Overcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A Biblical Approach
By William R. Kimball
This page has been visited times since 10/30/2009
Photography by Sp5 Richard Calmes
PTSD Overview Listen to or download the PTSD seminar tapes PTSD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Contact the author or make comments Author's biography Books he's authored or co-authored Related Links Professional Christian Counseling
It is important to recognize that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects a significant number of veterans of all wars. In WWI it was called "Shell Shock". In WWII it was called, "Battle Fatigue". After the Vietnam war it was called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Some men suffer flesh wounds in war, while others are afflicted with more subtle scars. Some men come home from war in flag-draped coffins, some maimed without arms or legs or eyes, while hundreds of thousands have come home psychologically shattered - broken within.
The visible injuries of all wars are much easier to perceive, but the hidden wounds of the heart and soul are often more difficult to diagnose and harder to heal. During the Vietnam war, a steady stream of unseen casualties trickled home as anonymous servicemen in transit, lugging the residual baggage of war. At a casual glance, they appeared no different than the ever present ebb tide of men and women in uniform who seem so natural a part of airport lobbies or bus terminals. But to the unseen eye they carried an invisible duffle bag of hurt.
Weather wounded in the flesh or not, a significant percentage of Vietnam veterans suffer from PTSD. Even many who confess that they don't suffer from the effects of PTSD, who sincerely view themselves as "well-adjusted" and over with the baggage of war, this subtle disease continues to gnaw away at the underpinnings of their lives. Even among those who are proud to have served and honored to be called a "Vietnam Vet" this malady widely exists. It is often a festering, emotional abscess, which quietly afflicts many.
The majority of those affected are combat veterans who have been exposed to a traumatic event or the sustained traumas associated with being in a combat zone. However, PTSD can affect others who have experienced a traumatic event (a horrendous exposure to the effects of combat situations such as medivac crews, nurses, doctors, hospitalized veteran's or the veteran's prolonged exposure to the life and death pressures and stresses of a war zone).
It is also important to realize that it is often a long-term condition that affects both Christians and non-Christians a like. Even veterans in some form of Christian and those with the external semblance of a stable lifestyle can suffer from PTSD. It often manifests years after the original trauma - hence the description as Delayed. Some of the symptoms are listed below.
Photography by Sp5 Richard Calmes
Some of the advice given in the "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section are proven, common sense answers acquired through my own personal experience and extensive contact with others suffering from the symptoms of PTSD - Christians and non-Christians alike.
Finally, it is imperative to recognize that the ultimate problems which need to be dealt with are spiritual in nature. They are not just mental and emotional issues. They are not just the result of chemical imbalances in the brain , although these sometimes need to be addressed by qualified health professionals as well. (Note: These are issues I have had to personally deal with as well as a number of Christians and Christian leaders who I have been involved with over the years.) The deeper issues I am addressing are heart and soul issues rooted beneath many of the outward effects of PTSD. In my experience, PTSD can not be fully dealt with unless we deal with some of the deeper issues of the inner man. These are seldom adequately dealt with by both secular and Christian counselors. Though the practical advice given below is birthed out of years of personal experience, secular efforts to deal with PTSD alone, often fail to deal with the underlying condition in a complete and comprehensive way.
It is my hope and prayer that these tapes will help those on the pathway to healing by addressing some of these deeper heart and soul issues.
William R. Kimball
NOTE: for frequently asked questions about PTSD, click here.
Listen to or download the PTSD seminar tapes
From 1989 - 1993, William Kimball (a Vietnam veteran) traveled around the United States giving seminars about how to identify and deal with PTSD from a biblical perspective. With his permission, we copied 5 audio tapes from his seminars to .mp3 files and have made them available as free downloads below. These tapes were approximately 15 years old when we converted them to .mp3 files, so there are a few places on the mp3 files where the sound is a little garbled for a few brief moments, especially on the first tape. You may freely copy these mp3 files and share them with others. However, you may not sell them under any circumstances. Click on the buttons below to perform the designated action.
Download all 5 tapes in MP3 format in a single .zip file (75 meg in size).
Right click on the download button, then select "Save link as" (Netscape) or "Save Target as" (Internet Explorer)
Tape 1 - Releasing Your Bitterness
Tape 2 - Overcoming Survivors Guilt Tape 3 - Redeeming the Tragedies of Yesterday Tape 4 - Is the War Over? Tape 5 - Hamburger Hill - Clearing the enemy strongholds
Contact the author or make comments about the tapes
If you just have comments you want to make about the tapes, please send an e-mail to:
If you want to ask Mr. Kimball questions about your particular PTSD related situation, e-mail him at:
Bill is himself a Vietnam veteran who has personally experienced the tragedies and traumas of the Vietnam war and the often painful pilgrimage in years following the war. Since the dedication of the Vietnam memorial in Washington DC in 1982, Bill has been extensively involved with veterans who passed through that dark period in American history and have struggled to come to terms with their pasts. He has sought to bring hope and healing to multitudes of veteran's, their family members and friends. He has been a frequent conference speaker on issues of healing and PTSD. His involvement has resulted in five "healing" books on the Vietnam experience. This involvement eventually resulted in taking this healing process "full circle" to the place where it all began. In 1988 he founded a humanitarian and missionary organization called "Vets With A Mission" (VWAM) which continues to this day. It has taken hundreds of veterans and family members back to Vietnam to build medical clinics, refurbish hospitals, support orphanages and street-children programs, ship medical supplies and send medical and dental teams to aid the rural poor. VWAM has also done extensive work with the underground church in Vietnam. Bill and his wife currently live in Denmark.
Books he's authored or co-authored
Each of Bill's books on the Vietnam experience are dramatic, real-life stories written to reach Christians and non-Christians alike. They are healing books which speak to veterans of all eras - especially those of the Vietnam conflict. Each of these books are written for veterans', spouses, family members or those just interested in the Vietnam experience. These books have helped thousands of men and women over the years and have proven themselves to be sources of hope and healing. Mr. Kimball's books are no longer in print but most can be purchased from private sellers by searching for "William R. Kimball Books" or the ISBN or ASIN numbers below. Click on the titles below for more info.
Before The Dawn
The horrifying story of a combat Riverine and his long transit home. (View excerpt)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780938936763
Paperback ISBN: 9780671726072
The true story of a young Marine's brutal ordeal in Nam and his journey back twenty years later. (View excerpt)
Hardcover ASIN: B0026CB2FW
Paperback ASIN: B000NRAVG8
The true-life story of a young man's loss of innocence in Vietnam, his descent into world of outlaw bikers and his unforgettable journey out of darkness and pain.
Hardcover ISBN-10: 0849910536
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0849910531
Paperback ISBN-10: 1577940679
Paperback ISBN-13 978-1577940678
Vietnam: A time of war & a time of peace
Weaves a colorful tapestry of heart wrenching experiences, nostalgic reflections and sometimes hilarious encounters through the eyes of those who served and returned to Vietnam. (View excerpt)
Paperback ASIN: B0006R6T34
Vietnam: The Other Side of Glory
Fourteen real-life stories of of individuals who experienced the violence, rage, and redemption by Vietnam vets who've been there and beyond. (View excerpt)
Paperback ISBN-10: 0345350731
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0345350732
Related Links and Books that Mr. Kimball recommends
Point Man International Ministries
Their PTSD page. A powerful support ministry for Vets.
Down Range: To Iraq and Back
A book about PTSD written for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Authors: Bridget C. Cantrell, Chuck Dean
Paperback ISBN-10: 1933150068
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1933150062
Nam Vet : Making Peace with Your Past
Although the Vietnam War officially ended in 1975, it still rages in the lives of thousands of Veterans and their families. Why do so many veterans suffer from flashbacks, depression, fits of rage, nightmares, emotional numbing, substance abuse, and helplessness? Author and Vietnam Veteran Chuck Dean endured years of agony and has some answers through those trials. In "Nam Vet", Chuck explains what causes these symptoms and gives guidance on to break free from self-destructive behaviors. Let the past be the past at last.
Author: Chuck Dean
Paperback ISBN-10: 0967937108
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0967937106
Vets with a Mission
Organization founded by author Bill Kimball. An extensive presentation of this ministry to Vietnam and an incredibly rich resource addressing many sections on The Vietnam War, history of the war and present day Vietnam.
Professional Christian Counseling
Focus on the Family Counseling DepartmentIf you're facing a crisis and need guidance and encouragement, Focus on the Family has a staff of licensed, professional Christian counselors available to talk with you. To speak with one of them, please call our ministry at 1-800-A-FAMILY (1-800-232-6459). Our counseling staff is available Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time). If you call during those hours and our counselors are unavailable, one of our counselor's assistants will arrange for a counselor to call you back as soon as possible at no charge to you. Please note that our counselors can only offer an initial consultation; they cannot engage in an ongoing counseling relationship. If you need additional counseling, our counseling staff can refer you to a Christian counselor in your area. You can also find a local counselor using our counseling referral database (below).
Find a licensed Christian counselor in your area by searching their on-line database by zip code or city and state in the United States and Canada.
William Kimball chooses the content that appears on his web pages on this site (Creationists.org). While in most cases it will be in harmony with our philosophies, beliefs and positions at the Young Earth Creation Club, there may be an occasional difference of opinion. We believe it is important that he has the freedom to express his opinions, in his own words, even if they do occasionally differ from ours. Therefore, we do not censor in any way the content he chooses to place in his pages on our site.