Showing posts with label healing PTSD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healing PTSD. Show all posts

Saturday, January 25, 2020

“Bastard Road" turning veterans with PTSD from victims to survivors

Veteran takes a long journey down the road in Slamdance documentary

Park Record
Scott Iwasaki
January 25, 2020

In the opening scene of Brian Morrison’s “Bastard Road,” a documentary feature in this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, Jonathan Hancock, a former Marine and an Iraq War veteran, recounts an incident where he killed a young boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The boy’s death is part of Hancock’s post-traumatic stress disorder, which has prevented him from transitioning back into civilian life when his service in the Marines ended in 2009.

Six years later, Hancock, after sliding into a pit of depression, anger, substance abuse and a suicide attempt, decided to walk cross-country from Maryland to California to visit some of his 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines brethren, nicknamed the “Magnificent Bastards,” to cope with his PTSD.

Although Morrison didn’t know Hancock personally, the two shared high school friends, and it was one of those friends who put the two in touch with each other.

“The thing is, I wasn’t aware of Jon’s walk until he was a couple thousand miles into it, and he started popping up on local TV reports,” Morrison said. “I knew he was a Marine who was struggling with PTSD, and I was so curious as to why he was walking.”
read it here

Friday, January 17, 2020

We never seem to focus on those who do not commit suicide

The truth will change the grim ending of suicides

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 17, 2020

Why have we shut our eyes to veterans suffering greater harm because of our acceptance of their misery?

That is what has been achieved after 4 decades of research on PTSD. It is what they face even though it was written about throughout centuries of authors telling stories about the affliction of those who dare to face death.
The survivors have only forgotten they stopped being victims when they survived, because we allowed it to happen. We sat back and let others decide what they should know instead of what discovering what they needed to know to heal. They paid the price for our laziness and our inability to see what has been glowing in the darkness they have been trapped by.

Isn't it time you joined the fight for their sake?

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 830,000 Vietnam War veterans suffered symptoms of PTSD. The National Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment Study (NVVRS) found 15% of male and 9% of female Vietnam veterans had PTSD at the time of the study. Life-time prevalence of PTSD was 31% for males and 27% for females. In a reanalysis of the NVVRS data, along with analysis of the data from the Matsunaga Vietnam Veterans Project, Schnurr, Lunney, Sengupta, and Waelde found that, contrary to the initial analysis of the NVVRS data, a large majority of Vietnam veterans suffered from PTSD symptoms (but not the disorder itself). Four out of five reported recent symptoms when interviewed 20–25 years after Vietnam.
Now that you know how long research has been going on, as well as the fact that decades after Vietnam veterans came home, they awakened to the fact the war did follow them home, just as this newer generation will face if we do not make serious changes now.

What makes all this worse is what has been happening to female veterans.

KOAA News article The factors behind alarming suicide rate among women veterans but did little to answer what the factors were.
"The United States Department of Veterans Affairs says the suicide rate among women veterans is double that of women who don't serve."
Then why would they point out something that happens to female veterans as well as civilians?
"According to the U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs, the suicide rate is higher among women who report military sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual discrimination and harassment-- all factors that can contribute to PTSD."
When "factors behind alarming suicide rate among women veterans" leaves out combat...that is part of the problem!

David McFadden, a social work professor at CSU Pueblo said,"I think [suicide] is a subject that's becoming more open," McFadden said. "We hear a lot about stars and celebrities committing suicide in the media, so I think it's a subject that we are definitely taking seriously and opening a dialogue helps." But apparently did not notice that he said that right after he said "it's harder for women to serve because an old stereotype that the idea women are weaker than men still prevails."

If it "prevails" it is because too many have just accepted it instead of fighting against what people think. Plus, while the "subject is becoming more open" about suicides, there seems to be a lack of curiosity as to why that happened...and even less about the ramifications of doing more talking about them happening instead of why they would not happen.

Isn't that what all of us should be talking about? We won't be able to as long as researchers avoid what is right in front of them.

Suicides tied to military service are too high, yet we never seem to focus on those who do not commit suicide. Why do they choose to live and fight to heal?

According to the US Census these are the numbers we should be talking about.
Over 16 million male veterans and 1,628,110 female veterans. While less than 10 million veterans use the VA services for anything  no one is talking about how the vast majority did not commit suicide, today, or any other day. The chances of even understanding the simple fact we will never know exactly how many committed suicide on any day of the week have grown dimmer, because we close our eyes to those who were not counted in research put together. Knowing we will never know the exact number, the number everyone knows, oddly, gets more attention than the fact most do not.

We have more women in this country than males, yet it seems women are reluctant to fight for the female veterans, who are committing suicide double the rate of civilian far as we know.

Do we demand anything from anyone to change any of this?

Do we do whatever we can to make sure that veterans know there are more of them healing than dying by their own hands today?

Do we tell them how to become one of them instead of one of the ones forcing their family to plan a funeral for?

If the subject of suicide has caused you to advocate "suicide awareness" then you have been fighting the wrong battle. Isn't it time to join the winning side that will actually save the lives you keep talking about deciding to leave?

Marine Plants American Flag Every Mile for Veterans With PTSD
“I wanted to bring awareness to the stigma around mental health and PTSD,” Hernandez told Runner’s World. “We need to understand and treat the condition better, whether that’s hearing about the veterans who are thriving with PTSD or those suffering more or have lost their lives to it.”

Monday, January 13, 2020

K-9 officer shared pain of PTSD...and what it was like to find support to heal it

A Regina police officer shares his experience with PTSD

...and how different his life was after he got the help and support he needed!

Const. Derrick Fox, a member of the Regina Police Service's canine unit, talks about his experience with PTSD and how treatment helped him.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

There comes a time when we get sick and tired of being left behind

Leaving behind being left behind

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 1, 2019

There comes a time when we get sick and tired of being left behind. We see others being crushed by circumstances or moved passed the masses as if blessed by a force beyond reason. What do those left behind do when they are not so blessed? Do they stay where they are, as sadness overcomes them, or do they make their own path forward?

We make our own path forward if others will not help us or get out of our way, and then lead the way for others.

My Mom always told me the surest way to get me to do something, was to tell me I could not do it. She was right. I could not look at life as if it was determined by gender. If my two older brothers could do it, so could I.

There was a time when I was about a year old that I thought I would grow up to become a boy.
My Mom took a picture of me in a dress with a football helmet and holding a football. Safe bet I had shinny shoes and lacy ankle socks on instead of cleats. I had no clue girls were not supposed to do something like that.

For the last 37 years working on researching and healing PTSD, I competed in a male dominated field. I worked with veterans, mostly males, even though I am not a veteran. Most say it has been OK since I talk like them. Yet those with the power to help me get the message across, would rather use what I could do for their own benefit, or just take it from me. Much like the football, I have a tight grip on what I want to do and will not let go.

So, here we are in a new year and I found my way to do what I was meant to do because some males finally believed in my ability to do it.

The group that has supported me for over a decade, Point Man International Ministries, decided it is time for me to lead the way for female veterans to begin to heal in their own group. We couldn't wait any longer for this to happen, so when I announced my husband and I were moving to New Hampshire, it was to begin this ministry.

Before I decided to do it, I needed to talk to a few female veterans I knew and they agreed I should do it. Then the hardest challenge was to present the idea to a group of veterans on Rally Point. I was again supported by males. They said as long as I was clear that I am not a veteran, they will take what I say based on my background, which includes being an Army brat and spouse of a veteran. Basically it is in my blood.

While I do not know what it is like to risk my life for someone else, or endure what military women go through, I can understand what it can sometimes do to them. If you read FOR THE LOVE OF JACK HIS WAR MY BATTLE you can catch up on that part.

When we consider that women have done many things they were not supposed to do because they are women, we need to look at the beginning of this country and how they have served in every war, including the Revolutionary War.
"Left to support herself alone, Corbin struggled financially. After she recovered, Corbin joined the Invalid Regiment at West Point, where she aided the wounded until she was formerly discharged in 1783. Then, on July 6, 1779, the Continental Congress, in recognition of her brave service, awarded her with a lifelong pension equivalent to half that of male combatants. Congress also gave her a suit of clothes to replace the ones ruined during the conflict."
After all these years and rich history, one would think, had it not been for women doing things they were not supposed to be able to do, we wouldn't leave any female veteran behind. Well, more and more are deciding they are also leaving behind being left behind, and forging ahead.
Marines have to be able to carry one another if necessary. USMC Cpl. Gabrielle Green hefts a fellow marine as they ready for deployment on a Navy ship at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Of the 38,000 recruits who enter the corps each year, about 3,500 are women—or, in USMC phrasing, “female marines.”
Want to be part of this moving ahead place and time? Contact me at 407-754-7526. Yes, I know that is a Florida area code, but I am not changing my number after all these years. I am just changing the focus from mostly male veterans to females.

If you find a great story on females in the military or in the veteran community, email the link to me and we can share more of their stories!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Time for more owls to teach crickets how to scream about healing PTSD

Crickets found microphones to share good news you can use. You can heal PTSD!

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 29, 2019

If you think that what you have heard about veterans committing suicide is useful information, think again. The only ones benefiting from it are the people raising funds for doing it. Everyone else is being reminded that others have given up, instead of learning how to fight back.

The help they needed to heal has been available for almost 4 decades, but the noise on social media is all about raising awareness that veterans are committing suicide while passing around a fictions number as if it is supposed to mean something. The only number that really means anything is the ONE who could not be reached in time to save them.

LADY MACBETH "I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry. Did not you speak?"

Time for more owls to teach crickets how to scream!

With my work on PTSD, it usually comes up at the strangest times. When I was with my family for Christmas, we got into a conversation about when my ex-husband tried to kill me. Not a very pleasant subject for what was supposed to be a joyous day, but it turned out to be a lesson on healing.

When the police took my ex out of the apartment somehow I knew it was just the beginning of a nightmare. Shock wore off and I went into survivor mode fully prepared to fight whatever he had in mind.

I had nightmares and flashbacks, mood swings and everything else that goes with surviving traumatic events like that. The thing that I could not overcome was paranoia.

My ex always drove muscle cars. I used to love that sound but it became torturous.It is the sound I heard when he violated the restraining order. It is the sound I heard when he would follow me on the road. It is the sound that caused panic whenever I heard it coming from another car.
read it here

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Veteran Army Ranger healing his PTSD with hugging arms

Soldier’s new mission: giving free hugs to help others’ mental health

WGN9 News
DECEMBER 23, 2019
“There are many routes to recovery, Dr. Troiani says, there’ not one golden brick road” to help people recover from PTSD.
Kevin Milligan is 6’6”, has a massive wingspan and a giant smile. He’s also a great hugger.

Kevin is a former Army Ranger who was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was in Kosovo and Afghanistan from 1998 to 2003. When he had to stay in Afghanistan longer than he planned, he says he felt like the whole world had fell out from under him.
To help him heal, he started The Unconditional Hug. Studies have shown that people need eight hugs a day for maintenance and twelve for survival. They help ward off disease, reduce stress and just make us feel good.

Kevin stood on the corner of Washington and Clark for about an hour and a half, in ten-degree temperatures, and hugged as many people that would let him. We counted about twenty-five to thirty.

Dr. Joseph Trioani is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Adler University in the Loop. He’s a retired Navy Commander and the founder of The Military Psychology Program. He trains other clinical psychologists to treat veterans with PTSD.
read it here

Monday, December 16, 2019

Congress did not invite Point Man to PTSD round table?

One of the first groups working on spiritual healing of veterans, was not invited to table?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 16, 2019
Definition of point man 1: a soldier who goes ahead of a patrol 2: one who is in the forefront

Any idea how many people will read Congress Holds Forum Discussing Potentials of Faith-Based Programs Helping Veterans Suffering PTSD and actually believe it is something new?

To say I am disappointed right now, would cause God to smack me in the head. He knows how angry I am about reading Congress has yet again, held a meeting with "faith base" groups working on PTDS. Why? Because on of the first groups to do this work, proved it worked back in 1984 and has been proving it every day since then!

Point Man International Ministries
Since 1984, when Seattle Police Officer and Vietnam Veteran Bill Landreth noticed he was arresting the same people each night, he discovered most were Vietnam vets like himself that just never seemed to have quite made it home. He began to meet with them in coffee shops and on a regular basis for fellowship and prayer. Soon, Point Man Ministries was conceived and became a staple of the Seattle area. Bills untimely death soon after put the future of Point Man in jeopardy.
However, Chuck Dean, publisher of a Veterans self help newspaper, Reveille, had a vision for the ministry and developed it into a system of small groups across the USA for the purpose of mutual support and fellowship. These groups are known as Outposts. Worldwide there are hundreds of Outposts and Homefront groups serving the families of veterans.
PMIM is run by veterans from all conflicts, nationalities and backgrounds. Although, the primary focus of Point Man has always been to offer spiritual healing from PTSD, Point Man today is involved in group meetings, publishing, hospital visits, conferences, supplying speakers for churches and veteran groups, welcome home projects and community support. Just about any where there are Vets there is a Point Man presence. All services offered by Point Man are free of charge.
We started working with Vietnam veterans and their families but did not shut the door to older veterans dealing with the same spiritual battle caused by war. We did not cut off the newer veterans from entering into our groups. The current President of Point Man, Paul Sluznis is an Iraq veteran.
Many of us had no idea where to go or who to talk to when we came home from our different conflicts. We had no clue we had PTSD or anxiety. Who thought they would still be clearing their own home 15 years after getting out of the military. I had no idea how to deal with any of these issues till my Bride found out about Point Man Ministries and I haven't looked back since.
Yet during the roundtable, this was said.
“We have been throwing millions of dollars into the military suicide issue, and many other military behavior health issues. The statistics keep getting worse and worse. We are not doing something right. We need to integrate faith-based solutions,” commented retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Bob Dees after the forum. Dees was also the former vice director for operational plans and interoperability for the Department of Defense (DOD). He also asserted that the faith-based solutions are incredibly important to veterans and the military. “I have found as a senior military commander over the many years that is what really works. We have got to heal not just heart and soul, but the very spirit of each one of our men and women wearing our nation’s uniform,” he stated.
They would not have had to throw "millions of dollars" as he mentioned had they actually looked to find groups that were not doing it for money or fame. As for the "millions" it is actually billions per year when you factor in all the groups taking in huge sums of donations.
Three faith-based veteran PTSD programs with successful track records were invited to present their stories and past experiences to the forum. They were Mighty Oaks Foundation, Reboot Recovery, and Operation Restored Warrior.

“A spiritual wound of a war needs a spiritual solution,” said Chad Robichaux, the founder of Mighty Oaks Foundation. He expressed after the forum that “I walked away very encouraged seeing that we have Congressional leaders who share our passion for our warriors, and also share our ideas.”
We don't just have the knowledge and plans in place to do this work, but have proven it all along. Any idea what the outcome would have been if anyone asked us to the table when the reports first came out?

Vietnam veterans who found that the only way for them to move forward, was to go back

Healing the spiritual wounds of war

Merideth Bucher
December 16, 2019

War wounds are not always physical.

Psychological wounds caused by the traumas of war can be equally debilitating. And because the injury is not visible to friends and loved ones, those suffering often deal with it in silence or behave out of character.

A mental health condition caused by trauma is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, frightening or dangerous event or experiences. PTSD can affect anyone, not only veterans. First responders, and even abused children, can suffer from PTSD.

In past wars, PTSD was called shell shock or combat stress. Symptoms of the disorder can be characterized as heightened anxiety, feeling constantly on edge or experiencing extreme or unreasonable anger during routine situations. PTSD can manifest itself in different ways, for different people. It might affect a person for a few months, or their entire life. It doesn’t always go away entirely; like the tide, it may ebb and flow.

There are local Vietnam veterans who found that the only way for them to move forward, was to go back. Back to Vietnam.
Former Army Capt. Aaron Lax served in the U.S. Army for nine years. During that time, he served with the 1st of the 26th Infantry regiment “Blue Spaders,” part of the 1st Infantry Division, from 2010-2012 and deployed with them to eastern Afghanistan. Lax next served with 1st battalion of the 320th Field Artillery Regiment “Top Guns,” part of the 101st Airborne Division, from 2012-2017.
Bob Smoker was drafted into the U.S. Army in May 1969.  After basic and then infantry training, he arrived in Vietnam in early October 1969 and turned 20-years- old later that month. Smoker was assigned to Charlie Company 2nd Battalion of the 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
Former Air Force Staff Sergeant Ed Hardesty was the non-commissioned officer in charge of weapons and munitions for the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, an air rescue helicopter squadron out of Danang Air Force Base, Vietnam, from 1968 through 1969.
Former U.S. Army soldier Charles Lee deployed to Vietnam in 1970 at the age of 19, right after marrying his first wife. In Vietnam, Lee was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery, on a track vehicle known as a Duster.
read it here

Sunday, December 15, 2019

If you are right, giving up is wrong

If you are right, giving up is wrong

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 15, 2019
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” ―Dale Carnegie

When you know you are right about something, you fight to prove it. You do not give up on what is important to you. At least that is the way it is supposed to work, but sometimes, no matter how hard or how long you try, fighting can drain whatever hope you have left. But fighting is what keeps us moving forward.

When I moved to New Hampshire, I brought a truckload of misery with me. I did not notice I packed every rotten thing that happened there 1,600 miles away.
read it here

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Tyler Girardello decided that Veterans Day was the day he would give up being one

Where were you before he decided to die?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 12, 2019

Tyler Girardello decided that Veterans Day was the day he would give up being one.
PASCO COUNTY, Fla. --- A veteran who died by suicide on Veteran's Day was remembered as a great guy.

Those close to Tyler Girardello say they knew of his inner pain that plagued him since his time in combat with the Army serving in the Middle East.

“He just opened up he said his mind is dark, He attempted suicide in the past," said Chris Hatcher.

But friends had hoped he was getting better.

He was loved around the Trinity community of Pasco County and was most recently working at the Starkey Market.

“Just a great guy willing to help out it seemed like everybody. Which was a beautiful thing about him," said owner Aaron Derksen.

But in the early morning hours on Veteran's Day, a final Facebook post alarmed his friends. They would soon find out, Tyler was gone.
He knew he needed help and had gone to the VA. He was on social media, so it was not as if he did not try to heal.

The trouble with veterans like Tyler is that while they seem to get the fact that veterans are killing themselves, there is very little of the healing getting through to them.

What if Tyler tried to find something hopeful in that last dark day, but only found reference to all the sites and groups raising awareness that other veterans were killing themselves?

Not much hope offered there. And that is the biggest problem out there but too few have noticed it. Too few bothered to know what was real, what had already been done and what was missing in all of this. He had no idea how to heal for real so that his last worst day would end because all other days to come would be better ones. What pisses me off the most is the too few cared to learn a damn thing including what was in the suicide reports they grabbed a headline from.

Reporters suck at their job and never bothered to read any of the reports while they seem all too willing to jump on what they think will be a good story about yet one more fundraising stunt without ever once asking where they money is going on what the hell they are basing their "efforts" on.

As for the government, they just passed yet another bill and pat themselves on their own backs while veterans like Tyler decide they do not want to spend one more day in this country as a veteran.

He deserved to live but what should really get your blood boiling too is that when a veteran commits suicide, they do it after they were willing to die to save someone else! How can any of us find any of this acceptable?

If you still think that any of this is "better than nothing" and that letting veterans know they are killing themselves is a worthy thing to support...MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU FOR NOT BOTHERING TO KNOW WHAT YOU WERE DOING!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Tell veterans the truth that can set them free to heal instead of committing suicide

Counting more suicides because they could not count on us

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 5, 2019

I have been thinking a lot about "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" John 8:32 but there has not been much truth telling going on and instead of setting veterans free from their pain by helping them heal, we have succumbed to slogans. How is it that anyone has been so oblivious they actually believe reminding veterans they are killing themselves is a good thing to do?

Seems it would be a lot wiser to tell veterans the truth that can set them free to heal PTSD after service instead of committing suicide.

It isn't as if no one has tried, or pretended to do so, but far too many have failed. The evidence of this is clear. We have we been reading headlines like this for decades. "Lawmakers seek answers on rising military and veterans suicide rates" and then end up reminded of how it has all gotten worse.
The DoD’s 2018 Annual Suicide Report, released in September, found the suicide rate for active-duty U.S. service members in 2018 was 24.8 deaths per 100,000 troops, the highest on record since DoD began tracking suicides closely in 2001.
What that article does not point out is that there was another headline "obtained by the Associated Press" declaring that suicides were at a 26 year high. Well, that number was 99 and the year was 2006 when they committed suicide.

Who offered an apology to Teri and Patrick Caserta after their son Brandon committed suicide? Who gave excuses to other parents after all these years?

Joshua Omvig committed suicide and his parents fought like hell to get the government to do something about saving those who serve. President Bush signed the bill in his name in 2007. No one can explain what happened to all the other bills that followed year after year while the number of those serving, and those who became veterans, continued to climb. No one has been held accountable as more grieving families pleaded with the government to do something that would actually turn things around.

I have been asking why the press was not on suicide watch since 2007, because once they do a report, they seem to lack the ability to retain any of it. It is for sure no editor has assigned the task of putting it all together as if any of it really matters.

More and more groups pop up, get their publicity while apparently never taking any of it seriously enough that they actually manage to change a damn thing. Oh, excuse me. They do manage to change their bank accounts while they fabricate suicide figures and facilitate the ear worm penetrating so deeply veterans cannot fathom possibilities of healing waiting for them.

The press loves to cover feel good stories of the stunts almost as much as they seem to want all the grizzly details of those who took their own lives. What they do not seem too interested in are facts, or reporting anything that will make a difference. How about first telling them the truth about all the lies they have been fed? How about letting them know that they can heal PTSD and their lives can be so much better? How about all the groups claiming to care actually start to do the work necessary to let them know they really do matter and are worthy of the time it takes to change their lives?

That won't happen until we are brave enough to tell the truth and stop settling for BULLSHIT!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Jason Kander "I'm really enjoying life" while healing PTSD

Jason Kander is back after quietly working through PTSD

The Associated Press
By: Margaret Stafford, The Associated Press and Jim Salter
July 28, 2019
"I feel the best I've felt in a very, very long time. I'm really enjoying life." Jason Kander
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Not so many months ago, Jason Kander was spending his life on airplanes. The picture of youth and energy, Kander was in demand from Democratic groups across the U.S., a military veteran from middle America making a powerful case for generational change in his party, possibly with an eye toward a 2020 presidential run.
In this Nov. 9, 2016, file photo, Democrat Jason Kander concedes to Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., during an election watch party at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (Orlin Wagner/AP)

But beneath the swagger, something inside Kander's head weighed on him — nightmares, paranoia, even suicidal thoughts. Like so many veterans, he was carrying the unspoken burden of post-traumatic stress disorder, and suddenly last fall he detailed his personal struggles and dropped from public view .

Now, Kander is re-emerging with a healthier mental state and a new focus on helping other veterans, leading the national expansion of a program in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, called Veterans Community Project. At the same time he’s easing back into the fringes of politics — doing national TV interviews, appearing with Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg during the candidate’s visit to Kansas City (though he hasn’t endorsed any specific candidate), and talking candidly about his experience reconciling trauma, healing and political ambition.

"I feel the best I've felt in a very, very long time," Kander told The Associated Press. "I'm really enjoying life."
But as he campaigned last year, Kander failed to seek help "for the same reasons I hadn't in the past — I was worried about the stigma, I was worried about how it would affect my political career. That just allowed things to get much, much worse," he said.

One night, things got so bad that he phoned a suicide hotline for veterans. Days later, on Oct. 2, he dropped out of the race with a statement acknowledging his PTSD.
read it here

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Time to break down that wall and let yourself out of the self-imposed prison

How can there be such a sinister plan?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 27, 2019

When everything seems like it is crashing all around you, it is hard to see anything good coming out of it. The thing is, that is exactly how you came out of the worst you have been through before.

It is not easy to feel as if you have to pay for something that other people did to you. It is not easy to end up suffering after doing the right thing either.

If you took a job that you knew could kill you, then that was a right thing to do for the good reasons.

Because you end up suffering afterwards, it is also easy to think that everything turned to crap, including what you think of yourself. You are no less than you were before you took that job.

Everything that was good about you, is still there. It is all there but the wall of pain has it all trapped.

Time to break down that wall and let yourself out of the self-imposed prison you have been in for far too long. 

You see the world through your cynical eyes

You're a troubled young man I can tell

You've got it all in the palm of your hand

But your hand's wet with sweat and your head needs a rest

And you're fooling yourself if you don't believe it

You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it

Why must you be such an angry young man

When your future looks quite bright to me
How can there be such a sinister plan
That could hide such a lamb, such a caring young man

You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it

You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it

Get up, get back on your feet

You're the one they can't beat and you know it
Come on, let's see what you've got
Just take your best shot and don't blow it

You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it

You're killing yourself if you don't believe it

Get up, get back on your feet

You're the one they can't beat and you know it
Come on, let's see what you've got
Just take your best shot and don't blow it
Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Tommy Shaw
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
"Your future looks quite bright to me," if you take your best shot at waking up tomorrow with a new attitude that begins when you #BreakTheSilence and ask for help to achieve all that is possible for you.

If the stigma is stopping you because you are afraid of what people will think about you, then they must not really know you, or only pretend to be your friends. 

You are supposed to be able to trust your friends. When you discover you cannot, then instead of putting the blame on yourself, it is time to realize a friend would not betray you or turn their backs on you. They would stand by you and do whatever they can to help you. After all, isn't that what you would do for them?

If you have PTSD it means you survived something terrible. Why give into what is terrible now when you defeated it before? Why let it destroy what you have inside of you? Why give it power it does not deserve?

"You're killing yourself if you don't believe it

Get up, get back on your feet

You're the one they can't beat and you know it"

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Healing PTSD is done with slow-gains, not slogans

Healing Slow-gains

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 19, 2019

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, if you have PTSD, you have plenty of company.

About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.

About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%). Learn more about women, trauma and PTSD.
The following quotes in bold are mine and no, you cannot just take them and use them as your own. I am done with my work being stolen.

Survivors never live alone©
The only way people "get" PTSD is by surviving traumatic events. In other words, something that put their lives in danger.

First Responders

We never leave events without them©

Did you wear the colors of your chosen job? Blue as a Police Officer, or a different color as a Deputy? Did you wear a uniform as a firefighter or EMT? Did you know that you were just as human as those you saved? Did you understand that while it only took one event for them to have PTSD, for you, it was the "one too many" that did it.

Sure you were trained to respond. You were trained to do your job. There is no training the world that could turn you into anything other than a human, just like everyone else.

Those who choose to die to save lives
should choose to ask for help to live! 

Did you wear one as a member of the military, National Guard or Reserves? Do you wear one now as a veteran of all of the above among your peers?

When your job is to help others,

let others help you too©

Are you Sozo?
to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction one (from injury or peril) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

Sozo, Salvation-Restoring spirit, soul and body

Definition of survive
1 : to remain alive or in existence : live on
2 : to continue to function or prosper

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Now you have a better idea of what PTSD is, why you have it and should be able to understand the best part of can #TakeBackYourLife and heal. It is hard work and takes time but considering how long it took to train to do your jobs, and how hard you worked at are ready for healing because of your jobs the same way.

The next time you hear one of those stupid slogans about how many are committing suicide, here are a few to replace that ear worm number with.

Too many died
because the stigma lived©

Kill the stigma
Heal the survivor©

Point Man
leading to

Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Slogans to raise awareness of suffering, only let you know it is happening. They do nothing to prevent suicide or stop someone from suffering so they understand how much they do have to live for.

Healing PTSD is done with slow-gains, not slogans©

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Vietnam veteran shared decades of PTSD pain so others may find hope to heal too!

Vietnam veteran shares PTSD struggle to help others

KSTP ABC 5 news
June 27, 2019
Hanson got help from doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Thursday, was able to proudly wear his uniform and hear his name and details of his service announced to a stadium full of people.
It may seem strange to talk about a serious subject like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at a baseball game, but Vietnam War Veteran David Hanson, of Shorewood, knows that's a little like what living with PTSD is like — outside you make everything seem ok, but inside there's tremendous pain.

"It's still a little tough to understand why a lot of the public had such hatred for the Vietnam vets," Hanson said.

June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day – a day meant to bring attention to the mental condition thousands of veterans live with as they are haunted by tragic experiences from war. It can affect anyone who has experienced trauma.

For Hanson, who was a sergeant in the Air Force, the flashbacks and nightmares came decades after his time in combat during Vietnam. He said he became obsessed with safety and security at his home, checking locks multiple times and hiding weapons in several places.

"I started having flashbacks, more vivid dreams, couldn't sleep at night that drove me to three attempts at suicide," Hanson said.

"His breaking point brought our family to our knees," said Cori Hintzman, who said her family had no idea. "I was so shocked with how much pain he had inside and what he lived with everyday. I had no idea, and I lived with him my whole life."
read more here

PTSD Awareness is watching them fall

Raising PTSD Awareness, hardly working

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 30, 2019

While it seems as if there are more people "raising awareness" on PTSD and suicides, than ever before, we need to recognize that it is hardly working. Once we accept that fact, then maybe we can change the outcome. Until we stop settling for something that is not working, nothing will change.

Back in 2008, I was at an event with the VA. I talked with a couple of mental health professionals, I once admired, until I asked them what they thought of "Battlemind." 

It was a program the DOD was using to get servicemembers to "train their brain" to become mentally tough. The results we astonishingly abysmal.

When they gave me the usual talking points as to why they were spreading the program out as much as possible following the DOD as a guide, I pointed out the results.

The reply from the "professionals" was "it is better than nothing."

Thirty-seven years ago, that answer may have been acceptable, since few knew what was going on with researchers working very hard on finding the best treatments. 

I know because I read their books with a dictionary at the local library month after month with as much free time as I could spend there. It was 1982 and we did not even have computers in our homes.

Now we have cellphones, putting the world in the palms of our hands, but as oblivious as most were back then, it seems to be accepted as trendy now.

I read stuff being shared all over social media and wonder if anyone has really given any of it any thought at all. Do they ever wonder how large the chain of domino knockdown is?

Sure, it is cool to watch stunts like this, but the result is, something that stood up...fell down.
This article sums it all up very well.

Statistics on PTSD in Veterans

U.S. News and World Report
By Elaine K. Howley, Contributor 
June 28, 2019

This article is based on reporting that features expert sources including Freda C. Lewis-Hall, MD, DFAPA; Janina Scarlet, PhD; Rand McClain, DO; Ken Yeager, PhD, LISW

AS GENERAL WILLIAM Tecumseh Sherman famously noted during the Civil War, “War is hell.” It’s hell for civilians caught in the cross-fire and can be hell for the political powers that petition for it. But most especially war can become an exceptionally cruel and lasting hell for the soldiers tasked with waging it.

Once called shell-shock, then Vietnam Veteran’s Disorder, a condition now referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder is common among military personnel who have served, and it, too, is considered a hellish condition by many people who have it. Though PTSD occurs at higher rates among military personnel than the general population, we now understand that it can develop in anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

How Common Is PTSD Among Veterans?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder among veteran varies depending on which conflict a service member was involved with.

About 11 to 20 out of every 100 veterans (or between 11 and 20%) who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year.

About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.

About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam veterans (15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD when the most recent study of them (the National Vietnam Veteran Readjustment Study) was conducted in the late 1980s. It’s believed that 30% of Vietnam veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
The article also had this.
These troubling statistics point to another complication of life after war for veterans – a lack of support and connection to others, Yeager says. “The whole idea of the band of brothers is a very real neurophysiological situation. You never feel more alive or more connected with people than you do when you’re in that combat field and I think for many vets combing back who’ve had their neurotransmitters firing at a very high rate, they struggle with ‘how do I find this again? Where can I get this kind of feeling alive?’”
Should you wonder if it is worth it the next time you see something you want to share? Yes! Share what works. Share what is offering hope to those who have lost theirs. Share facts. Share real support. Then maybe we can run the knockdown of dominos in reverse and watch them all stand up. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Give your love story a fighting chance against PTSD

Your love solid as a rock!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 29, 2019

If you love someone with PTSD, you may think that it is hopeless. Trust me on that one, I remember what that was like. 

Why does there seem to be more and more reasons to walk away and less reasons to stay?

Sure you've heard all the talk about "being broken" and "damaged" along with all the other hurtful stuff people say. What they say is based on the inability to learn much at all about what it takes to be a survivor.  After all, those are the only people who get hit by PTSD...those who survived what put their lives in danger.

If they are a veteran of service caused PTSD, that makes them very special, and it also causes a deeper level of PTSD. 

They care so much about others, they were willing to die to save them. While most people automatically run away from danger, they made it their job to run toward it.

When you love them, it is so easy to mess up. It is easy to question why they seem to be so much different than the person you fell in love with. You'll find answers. You'll find reasons to blame and most of the time, you blame them.

Isn't it time that you invested your time to find out exactly what the real reason for the changes is?

I did. After 37 years when I heard the song "Solid" As A Rock by Ashford and Simpson, all I could think about was all the effort that went into our relationship has left us solid as a rock.

It is the reason why I wrote For the Love of Jack, His War My Battle in 2002 and republished it in 2012.

Want to avoid losing time when you could be enjoying celebrating a love that is solid as a rock with someone who was able to love so much they risked their lives for it? Read the book, watch the videos on YouTube and you can show your love is so strong you were willing to help them heal and fight by their side.

Ashford and Simpson

And for love's sake, each mistake
Ah, you forgave
And soon both of us learned to trust
Not run away, it was no time to play
We build it up and build it up and build it up
And now it's solid
Solid as a rock
That's what this love is
That's what we've got, oh
Solid, solid as a rock
And nothing's changed it
The thrill is still hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot
Oh, you didn't turn away
When the sky went gray
Somehow we managed
We had to stick together (oh, oh)
You didn't bat an eye
When I made you cry
We knew down the line
We would make it better (oh, oh)
And for love's sake, each mistake
Ah, you forgave
And soon both of us learned to trust
Not run away, it was no time to play
We build it up and build it up and build it up
And now it's solid
Solid as a rock
That's what this love is (oh, oh)
That's what we've got (oh)
Yes, it is
Solid, solid as a rock
And nothing's changed it
The thrill is still hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot
Oh, gone with the wind
Another friend
Got in between
Tried to separate us (oh, oh)
Oh, knock-knock on wood
You understood
Love was so new
We did what we had to (ooh, ooh)
And with that feeling
We were willing to take a chance
So against all odds, we made a start
We got serious, this wouldn't turn to dust
We build it up and build it up and build it up
And now it's solid
Solid as a rock
That's what this love is, oh
That's what we've got, oh
Solid (yes, it is)
Solid as a rock
And nothing's changed it
The thrill is still hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot , hot
Solid, solid as a rock (you know it, well, you know it, baby)
Solid, solid as a rock (lovin' me, lovin' me, oh)
Solid (don't leave me, baby)
Solid as a rock (well, well, well, well)
Solid, solid as a rock (every day it gets sweeter, now)
Solid, solid as a rock (good, good, well, it's good, good, good)
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Nickolas Ashford / Valerie Simpson
Solid lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC