Fighting the Inner Demon

For Caleb Daniels, it all began in 2005 when a Chinook helicopter crashed during a rescue mission in a remote region of Afghanistan.  Though Daniels had been meant to be on that mission, he had not been present when eight members of his unit, including his best friend Kip Jacoby, had died.   The survivor guilt would haunt him for years afteward.

Shortly after receiving word of the deaths and even with his return to his home in Savannah, Georgia, Daniels was haunted by horrifying dreams of Kip and the other casualities.   The nightmares of their burned bodies staring at him nightly became so intense that he considered suicide.   Even worse, he became convinced that a shadowy figure that he called a "Destroyer demon" was punishing him for "killing and living."   Though the visitations had many of the earmarks of hypnagogia, Daniels became convinced that the nightly visitor was an actual demon.   Most often this "Destroyer" took the form of a 6-foot 5-inch buffalo with horns that appeared to contain all the souls of his dead friends.

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today post.


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