(PRWEB) December 02, 2011
A recent article in USA Today states that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is experienced in about 200,000 veterans according to the VA (http://usat.ly/rTn1t2). A leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder is guilt that troops experience because of moral dilemmas faced in combat. Dr. Bonnie Weil treats PTSD as well as the related disorder also known as Survivor Guilt. "Survivor Guilt is the worst type of guilt" explains Dr. Bonnie. Survivor guilt occurs when a person perceives themselves as having done wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not. It is commonly found among survivors of combat, natural disasters, epidemics, among friends and family of those who have committed suicide, and also among non-mortal situations such as colleagues that are laid off.
According to the USA Today article, survivors have to find a way to forgive themselves for pulling the trigger. "It is important for the survivor to understand it is not the bad they did, but the good that they did it for. They did not purposely mean to harm, they did it to protect themselves or to serve their country which is very honorable," believes Dr. Bonnie. When a person is showing signs of PTSD, Dr Bonnie recommends that the other spouse take on the daily tasks of kids, financial issues, dinner and so forth to help the sufferer relax and cope.
The Marine Corps reveal findings on a study that they did regarding PTSD with 2,600 Marines and sailors examined before and after combat tours. Following their combat tour, nearly 7 percent showed signs of PTSD. Dr. Bonnie speaks of PTSD from experience with her father who served in WWII. "Since the age of 27 until he passed away at age 83 he suffered weekly nightmares and would wake up sweating and screaming. His nightmares were of him crawling on his hands and knees through the trenches during combat escaping an enemy." Not only did he suffer from PTSD with nightmares, another sign was his changes in food. "My dad was stationed in Italy and since his serving in Italy he was not able to stomach Italian food, including pizza, till he passed away at age 83," explains Dr. Bonnie.
The holidays are an extremely important time for families to assist a survivor in understanding that it is ok to feel good. "Due to the survivor guilt they may be disconnected and distant towards family/friends and find it hard to warm up to people and they may appear a little Scroogy. Help them understand they should reach out and get the proper treatment, suggests Dr. Bonnie. "Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself" Dr. Bonnie tells her patients and sufferers of PTSD/Survivor guilt.