Common PTSD Symptoms for Combat Veterans and Trauma Victims

Common PTSD Symptoms for Combat Veterans and Trauma Victims
By Andy Eckley
The three main groups of symptoms often associated with PTSD and severe trauma are:

Hyper-arousal symptoms:

  • Having a difficult time falling or staying asleep most nights.
  • Feeling irritable or often having outbursts of anger for no reason
  • Having difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • Feeling constantly "on guard" or feel afraid that danger is around every corner.
  • Feeling "jumpy" and easily startled from sounds

Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Frequently having thoughts or memories about a traumatic event.
  • Having recurrent nightmares of traumatic events.
  • Acting or feeling as though the traumatic event were happening again, sometimes called a "flashback." when triggered by a sound, sight, memory
  • Having strong feelings of fear when reminded of the traumatic event.
  • Being physically responsive to reminders of your traumatic events, such as experiencing a surge in adrenaline resulting in increased heart rate and sweating.

Avoidance symptoms:

  • Avoiding thoughts, memories of your traumatic events by distracting yourself
  • Avoiding people, places that remind you of your traumatic memories.
  • Having trouble remembering the traumatic events blocking them out or burying them hoping they will go away.
  • Feeling detached from others like you are from a different planet or don't belong
  • Feeling that others don't understand your fears & anxiety.
  • Having difficulty feeling loving towards others.

You could have some but not all of these symptoms and still have PTSD, the main point to understand is that having PTSD does not have to ruin your life. It's not a disease or permanent condition that you are stuck with for life it is just the way your subconscious mind is currently dealing with your traumas to keep you safe. There are many therapies that can help ease your symptoms without having to commit to life-long medication.

What happens with PTSD is that your "amygdala" which is located deep within your brain, sends out flight or fight signals to your autonomic nervous system when activated by your triggers. This results in surges of adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and cortisol flooding your body producing your fears and anxiety. These chemicals affect your system for up to 20 minutes, resulting in an agitated, fearful state.
Your triggers are caused by everything that your subconscious mind connects to your traumatic event. I call it your "trauma capsule," i.e.

  • Sights (Maybe lights, dirt, blood, flying objects, equipment, etc)
  • Sounds (Sirens, explosions, screams, shouts, etc)
  • Smells (All your subconscious noticed at the time of the traumatic event)

This means that every time in the future that you hear, see or feel any of the different aspects in your own trauma capsule then you will experience some or all of your unique symptoms of PTSD.
The solution is to systematically neutralize all of the painful memories and feelings trapped inside your trauma capsule so that next time you are exposed to a trigger your amygdala will remain unaffected and you will stay calm.

This is why trying to ignore your traumatic event or trying to rationalize it often results in life long trauma.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andy Eckley PTSD trauma therapist, creator of PTSD clearing programs using "The Eckley Technique" offers FREE email support exclusively at A FREE online PTSD test is also available.
Andy Eckley's self-help PTSD toolkits start at only $50 USD
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How to Identify Eating Disorders in Men

How to Identify Eating Disorders in Men
By Jenny Hudson
An estimated 10 per cent of people diagnosed with eating disorders are men, although this figure may under-estimate the real number of men affected. This is because eating disorders in men can be particularly difficult to identify and diagnose. The men themselves often find it hard to acknowledge that they have what may be perceived as a 'female disorder'. Equally, sudden weight loss may be masked by physical causes, such as training for a sporting event and therefore at first appearing to be 'healthy' and based around exercise. There is often less of a preoccupation with losing weight, but more of a focus upon having a muscular physique and meeting training goals.

Evidence suggests that men are coming under greater pressure than ever before to conform to an impossible body image - including skinny male models in the fashion industry to athletic sporting icons. Studies have shown increasing numbers of men feel dissatisfied with their own bodies and this dissatisfaction and anxiety can develop in boys as young as just ten years old.

Eating disorders in men share many of the same causal factors as for women. Like for women, anorexia or bulimia in a man is a way of expressing difficult and painful feelings which the individual cannot cope with. These disorders always have a variety of causes and every individual will have their own unique set of causal factors. In men, there is a link between being teased or bullied at school for being overweight and the subsequent development of an eating problem. Childhood trauma, stressful family events, low self-esteem and pressure to succeed can all be factors. Research suggests, like for women, there may be a genetic link which means certain individuals respond differently to food denial and this can help fuel an eating disorder.

One of the key signs of anorexia in women is the cessation of periods. Clearly this does not apply to men, although men with eating disorders are likely to experience lack of sexual desire and erectile dysfunction. Studies show there is a proportionally greater risk for individuals who take part in sport which demands a particularly slim body type, such as jockeys and athletes. Male models, actors and people in the entertainment industry also face a greater risk and this is linked to the greater importance of body image in their field of work. Male eating disorders also manifest in a greater proportion of gay men, compared with the male population as a whole. Twenty per cent of men with anorexia or bulimia are gay, which is twice the proportion of gay men in the overall population.

Eating disorders in men typically develop between the age of 14 and 25 but people can also be affected at other ages. In common with eating disorders more generally, it is very important that the condition is identified as early as possible and appropriate treatment found before the eating disorder becomes increasingly entrenched and resistant to change.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenny Hudson is an experienced health journalist, whose articles are regularly published in national newspapers and magazines. For more information about eating disorders in men plus the signs to look out for, visit Newbridge House.
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Why not?

by Aaron Swavely © 2012

Every soul is born with the God-given need to belong and be loved by someone. (Inspired by Rev. Al Detwiler)

On more than one occasion my wife and I have been asked, “why adopt?” The answer we give is, “why not?” In adopting our two girls from China, God made it abundantly clear that was what we needed to do, so we did it.

Since I am a father, I feel I should

Abused Husbands - 5 Keys to Healing For Battered Men and Abusive Wives

Abused Husbands - 5 Keys to Healing For Battered Men and Abusive Wives
By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Abused men frequently recoil from looking at their circumstances because they assume doing so will result in leaving their abusive partner. And what they'd prefer to happen is for there to be real lasting changes in their relationship that ultimately save their marriage.

While it is true that most people will jump to the conclusion that, if you're with an abuser, leaving is your only option. The fact of the matter is that people can change and relationships are dynamic.
Here are some important things to consider if you truly want to salvage your marriage and keep your family together.

1) Get yourself some professional help to assist you in your own self-discovery. There is so much that you can do to prevent the maintenance of the cycle of domestic abuse. However, beware; you will not want to proceed expecting that it is your job or your responsibility to "fix" an abusive relationship.

2) The ultimate "fix" can only happen through the personal work of the batterer and must involve complete awareness and authentic ownership, accountability and responsibility for their battering behavior.

3) You and your partner must establish a "no violence" agreement that you both adhere to in all interactions with one another. This will require that your partner does not resort to verbal, emotional, physical or sexual violence under any circumstances-whatsoever.

4) The active decision to choose other ways to resolve conflict and the cultivation of these skills are critical to the success of any intervention. Core to this behavioral transformation is the ability to access and recognize one's emotions, express one's feelings and articulate one's needs in a proactive, responsible and respectful manner.

5) Celebrating a relationship climate based on mutual respect, honoring and the utilization of behavioral strategies to resolve conflict harmoniously will serve to solidify a new way of being with one another.

In the same way that one learns to use battering to establish an unequal distribution of power in the relationship, so can one learn relationship-enhancing skills and productive communication-interaction habits. Moreover, as your partner practices these skills with you and benefits from doing so, the need for outer control to experience personal value in the relationship is replaced with inner control. Ultimately, inner control becomes the source for maintaining internal potency and interpersonal satisfaction.

If you are in an abusive relationship and wish to interrupt the cycle of abuse in your home, seek individual professional help in domestic violence intervention for both you and your partner. And remember that change for each of you is always an inside job.

For more information on help for abused men, visit and claim your Free Instant Access to survivor success eInsights. Dr Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps battered men and women recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D.
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Abused Men - 8 Tell-Tale Signs of Battered Men

Abused Men - 8 Tell-Tale Signs of Battered Men
By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

If you think battered women are stuck in their mess, you haven't seen "stuck" until you have met a battered man. To me, it is so very sad. I attribute their being as stuck as they are to the fact that they have little to no social support and resources to assist them in ushering themselves to safety as do battered women.

Even worse, the social system surrounding them encourages then to shut up and stay put, because "no one will believe you anyway!" They are convinced that their victimization will be laughed at, ignored, ridiculed and dismissed. The conclusion these abused men draw from what they are told is: "why bother." And so, they remain stuck.

It's hard enough rising above the glue that binds abusive relationships, and then to get the response these battered men receive is a disgrace. Now, I am not talking about the male batterers who do a flip and pretend to be victims of domestic abuse. I am talking about the real abused men. These are the men who are systematically abused by their female partners.

Identifying a Battered Man
Would you know the difference between a "real" battered man and one faking it? If you are reading this article, you probably have an interest in understanding the concept of battered men. You've probably been told, by your abusive partner, that it's all in your head. So, let's take a moment to sort this out.

Here are some tell-tale signs that you are an abused man in a toxic, dangerous relationship:
1) Your partner uses verbal, emotional, psychological and/or physical abuse to get her way. It's her means of establishing and maintaining control in your relationship.
2) Your partner may punish and/or manipulate through the use of battering that can also involve threats of separating you from your children.
3) Your spouse is extremely jealous of your contact with other women, even when there is no basis for an extramarital affair.
4) Your partner seeks to control your time, attention, and your social life.
5) Your partner demands that things go her way or no way, leaving you with no other options other than to acquiesce.
6) Your partner insists that you assume blame for all discord in the relationship including her abusive behavior toward you.
7) Your partner may seek to isolate you from all sources of support outside of your intimate relationship with her.
8) Your partner demands your compassionate understanding of her, yet fails to offer empathy toward you.

If you identify with these tell-tale signs of battered men, seek to align yourself with people who understand how it is to be a man living in an abusive relationship. Through these ties, you can rally the emotional wherewithal to stand up against those who laugh at, ignore, ridicule and seek to dismiss your victimization. With the momentum of this support, you can break the paralysis of being one of many battered men.

For more information helping abused men, visit abused_men. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people worldwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. © Jeanne King, Ph.D. - Domestic Abuse Prevention and Intervention
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Man of the House

By Teresa Tierney © 2012

What does it mean to be Man of the House?

Is it handling the traditional husbandly duties of mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow and repairing a structure? For years, my husband, Dan, did all of these. But if it is the doing of these tasks that makes you Man of the House, wouldn’t that make the hired hand, the Man of the House?

Is it the earning of the money then, that makes you the Man of the House? For a lot of men, this is the ultimate definition. Right now God is taking my husband down a new path. He is on Workers Comp and receives a weekly check for being in school. Even though his family is provided for, I know he struggles with not having a job. Does not having a job make him any less the Man of the House?

Traditional roles may be absent, whether from unemployment, retirement or disability, but the role of Man of the House is much more than the above simplistic, caveman abilities. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and has an army more powerful than any man. God knows the heart of a man (2 Chronicles 6:30), and it is the heart God wants. Not his back, not his checkbook. It is a heart focused on God that guides a man to make godly choices.

Financial Choices:
A man who listens to God taps into supernatural wisdom. Because of this, our household financial decisions are balanced rather than being heavily influenced by emotion (mine). My current desire for a new home is based on emotion – fear that possible back surgeries will make stairs a problem in the future. Dan’s wisdom balances my fear by pointing out the issue has yet to arise. He is much quicker to rely on God’s provision and remind me that God will provide when the time is right.

Parental Choices:
Even as adults, children need a father to set boundaries. I want to give my kids whatever I have. My focus is emotional – I want them to be happy. It takes wisdom to set healthy boundaries. Because of Dan, we will have money to retire on. That doesn’t make him less generous. It makes him wise. God did not provide for us so that we can provide for our adult children. Once they are grown, God is their provider. If we get in the way and try to do His job, we just mess it up – for ourselves and for our kids. Our kids learn to rely on us instead of God. My husband gets it. He points me to God. His fatherly and husbandly wiring is much closer to the heart of our Father God. Not that there aren’t times when God has provided for the parent so he can bless the adult child – but God’s leading needs to be clear in that circumstance.

Responsibility Choices:
The Man of the House does not dodge responsibility, nor claim privilege because of anatomy. There are duties and tasks that are necessary in every household. Whether it is washing dishes, doing laundry or taking out the trash, my husband has never claimed a task was “woman’s work” nor done it so poorly he was released from responsibility.

In the structure of a house, you have load-bearing walls and decorative walls. The Man of the House needs to carry his share of the load, not give the mere appearance of support. Without load-bearing walls, a house will collapse into a useless pile of lumber, glass and doorknobs. So it is with a home. If the Man of the House is not one of the load-bearing walls, the family will suffer.

Choice of Presence:
The Man of the House is present. He is a man who stands his ground. Into every life trials will come: a job loss, a parent with dementia, a child with special needs. What do we say about a man who runs away from these difficult situations? We say he has abandoned his responsibilities. When our son was recently hospitalized for 13 long days, Daniel did not run. He did not say, you can’t ask me to do that. No. He went to the hospital every single day and sat for hours at our son’s bedside. Was it convenient? No. Did he have other things he needed to do? Yes. But we needed him, and he was there. He was exhausted, but he did what God designed him to do as Man of the House. He was present.

All of these choices show the heart of a man. The stuff he is made of. None of them involve heavy lifting or earning a paycheck. They are choices that earn the respect of family and friends. Even our worldly, mass media culture respects a man of these choices. It is by a man’s choices that he truly becomes the Man of the House God designed him to be.

Dan knows in his head there is more to being Man of the House than the traditional providing and maintaining. He still struggles with being unemployed, but in his heart, he knows his godly choices have the higher value. By God’s grace he is walking through this jobless interim while he studies to learn a new vocation.

While we wait on the Lord to provide a job when the time is right, I thank God for my Man of the House. Like David (Acts 13:22), he is a man who makes choices that echo God’s own heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Teresa Tierney is a freelance writer, wife, mother of two, grandmother of three.  She blogs at You may contact her at


By Kristi Bothur © 2012

"Live with your wives in an understanding way..." 1 Peter 3:7 (NASB)

Boys and girls are different.

Such a basic fact of life, but so easy to forget, especially when we are in a crisis situation and expect those around us not only to understand how we feel, but also to feel the same way. And yet, there is nothing like a crisis to highlight those differences in how we react to stress and life's challenges.

When my husband and I went through a season of loss and illness several years ago, the best advice I got was from a bereavement counselor who told me, "Men and women grieve differently, and that's okay. You need to let each other deal with this in your own way." "This" was the loss of our baby girl in my second trimester of pregnancy, and my way of dealing with it was to cry, to read, to write, and to talk - a lot. Words help me to analyze and make sense of things that don't make sense.

My husband's way was different. He would