Recent studies show alarming increases in rates of PTSD among police officers, firefighters and EMT/ambulance personnel. One study reported that the suicide rate for firefighters is nearly equal to that of military veterans. Police and fire departments have access to psychologists and other mental health care, so why are so many suffering to the point of suicide? This situation is partly due to serious inadequacies in the conventional drug and “counseling” mental health model, as well as what is known as the “stigma,” which is a false perception among veterans that needing mental health care for trauma means one is “weak.” The stigma fuels resistance to treatment; untreated trauma can lead to a lot of suffering as well as possible suicide, addictions, criminal behavior and correlations to heart disease among other illnesses.
The “Medboard Out” List
When I was working near the Fort Bragg Army Base in North Carolina from 2008 to 2011, dozens of Army, Air Force and various Special Forces operators were referred to me. Some of these men and women were on the “Medboard Out” list, which is generally the final destination for veterans with so-called “incurable” PTSD as well as other physical injuries and conditions such as Traumatic Brain Injury, which in spite of the best physical treatment, are permanently disabling.
In order to be sent to the Medboard Out list, a veteran has to have tried some combination of psychiatric drugs, various counseling and “evidence-based” trauma treatment therapies such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing),” Prolonged Exposure, also known as “flooding,” and various cognitive talking and reframing methods. When nothing works and their symptoms persist, they are referred for a lifetime VA disability rating and monthly check for life via the Medboard Out list.
The veterans who were referred to me, with the exception of two who were sent to rehab, became measurably better and/or symptom-free in two-four 90-minute self-healing coaching sessions. The symptoms they presented with were classic PTSD symptoms: insomnia, anger, sadness, feeling numb, irritable, survivor grief, some had severe anxiety in public places or crowds, many had nightmares and a few had flashbacks.
Read a transcript of an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping session with one Army veteran, Sgt. Joshua, who became basically symptom-free in one session.