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  • Thank you so much for posting this article! I think that many civilian therapists don't realize the strength it takes for one to be a service member of either the military or law enforcement, and sometimes their approach to PTSD and related trauma disorders is to "infantilize" (overly comfort and negate the strength and development) of veterans and service members. Further, our high performances and dedication to excellence is often pathologized as either a personality disorder or perfectionism; in essence, you have to have high attention to detail to survive and to protect your fellow soldiers and service personnel. Sometimes therapists offer advice on career opportunities that don't meet the desires of veterans, such as suggesting that they take a very non-stressful job instead of one that truly is interesting to them and offers the same challenges that underscore their strengths as when they were in the service. I wished that more therapists would understand that in both the civilian world and otherwise. Many of my veteran friends refuse to seek treatment because they don't want to be (1) misdiagnosed, and (2) babied, which are often the laments I've heard from many of my brothers and sisters who have served. Some actually have been provided with awesome treatments, and they've went on to fulfill meaningful careers in science, medicine, law enforcement, etc., despite their histories of PTSD. Some have histories of childhood traumatic experiences on top of service-connected trauma experiences, and that should be recognized as well - especially in terms of strengths. Some of the veterans I've spoken to with multiple forms of trauma throughout their childhood and adulthood have also experienced PTG and went on to pursue very competitive and challenging careers, despite their history of PTSD and other related symptoms. It is important for clinicians not to undermine the talents, strengths, and intelligence of those who served.

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