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Why U.S. Veterans Are Returning From The Wars And Flocking To The Pick Up Artist Community

The term Pick Up Artist or PUA community may sound ordinary and uninteresting to many people; thus, you may wonder why U.S. war veterans are flocking to these groups or sites. What makes this group different from others, and what does it have to offer for U.S. veterans in particular?

What is the PUA community?

The Pick Up Artist community is a seduction society that was established by men, whose main objective was to learn how to successfully seduce or attract women, and create sexual encounters or relationships with them.

Why would veterans returning from war go to the PUA Community?

As expected, soldiers who have been deployed to war zones may spend some eight to 18 months in the field. This separation from their normal day-to-day routine in a peaceful home and community has surely affected their ability to relate with others, especially with the opposite sex. Therefore, the major reason why U.S. veterans go to PUA communities is to be aided in their emotional and psychological expression.

Coping with relationship with their spouses. Lack of physical, emotional, and social communication with their wives or partners could make these former soldiers feel inadequate. They need coaching as to how to win their partners back. The PUA community’s role is to teach them the techniques to be in control of their emotions and restore their self-confidence in relating to their spouses or sexual partners.

Search for sexual relief and lasting relationships. A number of those men who go to war are in their late teens or have just finished high school and may not have experienced a serious relationship with women prior to their deployment. Like the married guys, they also lack the self-confidence to attract or start a relationship with women. Some may even have no knowledge in relating with the opposite sex at all. Going to the PUA community can boost their male prowess and teach them how to make the first move and win girls.

Be in touch with reality and be back to some kind of “normal” status. A community that shares and understands their struggles and needs will surely benefit war veterans. Once they know that they are not alone, they begin to learn to trust again and let go of inhibitions that were developed during their overseas assignment.

What are the techniques taught by the PUA community?

The techniques that Pick Up Artists suggest are based on psychologically proven steps in winning the opposite sex, namely: attraction; comfort and trust; and seduction and sex.

  • Building attraction. Men are mentored as to how to appear and behave appealingly, to be sure of themselves, to start interesting conversations, and other related tips.
  • Increasing comfort and trust. The next step is to establish rapport. Making the other person feel comfortable in your presence would eventually lead them to trust you. This way, one can have successive encounters that may lead to a more intimate relationship.
  • Improving seduction and sex techniques and strategies. The veterans are taught or reminded about tips for successful sexual encounters, such as: how to be a good kisser; how to use touch effectively; how to motivate each other for sex; as well as topics for conversation and other related matters.

Conclusion

 Reports show that the PUA communities have been met with opposition by feminists because they are reputed to be misogynists. Men are conditioned to believe that women are more challenged when they are treated or spoken to negatively, and that women are willing to be manipulated by men at a certain stimulus. However negative PUAs may be considered, they have filled a gap in the veterans’ lives that no other community can provide or has provided so far.

It is the concept of a community wherein they are understood and can freely express their inadequacy, learn from the PUA’s and from their peers, realize that they can be successful in seduction and sex, and to some extent, be brought back to reality and normal life with some help from pick up artists, that makes this group effective and attractive to many U.S. veterans.

P.S.

Now, having said that, there are definitely a lot of weirdo’s in the PUA “scene,” and if a veteran gets in with the wrong crowd, things can definitely head down a dark and narrow path. Message me if you’re interested in some of the organizations that I would and would not recommend!

The Sales Pitch

In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return home from war and how he turned to the Pick-Up Artist Community to help defeat his PTSD.

dark humored military memoir“An intense memoir.” -Kirkus

“I wont soon forget this book.” -Mary Roach

“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell

Politics / News, ptsd, Uncategorized

How can I help someone with PTSD?

PTSD Awareness Month

PTSD does not just affect the person who has it. Rather, the condition can also have a negative impact on his or her family and friends. It’s not easy to live with the symptoms of PTSD, and seeing your loved ones suddenly change their behavior can be utterly terrifying. You fear that they won’t ever come back to normal, even when they’re under therapy.

Even though things may get difficult, it is important that you give your full support to the person suffering from PTSD. It doesn’t sound much, but it can actually promote a positive change to your loved one. Here are tips on how you and your family can cope with PTSD:

  1. Be patient. Even if a person is totally committed to his treatments, it will really take a lot of time before he can recover from PTSD. This means that you really need to be patient throughout the process.
  2. Learn more about PTSD. If you understand how PTSD works, its effects, and the available treatments, you will be more capable of helping your loved one and keep everything in the right perspective.
  3. Don’t force the person to discuss his thoughts and feelings. Talking about traumatic experiences can be really difficult, even if you are discussing it with someone close to you. Instead of forcing your loved one to talk to you, give him some space and allow him to open up when he is ready. Just tell him that you are always willing to talk.
  4. Learn to listen. If they are ready to talk about their traumatic experiences, listen to them without forming any judgments and expectations. Make him feel that you are interested in what he is saying and that you care about him. You don’t necessarily have to give some advice all the time; it’s enough that you just listen to him. Let the professionals give the advice for you.

In some cases, a person suffering from PTSD may feel the need to rehash the traumatic event over and over again. This can be infuriating at times, but avoid scolding him and telling him to move on with his life. Let him talk and lend a listening ear.

Keep in mind that it’s alright if you don’t like what you hear. It’s understandable that traumatic experiences are stories that are really difficult to digest. However, make sure that you still respect their feelings.

Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return from war and how he defeated his PTSD. Civilianized is a must read for any veteran, or anyone who knows a veteran, who has returned from war and suffered through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

dark humored military memoir“An intense memoir.” -Kirkus

“I wont soon forget this book.” -Mary Roach

“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell

“[S]mart and mordantly funny.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Anthony delivers a dose of reality that can awaken the mind…” Bookreporter

Order your copy of Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir .

Picture: Flickr/Alexis Lane

Politics / News, ptsd, Uncategorized

Alternative PTSD Treatments

alternative therapies for PTSDContemporary Alternative PTSD Treatments…

Aside from the conventional medications and therapy sessions, war veterans suffering from PTSD can also opt to try alternative treatment to calm their mind.

Usually, contemporary treatments are used alongside with the conventional medications. A popular example of this one is the use of aromatherapy to reduce the discomfort that a patient feels after surgery. In some instances, these alternative treatments are used instead of contemporary ones; as in the case of following a special, healthy diet instead of undergoing chemotherapy.

The list below shows several effective treatments that will help reduce your anxiety and depression. Please keep in mind that you must still consult your personal physician before trying out these contemporary methods:

  1. Relaxation Techniques

These methods offer a short-term relief for anxiousness or depression. It is also used for patients with inflammatory or heart diseases. Relaxation techniques are effective for adults suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Unlike the cognitive behavioral therapy, this one can be done at home and without the need for a therapist.

  1. Acupuncture

This is another therapy that is gaining popularity in the field of PTSD. In fact, the group Acupuncturists Without Borders offers free acupuncture treatment to war veterans. You can find these specialists in more than 25 health facilities across the United States.

Acupuncture is a great alternative for the pharmacological drugs that are commonly administered in hospitals. Aside from being affordable, this treatment does not alter one’s brain negatively and it allows soldiers to carry out their duties while undergoing conventional PTSD treatment.

  1. Yoga

This is another alternative treatment that is widely embraced by active military while undergoing PTSD treatments. The physical movements of yoga are effective at relieving pain, bringing lasting comfort, and providing adequate physical stimulation at the same time.

People who are haunted by nightmares and anxieties find it difficult to sleep at night. Even though they are not on guard duty anymore, most war veterans have an extremely vigilant nervous system.

With the right yoga and meditation techniques, PTSD patients can learn how to relax their nervous system, allowing them to have restful sleep. Yoga also gives the feeling of safety and calmness.

  1. Kava

Kava is a plant that thrives in the South Pacific region. It is commonly used for improving one’s mood and relieving anxiety in a safe manner. It can usually be bought in tablet forms. Ask your personal physician first before taking up kava tablets.

Efficacy of Alternative Medications

There is still a lot to learn when it comes to alternative medications for PTSD. Acupuncture, for instance, is proven to be effective. However, it needs to be further evaluated in order to determine its non-specific benefits.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offer evidence-based treatments. Although they do not have specific guidelines for providing alternative PTSD treatments, they are implementing ways to track their effectiveness on patients.

Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return from war and how he defeated his PTSD. Civilianized is a must read for any veteran, or anyone who knows a veteran, who has returned from war and suffered through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

dark humored military memoir“An intense memoir.” -Kirkus

“I wont soon forget this book.” -Mary Roach

“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell

“[S]mart and mordantly funny.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Anthony delivers a dose of reality that can awaken the mind…” Bookreporter

Order your copy of Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir .

Picture: Flickr/ Trauma and Dissociation

Politics / News, ptsd, Uncategorized

Seeking Help at the VA for PTSD

PTSD Rally

War veterans are the ones who usually develop PTSD. This can occur while they are still working with the military or after. Thankfully, the Department of Veterans Affairs has several programs that can help retired soldiers cope up with PTSD. From diagnosing the common symptoms to intensive treatment, the VA has you covered. Moreover, they also employ numerous mental health professionals who relentlessly research on new and effective ways to help PTSD patients and their families.

In this post, you will learn more about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ PTSD treatment programs and how you can apply for help.

Eligibility for VA PTSD Services

Every war veteran has a chance to be eligible for the VA’s PTSD services. Here are the factors that can affect your eligibility:

  • You managed to perform active military services when you were in the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or Army.
  • You were discharged by the military under honorable conditions.
  • You are part of the National Guard or Reservist corps and you completed a federal deployment in a combat area.

However, you should also take note of the following:

  • Health care services are also available for veterans who did not serve in combat.
  • You can still use the veteran’s health care services, even on non-medical injuries or health concerns that are connected to military service.
  • The benefits that you get from another health care system are different from the benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • The health care facilities at VA hospitals are available for both men and women. 

Available PTSD Treatments

Thanks to the advancements in medicine and technology, veterans suffering from PTSD can choose from a variety of treatments. Below is a list of mental health treatments offered by the VA:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This one is a type of counseling method and is considered as one of the most effective methods for treating PTSD. The VA offers two types of therapies under CBT. One is the Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and the other one is Prolonged Exposure treatment.

CPT will teach you effective ways for handling any distressing thoughts that come in your head. Therapists can walk you through your previous experience (in a safe manner) and help you understand the situation better. If you know how the traumatic experience changed your outlook and behavior, it will be easier for you to cope with it.

CPT has four main processes:

  • Diagnose any PTSD symptoms and learn how the therapy can help
  • Gaining more awareness about your inner feelings
  • Cognitive restructuring – the processes of challenging your thoughts and feelings
  • Understanding the sudden changes in your beliefs after facing a traumatic experience

Aside from frequent meetings with a mental health professional, you will also be given practice exercises that will develop your emotional and cognitive well-being, even when you’re outside the therapist’s office.

The second option for the CBT is the Exposure Therapy. As the name implies, this treatment requires the patients to be repeatedly exposed to any feelings or situations that they have been avoiding. This will teach war veterans that not everything that reminds them of a traumatic event should be avoided.

After identifying all of the situations that you commonly avoid, your therapist will require you to confront all of them until your stress levels or fears decrease.

Similar with the CPT, the Exposure Therapy also has four parts:

  • Educating yourself about the symptoms of PTSD and how Exposure Therapy can help you out
  • Training how to breathe. This may sound like a silly task, but it is actually an effective relaxation technique that will help you overcome stress.
  • Facing the normal and safe situations that you commonly avoid. The more you become exposed to these situations, the easier it will be to get over your PTSD.
  • Discussing the traumatic experience and learning how to control your thoughts and feelings.

Exposure Therapy requires around 15 sessions with your therapist and practice assignments that you need to do on your own. As time goes by, you will be able to control your reactions when faced with stressful situations.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

In this type of therapy, you will be required to focus your attention on hand gestures while you are discussing the traumatic events that triggered PTSD symptoms.

When our eyes are following fast movements, it becomes easier for our brains to process traumatic events. If you have other things to focus on while discussing these memories, your behavior will change as time goes by. It will also help that you relax and efficiently handle any emotional distress in the future.

EMDR is composed of four parts:

  • Identifying the traumatic memory or belief that triggered any negative reactions
  • Learning how to desensitize yourself when recalling traumatic memories. In this stage, you will create mental images while performing eye movements that your therapist will teach you
  • Reinforcing positive thoughts
  • Undergoing a body scan. The therapist will focus on tension in your body in order to determine the additional issues that you need to face in the future.

After the EMDR sessions, you will have a more positive outlook when recalling traumatic events in your life. It usually takes around four sessions with a therapist to see the improvements.

PTSD Services offered by the VA

  • Thorough mental health testing
  • Providing medications
  • One-on-one psychotherapy sessions
  • Therapy sessions for the family
  • Conducting of group therapy sessions. The topics covered in these sessions include stress management, searching for combat support, and strengthening relationships with the family. There are also support groups for war veterans with a specific type of trauma.

The treatments offered by the VA are thoroughly researched to make sure that they are effective on war veterans. However, please be reminded that the programs offered may vary per VA hospital. In some cases, the treatments may also need a referral. Your personal physician can guide you in selecting the program that suits you best.

Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return from war and how he defeated his PTSD. Civilianized is a must read for any veteran, or anyone who knows a veteran, who has returned from war and suffered through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

dark humored military memoir“An intense memoir.” -Kirkus

“I wont soon forget this book.” -Mary Roach

“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell

“[S]mart and mordantly funny.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Anthony delivers a dose of reality that can awaken the mind…” Bookreporter

Order your copy of Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir .

Picture: Flickr/Army Medicine

Best Of, Politics / News, ptsd, Uncategorized

11 Common PTSD Myths Debunked

female veterans with PTSD

One challenge that victims of PTSD have to face is the judgment of other people due to misinformation. Because of the myths surrounding this medical condition, the relationships of the patient with his or her loved ones are often strained.

The prejudice and maltreatment of PTSD patients have been around ever since human beings started to wage wars against each other. Even though extensive research has already been conducted regarding the psychological effects of war on soldiers, there is still a lot to learn about PTSD. That is the reason why these myths are still proliferating.

So to help you better understand combat-related PTSD, here are several myths that were already debunked a long time ago:

Having PTSD means you are mentally weak

This myth is one of the oldest and most difficult to combat. Having this type of condition is not a sign of mental weakness, or even weakness of character. Aside from the internal strength of an individual, there are a lot of factors that can affect the development of PTSD. Examples of this are the type of trauma, circumstance, duration, and the number of traumatic events that happened throughout a person’s lifetime.

PTSD also occurs when the individual does not have a solid interpersonal support system. Sadly, a lot of war veterans do not get the support that they need because of social stigma and misunderstanding.

Any experience can be a traumatic one

It is true that a lot of events that happen to us can become stressful. However, there are still several criteria that need to be met before calling a certain event as “traumatic.”

The criteria are as follows:

  1. Being exposed to sexual violence or near death events that may lead to serious injuries.
  2. The person must directly or indirectly be involved in the traumatic experience, or he has witnessed it in person.

When you say indirectly exposed, this pertains to hearing and seeing the details of the traumatizing experience. An example of this one is the drone pilots. They may not be in the middle of the warzone, but they are still exposed to the horrors of the battlefield because of the things that they see and hear on the screen. In addition, they also enter and exit the war zone regularly.

A person can easily develop PTSD after being exposed to a traumatic incident

When faced with a traumatic experience, you can expect that you will be mentally, emotionally, and physically stressed. However, it does not mean that you will already develop PTSD immediately. In order to be diagnosed with this condition, the feelings of extreme fatigue, stress, or anxiety should last for more than a month. In addition, people who suffer from PTSD also find it difficult to focus on their work and personal life.

People who suffer from PTSD are automatically crazy and extremely dangerous

Class war movies and sensationalized news reports have taught us that war veterans suffering from PTSD are crazy and should be avoided at all costs. Keep in mind that this stereotype is entirely wrong. This type of condition should never be associated with psychosis and extreme violence. PTSD is mostly about abrupt mood changes and reliving distressing memories. Never use the word crazy when talking about patients suffering from this condition because it damages their reputation and stigmatizes them further.

People with this condition are completely useless in work environments

A lot of soldiers do not want to seek treatment for PTSD because they fear that they will lose their ranks in the military. This is also the same with other workers who have developed the same condition.

Sadly, what people do not know is that they can still keep their regular jobs while getting PTSD treatments at the same time. One should not be too scared when diagnosed with this condition because it is very manageable.

PTSD is easy to get over with as time goes by

Thanks to modern PTSD treatments, it is now easier for war veterans to return to their normal lives. However, this condition does not instantly go away once you take some anti-depressants. Sometimes, conquering PTSD is a life-long journey. While most people learn to cope on their own, a lot of patients still seek professional guidance every once in a while.

War veterans who developed PTSD are not considered as part of the “wounded soldiers”

That is because you cannot see any huge scars or other types of physical injuries. However, one should remember that veterans with PTSD have made a lot of sacrifices to protect the country. Psychological injuries are quite the same with the physical ones. Both are collateral war damages that are inevitable.

You cannot do anything for war veterans (or other people) suffering from PTSD

This condition is actually very responsive to treatment. And with the advancement of medical technology, there is currently a multitude of ways to treat PTSD. If your current treatment does not work for you, you can still choose other options like cognitive behavioral therapy or prolonged exposure treatment. Seeking help from a professional is the first step in choosing an option that works best for you.

PTSD only targets a specific age group

Keep in mind that children can also experience PTSD. But as discussed in Chapter 1, their symptoms may vary depending on their age.

You only need one treatment for PTSD

Not necessarily. The type and complexity of the treatment will still depend on the person suffering from this condition. If he is showing severe symptoms, it means that he may have to undergo different types of therapies. Doctors may also ask him to take several antidepressants.

Therapies never work

Therapies are effective at treating patients because it helps them understand what PTSD is all about. It also helps health professionals to assess the patient and develop ways to help them cope with their situation. With methods such as exposure therapy and cognitive behavior therapy, people with PTSD will learn how to face their fears and deal with bad memories in a healthier and safe manner.

Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return from war and how he defeated his PTSD. Civilianized is a must read for any veteran, or anyone who knows a veteran, who has returned from war and suffered through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

dark humored military memoir“An intense memoir.” -Kirkus

“I wont soon forget this book.” -Mary Roach

“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell

“[S]mart and mordantly funny.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Anthony delivers a dose of reality that can awaken the mind…” Bookreporter

Order your copy of Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir .

Picture: Flickr/MilitaryHealth

Best Of, Blogishness, ptsd, Uncategorized

What exactly is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Uncle Sam PTSD for Veterans

What is PTSD?

Posttraumatic stress disorder, or more commonly known as PTSD, is a type of debilitating medical condition that usually occurs to individuals who have undergone a very traumatic incident.

A traumatic event is something terrible that you’ve seen, heard, or experienced first-hand. This includes:

  • Exposure to war
  • Terrorist incident
  • Sexual assault
  • Physical abuse
  • Life-threatening accident
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes.

Most people experience symptoms such as extreme anxiety, difficulties in sleeping, or having nightmares after a traumatic incident. However, not everyone will have PTSD. You can only tell if you have the condition if the common symptoms get worse as time goes by.

How PTSD Develops

Everyone who has experienced a terrifying incident will have the common symptoms of anxiety during the early stages. However, only a handful will experience PTSD as time goes by. There is still no accurate answer as to why only some people develop PTSD in their lifetime.

There are several factors that might increase your chances of having this mental condition:

  • The intensity of the trauma
  • If you, or your loved ones, acquire major injuries after an accident or disaster
  • Your proximity to the event
  • The level of your reaction during the traumatic event
  • Your level of control during the event
  • The type and frequency of the support that you get after experiencing the traumatic event

 Common Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of this debilitating mental condition commonly starts after the person experiences any terrifying incident. However, it will take months or years before these symptoms intensify. In addition, they may also disappear and reappear over several years.

Below is a list of the most common symptoms of PTSD. If these symptoms persist for more than a month, or if they are disrupting your work and home life routine, there’s a big chance that you have PTSD.

  1. You keep re-experiencing/reliving the traumatic event

This usually occurs in the form of nightmares or horrifying memories. In some cases, you may also experience flashbacks. These are moments wherein you feel like you are going through the traumatic event again. Compared to a nightmare, flashbacks are usually more vivid.

  1. You veer away from events that remind you of the traumatic experience

As much as possible, you try to avoid any situations (or even other people) that might trigger any bad memories. In addition, you may even attempt to stop thinking about the traumatic event.

  1. Sudden negative changes on feelings and behavior

Because of the disturbing event that happened to you before, you may suddenly find yourself feeling a lot of guilt, fear, and shame. Another common symptom of PTSD is that your enthusiasms for activities that you loved doing in the past suddenly faded.

  1. You feel too jittery

This excessive feeling of alertness is more commonly known as hyper arousal. Even if the environment is guaranteed 100% safe, your body remains tense and alert. In addition, you are always on the lookout for danger. Another symptom of hyper arousal is difficulty in sleeping or concentrating.

Can children also experience PTSD?

Sadly, even the little ones can also have PTSD when faced with horrifying experiences. The symptoms may be similar with the ones mentioned above, but there might still be slight changes depending on their age. Once the kids grow older, they will experience PTSD symptoms that are similar to that of the adults.

These are just some of the common signs that your children are experiencing PTSD:

  1. Kids age 6 years and below tend to feel upset when their parents are not around. They also tend to have some trouble sleeping or going to the comfort room by themselves.
  2. Kids age 7 to 11 relive their traumatic experiences stories and drawings. They also experience nightmares. As they grow up, they tend to become more aggressive. Kids who experience PTSD show disinterest in going to school and even playing with their friends.
  3. Kids age 12 and up experience PTSD symptoms that are similar to adults. This includes withdrawal, substance abuse, running away from home, and anxiety.

Other problems experienced by people with PTSD

It is not just the anxiety attacks, nightmares, and flashbacks that PTSD victims have to endure. Other problems that they might experience include:

  • Extreme feelings of despair and shame
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse and alcoholism
  • Chronic pain
  • Problems with balancing work and home life
  • Problems in maintaining good relationships with people

Usually, these other problems can be fixed when the patient undergoes the standard PTSD treatment because they are somewhat related. Once you master the coping skills from PTSD therapy sessions, it will be easier for you to handle these problems.

Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return from war and how he defeated his PTSD. Civilianized is a must read for any veteran, or anyone who knows a veteran, who has returned from war and suffered through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

dark humored military memoir“An intense memoir.” -Kirkus

“I wont soon forget this book.” -Mary Roach

“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell

“[S]mart and mordantly funny.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Anthony delivers a dose of reality that can awaken the mind…” Bookreporter

Order your copy of Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir .