Writing as Therapy for Returning Military Members in Distress

By Mark Antony Rossi 

Trauma stemming from combat situations is an invisible scar buried far from the naked eye. Its reappearance can be subtle because integration is not always through the public personality. The state of dreaming is usually the first area to suffer damage.

How we dream and if we dream is paramount to staying connected to reality in a healthy manner. Skewed dreaming from unresolved stress is a major component to insomnia and insomnia a precursor to personality shift which frequently leads to pharmaceutical  prescription.

What if the dream world could be stabilized through writing therapy rather than antidepressants? What if writing therapy can repair the fissures created from battle fatigue? The alternative is  mood manipulating drugs or adopting Hollywood stereotypes labeling military members Manchurian candidates poised to subvert society.

Catholic clergymen are fond of saying “confession is good for the soul.” This statement is not a convenient cliche meant to gin up longer lines at the confessional booth. It belongs in the category of maxim: a brief bold truth elevating our understanding. The act of confession is the equivalent of lancing a brutally painful boil. The irony is those in desperate need of release remain in self-imposed prisons of fear.

The kinder methods of writing therapy build a sturdy path to incremental confession. The scales of humanity expect healing on an immediate basis but the injured are complicated creatures seeking to rule their lives in a world seemingly out of control. Out of a natural instinct to govern oneself can a trauma be met with desire and artistic determination to walk into tomorrow with more gravity and less grievance.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. 

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