Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Better Understanding
With Self-Help Exercises
Post traumatic stress disorder is an important problem in the world today. It is also a much bigger problem than most people realize.
Most people are aware of PTSD as a consequence of combat. Therefore most people associate PTSD exclusively with veterans. It is important to have a readily available solution for veterans, given that the lack of such a service is currently resulting in an average of 22 suicides per day.
What most people do not realize is the very real possibility that PTSD is responsible for a great number of suicides in the nonmilitary civilian and first responder groups.
Automobile accidents, muggings, sports injuries, rape and assault, and any number of other victimizations can and do result in PTSD and its unhappy consequences.
Further, we are not just talking about suicides. Suicide is just the terrible punctuation mark at the end of what for many people is a desperate life of unending misery.
All of that combines into a sociological epidemic that demands resolution.
The stage was set for my interest in such things when I was very young. I saw that Life is difficult for many people.
It seemed to me that there was generally something wrong with people; far too many simply could not deal with day-to-day stress. The older I got the more my suspicions were confirmed. Further, I did not see people treating each other the way they themselves said they wanted to be treated. I did not see the level of mutual respect that I came to understand is necessary for the long-term success of a civil society.
I did not want to live out my life in such a world, and I didn't think anyone else did either. So for some reason, perhaps the unquestioned enthusiasm of a child's life and confidence, I decided to figure it out and fix it. Whatever "it" was. Amazingly, and by way of some of the most surprising twists and turns, it appears that I have done that, despite the fact that I, as does everyone, have my own quirks and limitations.
As I touch on in the book, it has been said that a person who attempts to or is by circumstances forced to skip an achievement level in the development of maturity is likely to have permanent problems as a result of that missing layer in the foundation of their personal development.
There is far more benefit to be had from a valid psychology than just softening the impact of upsets. It may well be that we haven't even had a glimpse of the civilization we could build were we not so almost-universally conflicted as individuals.
For me to have made a significant contribution toward the eventual achievement of that civilization, of a true and enduring civil society, would be the happy realization of this life's work.
Finally, this book, and in fact the entire application of my life's work to the question of PTSD came about as a result of a friend reading an article in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal did a series on PTSD in June 2013. The first article was written by Army Lt. Colonel Gade of West Point. Colonel Gade expressed concerns that none of the parties at interest--the public, the taxpayer, the veteran, or the VA--were being well served by the current approach to posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans.
Notable among Colonel Gade's concerns were an overreliance on psychotropic drugs as a treatment, liberally-dispensed diagnoses, and the mounting financial liability of dispensing disability pensions rather than facilitating the termination of PTSD and the client's vocational rehabilitation.
My friend had been reviewing some of my management consulting materials, in particular a set of case notes regarding personal blockbusting work I had done with my clients who had internal process problems that got in the way of being successful in their businesses. Several of those clients were military veterans, which made my friend curious. She called me and asked whether I thought my blockbusting procedure might be helpful in direct application to posttraumatic stress.
After some discussion and consideration, we agreed to investigate the possibilities. This book is part of the culmination of that three-year project. The method has been focused, streamlined and assembled into a clinical process which, it turns out, can be safely and effectively administered by any objective competent communication-savvy practitioner.
The book has proven necessary for a very interesting reason. We had announced that the method worked and was available over a year ago. That announcement was met with a resounding near-silence wrapped around some extreme skepticism. It seems that people have become so conditioned away from expecting consistent predictable results in these matters, that they will either ignore or challenge anything that doesn't fit the aura of authority around that unhappy reality.
A new psychological approach and the methods it reveals are not an entirely simple subject that can be encapsulated in a quick debate. Obviously, short exchanges do not serve well in any attempt to respond to hit and run skepticism. Thus the need for the book.
I generally define words as they come up, in sequence. However, even though the general subject is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I take up the term, disorder, separately.
I decided to do this because the term PTSD is about three things: post traumatic stress, disorders, and the PTSD-type of disorder. The least-common and most poorly-understood term of the three is a "disorder", so I give it particular focus so as to remove the complication and mystery.
Chapter 1, This Chaper: An overview of the book.
Chapter 2, What Is Post Traumatic Stress? Covers
Chapter 3, What Is A Disorder? The details and concepts of mysterious clusters of symptoms and PTSD.
Chapter 4, Current Therapies, comprises a look at the types and objectives of current practices.
Chapter 5, Reality Check: Shortfalls, discusses the consequences of various arbitrary scientific and religious orientations , and psychology's unrecognized disastrous compromise with psychiatry.
Chapter 6, Is This Science? is a discussion of the scientific method with respect to developing and validating a psychological therapy.
Chapter 7, History, covers the origins and foundations of psychology and psychiatry; the American Psychiatric Association's invention of "mental illness" and domination of "mental health" through its definitive Diagnostic & Symptoms Manual.
Chapter 8, This Is Science, proposes actual scientific standards for the development, practice and measurement of effective therapies.
Chapter 9, The Ageless Hypothesis, recovers the original orientations of Aristotle's theory of the psyche.
Chapter 10, Disorientation, postulates an alternative consciousness-oriented perspective on disorders and puts forth an alternative explanation.
Chapter 11, Stress Affect Resolution, discusses a consciousness-based theory for treating Post Traumatic Stress, discusses the rules and structure we have developed for the resulting non-medical therapy, and summarizes its performance statistics.
Chapter 12, An Emergency Stress Stabilizer, offers a two-step self-help process taken from our procedure that an individual in difficulty might use to regain enough personal orientation to stabilize his or her situation.
Chapter 13, A Self-Actualization Program, outlines our three-step program for establishing a solid foundation for achieving full one's personal potential: Resolution, Reorientation, and Reconstruction.
Chapter 14, What to Do Next, is a quick look at how to approach our program and whatever comes after.
Appendix A, Case Studies, provides four examples, one each of the types of cases with which we have been successful.
Appendix B, Glossary, presents a Contrast-and-Comparison view on the key health industry terms that relate to what we do, as well as a review of the few specialized words we have found necessary to sensibly describe and discuss our alternative theory.
Appendix C, References, points to interesting sources of extra material as mentioned in the text.
Appendix D, Legal Notes re ASC, explains our organizational structure, why it is what it is, and how it allows us to guarantee our clients absolute confidentiality.
Appendix E, Author, is a biographical sketch illustrating the developer of the subject of this book and its mission.