I finally decided to put my articles on PTSD, Moral Injury, Suicide and reflections on those conditions and war onto one page. I think I have gotten most of them. They include things that are related to my experience at war, returning from war and getting treatment. I deal with my struggles with daily life, faith, career, politics and how seemingly insignificant incidents can trigger anxiety, insomnia, nightmares and night terrors. Life has changed, and living with PTSD is part of my ongoing struggle.


Padre Steve+

Living With PTSD

I wish I did not dream that much: PTSD and Memories of Terrorism

Things that Go Bump in the Night Terrors of PTSD

Is it Really God or do I Make You Uncomfortable? PTSD, Mental Illness and Christians

Muddling Through PTSD Recovery: A Chaplain’s Story of Return from War

PTSD Dreams and Stranger Things

Not the Cover of the Rolling Stone but the Front Page: Padre Steve Featured in Washington Times article on PTSD

The Continuing Journey: Reflections of 6 Years Dealing with PTSD Faith and Life

Learning to Live with PTSD and Moral Injury through the Lens of Star Trek

Writing My Way Home: Iraq, Faith PTSD and Life

Ending the Stigma: PTSD, TBI and Moral Injury in Senior Leaders

The Season of Hope: Advent and PTSD

Living the Nightmares: PTSD and Iraq Six Years Later

Back from the Abyss: Padre Steve’s Reflections of 5 Years Dealing with PTSD Faith and Life

Fly the Friendly Skies of PTSD: Padre Steve Takes to the Air Yet Again

HD Dreams and Stranger Things Part Two: Sleep Medications and Dreams, the PTSD Conundrum

Epiphanies: PTSD, Life, Leadership, Lawrence of Arabia and the Gospel

Memorial Day 2012: The Perpetual Cost in Human Lives, PTSD, Suicide and Other Issues

The Tapestry of Life: How PTSD and Combat Stress is a Part of Who and What We Are

Till the Smoke Clears: A Reflection on PTSD and Faith

The Front Page: Padre Steve talks about a Newspaper Interview on His Battle with PTSD

PTSD in the Danger Zone and Blue Lights in the Rear View Mirror…Caught in the HOV damn!

PTSD²: Learning to Live Together When Both of You Have PTSD

The Art and Science of Staying Awake and Going to Sleep When You Have PTSD

Survival on the Home Front: Dealing with Other People’s Reactions to My PTSD

Star Trek the Next Generation: Captain Jean-Luc Picard Deals with PTSD

Going to War: A Reflection so Far, Memories, PTSD and hopes and fears Past and Present

“You can observe a lot just by watching” Yogi Berra….How PTSD has made me a lot more Observant

Revisiting the Demons of PTSD: Returning to Iraq in Virginia a Year and a Half Later

The Gifts of PTSD: Insomnia is a Terrible Thing to Waste and the Hidden Value of Hyper-vigilance

The Demons of PTSD: Abandonment

The Demons of PTSD

The Perils of PTSD

The Stigma of PTSD

Reflections about PTSD, Suicide, Moral Injury and War

“Tho’ all the world betray thee” The Minstrel Boy

Christmas 2007 in Anbar: My Last Mass to Love…

I Belong Here With Those in Pain and Who Have Lost Their Faith

An Advent of Doubt, Faith and Struggles

The Troubled Hero of Little Round Top: G.K. Warren and Combat Trauma

Epiphanies and Struggles at 2000

The Bond: Veteran’s Day 2014

The Anger of Moral Injury

Living with Dark Places and Pain

The Dead and Those Forever Changed: Gettysburg and the Human Cost of War

A Good Day to Speak Truth to Power and to be Listened to

Moral Injury: Betrayal, Isolation, Suicidality, & Meaninglessness; the War after the War

Depression Kills: RIP Robin Williams

“You Broke it, You Bought It” The Responsibility of a Nation at War

Broken and Unlikely to Get Better: Military Mental Health Care

Faith and Doubt on a Sunday Afternoon

The Journey of a Christian Agnostic: Remembering 18 Years of Priestly Ministry

Damaged Goods: Broken Clergy and God’s Grace

Sacrifice, a Broken Heart and No Closure: Thoughts of an Iraq Veteran

The Closet of Anxieties and Maybe a Good Night Sleep: Inshallah, (إن شاء الله) God willing…

Never Forget, They are Not Just Names… Reflections on War, Loss and Change: Iraq, Afghanistan and Deep Space Nine

Easter and the Outcasts: For Many the Season is Painful

Moral Injury: The Silent Killer of Veterans

To Believe and Not to Believe, that is the Challenge

Sweet Dreams: The Desire of Those that Return Traumatized by War

God in the Empty Places, Six Years After Iraq

The Long Strange Trip: Six Years After Returning from Iraq

Not Alone: The Real Warriors Campaign

The Enduring Crisis: Suicides in Veterans Spiking

“A Foreign World”: The High Cost of Coming Home from War

Rest In Peace Captain Tom Sitsch USN

My Heart Remains in Al Anbar

It’s What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts: Thoughts on the Occasion of 17th Anniversary of Being Ordained a Priest

To Iraq and Back: Padre Steve’s War and Return

Faith’s Journey: A Progressive Christian Navy Chaplain Looks at the Journey to Wholeness

349: Active Duty Military Suicides Hit New High in 2012

Horizons, Tapestries and the Possibilities of Different Futures

Veterans Day 2012: Remembering those Who Served and Those that Helped Me

A Peaceful Night at the Ballpark: Casting my Cares on the Field of Dreams

The Uncomfortable Truth about the Rise in Military Suicides

The Fallen: Remembering the Human Cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Night Terrors: Padre Steve’s Closet of Anxieties

Goodbye Iraq… Inshallah (إن شاء الله)

Facing the Darkness that Lurks Behind Trauma

To the Edge of Darkness: Notes on a Conference

Clergy Burnout and Suicide: A Growing Problem

8 responses to “PTSD

  1. Pingback: Arie Slingluff

  2. Robert Bone

    A progressive? What does that even mean? You run your mouth and spew your hate. Emotion over reason. The male version of a chattering ‘Karen’. All criticism and no solution. That’s it. You are a weak person. A coward with a big mouth. Oh, and S/F bro.

    • padresteve

      You are the coward. You come to my site and attack me. You have an email address that has no name, phone number or other social media info listed for it. However, your IP address is from Miami FL. When someone does a google search of your email handle they get articles about big hogs (not Harley’s) and BBQ recipes, and one craft beer review. If you were ever a Marine you probably never left CONUS, hell, you might have even been discharged from the Corps for some other than honorable reason. Unlike you I leave my identity out here, I know that I have been in combat and went in unarmed with elements that were basically squad sized far away from any assistance from big battalions.Since I have spent seven of my years in the Navy directly with Marines and three years supporting them as the Chief of Pastoral Care at Camp LeJeune Naval Hospital, and have far too many real Marine friends including First Sergeants, Master Gunnery Sergeants, and Sergeants Major, as well as men and women who served in command of battalions, wings, MEUs, Regiments, MEFs, including a former Commandant, who know my life, my experience, and even my political views who remain friends and we mutually care for and respect each other. I have Marine friends who totally disagree with me who served as heroes at the Battle of Hue City and consider me to be their Chaplain, because they know I care about them and stand by them no matter what. On the other hand you to see you as either a socially crippled individual, or a terribly insecure man trying to bully someone you don’t know from behind a veil of secrecy because you are too cowardly to admit who and what you are. Your comment will remain, but just make my day by threatening me or coming at me again. You’re probably a poser, a stolen valor clown, who is so unhappy with his own life that he cannot resist posting what are for all practical purposes anonymous posts on other people’s sites, especially decorated veterans who in my case have served in war and peace for almost four decades. If you really are a Marine, or a man who served in the Marines I will give you a chance, because whether you believe it or not this Priest and Chaplain, who has spent a quarter of almost 40 years in the Army and Navy serving with or alongside Marines, in 2nd & 3rd MARDIV, II MEF, 2nd CEB, 1/* and 3/8, HQBN 2nd MARDIV, MCSFBN, and Marine Advisors serving with the 1st , 7th Iraqi Army Divisions and 2nd Border Brigade in Al Anbar, who is an FMF qualified officer, and graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College will stand by you if you hit the wall. But I do have my doubts about you. If you are simply a unthinking supporter of an authoritarian and incompetent President who despises the military, who has to come here and insult me the way you did, then I say stay the hell away from me or I will find a way to expose you for what you say you are, or if you come clean and actually decide to be an adult and dialogue with me I will allow further comments from you. This is your first and last warning. This Navy Chief’s kid has never backed down from bullies, and I have taken my share of punishment for standing up, but I never have lost my honor. If you are a Marine or former Marine, you just shat your honor away in my eyes. So go ahead and make my day. You see PTSD has made me a fight and not flight kind of guy.

      All that being said, I do wish peace to your troubled soul. I will also pray for you.

      Peace, Padre Steve+

  3. Jim Hughes

    Good evening Padre Steve,
    I thought I posted what I thought were helpful suggestions on dealing with PTSD but don’t see it anywhere. Did you delete it? I understand this is your blog and you can delete as you wish. I’m just wondering if that’s what happened.
    God bless, Jim (HMC, USN, Ret)

    • padresteve

      I approved in the comments section, did not delete. I do appreciate the suggestions and want my audience to see them. Thank you for them.

    • padresteve

      Jim, send them again to the comments section, and they will appear. It has been a crazy week with the house torn apart due to a HVAC leak and lots of work at work. If you simply put them to me on email, which I think you did I assumed that they were also in the comment queue and may not have gotten around to approving them. I thank you for the suggestions. If you have your own blog I occasionally spotlight the work of others by re-blogging them here. This is easiest if you have a WordPress Blog.

      Whatever you have send it to the comments page and it will get approved.

      Thank you again,


  4. James Anthony Hughes

    Hi Padre Steve,
    Here is the comment again. Hopefully it will post this time (maybe the system kicked it out because it was too long???):

    Dear Padre Steve,
    I’m very sorry to read of your PTSD. I would like to take this opportunity to suggest two courses of action you might want to consider to help you deal with your condition. One is hypnosis and the other is lucid dreaming. Allow me to explain… I have been studying hypnosis for 41 years now and have even gone to hypnosis school to become a Certified Master Hypnotist. I’ve seen it used to perform what could only be described as “miracles” in addition to helping with common issues people have like losing weight or to quit smoking (those were the issues I was asked most to help people with). For some issues it can be considered a “magic bullet”. Here’s one example: Las Vegas stage hypnotist Marc Savard did a show last year where one of the participants in the show was an evangelist from Arizona named David. Marc asked David to introduce himself (like everyone else on stage) after he was hypnotized. David had trouble responding because he had a terrible stutter that he suffered from his whole life. Marc put him a little deeper in hypnosis right then and gave him the appropriate suggestions that he would no longer stutter. And that’s exactly what happened! You see, when the subconscious mind is put back in charge (you might say) of what it was supposed to be in charge of all along, things often become as they should right away. Here is a link to the video of that part of that night’s show: Later, Marc mentions in another video how he received a short video from David later on. David recorded himself ordering food at a drive through with no difficulty at all. My point in bringing up this man’s stutter and how it was solved in seconds is this: There’s no doubt that this man suffered long and needlessly from a condition he would be glad to be rid of. He just needed someone to give him the right words (suggestions) under the right condition (hypnosis). That’s it! Many issues of the mind are that way. Everything I know about hypnosis and the mind tell me that much (if not everything) that you are suffering from with PTSD can be effectively treated with hypnosis if you are simply willing to allow someone with the right skills to help you. Hypnosis may well prove to be a magic bullet for you, just as it was for David.
    You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a skilled hypnotherapist to find relief from PTSD. There are many free hypnotic inductions / sessions on that deal specifically with PTSD. You can try these in the comfort and safety of your own home. Here is one that sounded good to me (I’ve not heard the whole thing but the man’s voice and background music are among the best you’ll find): There are several comments for this video indicating that it has helped people. If this one doesn’t do it for you, then consider another. There are many to choose from. Just got to Youtube and type in “PTSD hypnosis”. The only thing it will cost you is time and considering what you may gain in terms of relief I would think it’s well worth it. You’ll even see short videos of military personnel who used hypnosis as part of their therapy for PTSD (like this one: ) and hear their claims that it saved their lives. If you decide to try a hypnosis session on Youtube you should listen to it with stereo headphones for best results. There is nothing new about using hypnosis for treating PTSD. A Master Hypnotist named Alex Erskine used it with great success to treat patients from WWI who suffered from “Shell Shock”. Trust me when I tell you that 41 years of studying hypnosis gives me supreme confidence that this can indeed help you a great deal. Your local VA hospital may have a program that includes hypnosis for everything from quitting smoking to PTSD. So, you might also want to look there.
    You should also know about hypnosis that…. None of us are strangers to hypnosis. Every time we go to sleep, we go from being awake to hypnosis to sleep. When we wake up, we go from sleep to hypnosis to being awake. If you have ever daydreamed, you have been in a light state of hypnosis. Your body was simply relaxed, and your mind was focused on a single train of thought. You never lose control of your thinking or will while in hypnosis. You can’t be made to reveal any secret you don’t want to talk about or made to do anything you wouldn’t want to do. Not all hypnotherapists are equal! Some are better than others and some have more experience than others (they are the ones that are smart enough to adapt their hypnotic induction techniques to the individual because not everyone will respond to just one type of induction). I mention this because if one hypnotherapist can’t seem to help you another very likely can. If you pay to see a hypnotist, try to get recommendations first (Try
    You mentioned that you have some really bad dreams. I wonder how bad those dream might turn out if you knew that you could change them any way you wanted? For real! That’s the whole point of lucid dreaming (dreaming while knowing that you’re dreaming). It’s a skill that can be learned. I’m still relatively new to it but I’ve done it a few times and it’s FANTASTIC! I don’t have PTSD so I’ve done things in my dreams like flying like Superman or problem solving (coming up with solutions in seconds to problems that consumed my conscious thinking for days). In a lucid dream you could heal someone with the wave of a hand. Or if you find yourself dreaming that you’re in a locked room and desperate to get out, lucid dreaming allows you to reach into your pocket for the key to unlock the door. Specifically, lucid dreaming has been used to treat people with PTSD. Here is a video that will give you some idea just in the first four and a half minutes of how effective it can be: Later on in the video he gets into some philosophical ideas I don’t agree with (past lives and such) but the point he makes in this video is how powerful lucid dreaming can be for treating PTSD. He did another video later and if you ask me, this one is even better: He actually gives an idea of how to do lucid dreaming. He has a website where he teaches a course for FREE! This is the course he talks about that helped several veterans who suffered from PTSD get better sleep right away. Here’s the link:
    Two other resources that would be good to get are by Stephen LaBerge. One is an audio cassette with a booklet called “Controlling your dreams”. You can find it on Amazon for about 13 bucks. It’s old (obviously, it’s on a cassette tape) but it’s really good. I’ve listened to my copy a dozen times and still get something out of it. The other is a hardback book with a CD entitled “Lucid Dreaming A concise guide to awakening in your dreams and your life”. You can get it on ebay for less than 5 bucks. It’s a follow-on work done many years after the “Controlling your dreams” cassette tape.
    There is so much more but I’ll let you find it yourself (it’s not hard at all). I hope you will give both of these therapies their due consideration. Both are proven powerful and very effective. They have already helped many folks with PTSD. If they help you (as I’m certain they can), I hope you will do what you can to get the word out. If you’ve already tried these two therapies and written about them I’m sorry to have taken up your time with this note (I’ve not yet read all you have written on PTSD).
    Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before starting any treatment like hypnosis or lucid dreaming for PTSD.
    God bless, Jim (HMC, USN, Ret)

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