I remember it every night, Meyer told Joe Rogan on a recent episode of Joe Rogan Experience. I just see his face, he said about the man he killed with a rock. Meyer, now retired, received the Medal of Honor for his actions that day. He became the second-youngest recipient of the award and the first Marine to be honored in 38 years.
Ten years later, the experience still stays with Meyer. I wake up a couple nights a month. Anxiety attack . Throwing up, he told Rogan. He said he gets nervous when his daughter comes into his room at night, after shes had a nightmarehes nervous shell see him after his own nightmare.
After he returned home, Meyer says the VA began prescribing medication Xanax , blood pressure medicine. I went down that road. And it got me nowhere, he said. Even recognizing the symptoms had been difficult, Meyer said he didnt really start treating his PTSD until 2016, years after he left the service. At that point, he'd had an anxiety attack and immediately thought of his daughters. They deserved the best father possible, Meyer said.
Not long after the attack, another soldier told Meyer about a developing method for treating PTSD symptoms, known as Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB). Injected into the nervous system, SGB treats PTSD symptoms by reducing the levels of norepinephrine that can activate the fear center in the brain It instantly took away my anxiety, said Meyer, who now has the procedure done once or twice each year.
When the needle came out of my neck, it instantly took me from my whole life as downtown NYC rush hour traffic," he said. "To instantly driving down a quiet country road with nowhere to be. The change was so apparent, Meyer caught himself singing in the shower the next morningthis coming so quickly after having reached what he'd considered the lowest part of his life.
Meyer calls it the flashbang of anxiety, a reset that gives him a moment to make decisions where hes now in control (and not controlled by anxiety and fear.) The injection, however, is not a cure, and Meyer says other forms of treatment, such as talk therapy and, for him, an Alpha-Stima drug-free device that uses electric stimulation of the ear to treat anxietyare equally important. Meyer says he also uses a CBD pen at night, which has helped eliminate his alcohol consumption.
But if hes not mindful, Meyer said his anxiety can still build and take over as his baseline. When I go to sleep, itll just rock me, he said. Ill start throwing up. Ill be sweating. Ill be crying.
Though hes been able to manage many of his symptoms using SGB and Alpha-Stim, Meyer said he constantly thinks about the Taliban fighters face.
Theres a point where you just look at somebody and they know theyre going to die. This guy is a son to somebody; his mother and father are going to miss him; he believes in his cause as much as I do; he could have had a wife and kids who are never going to see their father again, just like my dad would never see me again if it was switched; and I dont hate himI dont even know him.
Meyer said the experience has helped him put things into a different perspective.
I just think aboutin that momentif I can find a way to relate to hima man whose life Im takingwe all in America can find a way to connect to each other," he said. "If we dont connect to each other, its because we chose not to.