I found this essay on PTSD called The Bonds Of Battle, written by Sebastian Junger, in The BEST American Essays, edited and with an introduction by Jonathan Franzen, Robert Atwan Series Editor, 2016. It’s an intriguing and helpful look at how and why PTSD persists, in Junger’s estimation, due to isolation. I have seen clients come into my practice suffering from PTSD for different reasons.The common theme among these clients was their desire to be left alone. Yet, they suffered tremendously for the lack of connection and contact – even if they strongly believed that contact would be the worst thing for them.
I find it hard to argue with Junger, who posits that what is needed, desperately, is not segregation, separation, or isolation, but exactly the opposite: community, connection, a group, a village of care takers. We have not evolved that much in 10,000 years, believe it or not, that the need for connectedness has disappeared. We are not so different from our primate cousins. And yet, we live in a society that is increasingly individualistic, increasingly disconnected from each other. This is enough of a challenge when you do not have a trauma in your life to deal with, never mind when the result of a trauma leaves it’s mark on you.
I hope sharing this essay opens up a discussion among the care givers on what might better serve those suffering.
You can read the essay here, or in The Best American Essays – which by the way is fabulous.
Peace to you.