July 5, 2008

Never Give in to the Enemy

To say that with treatment we can get better seems to suggest that we can be cured. This is not the case, we can improve our standard of living by learning coping skills, become educated about our triggers, learn to identify and express our emotions. PTSD rewires the brains neurological landscape, it is as if we have been given a new brain with the same memories and no one told us of the switch. With this new brain we have been given hijacked neuropathways telling us that our survival is in jeopardy. Without the education, social and coping skills training, values identification, relaxation techniques, counseling and therapy, this debilitating and overwhelming mental illness will defeat us every time (Cercone, 305-307).

I dealt with PTSD by self medicating for 14 years until my anger, suffering, fear and unmet needs became overwhelming. It can take years for the problems to accumulate to the point of self-destruction. My realization of this began when a man stabbed me in the face because I had offended him numerous times and when he had an opportunity he acted on it. It took someone trying to take my life to realize that I was mentally ill and that I needed help. My behavior, attitude and cognitive processes had digressed to the point of self hatred and feelings of unworthiness.

I kept thinking of killing myself for 15 years or so, driving off the road, instigating fights, fingering my gun and imaging the relief I would feel if I just pulled the trigger. I could not do it myself, so I sought out people and situations that endangered my existence. How do I kill myself without me doing it? I thank God that I persevered through it and I am well enough today that I may help someone else like me, which was Gods plan all along.

If you know of a veteran or someone you may think is suffering from PTSD, help them get help. In the military we are trained to keep going, to never give in to the enemy. The returning veteran needs our help in reintegrating into society. They need our support and assistance to transition from a life or death struggle in combat to a new beginning in society. We will never be the same as we were before we went to war. But with your help and support we can redirect the negative outcomes from PTSD and become productive to society.



  1. Wow makes me want to cry! There is a commerical out there about strokes. It says time loss=brain loss. It seems to be the same with PTSD, except its memory loss, friends loss, and job loss(insert anyting else in there).

    My first husband knew I had PTSD, but didn't like the fact he had a defective wife. I couldn't seek treatment in the military, because of my job. I scraped some change together and went on the civilian side for help. It was helping because my PTSD incident had occured only a year ago.

    Husband protested, saw psycologists like Voo-doo magic. Under pressure I stopped going, and spent the next decade suffering.

    It took a chance encounter at a VA screening, to get me back in treatment 10 years later.

    Re-married, PTSD came roaring back with a vengence. . My new husband at the time helped me file my VA claim and I was rated at 30%. I had to ETS out of the Army due to my illness. New husband got tired of me being ill and even accused me of malingering when I didn't work for months. During my disassociatve state he would keep me from the Dr.(they were making me worse according to him) and feed me alcohol. He took me through all matter of darkness trying to "help" This help includes hiding my pills, trying to get me to have sex with other men while he watched. And all manner of things I am ashamed to mention here.

    He finally got tired of me and my "illness", because I finally stood up to him.

    He kicked me out of me house and home. I was sleeping in the car in front of the VA. So sick, but working in healthcare. SHowering at the gym before my membership ran out.

    It was funny, because my VA dr saw me dragging in garbage bags with my laundry in the office. I looked a bag lady lol. She gave me an elevator look...slammed so papers down and said "you need to get more money". I said what about me career.... I said in my disassocative state. I was sleeping in my car, and just could not get it.

    Sorry Scott for being long. People please get help, it will save yer suffering.

  2. oh btw I left out I am currently at 50%(don't remember how I got there.


Please share your comments, stories and information. Thank you. ~ Scott Lee