The *, will show the ones that I have been through:
INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS AND FLASHBACKS:
Replaying combat experiences in their minds, searching for alternative outcomes.
*Flashbacks triggered by everyday experiences: helicopters, the smell of urine, the smell of diesel fuel, the smell of mold, the smell of Asian food cooking, green tree lines, popcorn popping, rainy days and refugees.
ISOLATION: *He has few friends. *Isolates families emotionally (at times for me), some geographically.
*Fantasies about being hermits, moving away from their problems.
*Believes no one can understand, and no one would listen, if he tried to talk about his experiences.
*Isolates himself from his partner, family, and others with a "leave me alone" attitude-he needs no one.
ANGER: *Quiet, masked rage, which is frightening to the veteran and to those around them.
*Sublimating the rage against inanimate objects.
*Unable to handle or identify frustrations.
*Unexplainable, inappropriate anger.
EMOTIONAL NUMBING: Cold, aloof, uncaring, detached.
*Constant fear of "losing control," "I may never stop crying." Big one for me!
Emotional distance from children.
EMOTIONAL CONSTRICTION: *Unresponsive to self, therefore unresponsive to others.
*Unable to express or share feelings, cannot talk about personal emotions.
Unable to achieve intimacy with family, partner, or friends.
ANXIETY OR NERVOUSNESS:
*Uncomfortable when people walk close behind them. Another big one!
*Conditioned suspicion, he trusts no one.
*Sense of helplessness, worthlessness, and dejection. *Lacks self-esteem and suffers from great insecurity.
Feels undeserving of any good feelings. Seems unable to handle it when things are going well, and may appear, to try to be sabotaging things.
GUILT-SUICIDAL FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS:
Self-destructive behaviour: hopeless physical fights, single-car accidents, compulsive blood donors. Self-inflicted injuries to "feel" pain - many "accidents with power tools.
High suicide rate.
Financial suicide. As soon as things are well off, doing something to lose it all, or walk away from it.
*Survivor's Guilt - When others have died around them asks, "How is it that I survived when others more worthy than I did not?" This pertains especially to medical personnel. Definitely, another big one!
Used primarily to numb the "pain," the memory, the guilt.
*Heavy use of either alcohol or drugs. At one time in my life, I calculated the cost of the cigarettes and beer I was drinking and found that the amount of money I had spent, and after I did this, I then made the decision to stop.