Returning home from the battlefield • For the challenge and patience until reintegration

An exciting Passover ceremony was held in the refugee camp • The ship 'Exodus' ► Watch

'Exodus', a symbol of bravery and determination, great excitement was recorded last Friday...

In "Zikhron Beslon" next year - we will also hear the stories of the immigrants from the Commonwealth of Nations

Tatiana Levy takes care of everyone Tatiana Levy, 67, coordinator of immigrants and culture...

Nordau Street, the first pedestrian street in the city of Haifa • Yossi Lubalski

The reincarnation of a passage that mixed entertainment and leisure was copied into concrete complexes...

At Mochin Gallery in Haifa - when the guns are roaring the muses are not silent

In the lower city at noon on Saturday (4.5.24) an exhibition was opened which...

The return of the multi-armed octopus to the beach in Haifa

Lately, one of the most fascinating animals has been rediscovered in the natural world...
Banner Gordon 230524
The municipality of Kiryat Bialik is launching a new website
Banner Kiryat Ata Azmatwa 080524

Changes in train traffic • Continuous travel between Haifa and Tel Aviv will not be possible

Temporary changes in train traffic in the Atlit area on Friday 5/7/24...

"I came out of the water all blue" • Spending time at the pool in Haifa

(Hai Pe) - Bathing in the "Gali Haifa" pool, they discovered on their way out...

Vote in the poll: Is there a decrease in the number of pigs on the streets of Haifa?

(Hai Pa) - Haifa Municipality is making efforts to thin out shooting...

"The '20 minutes Zoz' parking is a disadvantage to a wide public in Haifa" • Savion in a proposal to order

(Hai Pa) - Israel Savion in the proposal for a settlement: "Improving the settlement...

Returning from the front is not easy. Soldiers who have returned home from war go through a complex process to free themselves from the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of past events. In a conversation with Ronen Sidi, a clinical psychologist, an expert in the treatment of combat reactions and military post-trauma at the clinic of the Ministry of Defense and the Valley Hospital, he talks about trauma and post-trauma and explains how to welcome the soldiers who return from the front. Ronen Sidi served in the army during a period of intense activity, and according to him, he knows post-trauma on a personal level and it helps him connect with the soldiers during treatments.

Vigilance that increases the chances of survival

Says Sidi: "When you talk about soldiers returning from combat, you talk about a tense nervous system, a very high arousal of the nervous system. There is alertness, the heart rate rises, the body reacts intensively to life-threatening situations and this helps protect the warrior. When you are in this state for hours And days, they shoot at you and you shoot back, there is a high level of vigilance that increases the soldier's chances of survival.

After a period when you return home, the nervous system does not immediately return itself to a balanced state. it's natural. The very high alertness continues for a while until it stabilizes. In the meantime and sometimes for a long time, noises and explosions trample the nervous system over and over again. Even if something just fell on the floor and a sudden noise is heard, there is alertness that brings the system back to the feeling of a battlefield. This is called overestimation of risks and dangers. Life is very high stress.

It is expected that the body of the warrior who has returned from the battlefield will be alert, and it takes time but naturally slowly and gradually, the level of arousal decreases, and the remaining arousal does not cause a disruption in leading a life. When there is no decrease in tension and the level of nervous arousal, it is worth considering processes that will help to balance such as meditation, walks in nature or on the beach, yoga, things that will help to recalibrate the nervous system, that will give the feeling that I am safe and that the environment is safe.

For the warrior, the thought that I am needed and that I can help others, can save and give, creates more mental well-being than distance and disconnection. Knowing that my friends continue to fight and I don't get frustrated and creates difficult mental situations. Along with this, when you are in combat areas, it is correct to tell the fighters in the minutes after combat situations, that it is over, that you are sure now, that the danger has passed. To help the system understand that now I am safe and there is no need to be overly alert which interferes with functioning, but to save the energy for the next challenge."

Our soldiers in Gaza - the ground operation - 30/10/23 (Photo: IDF spokesperson)
Our soldiers in Gaza - the ground operation - 30/10/23 (photo: IDF spokesperson)

keep the doll from being afraid

Many studies have dealt with the effects of returning from the war and their impact on the soldiers and the community around them. The return of soldiers from the war may lead to the development of post-war trauma syndrome, which manifests itself in symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and an unrelenting memory of moments of danger, often accompanied by a sense of guilt and the thought that they could have acted differently and saved the comrades who were injured and killed. Soldiers who have returned from the war may face physical and psychological injuries caused during military service, challenges in getting organized for civilian routine life, and challenges in the processes of emotional connection in relationships.

Studies done in England on soldiers who returned from the battles in Afghanistan and Iraq found that the return to normality requires emotional support and a safe space where they can talk about what they went through in order to release the traumas. The studies raised difficulties in the families of the soldiers, in the relationship with the children and the spouses of the returned fighters.

In an experiment conducted after October 7 on children in an environment where there are alarms and dangers, dolls were distributed to the children. Some were told that the doll would watch over them, that they would hug it and hold it close, and some were told that they should keep the doll, hug it so that it would not be afraid. After the experiment it turned out that the children who were asked to guard the doll developed higher resilience than those who were guarded by the doll.

Don't be ashamed to ask for help

Yossi served in a combat unit and when he returned from the front he was depressed and did not want to talk about what happened. Later he explained that he thought they wouldn't understand what he went through, that he shouldn't tell about the fear, the horror. After a while he agreed to share his story.

"I will not want to talk about the exact details, but I can tell about some thoughts and feelings I had when I returned from the combat areas. The return was very difficult for me. During the service, I got used to a completely different life, a life where every moment could be my last moment. The danger, the tension , the missions, all these were part of my life for many days and it was as if the body could not release it.

When I returned home it was difficult for me to focus on daily tasks such as studying, going back to work, enjoying my family. All kinds of small things seemed significant to me and I developed anxiety and a feeling of insecurity. When I walk down the street I constantly look to see that there is no one around who endangers me or the family, I am very alert, everything jumps me, everything irritates me, I often withdraw, stay away, feel like I don't belong.

The most important thing I learned from this experience is not to be ashamed to ask for help. Ask for support from friends who were with me in the unit, from professionals, people who understand what I'm going through and can help me cope. Today I know that I am not alone and that there is someone who helps."

What to do when life is short

Sidi continues to tell: "In the first period of returning from the war, it is difficult for many to be in the company of family and friends who did not go through the fighting. People who returned from war, were in danger of being killed, saw friends killed and themselves participated in battles, now sit around a table and hear people talking about recipes and routine matters, and Do you understand what they are doing there. People are being killed and you are talking about the tahina in the salad? The gap is huge, it takes time to come back.

It is impossible to avoid this gap, and many times in a family, as well as in a relationship, you have to, with a lot of patience, slowly and gently re-establish the connections and not press. People who have been through life-threatening situations, who felt that at any moment their lives could end, ask themselves questions about how they want to continue their lives if life is so short. What is right for them, what is worthwhile for them, what they want. It is very confusing and frustrating. It takes time to calm the anxiety, the sense of danger, the long term."

The traumatic situation, the exposure to life-threatening events, create high emotional stress in addition to physical stress. There will be those who will connect to the news, want to know everything that is happening, will watch videos documenting the horrors of the war, and there will be others who will want to disconnect completely, not to see or hear anything of what is happening. Neither the attraction to information nor the purging help to release the trauma. Many of the people who come back from combat situations and manage to get back to normal, describe a condition called "post-traumatic growth", people who describe that dealing with the difficulty, with death and pain, gave rise to abilities and mental development within them that would not have been possible without these challenges.

come back and trust in reality

Sidi: "Recently, they began to refer to what is called a moral wound, a situation in which, during combat, a population of non-involved people is harmed. The harm to civilians, the accidental shooting, the bombing in which a family was killed along with the terrorists, all of these create a difficult feeling for the fighters, and as part of the treatment, the The very difficult experience in which not only you can be killed, but you also kill.

It is very complex and different between the younger fighters and the older fighters who have children. In this war it is not always clear who is a civilian and who is a terrorist, and the returning fighters carry with them guilt, shame, very tragic situations. In the treatment process, we open it up slowly, in a supportive and protected space, a place where the fighter can release his defenses, guilt or shame, and return to believing in himself and his abilities."

The fear of communication and difficulty expressing feelings may impair the ability to form romantic relationships. In family relationships, with the warrior's parents, the girlfriend, the wife, whoever was left behind and was worried about his loved ones who went to battle, worried about the children, in the helplessness due to the inability to protect your dear person who went to war, feels the difficulty and needs to be listened to, understood and supported . It's frustrating and it hurts both sides. Both for returning fighters and for those who stay at home.

Both parties may bear the feeling of 'I am not understood', and also the experience that 'I am alone in pain and difficult experiences'. It takes a lot of patience to accommodate each other, to re-accommodate life without war, to come back and trust in reality. Without pressure, without pushing to tell what happened, just offering ourselves to listen at any moment when asked, and being there, letting the other submit that we are there for him. It is important to create support circles in the community, to use professionals, not to be afraid to ask for help, to ask for support, and to believe in life again.

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Tammy Goldstein
Tammy Goldstein
Caller, Hilarit, a spiritual teacher specializing in personal and couple holistic counseling and energy therapy to balance the body and emotions, with over 20 years of experience

More articles from the same reporter

תגובה 1

  1. As Yahav said, we are all traumatized by the state's neglect of the security of the people of Israel in their country.
    In Haifa, the university is taught by lecturers who support Hamas and Hamas students who expressed joy and blessed the massacre of Hamas on 7.10 and glorified the murder of 900 people and the kidnapping of hundreds.
    What will we say on Memorial Day when it's Haifa University Model 2024?!

Leave a comment

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

All the articles are alive

Work accident in Haifa: A worker fell during his work

(Live here) A worker fell during his work in the Shemen beach industrial area in Haifa. MDA informed Lahi Pa News Corporation: at 05:37 a report was received at MDA's 101 hotline in the Carmel region about a worker who was injured during his work in the Shemen Beach industrial area...

Car accident in Haifa: 2 motorcyclists were hit by a vehicle

(Hai Fe) - 2 motorcyclists who were hit by a vehicle on Hagana Boulevard in Haifa from MDA reported to Hai Fe the news corporation: at 15:41 a report was received at MDA's 101 hotline...

Recall - extra virgin olive oil "GAVELIR"

This notice is in addition to a previous recall notice, which we reported on 31/05/24 from the Ministry of Health, the news corporation gave to Lahi Pa News Corporation: The Olive Oil Marketing Company The Industrial Park Kedmat...

"Shavuot Championship", the national tennis competition, has come to an end

The Haifa Tennis and Education Center hosted the Shavuot Youth Tennis Championship named after Nahum Barak. For the first time, the competition was held only in pairs format. On Thursday 13/06/24 the competition came to an end...

A night of art at Migdal Armon in Haifa • 23/06/24

The renovated Palace Tower will open for one night of performances • A free event for the general public The renovated Palace Tower, one of the most iconic buildings in Haifa, will open its spaces for one night...