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“The empathy factor is when, in social environment, in a normal environment, empathy is a good thing. Empathy is what makes social unity. It makes us get along. It makes us want to help people… The problem is in a war society, and we’re going to say it that way, it’s 180 degrees from a civil society. People don’t really realize, that’s civilian people don’t realize, and even military people convolute the two together, they don’t really work together.” Jerry Peterson, Vietnam Veteran and creator of SCARS .

And check out the full episodes with Jerry and Blake Peterson on The David Johnson Show: S.C.A.R.S. The Science Behind Combat and Eliminating Fear https://youtu.be/QuMgfBQxmbo

“The David Johnson Show” is a national voice that talks about points of interest in the American military and veteran subculture. Each show episode showcases a different guest with a different story. Sign up to get notified of new episodes at https://thedavidjohnsonshow.com and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Video Transcript:

As I went through that I found, “There’s no information here about the disassociation part.” We talked a little bit about disassociation of the empathy factor. The empathy factor is the number one, should we say, personality killer of a soldier when he gets out, or it changes his personality immensely.

The empathy factor is when, in social environment, in a normal environment, empathy is a good thing. Empathy is what makes social unity. It makes us get along. It makes us want to help people. You have empathy for your child. You have empathy for a stranger. You have empathy for an animal, that if they get hurt, it makes you want to help them.

The problem is in a war society, and we’re going to say it that way, it’s 180 degrees from a civil society. People don’t really realize, that’s civilian people don’t realize, and even military people convolute the two together, they don’t really work together. If you do, you trigger memories and empathy factors that cause you to feel guilty or to react in a negative way.

It took years and years for me to go through the psychiatry. I didn’t become a psychiatrist. I didn’t get a degree in that because I was looking for those factors of how a person can control fear. It wasn’t just the empathy, it was the fear base. Now when I say “fear,” I’m not talking to us about the fact that, “Oh my God, the car is coming at me, I’m going to die.”

That’s one stage of fear. When I say “fear,” I’m talking about doubt, hesitations, questioning yourself. You get up in the morning and you say, “I got to pay this bill.” This simple thing, “I got to pay this bill. Oh God, I don’t know if I should pay the bill.”

That is a part of a fear factor of the unknown. Anything unknown to the human causes your chemistry to change. The idea is to actually then go into a study of parapsychology to understand, “What part of the brain?” If I want to control anything to do with my nervous system, and pain, and blood-flow, you drop into what they call a theta state, which is about four cycles a second.

This is just science.

David Johnson

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