In the wake of the rapid ending of the Afghanistan war and the loss by America and its allies, there may be a psychological tsunami approaching that may hit veterans and active military who fought in that war and are left having to get through aftershocks filled with unrelenting feelings of foolishness, internal humiliation (at fighting a war that had no chance of victory), anger, rage at the political people who sold them on it being a winnable war, rage at themselves for buying that line of horrendous b.s., and the worst of all is reaching a feeling of pointlessness in going on (i.e. living) if they’re feeling irreversibly damaged by it.
PTSD or PTS or Post Traumatic Growth may be more understandable if you think of what’s going on as what we have called Re-Traumatization Avoidance or RTA. In RTA, people who have been through severe trauma, will often say they don’t know how they made it through and don’t believe they could make it through it again and survive psychologically or even physically.
As such, many of the symptoms of PTSD – intrusive thoughts, nightmares, avoiding reminders of the event, memory loss, negative thoughts about self, self-isolation and eleven more are all efforts to avoid being re-traumatized by having pushed away thoughts and feelings now flood them and throw them into a state of torment that they are convinced they can’t survive.
Also along with such a quick ending and with the abrupt insulation – from the pushed away thoughts and pushed down feelings that they needed to do to survive – gone, there comes the fear that those thoughts and feelings may now break through and rip their minds and their self apart from the inside out.
One veteran – and this is also true of many healthcare workers re: Covid19 — told me that every time he had to face another indescribable, horrifying and terrifying situation, it was like taking a screeching alley cat and locking it up in a cellar. And then another one. And then five more. And then fifty more. And then one hundred more.