Why The Pick-Up Artist Community Could Be Good For Veterans With PTSD

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[Note: With the publication of my newest book, Civilianized, which includes stories of veterans with PTSD, and Pick-up Artists, I thought the following post might be appropriate.]

Pick-Up Artists AND Veterans?

What’s the deal?

The chaotic and disturbing ordeal that US military veterans went through during the recent wars has left a sizeable portion of them in a harrowing state of trauma and shock. Although some of them manage to live a better life after their experiences, about fifteen percent of veterans are still trapped in another war zone — a continuous struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, leaving them stuck in the ugly past and pessimistic of the promising future.

There are many organizations and volunteers who are determined to help US veterans move on from the horrors of War — from counsellors, to writers, and even performance artists. Among these groups, several people believe that the Pick-Up Artist Community, also known as Seduction Community, might be the breakthrough approach that can truly relieve US veterans. How can the modern and liberated nature of this relatively new concept, along with the numerous criticisms and objections thrown at it, aid in the veterans’ battle against PTSD?

PTSD and US Military Veterans

By definition, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental condition that a person may develop after he is exposed to one or more traumatic events. However, not everyone who is exposed to a traumatizing situation will develop PTSD as doctors and psychologists have a set of symptoms or “guidelines” that a person must display first before he can be considered as a PTSD case. Generally, PTSD is divided into four classifications — unwanted memories, escapism, hyperarousal symptoms, and pessimism and apathy.

It was after the Vietnam War when the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” was coined. US Military veterans showed different signs of negative behavior, all of which were triggered by the daunting situations they had to face during the war. Up until now, many years after the war, US veterans are still haunted by their horrendous past and they are still greatly affected with PTSD.

Although this mental condition is somewhat difficult to identify and quantify, one thing that’s certain about PTSD is that it changes a person’s overall personality and behavior — the exact situation that US veterans are dealing with right now. Most of them still get distressed and anxious even with the slightest recall of the tragic war; thus they opt to completely avoid anything that would remind them of it. They are consumed by their fear of talking about the past so they tend to be antisocial, aloof, and nonchalant. Aside from expressing their suppressed emotions, a simple and plain conversation and communication becomes a huge challenge for veterans.

The Pick-Up Artist Community and The Game of Seduction Science

The Pick-Up Artist (PUA) Community is a modern male movement dedicated to learning the complex art and science of seducing women, known in the group as The Game (the term also comes from the popular PUA book: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists). Depending on a PUA’s personal intentions, a sarge (PUA slang for a successful connection between a man and a woman) may either be a simple conversation, an exchange of phone numbers, or a one-night stand. Putting it in a lighter perspective then, it can be said that the main goal of the PUA Community is to develop and encourage a man’s confidence in approaching and communicating with women.

Followers of this concept believe that the innate global gender culture where men chase women is something that is hard to change. The increasing equality and empowerment of the modern woman, however, makes it more difficult for men to fulfill their gender roles. In order to keep up with the times, the Community develops techniques and strategies, collectively called as “studied charisma,” that men can use when attempting to strike a conversation with a woman. Members of the Community learn and practice these techniques by attending forums, sessions, and small group talks.

Although traces of this liberated concept date back to the 70s, it was only in the mid-2000s when the PUA Community reached mainstream awareness. Despite numerous critics claiming that The Game is offensive, misogynistic, and sexist, the Community was still able to establish a solid, although discreet, follower base. Today the Community exists in various channels such as the Internet, blogs, secret groups, and hundreds of underground local clubs (called in PUA slang as lairs).

How Seduction Science Can Save PTSD-Diagnosed Veterans

Establishing a decent conversation and maintaining an open line of communication are two of the greatest challenges of veterans with PTSD, and this is considerably the biggest barrier between veterans and the support groups and volunteers. This is where the concepts and applications of The Game can definitely come into play. By teaching veterans different fool-proof ways of initiating a conversation with another person (not necessarily a woman, and not necessarily for hook-up purposes) without feeling scared, worried, or threatened, the PUA Community can help the veterans regain their self-confidence and make them comfortable with talking to others again. Once this is achieved, it will be a lot easier for support groups and volunteers to introduce other psychotherapy procedures, ensuring continuous improvement on the condition of the veterans and, hopefully, completely eliminating PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among US veterans is a serious matter, and everyone must cooperate in finding effective and efficient ways to solve this concern. By applying a few tweaks but still sticking to its core idea, the Pick-Up Artist Community could be the key towards winning this tedious battle against PTSD.

The Sales Pitch

If you’re interesting in a book about an Iraq veteran who tries to cure his PTSD by becoming a PUA then pick up a copy of my newest book: Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir. Available at your local bookseller and all your online book retailers.

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About The Author
Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony is a Massachusetts based writer and veteran of the U.S. Army. After his service in the Iraq War, he earned a BA in English Literature from Bridgewater State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. He currently spends his free time with his wife and daughter, and volunteering for veteran charities.

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