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Wounded Times

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Military still doesn't get what PTSD does

The list offered by Dr. Forys-Donahue includes, relationship problems, substance use and abuse, life stressors and behavioral health issues. Where do I start on this one? The best way to hit this is with a reminder that after all these years of the military training the troops to be "resilient" they have managed to increase suicides at the same time less than half of the troops with PTSD seek help. Pretty obvious they still don't get it.

The list offered are all parts of what PTSD does, especially when it is untreated and the soldier does not understand what is happening to him/her.

When Vietnam veterans and older generations came home, nothing was being done. Vietnam veterans pushed for what is available today. They are also sick to their stomachs all of this is still going on.

In 1982 I met my Vietnam vet husband and everything listed was part of his PTSD. Families understood this when they were aware of what combat does to those we send. We helped them heal. The issue came when families had no clue while taking no interested in discovering what the cause of their problems was. I understood it from clinical books before the Internet showed up in most homes and provided the research necessary to understand even more. The problem was, even though I knew a lot, it was almost impossible to keep my family together. Families with no knowledge had zero chance of defeating PTSD, so it destroyed their veterans.

Families went through "relationship problems" substance abuse and "behavioral health issues" along with the same life stressors everyone else goes through, so none of this is new. Considering how much has been "done" on PTSD, the results are proving one thing. The military still doesn't get what PTSD does.
Pay attention, prevent a suicide
Suicide is real.
Fort Leavenworth Lamp
By Dr. Kelly L. Forys-Donahue
U.S. Army Public Health Command
September 12. 2013

Most of us know someone whose life has been affected by suicidal behavior (a completed suicide or a suicide attempt), and the pain and stress of the suicidal behavior spreads like a ripple to family, battle buddies, friends and co-workers.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — “What? Are you serious? So-and-so tried to kill himself?”

Unfortunately, at some time in your life, you may have heard these questions spoken in your circle of friends. Suicide is real. Most of us know someone whose life has been affected by suicidal behavior (a completed suicide or a suicide attempt), and the pain and stress of the suicidal behavior spreads like a ripple to family, battle buddies, friends and co-workers. All of those individuals — including you — who could be impacted by suicidal behavior can help recognize risk factors and stressors and act to increase the chances of saving a life.

There is not one single factor or set of factors that indicate a person is thinking about suicide.

Sometimes, we can look back at an incident of suicidal behavior and say, “Wow, we should’ve seen that coming,” but other times, the behavior seems to happen out-of-the-blue. Noticing the signs and risk factors of suicidal behavior is not always easy. Risk factors for suicide vary from person to person and change over time in the same person. An individual can have one or multiple risk factors contributing to a suicidal behavior.
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