First Person Views On PTSD

An article I read over the course of this week spoke of the way war veterans with PTSD see themselves. The combat vet mentioned in the article, who has suffered from PTSD for several decades, was asked what his "biggest problem right now" was. The vet was then given drawing implements with which to answer the question. Afterwards, when asked to describe what he drew, and the combat vet (his name was never given) said, "my biggest problem? It's that I'm an exploding ball of hate...on the inside."

I find it incredibly sad that these people feel this way about themselves due to the trauma of war, especially to have been retired from combat for the last forty years. That's a rather lengthy amount of time to feel this way about oneself. I think this article is particularly important in the understanding of how victims of PTSD feel towards themselves. It gives real, concrete examples from a first person point of view. Near the end of the article, there is also second image from the vet- a drawing of himself made the same day that he referred to himself as an "exploding ball of hate" that shows a simplistic crayon drawing of himself as half a ball of hate, and half what appears to be rays of sunshine. The image shows a clear line between good and bad, light and dark.

The article also talks about Marcus Luttrell, a second combat veteran who is also experiencing and dealing with PTSD. Luttrell's yellow Labrador retriever, no doubt given to him to assist him in dealing with his condition, was murdered outside of his house in cold blood by a few local kids for a "pointless thrill." The shooting death of Luttrell's lab has since led to a major set back in his recovery- go figure. There is small consolation in this case, however, including a 40-mile high-speed chase in which Luttrell (with the help of the police) captured the perpetrators.
Furthermore, the article addresses the way human beings in the military are broken down and re-trained to kill. It addresses the way killing can become a horrible addictive high for these combat vets, and the amount of contempt they have for themselves relating to this.

However, the article goes on to say our first-featured vet has since been progressing. I assume that this is partly because of art therapy, as it was mentioned a few times in the article that the veteran was drawing. Although this article featured less about art therapy and more about PTSD, it was nonetheless helpful in my understanding of PTSD, which I feel is an essential point in understanding it's treatment.

The article can be found at this address:
http://www.healingcombattrauma.com/2009/04/a-veteran-asks-himself-who-am-i-on-the-inside.html

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by twit0029 published on February 18, 2011 1:30 PM.

Art Expression for PTSD was the previous entry in this blog.

How Does Art Therapy Help Vets? is the next entry in this blog.

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