PTSD: Treating the unseen enemy with 'Hearts 4 Heroes'
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
Clint Davis knows the fog of war. Soon after 9/11, Davis, a fresh graduate of Army basic training, was deployed to Afghanistan and quickly introduced to chaos on the battlefield.
"This one guy stands and pops this flare and says ‘Hey, follow me if you step left or right you're gonna step on a landmine,'" recalled Davis, who was just 18-years-old at the time.
He witnessed the horror of watching small children step on landmines and watching one-by-one his fellow soldiers leaving in body bags.
When Davis returned home, he says time stood still and his mind became his new enemy.
"Sometimes I couldn't sleep," he remembered. "Some of the symptoms started coming up .. bad dreams ... flashbacks ... night terrors."
Davis admitted to turning to binge drinking to try to numb the pain. He even considered suicide.
"I didn't ever come to the point of like, 'I have a gun, this is what I'm gonna do,' or 'I have some pills this is what I'm gonna do,' but I thought, 'You know, it would be better for me not to be here,'" Davis recalls.
He also recalled reaching rock bottom during a conversation with his mother. "I was crying in the living room laying on the floor holding the floor down cause. I couldn't calm down," said Davis.
He had to be treated for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
He began treatment with talk therapy sessions and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
"It changes your brain pattern and unlocks some of these subconscious things," said Davis.
He also leaned on a higher power and a support network of friends.
Then, Hurricane Katrina came ashore and Sergeant Davis was called to help. The P-T-S-D returned.
"I saw more death and more trauma in Katrina than I did in Afghanistan," said Davis. "You're a broken person. You don't know how to deal with that stuff."
He sought help again, and some of his military buddies helped him along his road to recovery.
Today, Clint Davis is a Christian Marriage and Family Therapist who is uniquely qualified to treat those suffering like he did, through the ‘Hearts 4 Heroes Program'.
"I think God kind of put me in this position, and I am thrilled to be here, thrilled to be able to help and I am honored to help," said Davis. "Sometimes it's other people next to you ... a friend … family ... counselors that walk beside you and guide you. That's my belief, anyway."