Sustainers learn new ways for recognizing, dealing with PTSD

| July 10, 2015 | 1 Comment
The 8th TSC participates in a PTSD awareness class at Fort Shafter’s Richardson Theater, June 26, to emphasize the importance of helping those who suffer from the condition.

The 8th TSC participates in a PTSD awareness class at Fort Shafter’s Richardson Theater, June 26, to emphasize the importance of helping those who suffer from the condition.

 

Story and photo by Sgt. Jon Heinrich
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Over the years, post-traumatic stress disorder has made headlines because of the number of individuals it effects every day – and its not just related to those who have served in combat, but also those who have been in traumatizing situations.

As a way to help eliminate any negative perceptions and stigmas of this disorder, Congress designated June 27 as National PTSD Awareness Day to reiterate how important it is for those who suffer from this condition to get help.

The 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s Soldiers and civilians recognized PTSD Awareness with a yoga class focused on relaxation at the fitness center, here, accompanied by multiple training sessions at Richardson Theater, to help familiarize individuals with the signs, symptoms and treatment methods for this disorder, June 26.

The sessions featured guest speaker Dr. Kenneth Hirsch, manager for the Traumatic Stress Recovery Program for the Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System.

“We’re going to talk about not just PTSD, but things related to it, associated conditions, post-traumatic growth, etc.,” Hirsch said.

Hirsch stated that PTSD has been around a long time, even though it wasn’t diagnosed until 1980.

“World War II and Korea, it was known as ‘battle fatigue’” Hirsch stated. “World War I, it was ‘shell shock.’ In the Civil War, it was ‘Soldier’s nostalgia.’ Shakespeare wrote about it in his play ‘Henry IV,’” continued Hirsh. “Homer, the most famous of the Greek tragic playwrights, instituted it into his most famous works, ‘The Odyssey’ and ‘The Iliad.’”

The painting “Odysseus and the Sirens” by John William Waterhouse, 1891 Since the dawn of civilization, battle-weary warriors have suffered from what is now known as PTSD. References to PTSD from antiquity  can be found in the story of Odysseus, who spent 10 years at war against Troy and another decade struggling to return home.

 “Odysseus and the Sirens” by John William Waterhouse, 1891
Since the dawn of civilization, battle-weary warriors have suffered from what is now known as PTSD. References to PTSD from antiquity can be found in the story of Odysseus, who spent 10 years at war against Troy and another decade struggling to return home.

The Soldiers learned about different symptoms of PTSD, including hypervigilance, suspiciousness, light sleeping, attention to detail and even combat driving, all of which can occur when not in a deployed environment.

“You feel more alive, more in control and more powerful,” Hirsch added. “That’s why combat can feel good, anger can feel good and physical or verbal fighting can feel good.”

Hirsch also explained how many victims of PTSD experience fear and aren’t always able to deal with it in a positive way.

“Fear activates the sympathetic nervous system, which releases adrenaline,” Hirsch said. “This gives us more energy, more strength, more endurance, focuses our attention and wipes out physical and emotional pain.”

The day concluded with an art gallery to show how some individuals use therapeutic artwork as a coping and healing mechanism. Also, Soldiers received key information on how to identify, handle and get help for this disorder.

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Category: Health, News, Training

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  1. John Bolger says:

    The best way to treat and overcome PTSD is to use hypnosis. Reduce the stress and anxiety – and be at peace.

    http://www.northjerseyhypnosis.com/ptsd-recovery/

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