LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MOVIE

This past weekend I went to see “American Sniper,” the movie about Chris Kyle, A sniper who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq.  While I won’t join the debate on the merits of sniping, I will say I thought it was a powerful movie that showcased an American hero.  Bottom line is that if it were me going into those houses searching for those who want to destroy Americans, I’d want to know that someone like Chris Kyle had my back and was watching over me.

The main reason I wanted to see the movie was to get a better understanding of what it is that causes such trauma in the veterans I work with.  PTSD is a poison that creeps in and destroys one’s peace of mind.  It affects the entire family, not just the soldier who was exposed to the horrors of war.  American Sniper showcased PTSD quite well, I thought.

The other thing it illustrated was that, although you don’t “get over” PTSD, it can ease up over time and become easier to live with.  Anything that shows hope is worthwhile in my book!  While PTSD tends to keep things fresh in your mind, time can reduce some of that trauma and although you may never forget, your ability to live with it becomes stronger.  In time, those horrific memories aren’t foremost in your mind like they once were.  There is no doubt: war is hell and you may feel there is no way out.  Fortunately, you don’t need to live there for the rest of your life.  Join a group that focuses on helping you cope with your PTSD.  It’s time to move those memories to the back of your mind and reclaim a joyous life.  After all, you deserve it!

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