Psychotherapist, Author, and Vietnam War Veteran Dr. John L. Hart Says Michael Savage’s Views on PTSD Trivialize a Very Real Problem

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In a piece written in response to conservative radio host Michael Savage's negative views and comments on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dr. John L. Hart--a renowned psychotherapist, author of the novel THERE WILL BE KILLING, and a Vietnam War veteran--seeks to educate others on a very real problem faced by the military and our society.

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John L. Hart, Ph.D. author of There Will Be Killing

If Mr. Savage could experience a session like this, or more to the point experience first-hand the kind of trauma leading to such a session, I daresay he would be singing a different tune.

On his Oct. 14 radio program when discussing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, conservative radio host Michael Savage called PTSD a “celebration of weakness and depression,” continuing to say, “No wonder we’re being laughed at around the world. No wonder ISIS can defeat our military.”  Savage also commented, “I am so sick and tired of everyone with their complaints about PTSD, depression,” adding, “Everyone wants their hand held, and a government check. What are you, the only generation that had PTSD? The only generation that’s depressed? I’m sick of it.”

In a piece written in response, a renowned psychotherapist, author of the novel THERE WILL BE KILLING, and a Vietnam War veteran seeks to educate others on a very real problem faced by the military and our society.  Dr. John L. Hart writes, “I gather that Mr. Savage has a reputation for doing a lot of ranting and expressing opinions that a certain segment of the population is inclined to agree with.  Good for him and them. It’s America. We get to do that. It’s one of our basic freedoms that we should never take for granted, particularly since so many of those freedoms have been bought at a heavy cost to our men and women in uniform.”

Hart goes on to say, “As a forty-year practicing psychotherapist and a veteran of the Vietnam War who has also struggled with PTSD symptoms, I personally and professionally disagree with Mr. Savage’s assessment of this Anxiety Disorder. However, he does get points for further opening the dialog regarding PTSD, and I would like to expand that to the debilitating effects it can have on those who live with its sufferers.”

In his article, Dr. Hart describes the type of treatment session he has experienced time and time again.  “They take you back to the time and setting where they experienced the trauma. You are both immersed in a seething cauldron of fear and shock and terror and pain. You and they may be experiencing vivid images of the events that they are describing: unbelievable atrocities most of us would never encounter outside a murder mystery or psychological thriller that might include torture, deprivation, mutilation, and worse. These horrible things have seared themselves in their memory. And now yours. You and they will now continue to live the images of those experiences again, and again, and again. This is not simply words in a book and lists of symptoms on a piece of paper. If Mr. Savage could experience a session like this, or more to the point experience first-hand the kind of trauma leading to such a session, I daresay he would be singing a different tune.”

Dr. Hart also mentions that a diagnosis for PTSD wasn’t in the textbooks until 1980 and states, “So, when Mr. Savage brings up the generational gaps of response to war trauma, he does have a point that has much to do with advancements in research and education.”

JOHN L. HART, Ph.D has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than forty years, starting in Vietnam where he was a psychology specialist. He received his doctorate from the University of Southern California and maintained a private practice in Los Angeles for twenty years. He is an internationally respected teacher and has been a consultant to the nation of Norway for their Fathering Project. He is the author of the recently published novel, THERE WILL BE KILLING, which he wrote with Olivia Rupprecht. - http://www.ThereWillBeKilling.com

For more information on Dr. Hart and his article please see the attached or visit: http://thestoryplant.com/press-releases/Dr-John-Hart-PTSD-Article.pdf

To interview Dr. Hart or for further inquiries, please contact Aaron Brown at aaron(dot)brown(at)thestoryplant(dot)com

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