June 20, 2011

Anger Needs a Target: Don't Ask a Vet About Their Medicine During Stressful Events

The other day a friend unknowingly asked me the wrong question during a PTSD moment. "Are you taking your meds?" Asking a Combat PTSD Veteran if they have taken their medicine during times of stress can often be frowned upon by the wary Vet (attempt at humor); not really a good idea. The only thing she did was ask me if I was taking my meds because she could see I was stressed, that's it. But, to the stressed out Combat PTSD Veteran, timing is everything. I needed to counter-reflect in the moment, which I have love to do, to take myself out of being stressed. So I looked at this occasion as am opportunity to teach someone I love about how my mind works.

Her question,
But isn't that a natural question? I know if I don't take mine, I get symptoms.

Me, "Yes, and you shouldn't know that its not a good thing to do ask a vet at that time."

Ok, thanks for letting me know. I'll try to remember that. Can I be honest about my opinion of what you just told me?

Me, "Yes. If I am not mad at you its ok to ask if I am taking my meds, if not then ask the next day."

I don't really think that's fair to just say "don't ask if I am taking my meds" I understand that it can cause a reaction. Of course I don't understand because I haven't been where you have been. But if your friend is showing roller coaster moods it seems like a logical question. I want to understand, but I will never be able to truly truly understand, only one who has lived it can understand.
I can explain to most people what I go through and make them understand for the most part.

Anger needs a target for everyone. Anger heeds a object, for without a quarry there is no anger. If we feel angry then we can usually name who or what has triggered this emotion within us. If not, it can manifest as an internal conflict, thereby creating a problematic environment or situation for the Combat PTSD Veteran. Without realizing this internal conflict we can project this struggle onto others we feel emotionally close, for the dissociative mind can confuse the intimacy with loved ones with the intimacy of war.

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