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The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War

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I look around the room. He’s brought me into a training space, filled with model suitcase bombs and other types of explosives. I mention the irony in a soldier recovering from an IED injury spending his time surrounded by fake explosives. He shrugs. “If the point is that I’m trying to get back to where I was before I was injured ...”

So this normalizes things, I say. Provides continuity. He nods. He remains identified with those in Afghanistan and Iraq. “I would have gone back again and again and again, if I could have.”

For all of his difficulties, David Booth is a success story, adapting as well as is humanly possible to circumstances that most civilians would find unimaginable. He hasn’t vanished from sight, or pretended he’s fine, or numbed himself with whatever substances he has at his disposal. He hasn’t totaled his car or crashed his motorcycle; he isn’t hitting his kids or screaming at his wife. Yet even those who have the wherewithal to seek help can lose heart. Healing can be a glacial process. “I sometimes make excuses not to go to therapy,” admits Booth. “Because it’s like opening wounds, you know?”


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