Post Traumatic Shame Disorder

A manual for undoing ‘Amerika’s’ torment of Vietnam veterans

What You Have Is Probably Worse Than PTSD

By Darrell D. Turner, PhD

I detest the “American left” for everything it has done to try to destroy our country and our military over the last 50 years. So let me say this quickly now, because there is not much time to help undo the effects of “Amerika’s” torment of Vietnam veterans. My book, Post Traumatic Shame Disorder, is about two things:

First, it addresses the ways the anti-war, radical-left movement of the 1960s inflicted profound damage on the psyches of returning Vietnam veterans already suffering from combat-related trauma.

The book describes how the left used a “Trojan horse” strategy to deliver Marxist-oriented propaganda to turn large segments of the American public against the very military that protected them during a critical phase of the Cold War. The left’s influence also pressured the U.S. government to abandon their commitment to support South Vietnam in their fight against communism, leaving Vietnam veterans with the anguish of wondering if more than 58,000 men had died in vain.

The catastrophic result of the left’s efforts was that Vietnam veterans would be abandoned, marginalized, and demeaned for decades.

A treatment plan

Second, my book offers a treatment plan to help Vietnam veterans deprogram themselves from any of the residual brainwashing effects caused by the left’s attempt to confuse, guilt-trip, and shame them into thinking and feeling that their efforts were anything less than noble.

Many mental-health clinicians who work with PTSD approach the problem from an exploration of how exposure to combat trauma affects the mental and emotional health of those who have directly or indirectly experienced such horror. They help veterans change thought patterns that may influence feelings and behavior. This is one effective model in the treatment of some forms of PTSD.

But this approach omits important “context” variables. My book argues that a better approach must also include an account of how the surrounding social, political, and cultural conditions affect the veteran’s mental health after he comes home. If the veteran comes home to a supportive and appreciative culture, he will stand a better prognosis. Thousands of World War II veterans came home with combat trauma, but they also came home to a hero’s welcome and a society that recognized and honored their efforts. And while this warm reception could not cure their PTSD, those veterans seldom suffered the additional complication of “irrational shame” that might weaken their psychological immunity system for decades.

Unfortunately it didn’t work this way for the Vietnam veterans, who experienced painful rejection and humiliation by the very groups they had protected.

It don’t mean nuthin’

A Vietnam veteran once gave me a poem about how he and other veterans felt about the war:
We are the unwilling. Led by the unqualified. To do the impossible. For the ungrateful.

We expected nuthin’ in Vietnam. When we got home, nuthin’s what we got. Now we have each other.

When the Vietnam veteran saw more body bags than his heart could endure, when he saw blood pouring out of departing medevac choppers that carried piles of wounded soldiers, and when he spent Thanksgiving Day picking up body parts and tagging his deceased buddies, he adopted this coping statement:
“It don’t mean nothin’.”

Too many didn’t care

Where was the compassion from the American left who spit on, ridiculed, mocked, shunned, debased, and vilified Vietnam veterans as drug-crazed “baby killers?” The media didn’t care to honestly investigate any of that, including the false accusations of baby killing. Very few of the American left have ever expressed remorse for the psychological damage and betrayal they inflicted on the 2.6 million Vietnam veterans who gave some or all of their lives to defend American freedom.

There’s no cure for PTSD

My book doesn’t cure PTSD. Nothing can cure PTSD. But it does explain a dimension of PTSD from which thousands of Vietnam veterans have suffered; an injury caused not by the Viet Cong or the North Vietnamese, but from the enemy within. Post Traumatic Shame Disorder is what I call this condition that is mostly unique to Vietnam veterans; a condition that some mental-health clinicians know embarrassingly little about. My book can help veterans better understand how they became the least-appreciated veterans in the history of our country.


Get the Book
In this unusual book, Darrell Turner lets it all out, as he describes the real reasons so many Vietnam veterans still suffer with PTSD more than forty years after the war, and makes it clear why the PTSD that affects Vietnam veterans is so different from anything suffered by other veterans, past or present. No matter how much you’ve read about PTSD and the Vietnam War, it’s safe to say that you’ve never read anything quite like this book. Available on Amazon. Also available from publisher or author: See addresses on our web site.
A Manual for Undoing ‘Amerika’s’ Torment of Vietnam Veterans

By Darrell D. Turner, Ph.D.
$19.95 American-Patriots Music & Publishing, LLC
1. Amazon.
2. (10 percent off for veterans.).


Darrell D. Turner.Darrell D. Turner is a clinical psychologist with the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. He is a writer and a frequent lecturer in the areas of PTSD in Vietnam veterans.