Down Range: To Iraq and Back

Down Range : To Iraq and Back by Dr Bridget CantrellThere are some things people don’t get over easily —
pain from the past is one of them.

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Trauma changes people: It changes values, priorities, worldviews, and most of all…it changes how we relate to others. Painful, life-threatening experiences take people beyond the normal day-to-day life, leaving them stuck behind defensive walls that keep them from re-entering the world they have always known as “home”.

So how does it happen? How do we lose the loving closeness with those around us? And better yet, how do we re-gain what pain has robbed us of?

“Down Range” is not only a book explaining war trauma — it is required reading for anyone seriously interested about how to make healthy transitions from war to peace.

Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D. and Vietnam veteran, Chuck Dean have joined forces to present this vital information and resource manual for both returning troops and their loved ones. Here you will find answers, explanations, and insights as to why so many combat veterans suffer from flashbacks, depression, fits of rage, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, and other troubling aspects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

What I liked best about this book was how it makes an effort to de-stigmatize PTSD. The principle I took to heart most was that PTSD is not a mental illness, but a normal reaction to an abnormal set of circumstances. Perhaps this understanding will encourage some of our “hard-core” soldiers to put aside their pride and get the help they may need.

- Book Review by Lauren Sullivan

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