On September eight, 2009, Dakota Meyer was serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. 4 members of Meyer’s squad had gone lacking after an ambush with Taliban forces. Below hearth, Meyer went into insurgent-occupied territory to search out his mates and squad members. As a substitute, he discovered their our bodies, which a Taliban fighter was getting ready to maneuver. Meyer wrestled the fighter and killed him with a rock earlier than personally evacuating the 4 our bodies of his males—alongside 12 different wounded troopers.
“I bear in mind it each evening,” Meyer instructed Joe Rogan on a latest episode of Joe Rogan Expertise. “I simply see his face,” he mentioned in regards to the man he killed with a rock. Meyer, now retired, obtained the Medal of Honor for his actions that day. He grew to become the second-youngest recipient of the award and the primary Marine to be honored in 38 years.
Ten years later, the expertise nonetheless stays with Meyer. “I get up a pair nights a month. Anxiety attack. Throwing up,” he instructed Rogan. He mentioned he will get nervous when his daughter comes into his room at evening, after she’s had a nightmare—he’s nervous she’ll see him after his personal nightmare.
After he returned residence, Meyer says the VA started prescribing treatment—Xanax, blood strain medication. “I went down that street. And it received me nowhere,” he mentioned. Even recognizing the signs had been tough, Meyer mentioned he didn’t actually begin treating his PTSD till 2016, years after he left the service. At that time, he’d had an nervousness assault and instantly considered his daughters. “They deserved the perfect father attainable,” Meyer mentioned.
Not lengthy after the assault, one other soldier instructed Meyer a few creating technique for treating PTSD signs, often called “Stellate Ganglion Block” (SGB). Injected into the nervous system, SGB treats PTSD signs by lowering the degrees of norepinephrine that may activate the concern heart within the mind “It immediately took away my nervousness,” mentioned Meyer, who now has the process completed a couple of times annually.
“When the needle got here out of my neck, it immediately took me from my complete life as downtown NYC rush hour visitors,” he mentioned. “To immediately driving down a quiet nation street with nowhere to be.” The change was so obvious, Meyer caught himself singing within the bathe the following morning—this coming so rapidly after having reached what he’d thought-about the bottom a part of his life.
Meyer calls it the “flashbang of hysteria,” a reset that provides him a second to make selections the place he’s now in management (and never managed by nervousness and concern.) The injection, nevertheless, will not be a treatment, and Meyer says different types of therapy, akin to talk therapy and, for him, an Alpha-Stim—a drug-free system that makes use of electrical stimulation of the ear to deal with nervousness—are equally necessary. Meyer says he additionally makes use of a CBD pen at evening, which has helped get rid of his alcohol consumption.
But when he’s not aware, Meyer mentioned his nervousness can nonetheless construct and take over as his baseline. “Once I fall asleep, it’ll simply rock me,” he mentioned. “I’ll begin throwing up. I’ll be sweating. I’ll be crying.”
Although he’s been in a position to handle lots of his signs utilizing SGB and Alpha-Stim, Meyer mentioned he continuously thinks in regards to the Taliban fighter’s face.
“There’s a degree the place you simply have a look at someone and so they know they’re going to die. This man is a son to someone; his mom and father are going to overlook him; he believes in his trigger as a lot as I do; he may have had a spouse and children who’re by no means going to see their father once more, identical to my dad would by no means see me once more if it was switched; and I don’t hate him—I don’t even know him.”
Meyer mentioned the expertise has helped him put issues into a unique perspective.
“I simply take into consideration—in that second—if I can discover a option to relate to him—a person whose life I’m taking—all of us in America can discover a option to join to one another,” he mentioned. “If we don’t join to one another, it’s as a result of we selected to not.”