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

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

better days with better ways

This is from my other site, PTSD Patrol where I post daily now. If you risked your life for the sake of others, there is a special video below for you.

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 16, 2021

Are you fighting people who are trying to help you? Are you fighting God? Are you fighting yourself? You know you are not the way you want to be, not the way you used to be and nothing looks the way it did before. What are you doing about it? Are you trying to find someone to blame for the way your life is? Then maybe you should start with yourself because for whatever reason, you ended up believing you are a lost cause.

Time to start believing you are a worthy of better days.

Most of the time, survivors left the church because they did not find what they needed there. At least that is what some say but the truth is, what you needed was the foundation the faith was built on. That foundation is Jesus. Personally I don't attend church anymore and became a Chaplain so that I could care for the needs of fellow churchless souls, much like Jesus and His disciples did. They went to where the people were and tended to their needs, giving them reason to hope for better days, learning a better way to live and know they were loved.

Look at His life! He was raised poor, spent His ministry homeless and had no possessions. He was treated like a rock star one minute and hated the next by the same people who ended up shouting for Him to be Crucified. He knew what it was like to feel abandoned, betrayed, tested, and He knew what it was like to feel the emotional pain of someone else so deeply, He cried for them. He got angry.

There is no way of knowing why you survived and others did not. The only thing you can be sure of, is you did and it is up to you to define what you will do for the rest of your life. If you are blaming God that is because you think He judged you and wanted you to suffer...but those are your thoughts and not His.

PTSD strikes the emotional part of your brain and that is where your soul lives. If your soul has a strong emotional core, then you feel things more deeply. That means you love more deeply and feel pain stronger than others. What you may not be aware of is how powerful that soul of yours is. Everything you need to heal is already there. The purpose of getting help is to help you find it within yourself. One more thing you may not be aware of is that Jesus, the Son of God, had no problem asking for help when He needed it. He couldn't have done what He was sent here to do, alone.

This is why today the featured video is Goo Goo Dolls, Better Days. You may think it is about Christmas but if you remember what church services were like, it was all about that one day when He came into this world, and the day He left all His love behind for all of our days!

Better Days
Goo Goo Dolls

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
'Cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
I need some place simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that's faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there's ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them
So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Rzeznik
Better Days lyrics © Songtrust Ave, BMG Rights Management

Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it!
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD 

And if you are among those who suffered because you were willing to risk your life for the sake of others, understand that PTSD Is Not God's Judgment.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Which Way You Goin' Billy?

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 22, 2021

I was talking to a wife of a Vietnam veteran after she read my book, For The Love Of Jack and she said she wished she read it when it first came out in 2003. Her husband walked out of her life and she still loved him, but she had no idea what he was going through, or why everything went to hell.

This reminded me of when we had the worst of our years and how many times it seemed next to impossible to stay together. The thing is, even if you know what PTSD is, it is still a battle. But as with all battles, it is better if you fight them together.

That is why today the featured video is Which Way You Goin' Billy.

This story behind Which Way You Goin' Billy
Terry was a big Buddy Holly fan, and started writing the song in his pre-Poppy days with the working title "Which Way You Goin' Buddy?" He had the melody, but couldn't come up with a lyrical theme. A few years later, after he formed The Poppy Family, he hit on the idea. In our interview with Terry Jacks, he explained: "It was in 1969 and I had been reading about all these guys going to Vietnam and leaving their women behind in Seattle, and I knew somebody down there that was doing that. I thought, 'Wow, that must be awful.' These guys go and their wives or girlfriends wouldn't know whether they were coming back. That's quite a deal, going to war over there, and it was such a stupid war. So I said, 'That's what I'm going to write about: this woman that's left behind. Which way you going, Billy? Can I go, too?'"
read more here

Friday, December 25, 2020

Birth in the manger and the crucifixion on the Cross

PTSD Patrol

Kathie Costos

December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas! While it seems there isn't much to be merry about this year, there is if you look for it.

Maybe you didn't get what you wanted, or you were not able to get what someone else wanted. Maybe you have so many worries that feeling as if you are supposed to be celebrating, seems like torture. How do you celebrate Christmas when it feels like just when you thought this year couldn't get any did?

HOPE! That is what Christmas is supposed to be all about. Listen to the Christmas songs we all grew up with. (Not the funny ones I've been putting up the last few days.) Did you notice that most of them are about hope?

Between the Birth in the manger and the crucifixion on the Cross, Jesus lived a life of awesomeness! We read all about His miracles, but we tend to forget how much He suffered.

He knew what it was like to be hungry.

He knew what it was like to be lonely.

He knew what it was like to feel abandoned.

He knew what it was like to be betrayed.

He knew what it was like to grieve so much He wept.

He knew what it was like to do the right things for the right reasons and be hated for them.

He knew what it was like to be called a liar.

Yet with even more evidence of His suffering, He lived His life serving others, preaching of God's love, performing miracles, giving hope to those who had forgotten what hope in their hearts felt like, and proving to them they were loved!

One of the greatest gifts He gave was teaching them the importance of forgiving.  It was not for the sake of those who hurt Him, or those who hurt you, but more about giving yourself a gift.

Jesus didn't let what others did to Him, stop Him from being true to what He knew was right. He didn't hate those He was willing to die for, even after they betrayed them. He asked His Father to forgive them, because they had no idea what they were doing.

If we hang onto those who hurt us, the wrong done to us, then we rob ourselves of all the good that could replace what is harmful to us. Forgive others and take away the power they retain in your heart. They do don't deserved to remain there. 

Understand that if you are doing the right thing, then it is their problem, not yours. If you did the wrong thing to them, apologize to them. If they accept it, then all is well. If they do not, then it is again their problem. 

If you are having a hard time forgiving, then pray for the strength to do it, because Jesus knows what it is like to be you!

Cross posted from PTSD Patrol

And if you are struggling with PTSD because you did the right thing...know that it is not God's judgement.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

PTSD did not defeat you yet...don't let it now

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 8, 2020

There seems to be some confusion on spiritual healing. It is not a matter of going to church or thinking that you are supposed to be "sinless" or perfect.

If you read the Bible at all, you'll know that it is full of a people who screwed up in their lives and yet God used them to make miracles happen.

The fact that you survived something that could have killed you, is a miracle in itself, but too many think it is punishment for something you did wrong...and God sent it to you. How do you pray or talk to God if you think He did it to you? You can't but you can turn to Him once you understand that is not the way it happened.

Every heartache, every doubt you ever had, was something that Jesus knew all too well. He also knew what it was like to be betrayed by those you trusted. To do the right thing and then have people turn away from you, as much as He understood what it was like to feel abandoned by God.

Even as the Son of God, He still asked for help from other people. What makes you so different that you think you shouldn't ask for help too, especially if PTSD hit you because of your job?

It doesn't matter if you screwed up in your life, you can start making a miracle in your own life so you can turn around and begin one in the life of someone else.

Ephesians 6:10-18 New International Version
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
So if you think you cannot talk to someone here on earth, then talk to Him.  He doesn't want to hear words you read out a book or just repeat something that is not from your heart. He can actually hear what is in your heart, so speak to Him from there and tell Him you are turning to Him for help.
read more here

Sunday, December 6, 2020

I Am Broken Too

Copied from my other site, PTSD Patrol because after all these years on Wounded Times, it shows why I gave up working exclusively with veterans and their never meant anything to people I know.....

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 6, 2020

I am so pissed off right now my head is ready to explode! This is not going to be one of those cheery post with a chair dancing song, I picked I Am Broken Too by Killswich Engage for this reason.

I was on Facebook and a veteran friend of mine I've known for decades, posted about "22 veterans committing suicide today" and I flipped out! After 38 years of posting, tracking, treating veterans spiritually, educating and advocating, it meant nothing! Over 500 videos on YouTube, 3 books and way too many posts to count on Wounded Times along with my older sites and I had to read something like this from someone I know? WTF!

If you need help, veteran, family member or anyone dealing with PTSD, I know what it is like to feel lost and alone. I know what PTSD does as a survivor of over 10 events. What it was like for my veteran husband and what it was like for the veterans whose lives I saved! Above all, I know what it is like to need help and NOT FIND IT! So yes, I've been broken, beaten down and still willing to do the best I can everyday because this is something that is in my DNA after all these years.

If you need help, email me or call me 407-754-7526. Read the posts on PTSD Patrol and Wounded Times.

You carry this weight trying to cover your mistakes
To make it seem like nothing could ever break you
But I see right through, 'cause I am broken too
In all the same places as you
And if you needed proof, I'll reopen my wounds
Reopen my wounds, yeah
I see myself in you (in you)
I know you can make it through
If you needed proof, I'll reopen my wounds
In all the right places for you
So now you see the truth that you are broken too
I'll reopen my wounds for you
I keep making the same mistakes, just to feel alive again
It's the only way to break on through
So stop numbing all the pain
'Cause it just won't go away (won't go away)
If you only knew how much I needed you
And if you needed proof, I'll reopen my wounds (my wounds)
In all the right places for you
I can see the truth 'cause I am broken too
I am broken too (broken just like you)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Adam Dutkiewicz / Jesse Leach / Joel Stroetzel / Justin Foley / Mike D'Antonio
I Am Broken Too lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

How can music help you heal PTSD?

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 29, 2020

Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away
Beginning to think that I'm wastin' time
I don't understand the things I do
The world outside looks so unkind
So I'm countin' on you to carry me through
If you haven't guessed by now, the feature video on PTSD Patrol is Dobie Gray Drift Away.

Hopefully by now, with all the music being shared, you've noticed how you mood does change, even if it is just for a little while. This is why music therapy works on PTSD. It takes your mind away from your problems and helps to teach your body to calm down again.

This is one of the best songs to explain that.
Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it. #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

go to PTSD Patrol for the rest of this

Friday, November 27, 2020

PTSD does not mean you are broken....

Wounded Times and PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 27, 2020

Today I noticed that Wounded Times is still getting about 1,000 hits a day after months of not posting on it. That tells me the need to find this work, is still there. While I have been focusing on everyone with PTSD since June, I keep getting reminders that our veterans are not getting what they need to heal. One more reminder came Tuesday when I received a phone call from someone working with veterans. 

As we were talking, the sadness took over because he was having a hard time facing the fact that his work was hard to find too. So much nonsense out there getting in the way of what works, and what can change lives, more and more people are giving up. We're not! We are not giving up because as heartbreaking as it is to know how much suffering there is out there, the feeling we get when lives are changed, is so worth whatever price we have to pay with our own emotions.

I know first hand that life can change for the better. My husband knows that. All the veterans I've worked with over all these years, know that. I just wish everyone knew that.

So today, the daily video on PTSD Patrol is featuring Jon Bon Jovi Unbroken. If you are a veteran, you are not broken and you are not the problem. If you are a person trying to heal PTSD, you are not broken either. No one is really broken, a little dented, OK, but not broken.

I was born to be of service
Basic training felt like home
I had honor, I found purpose
Sir, yes, sir, that's what I know
They sent us to a place
I'd never heard of weeks before
When you're 19, it ain't hard to sleep
In the desert on God's floor
Close your eyes, stop counting sheep
You ain't in prison anymore
We were taught to shoot our rifles
Men and women side by side
Thought we'd be met as liberators
In a thousand-year-old fight
I got this painful ringing in my ear
From an IED last night
But no lead-lined Humvee war machine
Could save my sergeant's life
Three more soldiers, six civilians
Need these words to come out right
God of mercy, God of light
Save your children from this life
Hear these words, this humble plea
For I have seen the suffering
And with this prayer I'm hoping
That we can be unbroken
It's eighteen months now I've been back now
With this medal on my chest
But there are things I can't remember
And there are things I won't forget
I lie awake at night
With dreams the devil shouldn't see
I wanna scream but I can't breathe
And, Christ, I'm sweating through these sheets
Where's my brothers? Where's my country?
Where's my how-things-used-to-be?
God of mercy, God of light
Save your children from this life
Hear these words, this humble plea
For I have seen the suffering
And with this prayer I'm hoping
That we can be unbroken
My service dog's done more for me
Than the medication would
There ain't no angel that's coming to save me
But even if they could
Today twenty-two will die from suicide
Just like yesterday, they're gone
I live my life for each tomorrow
So their memories will live on
Once we were boys and we were strangers
Now we're brothers and we're men
Someday you'll ask me "Was it worth it
To be of service in the end?"
Well, the blessing and the curse is
Yeah, I'll do it all again

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jon Bon Jovi
Unbroken lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Healing PTSD Coming Out of the Dark

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 17, 2020

Coming Out of the Dark
Why be afraid if you're not alone? Life is never easy, the rest is unknown. The song is by Gloria Estefan and the first time I heard it, all I could think about were the Vietnam veterans I spent so much time with including my husband. You are not alone fighting to heal PTSD just as you were not alone during combat.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Help raise PTSD HEALING Awareness

Learn how to make a difference

Wounded Times
Cross Posted on PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
June 1, 2020

No matter what you think you know about PTSD, the truth is,  you have a lot more power than you think you do. The problem is, until you learn how to use it, things will still suck!

PTSD Patrol Family Road Trip Guide
We have actually taken a back seat for far too long!

This video was the first one I did on PTSD and Wounded Minds to help you learn more about the difference you can make. Originally it went up in 2006 and was reposted afterwards.

Help Raise PTSD Awareness

National Center for PTSD

There are currently about 8 million people in the United States with PTSD.
Even though PTSD treatments work, most people who have PTSD don't get the help they need. June is PTSD Awareness Month. Help us spread the word that effective PTSD treatments are available. Everyone with PTSD—whether they are Veterans or civilian survivors of sexual assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events—needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life.

Join Us
During PTSD Awareness Month, and throughout the entire year, help raise awareness about the many different PTSD treatment options. You can make a difference in the lives of Veterans and others who have experienced trauma. Everyone can help.
read it here

Friday, May 29, 2020

"What am I going to do now with my life?" Rory Hamill

Decorated combat vet who died highlights pandemic's effect on mental health

CBS News
May 28, 2020
"So when the lockdown did happen, it stripped him from everything he knew," Franciose told CBS News. "He couldn't do his public speaking. He couldn't go to school, to his outlet away from his own mind."
Washington — Rory Hamill was a father of three and a decorated combat veteran in the Marines. Hamill lost his life not at war — but in a growing mental health crisis that's being made worse by the deadliest public health crisis in a century. Hamill was one of many veterans who've been suffering.
"He was a hero to many people," Kristal Franciose said of her ex-husband, Marine Corporal Rory Hamill. A blast from an IED in Afghanistan in 2011 robbed him of his right leg. Hamill had a hard road home.
"A lot of the thoughts going through my head were, 'Why didn't I die?' What am I going to do now with my life?'" He told "60 Minutes" in 2015.
read it here

I wrote about Rory's suicide with a broken heart. Isolation sucks for people like him who have devoted their lives to help others. Knowing what pain is and what hope offers is not something easily walked away from.

I know because I have been doing it since 1982 and could not walk away no matter how many times I wanted to. Not doing what I believe I was put on this earth to do, rips me apart everyday. I keep wondering what else I can do to replace what I can no longer do, and at the end of the day, I do not go to sleep with the peace of knowing I did the best I could. Sure I know that these are unusual times and groups endanger the lives of others, but the human contact is vital, especially now.

If you are a veteran or family member, reach out to those willing and ready to help you. Find help that is out there! Use your phone or email. Find us, because if you are hurting, so are we because you are!

Email me at or call me 407-754-7526.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

UK:Military Members In Crisis Need Hope Now

Suicide is not your only way to end the pain

Here in the US, we have more suicides, about 500 a year within the military according to the Department of Defense. We also have far too many veterans committing suicide. Some want to pretend they know the number, but there are too many variables to know for sure what the true number is.

We have been trying to change the outcome, but few with the power to change things will listen. We are talking to those suffering and given up on changing the minds of those in charge.

Learn what PTSD and why you have it and the start fighting to #TakeBackYourLife! You are not defective, not weak, not less than anyone else and not beyond hope. You can heal and whatever you need to do it, it out there waiting for you to find it. If you are only looking for a way to end it, instead of making your life better, that is all you will find.

Time to train to heal as hard as you trained to do your jobs.....

Ministry of Defence urged to tackle PTSD as suicide attempts among troops increase

The Mirror
BySean Rayment
23 MAY 2020
EXCLUSIVE: Freedom of Information figures show that 46 soldiers, seven members of the Royal Navy and eight personnel serving in the RAF attempted suicide or injured themselves in January alone

This year at least five soldiers are feared to have killed themselves (Image: Getty)

Serving troops are trying to kill themselves or self-harming at the rate of two a day, horrifying figures reveal.

The toll released in Mental Health Awareness week raises fresh questions over forces’ handling of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

The “snapshot” showed 61 incidents in January alone.

Official Ministry of Defence statistics disclose that the troops who sought help had attempted to hang themselves, overdose or slash their wrists with a knife.

But military mental health support groups say the figure is the “tip of the iceberg” and warn that many of those self-harming could attempt suicide.

The figures mean that over 700 military personnel could attempt suicide or self-harm if the number of incidents continue at the same rate for the next 12 months.
read it here

Friday, May 1, 2020

Yes we can prevent veteran suicides

Preventing suicides is only impossible if we do nothing

Over half a lifetime ago, I started working with veterans with PTSD and their families. Why? Because it was a matter of life or death. Over the years it became apparent that peer support worked best, but having an educated peer was better than anything else.

Want to change a life? Learn what PTSD is and then start to change the conversation from doom and gloom, to "adapt, improvise and overcome!"

That is what Point Man International Ministries started to do in 1984 and proved healing was possible when people are joined together to open doors few knew existed.

Can community engagement prevent veteran suicides?

VAntage Point
Mike Richman
April 29, 2020
Specifically, the team interviewed participants within a week of their discharge from an inpatient psychiatric unit. They discovered Veterans analyzed for psychiatric conditions, such as PTSD, are at much greater risk than other cohorts of taking their own lives within three months after leaving the hospital.
Social isolation and feelings of loneliness are associated with suicidal thoughts. Consequently, the more people feel disconnected from their friends, peers and colleagues, the more isolated they become.

One antidote for social isolation is social connectedness. That is, people coming together and interacting. But there's been little research on suicide prevention programs that target social connectedness.

Dr. Jason Chen of the VA Portland Health Care System is leading a study to establish a stronger sense of social connectedness for Veterans at high risk of suicide. He's doing this by increasing their participation in community activities.

Chen and his team have been identifying the community engagement needs and preferences of Veterans who have been hospitalized and evaluated for psychiatric conditions. Specifically, the team interviewed participants within a week of their discharge from an inpatient psychiatric unit. They discovered Veterans analyzed for psychiatric conditions, such as PTSD, are at much greater risk than other cohorts of taking their own lives within three months after leaving the hospital.
read it here on We Are The Mighty

Thursday, April 23, 2020

There is a passage out of darkness with PTSD and pandemic

Every dark passage

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 23, 2020
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46
Take comfort in knowing that every dark passage ends in light, otherwise it would be called a dead end instead of a passage. There is a way to get to the other side of whatever darkness surrounds you, but you will not reach it if you remain standing still.
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. Psalm 18:28
Take comfort in knowing that this crisis will not last forever. As with all things, this time will pass and the stress will go away. Even though some of the memories may linger, you have the power over what you do with those dark memories, so you can make room to treasure the good ones.

Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone if you are dealing with PTSD on top of this pandemic. There are about 8 million other Americans with PTSD. In other words, 8 million other survivors learning how to live the rest of their lives after surviving whatever caused them to be hit by PTSD.

Being afraid to admit you are afraid leaves you stuck in the darkness. No one will know you need comforting, so they will not try to ease your fears. Human nature has most people programmed to respond to the needs of others. We see that today as more and more people are stepping up to, not just help save lives, but to help those who are on the front lines in need of help too!

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18

Some will use a crisis for their own sake, but there are more trying to alleviate the burdens others carry. Right now, that is something that you can do just by being able to reach out for help, receive it and then, reach back out again to help others.
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:8

You can change your life and help others find the light at the end of the passage. Imagine what their life will be like when you help them see they are not stuck in a dead end.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The world now knows what trauma is and you can help them heal if you have PTSD

Advice getting through another crisis

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 8, 2020

"So now go do the best things in life
Take a bite of this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life"
Disturbed - Hold on to Memories
I am going to start this the way I usually end a video...with what you are empowered to do. "...go do the best things in life...make the most of the rest of your life."

Right now the world is living through global pandemic trauma. Life as they knew it ended. As of yesterday "There are at least 387,547 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 12,291 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases." according to a CNN running update. That means at least that many have experienced the trauma of fighting for their lives. Even more have experienced the trauma of it coming into their families and the fear of it happening to those who have thus far escaped it.

While some people take a callous attitude to take advantage of the trauma, many more are going out to make sure others stay alive, even if it means they are subjecting themselves to more trauma.

Aside from hurricanes and this pandemic, I survived life altering trauma 10 times. I know what it can do to lives, but the key is, only if we allow it to gain control.

This is from ABC News

Calls to US helpline jump 891%, as White House is warned of mental health crisis

Last month the “Disaster Distress Helpline” at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) saw an 891% increase in call volume compared with March 2019, according to a spokesman for the agency, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In fact, this March – ending little more than a week ago – saw 338% more calls to the helpline than in the month before, when the deadly virus began to take hold inside the U.S. homeland, and government officials began taking more extreme measures to stop its spread.
There are 57.8 million Americans currently living with mental or substance use disorders, according to SAMHSA.
Two ways to look at the report are, it is terrible that many are in crisis, or, there are many more fighting for their lives and acknowledging they need help. Please take that as a sign it is OK to ask for help if you need it too.

But what else can we do against something we have no control over? Look at what we can control. We can control how we act and react.

We control what we do if we are healthy enough to help others.

We control if we act out of kindness and patience, or react with selfishness.

We control if we show that we are suffering too and are afraid to comfort someone else, or react with judgement unwilling to show we are not super-human.
read it here

Friday, February 14, 2020

Mike Damon outlined his steps toward healing in Transition Guide For Veterans

How to #TakeBackYourLife in 6 steps

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 13, 2020

Dave Matthews of Remember the Fallen interviewed Mike Damon of Vetunite about a training manual he has on how to heal. "Mike Damon" aka (GodFather)

Mike Damon outlined his steps toward healing in Transition Guide For Veterans, as well as how first responders can heal!

Self Care
Service members need to learn how to take care of themselves!

Learn how to use what you have and speak up about what you need.

As you learn how to others learn too!

Peer support
Be around people who understand you and the culture you lived in.

Service to others
You risked your life serving others. You were willing to pay that price for doing that job that served others. You can continue to serve others by helping them heal too! Top that off with the fact it feeds your soul when you do!

Develop a new purpose
He talks about "team mission" and that is something that all responders need to hear. When you are doing your job, you depend on your team members, and they depend on you. It is the same way when you are paying a heavy price for doing your jobs. Your team members are counting on you and you need to count on them too. You never know how many are suffering too.

"Wicked frickin awesome!"

Never Forgotten Memorials and Vetunite endure reciprocity with collaborating resources to assist veterans with the Invisible Wounds of War "PTSD"

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Walk in the dark Vietnam veteran healing after war

Walk in the dark

Written by a Vietnam Veteran

I am so proud to have served my country. I would have done it again if called. I had just turned 19 when the call came for service. Went to training for 11bravo in California. Sent to Nam and landed 14 July 1969. I felt the heat and the smell, oh my God the smell.

Now I was taken to the unit were I was assigned. 1 week orientation then out to (FSB) Normandy III. Next day my intro to C-Rations as the "newbe" lima beans. Next came my first ride on a chopper. 20 minutes from take off to LZ it seem like a lot less. The bird never touched down we just jumped and headed for the bush, all 7 of us. I remember asking myself “where the hell is everyone else why are we only 7?”

We walked down a small trail for a few minutes, whatever it took us to go 150 to 200 yards. Then there was gun fire all over the place, I hit the ground watched in to the bush for a few seconds.

An enemy soldier landed next to me, with his face maybe a foot from me. Our eyes locked as life left his body.

To this day can still see him, as if he were talking to me, or trying to reach out to me. The fire fight ended just like it started. We checked to see if anyone else was hit...nope all clear. We just walked away and left him there. I just couldn’t make myself look back at him.

I had to learn to hold my feeling and emotions in side of me. And I still do.

Late at night he walks into my bedroom and I get up and walk into the living room never turning on a light. Hoping at times to speak to him and knowing I can’t, so most time I just drink some water and lie down again. But sleep rarely comes. It is hard for me to walk in the dark now at my age.

After the 10 day operation we went to Hq area and it hit: How the hell did that gook get so dam close to me? Who was watching my back? The more I thought about the angrier I became. I kept in and determined not to let it happen again. I trusted no one. This has taken its toll on me. I spend a lot of time alone and have for the last 50 or so yrs. I will help you but it is hard for me to trust. I have very few friends (2) and my family stays away because I’m to straight forward. And now you know.

I have found peace in helping other vets with their struggles. I know my God has given me this struggle so I could help my brother find peace.

The Lord is my peace and when I am down, He is there to hold me. I was called to do what I do. I never wanted anything to do with this helping other thing. But now I love it so, to the point that I hurt when it seems that I have failed to reach my brother that is hurting.

(correction: edit "enemy soldier" was made to correct edit to veteran's letter)

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Self-Compassion can go a long way to healing PTSD

On the flip side, there are facts to destroy the assumptions about PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 28, 2020

While leprosy had been reported within the Bible, there are scientific proofs of it and what cures it, as much as there is news it has not been "cured" all the way.
The first known written mention of leprosy is dated 600 B.C., but skeletal evidence of leprosy has been found dating back to 2000 B.C. Throughout history, those with leprosy have often been ostracized by their communities and families.
Ancient people thought it was a judgement from God, instead of an infection. Most assume it has been cured and no one has it anymore...but that is not the truth.
That may be a bit surprising — leprosy seems to be a disease of the past. Indeed, in 2006, the World Health Organization issued a report on "elimination of leprosy as a public health problem," stating that the number of cases had dropped by 90 percent since 1985.

But more than a decade later, leprosy persists. According to a report in The Lancet: Infectious Diseases, some 200,000 new cases, including 25,000 in children, are reported each year. About half of these new cases are in India.
What it took was for someone to think about the facts behind leprosy, to attempt to treat it for what it was, and help the patient heal. How many others thought the healer was wrong to go against what they presumed to be true...that God sent it to the person?

It took until 1873 for a scientist to find the germ that caused it, instead of the sin many blamed. Those with it, got treated, healed and lived a better quality of life.

There are a lot of presumptions on all kinds of things. On the flip side, there are facts to destroy the assumptions.

The stigma of PTSD is allowed to live on because too many believe things that are simply not true. Those assumptions infect those who are suffering instead of helping them to become healed. Too many believe there is no hope for them, and they give up. At least that is what we have been led to believe, but the truth is, many more find healing because they know the facts. They understand what PTSD is, what caused it, the different types of it, as well as, the different levels of it.

They also know that to heal it, how they think about themselves and treat themselves is vital in living a better quality of life, if not entirely cured.

Self‐Compassion, Trauma and Post‐traumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review

Sarah‐Jane Winders Orlagh Murphy Kathy Looney Gary O'Reilly
First published: 27 January 2020

Self‐compassion has emerged as an important construct in the mental health literature. Although conceptual links between self‐compassion and trauma are apparent, a review has not been completed to examine whether this association is supported by empirical research findings. To systematically summarise knowledge on the association between trauma and/or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self‐compassion. Searches were conducted in PsycINFO, PubMed, Ovid Medline, Web of Science, Embase and PILOTS databases and papers reporting a direct analysis on the relationship between these constructs were identified. The search yielded 35 studies meeting inclusion criteria.

Despite considerable heterogeneity in study design, sample, measurement and trauma type, there was consistent evidence to suggest that increased self‐compassion is associated with less PTSD symptomatology and some evidence to suggest that reduced fear of self‐compassion is associated with less PTSD symptomatology. There was tentative evidence to suggest that interventions based, in part or whole, on a self‐compassion model potentially reduce PTSD symptoms. While findings are positive for the association between increased self‐compassion and reduced PTSD symptoms, the precise mechanism of these protective effects is unknown. Prospective and longitudinal studies would be beneficial in clarifying this. The review also highlighted the variability in what is and should be referred to as trauma exposure, indicating the need for further research to clarify the concept.
read it here
Courage and Combat PTSD
393 views•Oct 21, 2012
Kathie Costos DiCesare
252 subscribers
There are many things that keep getting missed when we talk about Combat and PTSD. This is to clear up the biggest one of all. What is courage and how does it link to being "mentally tough" so that you can push past what you were told about "resiliency" training. Chaplain Kathie "Costos" DiCesare of Wounded Times Blog tries to explain this in interview done by Union Squared Studios.

"That's one of the parts most of you forget about. PTSD didn't happen to you because you are "mentally weak" but because your courage and compassion made you care enough to act. That is not weakness. That, that comes from strength of character."

Saturday, January 25, 2020

And for more on what healing is the lyrics and know that rainbow is out there.

Time to see clearly what PTSD can be like

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 25, 2020

I listen to oldies...since that is the music I grew up with. The song I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW came on, and I thought about doing a video on it, since it is perfect to explain what it is like to heal with PTSD. As I went to find the lyrics, I came across a video that was already perfect.

With all obstacles out of the way, you can see that your life can be a lot better than you thought it could be. First you need to stop seeing what others think PTSD is, and actually know what it is.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened, even when they are not in danger. National Institute of Mental Health

In other words, something you survived caused it.

You need to know that you are not alone.
Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. This includes war veterans, children, and people who have been through a physical or sexual assault, abuse, accident, disaster, or other serious events. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and genes may make some people more likely to develop PTSD than others. National Institute of Mental Health

You also need to know that most people heal, with the right help. That can only begin when you get all the roadblocks out of your way and know that you stopped being a victim of whatever "it" was and became a survivor when you walked away after it tried to kill you.

And for more on what healing is the lyrics and know that rainbow is out there.
Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now - YouTube
I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Look all around, there's nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead, there's nothing but blue skies
I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Bright (bright) bright (bright)
Bright sunshiny day
It's going to be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Johnny Nash I Can See Clearly Now lyrics © Nashco Music, Inc

“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.”