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If you have served in the military, especially if you have participated in or seen combat, any unresolved grief and anger connected to your war experiences will likely greatly contribute to the persistence of your PTSD symptoms or other readjustment problems. However, because of the military environment, and the nature of military training and war, your grief and rage may be strongly interconnected.
In order to promote your healing, you need to separate your grief and other feelings from your anger. At this point, review your journal entries under the categories of anger and loss, and write about the following questions:
1. Have you listed all your angers and losses?
Review the list of triggers you compiled and take some time to answer the following questions in your journal:
Consider the fact that if you are a combat veteran, you have been trained to react with aggression and anger to provocation. A trigger in your environment today, even if it does not pose a threat, may be sufficient provocation to cause you to respond with anger and aggression. Equally likely is that you respond with a shutdown of emotion or with attempts to remove yourself physically or distance yourself emotionally from the individuals or situations that trigger you.
You may need to be especially watchful not only of situations that enrage you, but those that cause you intense pain and grief as well. Reacting with uncontrollable or unwanted aggression is painful, but equally painful is being emotionally shut down. Either way, you may feel you have failed in certain important relationships or on the job. This feeling of failure may be especially heightened if, in your case, part of your war trauma was feeling that you failed your unit, your commanding officer, or your own military standards.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
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