Acclaimed PTSD Pioneer, Author, Johnathan Shay to Give Free Lecture at San Diego State University Friday

Psychiatrist is Building Public Awareness About Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

by Deb Welsh
KPBS, Oct. 4, 2012

Dr. Jonathan Shay, a clinical psychiatrist and author of several books, calls Post Traumatic Stress Disorder an invisible injury suffered by many of our war veterans.

Renowned PTSD expert and former Veterans Affairs psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Shay says the adaptations made by veterans in war zones are of no use once they come home. Shay spent years treating Vietnam War vets’ PTSD at the Boston VA. He has written two highly regarded books — Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America — chronicling PTSD and the sometimes disastrous life struggles faced by troops after at home war duty. (The MacArthur Foundation)

“When somebody brings back from war the absolutely valid adaptation formed in war to survive other people trying to kill you and doing a damned good job of it,” he said.

According to Shay, PTSD consists of clusters of symptoms which include hyper-remembering, emotional numbing, withdrawal and finally the perpetual mobilization of the body and mind toward mortal danger.
Shay said when these three clusters persist into civilian life, the effects can be devastating.

He also said when someone has these three “symptom clusters” and no complications, then, in general, they can adapt. They may be uncomfortable and they may be hard to live with, but it doesn’t utterly destroy their capacity for a flourishing human life.

It’s the complications that wreck people’s lives and can even kill them.

Read the rest of this story:

Watch video by Jonathan Shay on treating veterans PTSD:

Watch video presentation by Dr Shay on ‘moral injury’:


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