Getting Started

459Training Manual from Return to Harvest

for combat veterans and others suffering from PTSD



Copy this list of symptoms, put it in your notebook and fill it out.


 1. Always      2. Most of the time      3. Half the time      4. Occasionally

5. Never

_____Difficulty falling or staying asleep

_____Outbursts of anger

_____Getting in fist fights

_____Difficulty concentrating

_____Always on lookout for danger

_____Easily startled by loud noise or sudden movements

_____Distressing memories, images, and thoughts

_____Recurrent nightmares


_____Don ‘t want to talk about combat experiences

_____Home is a letdown; feels different

_____Not interested in doing stuff you use to enjoy

_____Hard to get close with family and friends

_____Hopeless about the future

_____Don’t have a purpose

_____Don’t have a direction

_____Angry at just about everything and everyone

_____Drinking/drugs ease the pain

_____Can’t get my mind to stop racing

_____When thinking about combat, I feel guilt

_____When thinking about combat, I feel shame

_____I can’t stop the pain

_____I don’t know what love is anymore

_____Don’t trust people

_____Lost belief in God

_____Angry with God

_____Proud of my country

_____War is insane

_____Life is unfair

_____My self-esteem sucks

_____Trouble finding a job

_____I feel suicidal

_____Avoid crowds

_____People don’t have a clue what war is like

_____Feel alone/isolated

_____Nothing matters anymore

_____Fearful about leaving your house

_____Have panic attacks

            _____Heart racing


            _____Trembling and shaking

            _____Shortness of breath

            _____Choking sensation

            _____Pain and pressure in chest


            _____Feel dizzy or lightheaded

            _____Strange feelings; hard to describe

            _____Fear of losing control

            _____Fear of dying

            _____Numbness or tingling sensation

            _____Chills or hot flushes


            Break down into groups of two and do the following:

                        1. Each of you has stories about combat or being in a combat zone. Take a few minutes to tell each other some aspect of your story. You may have difficulty getting the words out. Take your time and go slow. If you don’t think you’re ready to do this, talk about what it was like the day your plane took off heading for the war zone.

                        2. What are you presently doing to cope or to help heal the wounds?

                        3. Why are you here and what do you hope to accomplish?

                        4. What are your five most serious symptoms identified in the checklist?

                        5. Based on the symptoms checklist, what are your personal goals?

Write your answers to questions 3, 4 and 5 in your notebook.

            Report back to the group and share answers to those questions. (Group Discussion)