The Myth of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Combat Service

The Myth of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Combat Service

We send our children to the army. No one wants to do that. It is what there is while the leaders of the region cannot get their act together. And then after they do their service they come out and say “ani sarut.” I am a bit off.

And we feel that it is true, they have changed, but we don’t really know how to define it. Psychiatry has made it even more difficult. Because we now say: “Maybe he is suffering from PTSD.” But no, most of our kids do not suffer from PTSD. And the myth says: you either have PTSD or you are “normal,” meaning you don’t suffer. You have “nothing.”

In our unique program for released combat soldiers, Peace of Mind, we see hundreds of young men and women who have done their service in combat units. Some show all symptoms of PTSD, but most do not. They have some symptoms. But they are “srutim” and they say so.

So what is it, this “sarut“? Here are some quotes of things we hear in these groups.

  • “I am so alert and cannot get rid of it, anything can feel like a danger.”
  • “I work 20 hours a day, otherwise I don’t feel good.”
  • “I cannot tell anyone what I went through, no one can understand.”
  • “I was not aware that I see my boss as my commander.”
  • “I have been looking for danger in extreme sport. That feels good.”
  • “My wife knows that she should not ask me things that are too personal.”
  • “The bullet that killed my friend was meant for me.”

The price of combat is tremendous. Once we started listening to our veterans, we hear how many years they are carrying not only painful memories but, possibly more important, the lingering unprocessed thoughts, habits, feelings and behaviors that no one considers a problem.

When people hear about Peace of Mind, they think, “Oh, PTSD.” But we at METIV are convinced that PTSD is just one of the myriad consequences that we, as a society, need to take care of. That is the mission of Peace of Mind.

– METIV Director Danny Brom