Van Canna wrote:
What you write is somberly captivating and it induces a learning process at a subliminal level that all readers will benefit.
Then we have the clucking turkeys...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObCUbHGe6Qg
Never know when you'll encounter a clucking hen. Thanks!
I've another buddy who is going thru PTSD. Has been for about 10 years. He just started his 2nd divorce since getting home. He gets life together and then it just starts to disintegrate again. I've got to get a hold of him I know hes in a dark place right now. When I first met him he went thru 5 jobs in a year. He was upset one day and told me, I don't know what the F is wrong with me I've been fired from my last five jobs and I'm looking again.
I talked him into applying for a job with a road maintenance firm. They hired him and he's been at it for 2 years. Looks like a good fit for him at the moment. Although this guy has problems at times he also focuses most of his free time helping other vets. He's developed some of the national programs that assist veterans adjust after getting back home.
One day he commented on something and referenced landing in a hot LZ. I gave him a puzzled look and he said it's like this dude, it's friggin intense. You get the word your flying in to help out another company that is pinned down. You gear up and next thing you know your in the bird flying up some valley your getting briefed on the in way. Everyone's eyes are glued to the windows. There are tracer rounds flying all over the place. Its a fluid situation you don't know where the friendly guys are. Everyone's hearts are pounding were all jacked up,you can almost smell adrenaline...all you know for sure is the Taliban saw you coming in there will be incoming fire when you go out those doors. You try to stay alive long enough to get the lay of the land so you can do your job. That's a hot LZ.
Talk to a shrink and tell him you lost your schit landing at an airport because you flashed back to a hot LZ and he is not going to get it. He won't understand what your going thru or see the triggers.
So my buddy developed a program for vets who are starting to experience memories, feelings that are causing problems in their lives. Guys that just find it difficult to function in a non military environment. The program allows them to debrief. They also build a support network.
Basically vets that are having problems are referred to go on ten day courses with other vets. They are lead by a couple of facilitators and they do things they enjoy doing in the outdoors. Mountain climbing, ski trekking, long distance wilderness travel, canoe trips etc. This allows the participants to get away from it for a while and enjoy some solitude. It also forces them to bond together as a team as they must work together to accomplish the task. This is very familiar territory for a soldier. It also gives them a chance to sit around the camp fire and chat. To BS about their service and to discuss the problems they may be having.
One benefit of the experience is the participants realize that recreational activities help reduce stress. The big benefit is however having the chance to talk to other soldiers who are experiencing the same things you are.
These guys have gone from having their brothers around them 24 7 to in some cases having no one around them who has experienced military service. They feel isolated and have no one to talk with that they feel comfortable talking too. They also learn that they can help each other deal with troubles. They don't have to book an appointment and wait to weeks to talk to a civilian, they can call a buddy and ask for help. Many vets keep in touch after the process, they also tend to keep in touch with those they served with. They begin to network in an attempt to help each other deal with the PTSD. The program doesn't replace trained medical personnel it supplements it.
The results are encouraging.
I'm no expert on stress induced illness, but I do know many people who are suffering from PTSD are facing a long road to recovery. Disappointing that for many years the condition was flat out denied. Well we can't hide the bodies anymore. if we know someone going thru this lend them an ear when they need one. Call them now and then just to see how things are going. It can make a difference.