Our Iraq and Afghanistan war vets are coming home with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disease), and due to the roadside bombs they encountered when they were abroad, many of them are having trouble driving their cars back here in the US.
Army reservist Susan Max deployed at the advanced age of 60, and now that she’s back home in California, 3 years later, she finds she’s scared to drive, especially under circumstances that mirror the driving she did in Iraq. She avoids parking lots without quick escape routes. Driving Vets have trouble in tunnels, overpasses, and driving past construction crews or roadside debris, since these were often places where bombs were hidden.
Max gets nervous when being passed by gray SUVs, since these remind her of the unarmored jeeps she rode in when she was in Baghdad in 2007, which was a record year for US fatalities there.
In the January 11th edition of the New York Times, James Dao quotes psychologist Eric Kuhn as saying, "In an ambiguous situation, they are more likely to see hostile intent."
Dao quotes Max as saying, "My whole driving behavior changed. I live in a state of anxiety when I’m driving."
The insurance company USAA discovered that auto accidents in which Vets were at fault went up by 13% percent after deployments, especially in the first six months after an overseas tour. Will insurance companies soon refuse to issue policies to Vets?
Some of these soldiers are resorting to therapy. Dao quotes psychologist Erica Stern as saying, "I can’t talk with somebody who is a returned service member without them telling me about driving issues."
He quotes psychologist Steven H. Woodward as saying, "There is no accepted treatment for this. It’s a new phenomenon."
How can Vets like Susan Max calm down? We suggest meditation. One of the things Whitley Strieber writes about in his new book "Solving the Communion Enigma" is how meditation seems to draw the Visitors to him. Don’t know how to start? Whitley has many wonderful meditations for you in the subscriber section and he’s written a guidebook to the way he meditates called The Path. In it, using the Tarot cards, he explains all the meditation techniques he has learned from the Gurdjieff work–AND from the Visitors!