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Combat Veterans with PTSD and Sensation Seeking Syndrome

Another excerpt from my Sentencing Memorandum for a combat veteran facing a 32 year minimum mandatory sentence.

Another component typically found in combat veterans with PTSD is the “sensation seeking syndrome”. This behavior is characterized by a tendency to engage in risky activities in order to recreate the level of arousal and excitement experienced in combat. It has been shown that this factor can lead to criminal behavior. The adrenaline rush of committing the robberies was consistent with the sensations (CLIENT) experienced on combat missions. (See, U.S. v. Tindall, No. 79-376-T 07 (D. Mass. Sept. 19, 1980), in which a helicopter pilot was smuggling drugs in order to regain the thrill, risk, and stress-induced adrenaline rush that he had flying in combat.) This is precisely the reason why (CLIENT) joined Blackwater after only two months as a civilian. Once he lost Blackwater, he turned to high stakes gambling as a fix which only made his life situation worse. It was at the point of desperation that committing a robbery replaced the rush he would get while on combat missions.

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