Dr. Z, thank you for being someone out there not failing these troops by providing this blog.
    I hope you are well Dr. Z. Thanks for letting me vent–once again–here.

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for writing. The suicide news from the Army is abysmal. I try to find silver linings and the only one is that they are starting to recognize the problem. I’ve been told by Army mental health specialists that some commanding generals simply state that their soldiers don’t commit suicide and leave it at that. Talk about magical thinking!
      The Washington Post, as you probably know, has been covering this story for some time. They were the ones who broke the scandals at Walter Reed and how wounded soldiers were neglected there.
      Part of the “work” I have been up to is to try and help women and men find continual reasons to live. Sometimes that is only by not giving PTSD and those who are invested in indifference the satisfaction (and convenience) of seeing us all dead and finally silent. All of our lives contain so much value and it is so plainly wrong to encourage us all to die through indifference.
      You are absolutely right about PTSD and the collective nature of the disorder and our collective responsibility to heal it. Your insight is powerful and parallels some of the poetry I was trying to write this morning. Our society encourages us to isolation and silence, whether are PTSD comes from civilian or military trauma. One hopes and prays that we may rise to help one another carry our burdens and heal.
      The year 2010 has been physically hard on me and I have not been writing as much as I should for this website. Indeed, I am remiss in writing you back from several months ago. I am afraid I have not been able to keep up with my correspondence as well as I should. Know that it has everything to do with my own battle with chronic pain and fatigue and nothing to do with you. When I have been able to write I have been working on some poetry, my students, and meeting with trauma survivors.
      I hope you are well. Semper Pax, Dr. Z

  37. Hello SGT McReynolds, Welcome Home!
    Iraq in 2003 was a hell hole and many good people lost their lives and many good people had their lives forever changed.

    You are a smart man to know that you arwe hit with PTSD. Looking for help is the right thing to do when you broke out of your nightmares last night. After nightmares I would feel so scared and ashamed and not know why I was going through all of this.

    God loves us and God loves YOU. I hope the website will be able to provide some helpful information. Never give up. God loves you. Knowing that is always something that has helped me in my own PTSD journey.
    Semper Pax and Semper Fi, Dr. Z

  38. I am so glad that God had this Dr. put this on a website. I have suffered from PTSD for some years now. I went to Iraq in 2003 for the invasion. I am still in the Marine Corps and they are going to medically retire me. But I just woke up about 35 mins ago, FREAKING out from nightmares and I googled PTSD and the Bible. And the website came up. I feel like a million bucks now. I love Jesus so much, He is my Father. It’s just nice to read that people with PTSD have a place in Heaven. May God Bless whoever started this website, Thanks again, Sgt. McReynolds,
    Semper Fi.

Leave a Reply