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PTSD and ecstasy and oxytocin

Many men in anger management are stuck in some PTSD, a previous trauma which is too painful to visit and leaves them with permanent scars of distrust, anxiety and hostility. Their denial of any earlier pain keeps them stuck. Some experiments in the US using ecstasy are given to returning vets when talking about their trauma, reduces their inhibitions allows them to sort in their own minds their blocks and their solutions. The assumption is that it releases oxytocin. This is a hormone that comes from the pituity gland signifying trust which equals safety.

176 brain-and-people oxytocin







Obviously we cannot use ecstasy with our clients but it is interesting to see when the men talk in groups among themselves there is a camaraderie that breeds trust that leads to disclosure that hadn’t ever happened before. Many say a genuine thank you to the other participants adding that it was the first time they had ever spoken to other  men so openly. Like a self help group there is a time when the leaders and facilitators need to stand back and let the process take over.

In the world outside  a man may find similar trusting bonds when owning a dog his  emotional uptightness is naturally released. It might be helpful for him to examine this relationship and whether there are skills and mutual respect that could be transferred to his adult relationships.

Source: New York Times


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