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

[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.


C-Span Interview – Michael Anthony talks about ‘Soldiers Earning Awards,’ and saying ‘Thank You For Your Service.’

This is a partial clip from my C-Span BookTV interview. The talk took place at Porter Square books in Cambridge, and it was a talk about my newest book Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir, a book about my return home from the Iraq War.

In this clip I discuss soldiers who chase after awards and also that pesky question “how do I thank a veteran for their service?”


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.


 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.


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

Quote, Uncategorized

Thought For the Day – Chuck Palahniuk (PTSD and scars)

This quote summarizes any veteran with PTSD. It’s easier to remember your friend who died in a mortar attack–the smell of their blood, the feeling of them in your arms, their look on their faces, the sound of their dying breaths–than it is for a person to remember their high school sweetheart, or a good time camping with friends.

This is one of the reasons I think veterans suffer from PTSD. Because it’s easier to remember the bad. There are no scars for  happiness, but there are scars from mortar attacks and firefights–physically and mentally.

ptsd, Self Improvement / Healthy Living, Uncategorized

Alternative Therapies for Veterans with PTSD

There are more than fifty thousand veterans in the United States today. A significant portion of which have experienced, in one way or another, a sort of unforgettable and traumatic event during their tour of duty. When these incidents create frequent and negative emotional personal responses, coupled with physical injury and other physical or psychological illnesses, a person is most likely experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur to anyone who has experienced a life-threatening event like military combat, terrorist attacks, child abuse, serious automobile accidents, sexual assault, rape, hurricanes, earthquakes, or kidnapping. In veterans, PTSD usually stems from events during combat or military duty. Symptoms of PTSD may surface right away while there are cases where symptoms only manifest after years.

Symptoms of PTSD in Veterans

Once soldiers and military personnel have retired or ended their service tours and they try to live a normal civilian life, PTSD symptoms can surface. Why this occurs is not known. But the symptoms and its emergence may vary depending on how the trauma’s impact to the veteran, how much control the veteran felt for the event, how close he/she was to the event and to the persons affected.

PTSD is usually diagnosed when the symptoms last for more than four weeks and the symptoms have remarkably affected the veteran’s life and work.

The four types of PTSD symptoms are: 1) Re-experiencing the event, 2) Avoiding memory triggers, 3) Hyper-arousal, and 4) Feeling guilt and numb.

How Is PTSD Treated?

The primary mode of treatment for PTSD is a combination of medications and counseling. The latter can be any form of any of the following evidence-based psychotherapies: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). These techniques are even endorsed by the United States Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.

The first line of pharmacologic treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder typically involves the use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs like Sertraline (Zoloft), Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Paroxetine (Paxil). The neurotransmitter serotonin is essential in how our body’s moods are regulated. SSRIs functions in a way that serotonins cannot be absorbed by our brain cells and therefore manages the anxiety and negative moods experienced by patients with PTSD. Current scientific evidence base strongly support these drugs. However, there can be exceptions for their prescription if the patient is experiencing other conditions like bipolar disorder.

In some cases, veterans seek other forms of treatment in conjunction to their current treatment regimens. Psychiatrists also recommend veterans to participate in complementary and alternative forms of treatment for PTSD.

Alternative Therapies for PTSD


Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles into the skin layers of meridian points in the body. This process aims to restore balance and energy flow, giving the person a profound sense of calm. Veterans with PTSD who seek this form of treatment often report a decrease in nightmares and when it is coupled with psychotherapy, the results can be remarkable. In Oriental medicine, acupuncture is also used to treat other bodily illnesses, anxiety and stress disorders. Most Veterans Affairs offices in the country offer it as one the different alternative therapies available for veterans.

You can check this link if your local Veterans Affairs office has a resident acupuncturist in their roster: http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/ptsd_flsh.asp


Biofeedback is a form of a physiological control technique. With the use of an electronic instrument attached to the patient, the patient can alter his/her reactions when the instrument indicates abnormal internal responses. In veterans with PTSD, biofeedback can be applied to control symptoms like sudden anger, being jittery, or having flashbacks.

Relaxation Techniques

Hyperarousal is the state of always being jittery and excessively vigilant for signs of danger. This is a common symptom among veterans with PTSD and can lead to sleeping disorders, panic attacks, and anger issues. When veterans’ exhibit these symptoms are observed, therapists often teach and recommend doing relaxation techniques.

A simple relaxation exercise can involve alternate clenching one’s right fist, releasing it, and doing the same step with his/her left fist. Progressive muscle relaxation can be done in as little as five to ten minutes or whenever patients feel like they are feeling particularly jumpy.


Veterans with PTSD often exhibit issues with their body’s fight-or-flight reactions, often making them feel stressed out. By doing yoga, their bodies are retrained to adapt to these traumatic memories by facing them down and incorporating deep breathing techniques and calming posture instead of the usual flighty reactions. Several studies done by the United States Department of Defense also supports the long-held belief that yoga helps improve the health conditions of PTSD-diagnosed veterans.

Most yoga classes can be done in a group setting or you can ask for a one on one session with an instructor. As little as two months of weekly classes can do wonders for your body and state of mind.

Equine Therapy

A recent alternative form of therapy for veterans with PTSD is the use of horses. Veterans undergoing equine therapy are made to care for a horse. Horses are animals that, when taught and trained properly, are receptive to social cues.

A horse’s ability to bond to a human trainer and sense their moods is helpful when dealing with anyone with PTSD. Veterans in equine therapy are found to have decreased stress levels. They are also found to be more compliant with this alternative form of treatment perhaps because horse-riding can be an enjoyable sport.

Equine therapy is also offered in about 30 Veteran Affairs centers in the country.

PTSD Coach App

Another alternative form of PTSD treatment for veterans is the PTSD Coach. This is a smartphone app that veterans can download for free. The app allows veterans to be aware of the onset PTSD symptoms, gives steps to cope with stress and provides links to PTSD help lines.

Integrating technology in this alternative treatment method is a step carving out a safe and nonjudgmental place for veterans who are experiencing PTSD symptoms but are too afraid or confused to seek help.

Mindfulness and Meditation

The practice of mindfulness is useful to veterans with PTSD since this allows them to focus on the now and learn to deal with situations that affect them in the present moment. PTSD patients are often plagued with flashbacks of traumatic events that can be crippling to them. Mindfulness is a tool against these experiences.

Mindfulness-based treatment plans are offered in PTSD clinics and Veterans Affairs centers all over the country. These therapy sessions include group or one-on-one sharing sessions, stretching and meditation exercises.

Massage Therapy

The use of touch and physical manipulation as a form of alternative treatment has been common in many cultures all over the world. This therapy centers on the belief that health is restored by the manual manipulation of bones, muscles and tissues. For veterans with PTSD, this form of treatment can be beneficial since it allows the patients to relax and loosen their minds.

Massage therapy can be used in conjunction with other conventional forms of treating PTSD. Other forms of massage therapy like Rolfing and chiropractice. It should be noted that these treatment modalities should not be used with patients with a history of physical abuse or those with heightened senses.

Family Therapy

Family therapy can often be done in conjunction with any form cognitive behavioral therapy that a person with PTSD commits to. Counseling in this form allows the patient and his/her family to communicate with each other and learn more about how PTSD is treated. The burden of treatment for PTSD should not only fall towards the person experiencing it, but it should also be shared with you and your family for it to be successfully treated.

The important part about family therapy is to improve a family’s relationship dynamics.

Energy Therapy

Energy therapy is a relatively newer form of complementary and alternative therapy for PTSD. One of the most prominent forms of energy therapy is called Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT.

This treatment option is a variation of acupuncture since the patient touches the acupuncture points or energy meridians in one’s body to stimulate them. Energy therapy can be learned through a practiced instructor and, later on, the patient can perform the techniques himself.

Image Rehearsal Therapy

Image rehearsal therapy is used for managing nightmares in patients with PTSD. It is a form of guided imagery where patients are taught to picture a series of scenes or a picture from their traumatic experiences and use this to cope with it over a period of time. When veterans are taught to consciously picture these images in their minds, their nightly terrors will not be as disturbing in effect.

There are other forms of alternative therapies used by different cultures in the world. The ones enumerated here are those most effective for PTSD. If you wish to explore them, you can visit www.holisticonline.com


At this time, there is insufficient proof of the effectiveness of complementary and alternative therapies for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans. However, initial findings of alternative therapies are encouraging. Therefore, they are best used in addition to conventional treatments for PTSD patients or as a stepping stone for patients who decline to get medical treatment for PTSD.

Where to Get Help

Talking to a therapist is not easy nor is taking medications whose side effects you cannot be sure of. But if you are experiencing any of PTSD symptoms, it’s no good keeping your feelings repressing them either. There are a lot of options for now out there. You can seek for help online, just visit www.ptsd.va.gov/public/where-to-get-help.asp

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 .

ptsd, Self Improvement / Healthy Living, Uncategorized

10 Alternative Therapies for Veterans with PTSD

PTSD is a serious condition that affects many of the veterans and soldiers coming back from war zones. Although there may be no physical signs of trauma, the condition manifests itself through mental or psychological symptoms that could negatively affect the quality of life of soldiers and veterans when they finally come home.

PTSD Causes & Symptoms

 Generally speaking, PTSD is experienced by anyone who goes through a trauma, which encompasses anything shocking or scary happening to you. PTSD makes one believe as though their life and the life of others are in danger, even during safe situations. The condition causes intense fear and the feeling of helplessness, which may cause sufferers to react in an extreme way. Veterans make up a large percentage of those who suffer from PTSD although the condition is not exclusive to their class.

Alternative Therapies for PTSD 

 Cognitive Therapy

 Cognitive therapy is a type of talk therapy wherein sufferers are given the chance to talk about their experiences in order to gain better understanding of the trauma and what they’re going through. It focuses on the negative thinking that keeps a person stuck in PTSD with the intent to solve that negative way of looking at things eventually.

 Exposure Therapy

 Exposure therapy is often used together with cognitive therapy. This is a process wherein you’ll be taught how to safely face situations considered to be frightening or dangerous. It involves the use of virtual reality programs that let you enter a situation where trauma took place with the intention of promoting a different set of emotions or results.


 EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desentization and Reprocessing. It focuses on eye movements and guiding such movements so that you can reprocess the memories that cause trauma. This is often used together with exposure therapy and cognitive therapy.

Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

 Under this therapy technique, you get to learn how to process and properly deal with any emotional conflicts cased by PTSD. The psychotherapy identifies the factors that trigger symptoms of PTSD and how you can identify and hopefully deal with them before they get worse.


 Acupuncture can be tricky considering that it involves pushing needles into the body. Once a veteran successfully goes through the procedure however, he’ll find that the process itself is nothing to worry about. Acupuncture stems from traditional Asian culture, which works by targeting specific stress spots in the body and releasing miniscule currents that will help an individual relax.


 It may seem awkward at first to see a veteran doing meditation, but studies show that the technique actually helps a lot in calming PTSD sufferers. The method itself is known for quieting the mind, helping individuals relax, and essentially give them a sense of peace that flourishes from within.

Group Therapy

 Group therapy is also another useful technique used to help veterans with PTSD. As the name suggests, it involves talking to people who are undergoing or have undergone the same process as you. By being in the company of people who understand, those with PTSD can express themselves in the best way possible and essentially swap stories and methods that will lead them to a path of healing.

 Pet Therapy

 Perhaps the best alternative therapy for PTSD-sufferers today is pets or dogs specially trained to meet the needs of veterans. These dogs are specially tuned to detect any tremors or shift in the emotion of their human charges and immediately go to their side to offer comfort. In some instances, the dog may even wake up their charge who t is having a bad dream. So far, this is the most effective and highly rewarding alternative therapy for veterans with PTSD.

Video Games

 A little unorthodox, studies show that video games also work as alternative treatments for PTSD. Specifically, the game Tetris is being used by doctors to study and gain results as to the positive effects of video games in hindering the symptoms of PTSD. Studies show that there’s an incredibly 70% decrease in the symptoms as the game stops the involuntary flashbacks those with PTSD have.

Family Therapy

 Family therapy works much like cognitive therapy, but it requires the involvement of every person in a family. This is important since the bursts of anger and other behavioral issues a person may have during PTSD can affect everyone in the family; hence, the therapy makes it possible for the veteran to express himself and at the same time, teach every family member to understand the situation of their loved one. More importantly, family therapy teaches them on the proper way to react, ensuring that the path to recovery becomes faster and easier.

Of course, those are just few of the alternative therapies currently used by veterans suffering from PTSD. Medications are also recommended by doctors although they are often mixed with alternative therapies to increase the chances of recovery. If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD, do not miss any of the alternative therapies mentioned above.

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 .

ptsd, Uncategorized

5 Reasons It’s Important for Veterans to Share Their Stories

When veterans come home from the war, many of them bring back so many stories to tell. The problem is that society tends to forget them and these stories end up untold and suppressed. The moment they come home from their service, most veterans disappear back into the community. This is unfortunate, not just for the veterans but for society as well, since the experiences and stories from the servicemen and women can benefit everyone in so many ways.

Recently, the expressive arts have become a great way for many veterans to share their stories to the world. There are some veterans who had found their voice by writing while there are those who go onstage to tell their stories in speeches and theatrical performances. All of these are good signs that the veterans’ voice is coming out to be heard by many of the world’s population.

The stories that these veterans have to tell are more than just ordinary stories. What’s more, the act of telling these stories also serves various purposes. To understand the importance of this simple act, perhaps it would be best to take a look at the following reasons:


This refers to the purging of strong emotions. Veterans have a lot of pent-up emotions that come from their experiences in the war. Many veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is due mostly to the fact that they keep traumatic experiences to themselves.

Veterans who suffer from PTSD can no longer function normally in society. Their daily lives are affected because they replay those traumatic experiences over and over in their heads. It is a debilitating disease that makes them withdraw from everyday interactions. Even the smallest thing can trigger memories of the traumatic events they have gone through.

Although there are some medications prescribed to treat PTSD, talk therapy has also been proven to work wonders on the disorder. When veterans are able to share their stories among fellow veterans, they do not feel so alone in their struggles. They are able to purge themselves of the traumatic experiences that they have bottled up for so long and move forward with their lives.


The struggles and sacrifices of servicemen have been written about for many years but ordinary people will never completely feel the way these veterans feel about what they have gone through. With more stories told by veterans, more and more people will at least learn about what these public servants go through as they perform their sworn duty. With enough awareness, civilians for whom these soldiers put their life on line can extend support, understanding, and kindness towards these veterans.

Reintegration into the Community

When they go back home, there is a certain part of the veterans that feel disconnected from their community. The years of being out on the field and away from their families and friends have the effect of isolating them from the lives they used to live. Even as they seem to simply disappear into their communities, these veterans feel out of place and often opt to keep to themselves. By encouraging veterans to tell their stories, they are made to feel that they are still part of their old community.

Passing on Oral History

What veterans have are pieces of history. First hand experiences of how history truly unfolded can be passed on from one generation to another. These are stories that you do not normally find in history books. These are stories that are told with real emotion unlike most of the storytelling found in academic textbooks. Some communities could perhaps have an annual tribute night where the stories will be recounted as a way to keep history alive. This is, of course, not recommended for events that are truly traumatic or devastating.

Preservation of Legacy

Much has been said about remembering the past and honoring the brave men who have served their country. Letting veterans tell their stories is a way to honor them for their service and bravery. By sharing their stories with the community, people will remembering them and the legacy of these veterans who served so gallantly will also live on not just for their sake but for the entire country’s sake.

Encouraging veterans to tell their stories is the least their family and friends can do for these living heroes. However, circumstances can vary from one veteran to another. It would not be constructive to force them to tell their stories if they are not ready to share them just yet. Not all veterans “heal” at the same pace. What is important is that their family and friends remain supportive and ready to give them the “stage” when they are ready to share their stories.

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 .

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

Standard, Uncategorized

How the Organization, Mission Continues, is Helping Veterans with PTSD?

PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can be common for war veterans. Often, war veterans lose a part of themselves in battle. They often come home bruised and wounded inside even if they don’t necessarily have any physical wounds. War can destroy their emotional stability.

This is why an organization named The Mission Continues was founded. This organization aims to help war veterans find a purpose for their lives after getting into battle. Aptly named, the organization aims to aid war veterans in helping their community. The most common problem of war veterans actually involves finding a job. Most war veterans are left doing nothing at home without stable jobs. This organization makes it possible for them to be productive and help their community.

This program was actually founded by someone from battle, a former Navy Seal named Eric Greitens. He was a former Rhodes Scholar and graduated from Duke University and actually spent a lot of humanitarian work in places like Bosnia, Calcutta and Rwanda. A lot of his youth was spent in working on humanitarian support. In the long run, he joined the Navy to help the community more by offering his service.

For Greitens, however, serving is not enough. So, when he returned home and got exposed to the most common symptom of war veterans, he decided to do something about it. He thought that public service would give his fellow war veterans a new sense of purpose. So, in 2007, the Mission Continues started out their service to the community with 3 members. In 2012, the Mission Continues had approximately 500 fellows.

Veterans often come home wounded inside and out, but this programs aims to help them heal faster and still be of service to their countrymen.

Greitens know for a fact that war veterans are important even in today’s society, so he actually puts emphasis on what he thinks most war veterans want to hear from their community: “We still need you”.

Anyone can join the Mission Continues programs in various ways: Fellowship

A fellowship program is open for all post 9/11 veterans of any race, gender or branch of service. It actually involves around 20 hours of service at any non-profit organization. Fellows are even encouraged to join an organization based on things dear and near to their hearts.

To become a fellow, you must have served the US Military after the 9/11 bombing and attained an honorable discharge except when there was a sustained injury that prevented such. Also, fellows should not be on active duty, reserve or in the National Guard. Lastly, they must also have a clean criminal record.

Being a Mission Continues fellow helps war veterans with their PTSD by:

  1. Letting them connect with fellow veterans in their community and across the country. The fellowship orientation is a good example of how war veterans are acquainted with each other.
  2. Developing their skills and professional network. Fellows often plan and attend their projects with not just their fellow veterans but civilians as well.
  3. Translating their military-based skills to other skills that will be beneficial to being a part of the civilian workforce.
  4. Providing them with a cost-of-living stipend

Truly, the Mission Continues empowers war veterans in adjusting to their civilian life after their service. With this program, war veterans can find another purpose in their lives by helping the community they live in and being passionate about their work. This unique program has become successful in its endeavor because it addresses a real problem that is often left unsaid.

Its success is due to the fact that it addresses not just one problem about PTSD, but also deals with the problems of the community at large. It has produced several community leaders who are now improving the resources of the community when it comes to education and various other aspects. It is a success because it aims to make a long-term impact not just on the war veterans involved in the program but also to the community they help.

Hopefully, this movement inspires a future generation of war veterans so that they can productively integrate themselves back into society and make sustainable transformation in their own communities.

To date, they have the support of various private donors, corporate sponsorships and other foundations. From just three fellows back in 2007, The Mission Continues now has thousands of war veterans as fellows who aim to serve an entirely new mission at home. Everyone is invited to join the program by visiting their website www.missioncontinues.org.


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 .

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