Saturday, December 15, 2018

When they are spreading the pain instead of healing

Turning heartache into action requires more than love

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 15, 2018

When you suffer a loss of someone you love, the pain can be so great, the only way to relieve it, is to find something else to fill the void left behind.

While it is totally understandable to want to do something, doing the right thing requires so much more than the desire.

After more than half my life has been dedicated to defeating PTSD, it began because of the pain I was introduced to when I fell in love. I knew what was attached to the stigma preventing veterans from seeking help. What I did not know was how to get it out of the way.

It required a couple of years of research before I began to write about it. About ten years later, personal computers connected people just like me across the country, and we learned more. We shared more and then we began to change the conversation.

To say it is heartbreakingly frustrating to see the outcome today, is far from adequate. Putting my fist through my computer is closer to how I feel every time I read about someone starting a charity because they are hurting. How many more do we need before people finally wake up and take all of this as seriously as it deserves to be taken?

I was reading a report about a firefighter's Mom in the process of starting a charity because her son committed suicide. It has not even started yet, but managed to get the attention of the Chronicle Herald. It has a lot of claims in it that have been proven to have already failed, but that is not even mentioned.

The Mom knows what pain she feels, but did not know the pain her son was carrying, and lacked the knowledge to know what his job was doing to him. But this Mom decided that experience should be turned into yet another effort, based on what failed so she can share it?
(The Mom) highly praised the assistance (her son) received from Halifax Regional Fire services.“I can’t even begin to tell you how supportive they were,” she said. “Within the resources they have and the skills and tools they had, they over-performed by 500 per cent.”
She praised it after her son was failed by it? Then she talked about how there are things in place that work? We have got to stop being silent when so much of what works is not worth them mentioning!

Here in the US, we have far too many just like her, and that is our biggest problem. Wanting to do something and knowing how to do it are two very different things.

Preventing suicides requires a serious effort, but we have not seen as much dedication toward discovering what is already available and what has been proven to have failed. Resilience training failed with catastrophic results. 

The DOD began that "effort" over a decade ago, yet ever since 2012, we have seen more service members commit suicide, than those killed in two wars every year. 

This "effort" actually hinders them from seeking help because they are told they can "train their brains" to be mentally tough. Since they do not actually understand what PTSD, they end up believing they are mentally weak, instead of knowing PTSD hit their core because of the strength within them.

How long do we allow all of this to go on because we do not want to hurt someone who has suffered a loss? How long do we let people, with good intentions, spread what failed, because we feel sorry for them?

The number of known suicides has gone up because we have simply allowed grief stricken people to do whatever they wanted to do, blindly supported them in their "efforts" because we did not want to inflict more pain? Seriously? We managed to allow the pain to spread out so that more families knew exactly what the provider had been through the hard way. It happened to them!

If we keep failing to get serious about all this, we will continue to see more and more take their own lives because we failed to show them the way to take control of their healing. Too many never even knew they could!

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