PTSD, Home and Away

September 7, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

September 4, 2018

 

The hidden scars from the trauma suffered at the hands a spouse, an acquaintance, a terrible accident or witnessing a trauma. PTSD has been more associated to soldiers coming back from war, however first responders and victims of domestic violence in significant numbers are also sufferers.

Something terrifying happens to you. Your heart races. Your palms sweat. You can’t sleep. You don’t want to eat. You can’t get the events of that day out of your mind. Any and all of these are completely normal responses to trauma and would be expected of any one of us. We all experience traumatic life events at some point – so we are all familiar with these physical responses. However, for many of us, particularly our service men and women, the physical responses don’t go away with time. In many cases, they become worse.

For those of us living with PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – the world is an unsafe and scary place. Danger lurks in every corner and we are often unable to trust and unwilling to explore. Many of us find ourselves giving up activities that we once enjoyed because the anxiety and fear keep us trapped in a dark and scary place.

PTSD is a reaction that stems from a trauma. The most common image that many of us call to mind is that of a combat soldier. Our soldier has been overseas, faced combat and is now facing a series of adjustment issues as he or she acclimates to life at home. One of the more common stereotypes that come to mind is a combat veteran having a reaction to fireworks. While yes, the noise of the seasonal display can absolutely trigger memories of traumatic events faced overseas, many veterans face far more commonplace challenges. (1)

 

Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference. (2). The results of the failure to provide treatment led to a time in jail for this veteran.

The week before the 4th of July and the week after is a tense time for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, some of whom might be startled by the celebratory fireworks.

“Some of the veterans I treat say it’s ironic that we have a holiday celebrating the freedoms they helped fight for, but parts of it can be terrifying for them,” Catherine Coppolillo said. (3)

Despite efforts to reduce the stigma and other barriers faced by veterans seeking psychological counseling, encouraging new work is being done to change this. Since 2011, some of that work was conducted in classrooms at William James College, a small school located west of Boston. William James College claims it is the only U.S. psychology graduate school focused on training veterans as counselors.

“If you talk to most vets, they want to talk to people who have had the same sets of experiences,” Robert Dingman, the director of military and veterans psychology at the school, recently explained to Reuters. “We don’t believe by any means that only vets can help vets, but we think it’s a good career pathway.” (4)

People often find help by helping others with their issues.

Everyone is dealing with something. Some scars are visible some are not. There are many who have found a way to overcome what many would call a disability. Just know you are not alone, there is a way back. Look for that outstretched helping hand waiting for you.

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org 

 

 

 

New PTSD Treatment for Soldiers and Families download

http://www.patriotoutreach.org/docs/military_prasies.pdf

 

(1)  http://www.militaryconnection.com/blog/11562/knowing-understanding-ptsd/

 

(2) https://www.stripes.com/army-vet-with-ptsd-sought-the-treatment-he-needed-by-taking-hostages-but-got-jail-instead-1.152525

 

(3) https://journaltimes.com/news/local/fireworks-triggering-combat-ptsd-for-area-veterans/article_22de84c4-117a-5da7-8ca8-de37cd8b89fd.html

 

(4) https://www.wnd.com/2017/06/chuck-norris-sees-a-new-way-to-look-at-pstd/

 

Also see

http://www.militaryconnection.com/blog/11591/ptsd-treatment-art/

 

https://www.wnd.com/2017/09/chuck-norris-powers-up-new-ptsd-help/

 

https://www.military.com/benefits/veterans-health-care/ptsd-frequently-asked-questions.html

 


 

 

 


Rightly Divide the Word and the Situation

August 2, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

July 31, 2018

 

 

Most situations in life are the result of a negotiation. The best negotiators are the ones who have refined the art of reading the situation and the parties involved.  A misread of the situation or parties can be disastrous.

Most people became involved in multiple contracts when they got a phone, opened an email account or bought a house.

How many people took the time to read the fine print? There could be something in the fine print that is objectionable. However the fine print is where the ‘gotcha clause’ is hiding in plain sight.

For a couple of thousand years, we have been warned, that whatever is done in secret will come out into the light.

A daily reading reminded me that we should rightly divide the Word. I would take that one step further to say we should rightly divide every situation.

The term rightly divide the Word has also been written to properly handle the Word, digging into the real meaning and using it in context. The Word should be separated into two or more parts, meanings, areas, or groups which fit into the context of the sentence, paragraph and chapter to determine the true meaning of the Word

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

 

Properly reading the situation will provide you the best opportunity to obtain favorable results

This command is for us to “give diligence” (Greek spoudazo) for God’s approval by “rightly dividing” the word of truth. That which is to be rightly divided is not in doubt: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The end goal is to “display yourself” as one who is, therefore, approved by God.

 

Properly understanding the people, situation, or documents will provide you the best opportunity to obtain favorable results and a peaceful outcome.

The key is to “rightly divide” the Scriptures. The Greek word orthotomeo, only used this one time, has several shades of meaning: to cut straight, to cut straight ways; to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course; to make straight and smooth; to handle aright; to teach the truth directly and correctly.

 

This cuts down the opportunities for deceptive practices to prevail.

Two passages emphasize the way to “divide” the Scriptures. When Isaiah asked rhetorical questions about how to learn and understand biblical knowledge, the answer was “precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10).Thus:

Find the major pieces first.
Find the supporting elements next.
Find the pieces throughout the text.

Solomon, as the “wise preacher,” noted that one who would teach the people knowledge must have given “good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs” (Ecclesiastes 12:9).

Pay attention to the words (meanings, context).
Penetrate (research) the teaching (text first, then books).
Organize the information for teaching purposes.

This kind of study preparation requires a “workman”—one who is willing to give the diligence necessary to produce the powerful sayings built on the “word of truth.” If properly prepared, the workman will never be “ashamed.” HMM III (1)

 

We are all the workman in every situation in life. You decide if you want to do life the easy way or the hard way. The hard way could lead you to spiral down the road of fear, anxiety, depression and their related costly and generally unwanted consequences.

 

When all else fails, read the directions. Pay attention to the words and their meanings in context; to the signs and the situation. Stay alert to the fine print to save yourself a lot of needless aggravation and from the road of fear, anxiety, depression and their related costly and generally unwanted consequences.

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org 

 

 

Reference

  1. http://www.icr.org/article/10710

 


Head For A Soft Landing

May 4, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

May 1, 2018

 

 

After a long hard day some people head for a soft landing into their favorite chair to unwind, relieve stress and relax. Some exercise to relieve stress, some soak in a warm tub.

Stress is any change in the environment that requires your body to react and adjust in response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Stress is a normal part of life.

Not all stress is bad.

Stress can motivate people to prepare or perform, like when they need to take a test or interview for a new job. Stress can even be life-saving in some situations. In response to danger, your body prepares to face a threat or flee to safety. In these situations, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity, all functions aimed at survival.

Harmful stress needs to be dealt with and relieved to escape what could turn out to be long term life changing events such as stroke or heart attacks.

Soaking in warm water has a soothing effect on both the body as well as the mind. Its relaxation and therapeutic benefits are based on the stimulation of blood circulation and release of muscle tension. Hot baths initially rise heart rate and temperature, and to dispel the heat, the body perspires which gets rid of toxins. Then the blood vessels dilate and improve circulation, thus removing lactic acid from muscles, lowering blood pressure and easing pain.

Many who suffer from anxiety or depression have found a good soak in a warm tub to be a natural and helpful relief. A good soak in tub has proved to be helpful for many other reasons as well.

You may also try a very natural stress reducer in getting a good night’s sleep. It is well known that insufficient sleep leaves people irritable, cranky and on edge, whereas too much sleep will have the effect of making them sluggish and depressed.

Soft landings are preferred by birds, planes, and economists. Not many people I know would prefer the sudden stop of a crash, whether it be in a plane, car or health issues. Crashes cause damage to people, property, and the economy.

There are certain foods and activities which add to stress then again there are certain foods and activities which reduce stress. Generally processed food can help produce stress as your body in not adequately fed with required nutrients. Long stays in front of a TV or computer can cause or add to stress.

Soft landings can be found in spending quality time with your family or pets. Horses, dogs, and cats crave personal attention and help you to a soft landing.

Eight Ways Your Pet Can Help You with  Relieve Your Stress and A Soft Landing: 1. Just being around an animal decreases your blood pressure; 2. Our pets decrease our reactions to stressful situations; 3. Pet owners on average get more exercise; 4. People with pets are less likely to say they feel loneliness; 5. Pets help you be in the moment; 6. Pets lower stress by fulfilling our need for touch; 7. Pets seem to help support feelings that make you more resilient at dealing with stress; 8. Finally, they make us laugh(1)

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org  

 

 

References

(1) http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/8-ways-your-pet-can-help-relieve-your-stress

 

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/pets-depression#1

 


Devolving Into History

April 6, 2018

Rev Paul N. Papas II

April 1, 2018

 

 

Instead of learning from history it appears we are trying to repeat the old bad ways with a high tech twist.

Old ways are not necessarily bad ways while at the same token not all new ways are good.

I would think most people would not want live in a time before Due Process was considered a Right to be guaranteed.

Due process is required for committing someone to a psychiatric facility. In the old days people who were a problem to someone with power would just make arrangements to have a person committed. Once committed; the person was discredited, no longer believed and the family, business or political problem was resolved. Today proper notice must be given and hearings held.

Many of the Mental Health issues that were once ‘treated’ with extreme measures, such physical or chemical lobotomies can be addressed with the help of caring, knowledgeable people.  PTSD, once called shell shock, fear, anxiety, and depression are among those which can be treated with the help of caring, knowledgeable people.  Getting to the root of the problem is the beginning of true lasting healing.

Homeowners had much less protection in the old days than they do today before a foreclosure. There are many horror stories people loosing their homes for a variety of reasons including seizing the wrong property. Mortgage lenders are not generally known for their forgiveness.

The Ancient World Was Pro-Death

Down through history, many have believed that death could solve problems.

About the middle of the 6th century before Christ, a boy was born to a wealthy nobleman in India in the province of Bihar.  His name is Mahavira.  His parents, though well-to-do, belonged to a sect that looked upon birth as a curse, and upon suicide as a blessed privilege.  When their son, Mahavira, reached his 31st year they ended their lives by voluntary starvation.

The young man, moved to the depths of his soul, renounced the world and its cruel ways, divested himself of all clothing, and wandered through western Bengal as an ascetic.  From his life a new sect was born, the Jains, which had a considerable effect upon India, including Gandhi, the revered man we know who would starve himself to death on the basis of policy.

Some notable ancient Greeks also believed that death could solve some things.  A Greek scholar, D.W. Palmer, compiled an impressive list of quotations from Greek lyric poetry, drama, philosophy, and rhetoric to establish the fact that in the Greek world there was a widespread belief that death is preferred for those whose life is a burden.  By it one was delivered from the troubles of earthly existence; death brings rest from one’s labors.

Socrates expressed this on one occasion when he said: “And if there is no consciousness but it is like a sleep when the sleeper does not even see a dream, death would be a wonderful gain” (Socrates’ words in Plato, Ap. 40, C-D).  Josephus, the historian, wrote about the oppressed of his time: “They had no opportunity to put up a strong fight, but reckoned it a gain if they died, a misfortune to live” (Josephus, Ant. 15. 158).

Our culture seems to be devolving back into a culture of death during my lifetime as witnessed by violent rhetoric, violent actions and lawlessness reported in the media.

 

The Easter faith is counter to such “pro-death” views.  It opts for life.  When death starts to look inviting, one must be reminded that one “is still here,” and to that fact one must bow.

 

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 


Related

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/new-old-weapon-of-destruction-rediscovered/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/stepping-up-use-of-new-old-weapons/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/ward-and-june-cleaver-criminalized/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/surrender-or-lose-your-head/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/abuse-home-work-church-a-boiled-frog/

 

 


When All Seems Lost

February 2, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

January 28, 2018

 

Not many people have been spared the feeling at one time in their life that all is lost. That situation is an invitation to find a way to go over, under, around or through the predicament. The other choice is devolve into such a depression and allow fear and anxiety to overtake you, it is a choice.

Alcoholics and Drug addicts have to come to the bottom of their bottoms to get to the point when all seems lost. Businesses facing bankruptcy come to the point when all seems lost. A relationship breakup can bring one to a point where all seems lost. The 1929 cash brought many to the point when all seems lost, some completed suicide over it.

Some brave men and women who lost parts of their bodies as a result of injuries received in combat protecting our Freedoms probably had a few moments when all seemed lost. Many of these brave veterans overcame many obstacles to go on and lead productive lives.

Over the past several years leading up to the 2016 elections some thought the country was getting to the point when all seems lost. For many, hope has been restored as the economy is improving.

With a lot of hard work, after the 1929 cash people and businesses reinvented themselves and went on to rebuild the economy to once again become prosperous.

You can also rebuild and become prosperous.

Abraham Lincoln had many losses before he was elected President

 

YEAR FAILURES or SETBACKS SUCCESSES
1832 Lost job
Defeated for state legislature
Elected company captain of Illinois militia in Black Hawk War
1833 Failed in business Appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois
Appointed deputy surveyor of Sangamon County
1834 Elected to Illinois state legislature
1835 Sweetheart died
1836 Had nervous breakdown Re-elected to Illinois state legislature (running first in his district)
Received license to practice law in Illinois state courts
1837 Led Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield
Became law partner of John T. Stuart
1838 Defeated for Speaker Nominated for Illinois House Speaker by Whig caucus
Re-elected to Illinois House (running first in his district)
Served as Whig floor leader
1839 Chosen presidential elector by first Whig convention
Admitted to practice law in U.S. Circuit Court
1840 Argues first case before Illinois Supreme Court
Re-elected to Illinois state legislature
1841 Established new law practice with Stephen T. Logan
1842 Admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court
1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress
1844 Established own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner
1846 Elected to Congress
1848 Lost renomination (Chose not to run for Congress, abiding by rule of rotation among Whigs.)
1849 Rejected for land officer Admitted to practice law in U.S. Supreme Court
Declined appointment as secretary and then as governor of Oregon Territory
1854 Defeated for U.S. Senate Elected to Illinois state legislature (but declined seat to run for U.S. Senate)
1856 Defeated for nomination for Vice President
1858 Again defeated for U.S. Senate
1860 Elected President

 

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/education/failures.htm

 

Most people reading this won’t become President, but the point is you loose when you stop trying. Just because a door closes it does not mean there are no doors open for you…you just need to find the right one.

Are you where you want to be?

Have your goals been reached?

What can you do today to accomplish your goals?

If you have not found that open door, keeping seeking it, it is there.

Be encouraged by those who have overcome. They did not do it alone, but they purposed to overcome and you can too.

Today is a new day, a blank page in history. We may not be able to control the events today; however we can chose our reaction.  All may not be lost, just headed in a different direction.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ)   www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

 


Look, The Glass Is Half Full

December 1, 2017

 

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

Nov 28, 2017

 

The story is told of two psychologists who sought to determine whether heredity or environment decided a child’s mental outlook. So they placed a pessimistic child in a lovely room chucked-full of beautiful toys, and an optimistic child in a room filled with horse manure. Hours later the pessimistic kid was found in the corner, pouting. “Why aren’t you playing with your toys,” the psychologists inquired? “Cause soon as I do, someone will come and take them away from me!” By contrast, they discovered the optimistic child enthusiastically swimming and diving through the manure. His reason? “Man! With all this manure, there’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere!”

Which child would you rather be around? The pessimistic child is often not easy going or fun to be around.  I would venture to say most people would go the other way to avoid the pessimistic child.

Pessimism is an attitude that one is not competent enough to control the situation at hand backed by the anticipation of failure thereby programming themselves with an excuse for failure. Pessimism prevents one from fully committing to a project or event. The refusal to fully commit could cause one to bail from something that otherwise could have been beneficial.

Pessimism could be a defense mechanism to reduce effects of traumatic or disturbing events that one experienced.

A less talented optimistic team could defeat a greater talented pessimistic team because of their optimism.

One’s outlook on life has a lot to do with whether you are an optimist  or a pessimist. One’s outlook on life could determine whether one would spiral down into depression.

Shorter days and holidays can also contribute to depression and anxiety.

Thomas Carlyle once wrote that “the block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak, becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong.”

Now you can choose this day whether the block of granite is an obstacle or a stepping stone, whether the glass is half empty or half full.  Yes you can.

“Optimists, on the other hand, seem to approach life in a way that pays off. They’re more resilient in the face of disaster or tragedy and are happier with their lives in general. But it’s not all in their heads. They are generally healthier, have stronger hearts, and tend to live longer. They’re even more resistant to colds.

One reason is because optimists learn to cope well and make connections with others who help and support, says Barbara Fredrickson, head of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina. “You’re better equipped to deal with the difficulties in life because, in the good moments, you’ve accrued more skills and resources,” she explains.” (1)

 

You may be able to retrain from pessimism to optimism with the help of family, friends, counselors, life coaches, or other professional, once you first decide the block of granite is a stepping stone, the glass half full.

Enjoy your optimistic life.

Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ)   www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

 

 

(1)  https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/accentuating-a-positive-attitude#1

 

 


Can We Come Together?

October 6, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

October 3, 2017

 

 

If you have a problem with someone don’t take it out on everybody else.  How do problems get solved, by an open an honest debate. Unfortunately it appears many have lost the art of debating.

Debating is an age-old way of discovering facts and persuading others, it is an argument with rules. Debating provides practice in developing sound and logical arguments.

It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword; for the most part this is true when we look at some of history’s greatest speakers and writers using their powers of language to persuade. Words change opinions, words shape the course of history and when the swords have been put down, it is words that form countries from the ashes of the bloodshed of the old.

The man who arguably began the concept of the debate, Plato was a fine writer and philosopher and makes up a trio with Aristotle and Socrates. Many of his ‘dialogues’ are in written form and address specific issues brought up with other Greek thinkers. He is most famous for the Gorgias Dialogue in which he seeks the true definition of rhetoric one of the key principles in the debating process. He also critiques Athenian oratory in the text. (1)

You probably have heard of the Lincoln – Douglas Debates which many say Lincoln won. Lincoln did not win that election however he was later considered for the Republican nomination for president where he was elected twice because of the debates.

Modern debates have made and broken candidates. It has been said that Nixon lost the election in 1960 because Kennedy was better in the debates.

Politics was not as contentious then as it is today. Some people today have their minds made up and they don’t want to be confused with the facts.  It used to be considered an honor and a pleasure to serve in public office. Many today believe they have a right to be in a certain office and throw tantrums when their coronation is canceled by the employer, We The People.

Here is an example of a lighter moment that helped win the debate and the office:

“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,” Ronald Reagan quipped during the 1984 presidential debates when asked if, at 73, he is too old to be President. The line — a classic example of Reagan’s sense of humor — even solicited a laugh from Democratic opponent Walter Mondale. (The Republican actor-turned-statesman ended up winning by a landslide).

Once upon a time high schools and college debate teams were very popular. For awhile debate teams were cut from official activities. Recently debate teams have been returning. The lack of debating skills learned and honed on debate teams or otherwise has manifested itself in many of today’s contentious business, public, and political meetings. Yelling, violent protests, and demeaning statements have become common ways today to ‘persuade’ others. These people have not learned that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

The yelling, violent protests and demeaning statement can cause or exacerbate fear, anxiety, PTSD, physical injury, and do suppress free speech. That is not the USA I grew up in and should not be accepted as a new normal.

Everyone has an opinion even if it does not agree with yours. Can you see theirs? In a debate you just might find some common thread which could begin the process of coming together on some issue or issues.

The USA I grew up in the teacher read the 100 Psalm in the classroom everyday in the beginning of each school day.

“ Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

 

Can we come together?

 

Yes, if more people learn and practice the art of debating we can. Will you do your part?

 

Come Together – John Lennon/The Beatles (Live In New York City)

 

 

 

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ)

www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

—-

References

 

(1) http://infomory.com/famous/famous-debaters-in-history/

 

 


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