Returned Soldier Syndrome:
Since the Vietnam War consciousness has been raised about returned veterans. A new war, with its Iraq and Afghanistan theaters, has given us still more information on what happens to soldiers, men and women who are put in combat and occupation situations. Injuries not uncommonly include both TBI and PTSD, working in combination, especially for people who have been in explosions or bombings or other mass destructions and then had to cope with the carnage afterwards.
New types of injury have shown up, and given new meaning to the old term “shell shock”. Evidently modern artillery and IED’s are so powerful, people a quarter of a mile away from an explosion can have profound blast effects on the biomolecular level–and without any visible showing of the injury. Of course the central nervous system itself can be profoundly disrupted when its neurons and glia are damaged.
Our work with military vets shows that injuries of this intensity cannot be cured by a single method alone. The LENS can help stabilize sleep, reduce nightmares, anxiety and mood swings, but more is needed. Good psychotherapeutic or counseling of the kind provided by my colleague Dr. Edward Tick see War and the Soul. Tick advises such things as Native American sweat lodge (the Native Americans were particularly adept at sending people off into battle and having them return and still have a fairly sane and balanced life as a member of the community.) If they are actively alcoholic or using drugs, a visit to a rehab is required before we can commence treatments on an outpatient basis.
Other practices such as yoga breathing and kriya yoga, provided by organizations such as Art of Living International, which works with survivors of natural as well as manmade catastrophies can also can also help post-traumatic sufferers. The HeartMath technique emerged out of Doc Lew Childre’s military experience and can help with cardio-trauma that is frequently found in people psychologically traumatized (studies show the heart registers emotionally significant events before the brain).
See also the story of “Joe Rock” in The Healing Power of Neurofeedback p.249. The two maps show a decrease in hypervigilance and anxiety.