Showing posts with label #BreakTheSilence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #BreakTheSilence. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Here is proof why "you gotta make your own kind of music"

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 15, 2021

"The loneliest kind of lonely" is when there is no one else like you. I know that feeling because when I started working on PTSD, I didn't know anyone like me. It was lonely because we didn't have the internet and the only information I could find was at the library reading clinical books. Nothing strange about that since it was in 1982.

In 1993, I finally got a computer and then I found other people talking about PTSD. I started my first site on AOL, then it was on a website where I went by NamGuardianAngel. Back then, since I was unique, I had a lot of emails and phone calls. There were even more when I wrote my first book in 2002.

In 2006 I started making videos on PTSD on YouTube and in 2007, I started Wounded Times.

All that work was worth it even though it was never to make money. Sure I wanted to at least break even but the thing was, the work itself kept me going. Getting feed back and reading messages let me know, it mattered to the people I was trying to help.

In 2007 I posted a massive post about suicides hoping that someone with the power to do something would. Once all the groups started to pop up all over the internet and social media, the emails and messages started to go down. I was reading more and more about veterans suffering and very little being done to help them. The problem was, they were doing something about it by using them to make money.

I didn't give up and made more videos, posted more and tried to reach out as much as possible. It got lonelier and lonelier. In 2017 I started PTSD Patrol hoping that with PTSD in the title, I could gain control over the conversation again, and give veterans hope and families understanding.

Last year, it was too much for me, reading the reports of suicides going up in the veterans' community and within the military itself. My heart was breaking. I decided to stop focusing on them and started to open the work up to anyone with PTSD. PTSD Patrol passed 100,000 page views recently.

I do not follow anyone or take from anyone because I am too busy making my own "music" to march to! My work, has been stolen and copied for decades, but it doesn't bother me anymore. My mission hasn't changed because of them. The work was to offer hope and if others can reach more than I can...that's OK with me. I know that one day, they will get what they deserve for what they did with my work. I pray that those who go to their sites receive the help they were looking for and find the encouragement they need to #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD.

Wounded Times reached 5 million page views because people shared the work.

So, if you are doing anything for the right reasons, if you know that you have something to give the world, then give it freely. I am living proof that even if no one tells you that you matter, you do!

Make Your Own Kind of Music
The Mamas and the Papas

Nobody can tell you
There's only one song worth singing
They may try and sell you
Cause it hangs them up
To see someone like you
But you gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along
You're gonna be nowhere
The loneliest kind of lonely
It may be rough going
Just to do your thing is the hardest thing to do
But you gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along
So if you cannot take my hand
And if you must be going, I will understand
You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along
You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own kind of song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along
You gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own kind of song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along
No no no no
Even if nobody else sings along
If nobody else sings along

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil
Make Your Own Kind of Music lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Friday, June 4, 2021

Wounded Times Reached 5 Million!



As long as I have faith that more of you can heal....there is plenty to do!
If I Ever Lose My Faith in You

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in religion
And you could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but
If I ever lose my faith in you (in you)
There'd be nothing left for me to do (to do)
Someone say I was a lost man in a lost world
You can say I lost my faith in the people on TV
You can say I'd lost my belief in our politicians
They all seemed like game show hosts to me, but
If I ever lose my faith in you (if I ever lose my faith)
There'd be nothing left for me to do
(If I ever lose my faith)
Lose my faith in you (in you)
I could be lost inside their lies without a trace (without a trace)
But every time I close my eyes, I see your face (face)
I never saw no miracle of science
That didn't go from a blessing to a curse (curse)
I never saw no military solution that didn't end up worse
If I ever lose my faith in you
If I ever lose my faith in you
(If I ever lose my faith in you)
There'd be nothing left for me to do
(There'd be nothing left for me to do)
If I ever lose my faith (lose my faith)
If I ever lose my faith (lose my faith)
If I ever lose my faith (lose my faith)
If I ever lose my faith (lose my faith)
If I ever lose my faith (lose my faith)
In you, in you

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Gordon Summer

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

If PTSD had an anthem, it should be HELP!

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 12, 2021

(This is from my other site for everyone with PTSD. I thought it was important to share it here too!)

Most people start singing a song whenever they hear it. They can't help it. It makes them happy to sing it. It is as infectious as it was when it was released in 1965! The song, naturally is the Beatles HELP! It was so popular, they even had a movie with that title. So why is it so much easier for everyone to sing that song, than it is to do it?

If PTSD had an anthem, it should be HELP! How much clearer does it have to be? Why the hell should anyone have a problem asking for help when they need it but have no problem, if they can carry a tune or not, to sing this song loud and clear? Has that ever dawned on anyone?

"And now my life has changed in oh so many ways"
Isn't that what having PTSD is like? Your life does change in so many ways. The thing is, getting help can change your life for the better. Wouldn't it make more sense to actually ask for help to be happier, than it is to settle for being happy singing this song for a few minutes? 

Common sense needs to come back into the conversation we've been having about PTSD because we're all tied of hearing the doom and gloom. All that has done is tell us that we should never expect to be happy again. Where is the hope in that? Someone said that asking for help is a sign of weakness but all that meant was the hope the had was weak and they wanted everyone else to be miserable too!

Isn't it time to stop singing the same tune and start asking someone for help in real life? Someone who can actually help you? Asking for help is normal. It is human. Won't you please, please, ask for help when you need it?

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

The Beatles

I need somebody
(Help!) not just anybody
(Help!) you know I need someone
I never needed anybody's help in any way
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured (but now these days are gone)
(And now I find) Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me?
And now my life has changed in oh so many ways (and now my life has changed)
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
But every now and then I feel so insecure (I know that I)
I know that I just need you like I've never done before
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me
When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured (but now these days are gone)
(And now I find) now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me, help me, help me, ooh

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Help! lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

and the movie HELP

Sunday, March 28, 2021

People who do not fit in are the ones who change the world

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 28, 2021

I don't fit in anywhere. I never did. When I was young, it didn't matter to me at all. I just wanted to be myself. When I got older, I wanted to fit in but I still wanted to be me. When I got a lot older, I didn't care if I fit in again. That is not always a bad thing. 

People who do not fit in are the ones who change the world. If everyone thought the same, settled for the way things were, then nothing would ever change. They are the creators of change. The dreamers, poets and writers, artist, musicians, scientists and misfits create things that were never done before.

If you have PTSD, then you may not really fit in with people who never survived anything like you did. It is OK. You do fit in with others who are trying to heal, but you can also do something different because you know things have to change to make lives better.

Today is Palm Sunday for most Christians, but not Greeks like me. It is the day Jesus road in on the donkey and the people shouted "hosanna" as he went by them. In other words, they wanted this One who did not "fit in" to save them. Jesus did not fit in with the other Hebrews and came to change the world. It is why today the featured video is Sanctus Real, Forgiven.

Part of the lyrics is about not fitting in. 
And I don't have to carry the weight of who I've been
'Cause I'm forgiven
When I don't fit in
And I don't feel like I belong anywhere
When I don't measure up to much in this life
Oh, I'm a treasure in the arms of Christ
'Cause I'm forgiven

The rest of the world may tell you that you should hold onto anger and blaming others. It tells you to hate those who hurt you or didn't care what happened to you. The world tells you a lot of things but deep inside, it is destroying you. It is taking room in your soul where goodness belongs. Where hope should be and where dreams begin. Don't let all that negative stuff take up that much room in you.

Isn't it time to be "you" with all your flaws and gifts? Isn't it time for you to do more than settle for what "is" because people are telling you that you should, or far worse, tell you to just get over it? Be a misfit and then show others how to be happier being them!

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

As I said, not fitting in, is not always a bad thing.
read more here

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Post Traumatic Survivors

Post Traumatic Survivors Define Themselves

Wounded Times 
Kathie Costos 
June 7, 2020

You are no longer a victim of yesterday.
Today you are a survivor.
Tomorrow you start healing!

Join in on what will change your life!

Stop being defined by what you survived and start to #TakeBackYourLife as a SURVIVOR!
Tomorrow begins a new day!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

This is my turning point

Wounded Times is changing 

Wounded Times 
Kathie Costos 
June 6, 2020 

It is with a heavy heart that I have given up on what I have dedicated the last 38 years to. My focus has been on veterans fighting PTSD all these years. But lately, I have gone from waking up in the morning, wondering what I could do to help, to waking up wondering why I even bother to try. 

While individual veterans have supported the work I do, the truth is, the Veterans Community never really did. They just wanted what I could do for them with my camera and giving them publicity. Understandable since I am not one of them.

I did not plan on making this announcement on D-Day but it just worked out that way. I gave up my tax exempt and constraints of belonging to groups. From this day forward, I will write and speak for myself. This is my turning point, just as D-Day was the turning point of WWII, when soldiers like my Father-in-law hit the beach of Normandy.

All too many have been, for 76 years since that fateful June 6 on France’s Normandy beaches, when allied troops in 1944 turned the course of World War II and went on to defeat fascism in Europe in one of the most remarkable feats in military history.
My heart is forever with veterans and I will not abandon you. My phone still works and my email has not changed. With that said, from this point on, Wounded Times will be about anyone dealing with PTSD and so will PTSD Patrol

I trained for decades to do this work because I understood what it was like to suffer after surviving. I did it ten times. Personal knowledge of what it does gave me a greater understanding of what others endure. So, yes, this was all very personal to me. On the flip side, I also understand what it is like to heal and how to do it.

My faith has sustained me, guided me and healed me. It has allowed me to see the glory of God's work through me as more and more veterans found the way to heal and my life has been blessed by many sharing what they have done with what they learned from me. Now I want to share that with everyone else. 

I have been beaten down many time before but as the sun set on one attempt, it lifted on another. I hope, I pray, that this turning point will help others be aware that tomorrow can be a lot better than this day was.
I Will Rise 
There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Chris Tomlin / Jesse Reeves / Louie Giglio / Matt Maher
I Will Rise lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

Friday, June 5, 2020

Storytellers Project "Bouncing back. Recovering. Getting help..."

Storytellers Project to stream show about never giving up

USA Today
Michelle Rogers
June 5, 2020 

The USA TODAY Network's Storytellers Project will stream the show, part of its virtual season, at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, June 11.

Bouncing back. Recovering. Getting help and getting on with it.

The Storytellers Project will celebrate resiliency in all of its forms during a show on June 11 from the USA TODAY Network.

“For so many reasons, now feels like a time when we could use stories of meaningful resilience in the face of adversity of all kinds,” said Megan Finnerty, founder and director of the Storytellers Project. “We are so fortunate to have storytellers willing to be vulnerable, and honest.”

The series, called “LIVE, In Your House," has been drawing hundreds of thousands of views since debuting April 2, when the COVID-19 pandemic started closing down venues where in-person shows had been held across the country. Shows are now streamed on the Storytellers Project’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
read it here

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 22, 2020

"...but you will not look for what you do not know is there."

Do not sit in despair, heal instead

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 22, 2020

When you are suffering, you feel as if the earth is crushing you. Hope has been eroded away by the constant tide of pain returning instead of the relief you searched for.

Take comfort in knowing, it is not as if you do not deserve help. You have just been looking in the wrong places.

4 I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away, my heart heavy, like lead.
5 I remembered the old days, went over all you've done, pondered the ways you've worked,
6 Stretched out my hands to you, as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain.
7 Hurry with your answer, God! I'm nearly at the end of my rope. Don't turn away; don't ignore me! That would be certain death.
8 If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice, I'll go to sleep each night trusting in you. Point out the road I must travel; I'm all ears, all eyes before you.
9 Save me from my enemies, God - you're my only hope!
10 Teach me how to live to please you, because you're my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.
11 Keep up your reputation, God - give me life! In your justice, get me out of this trouble!
Psalm 143:4-11

You may find what you are looking for,
Look and you will find it - what is unsought will go undetected.

but you will not look for what you do not know is there.

You know you do not want to suffer anymore. If the only thing you are looking for is a way to end it, that is all you will find. Yet if you look for a way to live a better life, you will find it and be encouraged to find the next thing that will help you achieve all you hope to be.

Last night I called a veteran Marine I had worked with for a long time. The conversation started out with how repulsive suicide awareness is. As usual, I was sick to my stomach about what has been accepted as worthy of support because that is all people know. What they do not know, is much like how the rest of our conversation went.

He told me about how he has passed on all that he learned from me and saved lives. They turned around and passed it on to others, and save lives. That is how it is supposed to work!

My friend sought my help when he was ready. I had to have patience until he was ready. Although many times I wanted to smack him on the back of the head to make him listen, I had to wait. I let him know I was there simply by showing up.

His best friend was also suffering. I did not have a chance to help him and to this day I wish he had given me a chance to help him. He took his own life, which devastated my Marine friend. It took a while for him to trust me enough to talk, even longer for him to listen to me but he did.

I restored hope for him, cleared the crap he thought out of his mind and educated him on PTSD basics that he had never heard before. No one had ever told him that he had the power to heal already within him.

Well, a lot of work later, he did everything he could do for himself, invested the time, spent the energy, and took back his power from PTSD. Then he passed on the message to others.

He also rediscovered what Faith is supposed to be like. That God did not do it to him as some sort of punishment. He forgave himself for what he felt he did wrong. Forgave others for wrong they did to him. And then he accepted the healing power God had already given him within the same soul that caused him to be able to risk his life in the Marines.

Saving lives, doing whatever veterans could, came with the package, and so did the power to heal from what that would do to them.

If you are looking for a way out of despair, time to start looking in different places, beginning with what is already inside of you...your soul.
Sunday morning empowerment zone features Marine veteran filmed yesterday at the Orlando Nam Knights bikeweek party. His simple message is empowerment! Take control of your life from this moment on. It's up to you where you go from here!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rory Hamill cautionary story about when helpers need help too

When the helpers cannot help

Sarasota Herald Tribune
By Billy Cox
Staff Writer
Posted May 17, 2020

It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was going to happen — emotionally, psychologically, to the public at large — once the coronavirus infections began their roller-coaster ascent in March, igniting shelter-in-place rules. 
SARASOTA — “I began writing at 3:46 in the morning on April 19, 2020. I’ve been drunk on red wine since the previous night. I haven’t slept. I haven’t stopped suffering. My own personal hell has been reignited, in light of present circumstances affecting us all.”

Motivational speaker Rory Hamill was losing altitude. The disabled Marine corporal had been here before, back in 2012, as he sat in his car, contemplated his gun, round chambered. Thoughts of his children pulled him back from the brink.

Hamill swerved from the abyss into public service, promoting his own resilience as an example for others. He was determined to keep a record of that journey, even amid the downward spiral of gravity.

“This pandemic,” Hamill pressed on last month, “although viral in nature, alludes to what happens to us as human beings, when we are stripped of our outlets and are deprived of our ability to socialize.”

When the news of Hamill’s suicide rippled out of New Jersey last week, the loss scattered shock waves across many of the 45,000 nonprofits dedicated to supporting America’s veterans. Hamill’s record still lingers in cyberspace, through videos, newspaper articles, a “60 Minutes” interview, and exhortations on his website:

“In light of my injuries, I learned that helping others, helps myself. No obstacle is impassable; by endurance, we conquer.”

Hamill, 31, encountered the impassable obstacle amid the national isolation. And as a result, everyone is taking inventory of mental health issues inside their own military circles.

“The wounded veteran community is fairly tight-knit, and when something like this happens, the word gets out,” said Kevin Kenney, an Army veteran and director of Operation Patriot Support (OPS) in Bradenton.
read it here

Also Combat wounded veteran Rory Hamill inspired others to live on...until he lost his own battle
On March 14, 2020 I posted a warning about the need to take action to help veterans with PTSD during isolation. I was thinking more about older veterans, since most of them are not online.

Suicides end when others break their own silence

Miracles after attempted suicides prevented

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 17, 2020

Stories collected from Wounded Times

In 2007, Owen Wilson attempted suicide and it was big news, and spread around the world. At the same time, we were facing 948 attempted active duty suicides, along with 99 who lost their lives. It was also the year when many survivors faced charges. A female reservists was facing charges after she survived. She tired again, and again, she survived. The charges against her were dropped and her story showed that her mental health crisis had been pushed aside by her superiors.
"I Sat around numerous times with a .44 in my mouth. But for some reason, I just couldn't pull the trigger. I don't know why." said a 57 year old veteran who had attempted it three more times.
Not long afterwards reports of veterans attempted suicides had grown more than "patient count" in the VA. The eyeopener in this piece of news was the age groups who topped the numbers from 2000-2007. 20-24 year old attempts went from 11 to 47 per year. 55-59 year old attempts also went up from 19 to 117.

By April of 2008, the reports on attempted suicides were increased to 1,000 per month in the VA system.

And then something amazing started to happen. Veterans were talking about their own pain so that others would understand it is not all doom and gloom. 

Two years later, veterans were trying to do whatever they could to change the outcome and encourage veterans to seek healing instead of suffering. That is what Jeremiah Workman did as the recipient of the Navy Cross.
He went on to write "Shadow of the Sword: A Marine's Journey of War, Heroism, and Redemption"
read more here

Monday, April 20, 2020

That’s the day Iraq War Veteran Mitch Olson died by suicide

A special honor for a fallen young veteran amid COVID-19 restrictions

KARE 11 News
Boyd Huppert
April 14, 2020
Against that backdrop – the pain, the quiet and a family deprived of a proper military service – on Saturday, motorcycle riders with the American Legion, Combat Veterans Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars rode in.

MINNETONKA, Minn — Fifteen miles of social distance from Fort Snelling National Cemetery, a military family grieves in the age of COVID-19.

No hugs, no graveside service, no 21-gun salute.

Just the worst pain possible, made impossibly worse.

“Mitchell's my younger brother,” Casey Olson says, standing near the flag her family flies next to the porch. “This is where we grew up, my parents have been here since 1979.”

Since March 30th, the house has never felt quieter.

That’s the day Iraq War Veteran Mitch Olson died by suicide.
read it here

Do not leave your family and friends in this kind of pain. There is hope if you #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife you can heal PTSD

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Do not choose to leave your family wondering why

Military suicide crisis: Army veteran remembered as kind and compassionate

WFMY 2 News
Author: Kevin Kennedy
February 26, 2020

“He seemed okay when I talked to him on the phone that morning but evidently, he was holding back and already had a plan in mind,” said Dan Krise.

Sgt. William Krise wanted to serve his country. His family was proud and thankful he returned home safe, but the man that came back was not the same one that left.
SEAGROVE, N.C. — Sgt. William Krise picked up the phone on the morning of January 18, 2020, and called his dad. The two men shared a simple conversation like they have done hundreds of times in the past.

“We just talked, nothing big, mostly regular stuff,” said Dan Krise.

The conversation didn’t last long, and Sgt. Krise ended it like he always did.

“He said, I love you, dad."

Dan was in Pennsylvania at the time while his son was at his home in Seagrove, NC. Dan had been planning a trip to North Carolina, but they had yet to set a date.

Later that afternoon, Dan received a phone call from a friend of his son. The lady on the other end of the phone had helped Sgt. Krise find a therapy dog to help him adjust to life after the military. This call was also short, and little was said.

She told Dan his son had committed suicide.

Pain and misery seemed to follow Sgt. Krise from his tour in Iraq back home in the United States. A 10-year veteran, Krise was medically discharged in 2003, but his life was filled with challenges and obstacles after he returned from the war.
read it here

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Thursday, February 13, 2020

It it time to stop thinking about taking your own life and know about #TakeBackYourLife

#TakeBackYourLife and Stay Alive

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 13, 2020

How many times do we have to read about a veteran suffering with PTSD taking his or her own life instead of healing before we actually change the outcome?

Iraq veteran, 35, struggling with PTSD 'took own life' in children's park

Mirror UK
ByLuke Traynor Matthew Dresch
13 FEB 2020

In a moving post on website Go Fund Me, a close family friend said: "As with many serving and veteran soldiers, Wes had struggled with PTSD and on the 26th January 2020, he succumbed to those demons of PTSD, sadly taking his own life, at the young age of 35.

Wesley McDonnell has been described as 'one in a million' (Image: handout)

An Army veteran was found dead in a children's park after battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Wesley McDonnell, from St Helens, served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Kenya, Canada, Germany and the Falkland Islands during his distinguished career.

Friends say the 35-year-old soldier 'succumbed' to his demons and 'took his own life', with one saying 'stand easy, warrior, your duty is done'.

In a cruel twist, Mirror Online revealed how police misidentified Mr McDonnell and ended up wrongly telling another mother that her son had died.

Relatives said Mr McDonnell, stationed with the Duke of Lancaster Battalion, had suffered with mental health worries, specifically post-traumatic stress disorder, the Liverpool Echo reports.
read it here

If you actually think about what "suicide awareness" has achieved, it has delivered the message of other veterans giving up. If you think about what healing awareness does, it delivers a message of hope that they can heal too and their lives can be so much better.

When you hear that the stigma of PTSD is still strong, think about why it is still so powerful when all the evidence has been out there proving there is nothing to be ashamed of as a survivor of something that could have killed you.

Watch this video and you will know what works to support you to #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife.
Marine Veteran Mike Damon owned his PTSD. He is using what he learned in his journey to create a guide for anyone to use to conquer their inner battles. The guide is written like guides in the military are written. The principles are easy to understand and implement. Listening to Mike talk about his vision and intent for what he is trying to do makes me believe that there is truly a way to go to 0 for Veteran Suicide.
He is talking about what he went through to take back his life, how he is not only happier, he is helping veterans like you discover what is possible for you too!

Mike,"The Godfather" Damon of Vet Unite

Suicide rates for younger veterans doubles in NYS
There are alarming new numbers about suicide rates among younger veterans. A new report issued by the New York State Health Foundation says rates for those 18 to 34 has more than “doubled” in the state.

7 Eyewitness News met with a war veteran who leads a counseling program at the Veterans One-stop Center of Western New York.

“You feel like you are living on the other side of a pane of glass, like you’re watching everyone around you,” reflected Alyssa Vasquez, program manger, Veterans One-stop Center of WNY.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Are you are judging them without giving them a chance to help you #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

To protect and serve should include yourself

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 23, 2020

The only way I could understand what PTSD was doing to my Vietnam veteran husband, was because I knew what surviving trauma had done to me.

I am a ten time survivor of traumatic events that could have taken my life just living as a civilian. Most of the time, someone like you responded to rescue me. Knowing what surviving did to me, it is also easy to understand what responding to people like me...did to you.

I had nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, paranoia and questioned everything I believed. I understood the need to hide what I was going through, so that no one would feel sorry for me, or judge me as being damaged.

On the flip side, my family understood that they needed to show me that no matter what, they loved me and they were there for me, no matter what I had to say, and they wanted to help me through it.

They did not give up on me. One of the reasons why I was not about to give up on my husband, or anyone else. It is also the reason why I am writing this now. You need to stop giving up on yourself!

If you are dealing with PTSD, then you need to stop looking at yourself as a victim. You are a survivor of all of it. Within the first 30 days after "it" happened, your mind was fighting it off.

In all of the times I faced the "afterwards" there was only one time, it followed me, but did not control me. That is because I fought back, helping my mind by arming it with talking about it. When I needed a professional to talk to, I went.

I also trusted God and stopped questioning why I survived. It became a matter of what I could do afterwards...for the rest of my days on earth.
In The Shelter of Your Arms is a song that has been healing for me during hard emotional right now. No matter what I am up against, I know this is the work I was sent to do and the glory goes to Jesus because He loved me enough to show me the way to help those who have my heart. This is for anyone who is going through painful times. It is OK to feel pain, no matter who you are, but take the shelter of His arms until your pain in gone and you smile again. So now I sing a song for You beyond the tears that came because I know, if I share this with those I am supposed to reach, they may know that others go through the same dark times, even if they believe, as I do, that nothing is beyond Your love. RISE AND START AGAIN

It is OK to hurt to feel pain, to cry and to lose yourself for a time. Survivors never walk away the same way they walked into it. Everyone changes to a certain extent, but you control the way you change and how much you change from one point to the next.

You would think that I would not need help from anyone considering how long I have been doing this work, but everyone I know, also needs help from time to time or they would not be able to be there to help anyone else. Besides, if I needed help but refused to ask for it, how could I ever tell someone else to ask when they needed it? I couldn't.

If you think that it is hopeless for you, then it will be, but if you imagine what is possible, you will find it and rise again!

Back in 2002 I finished writing my first book and last year I did an interview with a friend for his radio show. No matter what we went through, keep in mind that we have been married since 1984 because while we did not understand what the other survived, we understood how to lean on each other to heal!
This is part of the interview of us talking about my book FOR THE LOVE OF JACK and what it was like living with PTSD when no one was talking about it.
Want to know if you have what it takes to fight this battle? Listen to what I was willing to do and know that you can do the same and defeat it! #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

If you are afraid of being judged by those around you, notice that you are judging them without giving them a chance to help you #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Monday, January 13, 2020

Voices unite to fight mental health crisis

Mental health crisis: We must speak with one powerful voice in 2020

The Hill
The systemic change we need to address our nation’s mental health crisis truly will not happen unless families, advocates, providers, and policymakers unite in support of a roadmap for change — and demand action from elected leaders.

For many, the start of a new year represents a clean slate — a chance to take stock of what truly matters in life and course correct in search of a better path.

Human resiliency is a powerful thing. Mental health and addiction professionals often say it’s why they do what they do. People can recover from their challenges and go on to lead productive, meaningful lives.

But resiliency alone is not enough for the one in six Californians who have a mental health condition or the 2.7 million Californians who meet the criteria for a substance use disorder. Access to quality, evidence-based care, and community support are equally as important.

However, as Californians know all too well, such care and support are not always easy to come by, often leading to tragic outcomes. Overdose deaths from opioids and methamphetamines continue to devastate families across the state. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for Californians age 18-34.

Jails and prisons serve as de facto “treatment centers” for some, and homelessness has hit epidemic proportions, primarily due to a combination of untreated mental health and substance use disorders and California’s affordable housing crisis.

Many who seek care using private health insurance face enormous roadblocks. A recent report by the actuarial firm Milliman found huge out-of-network utilization disparities between mental health/addiction and medical/surgical care for inpatient facilities, outpatient facilities, and office visits.

This means insured individuals are paying more out-of-pocket for mental health/addiction care than they are for medical care — mostly because health plans continue to reimburse mental health/addiction providers far less than their primary care/specialist counterparts, causing those providers to stop accepting insurance altogether.
read it here

Take the time to add your voice to this fight! I did! Go to Mental Health For US

Sunday, January 12, 2020

EMS workers suffer trauma too

Cleveland EMS workers suffer trauma, too — so why won’t city help its helpers?

The Plain Dealer
By Andrea Simakis
January 12, 2020
Chuck followed them, fighting the tears building in his eyes. Then it was on to the next call.

Former Cleveland paramedic Charles Cali sits in his kitchen January 8, 2019. Cali left his job because the city won't agree to common sense mental health protections for its EMS workers. Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio — When the call came in, paramedic Chuck Cali and his partner hoped it was a mistake, or some feeble attempt to get the fire department there faster: “Neighbors report there’s a man on fire walking down the street.”

Then they turned a corner.

He was just standing there, not waving his hands or yelling. All his hair had been burned away. So had his clothes. Naked and still smoldering, everything that had made him recognizable was gone. Everything but his wide eyes.

“Am I going to die?”

As he spoke, part of his lip broke and flaked off.

The 23-year-old had suffered more burns than the decorated Cleveland paramedic had seen on some cadavers, and yet here he was, talking to them.

He wouldn’t tell them who had tied him up and set him on fire. If he told, they’d promised to do the same to everyone in his family.

“Please call my Dad.”

“Not now,” Chuck answered. “We need to get you to the hospital.”

A doctor took one look at him and declared him dead. “He’s still talking, sir,” Chuck replied. Three nurses left the room, crying.

Chuck followed them, fighting the tears building in his eyes. Then it was on to the next call.

There was no time to decompress, to make sure their heads were clear enough to treat the next critical patient.
read it here

Friday, January 10, 2020

Veteran Angela Peacock's new mission, to save survivors from PTSD

Female Vet Saves Lives with Heroic Fight for Improved Treatment for Trauma

January 9, 2020
Former Sergeant Angela Peacock is a woman who has dedicated her life and her own survival to educating and helping others and is the definition of a true hero.

As we sit on the brink of troubling tension with Iran, many concerned about the possibility of another war, MK Mendoza is joined by Veteran Sergeant Angela Peacock who knows the personal cost of war and what post traumatic stress can do. She is not alone. Nearly one out of every ten people in our adult population is a veteran and in some NM counties, that number is close to every 2 out of ten.

Men make up the more than 90% of veterans. And women just less than ten percent. Yet close to a third of all suffer silently with Post Traumatic Stress. And though women still rank in the vast minority in the service, their population has nearly doubled since Vietnam.
She's found a new mission in life: To help all who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress and gives voice to an invisible population and another experience that can kill. Thirty percent of all people are estimated as overmedicated defined as being on more than 5 drugs at a time, and in our elderly population some studies estimate a rate of 67%.
read it here

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

In order to defeat suicide, spread hope instead

How can anyone care about something they do not know?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 17, 2019

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein
I no longer cry when someone tells me to give up. I actually feel sorry for the person who will not listen. They believe they are right because they heard something someone else told them. OK, then if they were willing to listen to someone telling them a lie, why are they not willing to listen to someone telling them the truth? It must be easier to admit they did not know anything, than admitting they were lied to, believed it and then spread the lie out to more people.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.” ― Isaac Asimov
It happened again! I was contacted by yet another person who said they were raising awareness about veterans committing suicide. It was easy to figure out the person knew nothing about my work or what I knew. He just found me online and wanted to take advantage of someone who may be willing to give him free publicity.

I asked him, "What is the point of telling veterans they are killing themselves?" He responded with, "How can anyone care about something they do not know is happening?" I replied with, "Apparently it happens all the time since you know nothing about what you are raising awareness of."

What can be expected when the news media still supports the notion that talking about what they hear is the truth? In this case, NBC News in Nevada came out with this mind blower!
This anchor says "In Nevada 20 veterans a day are committing suicide, believe it or not." He must have read that on Facebook somewhere!

So we end up with the wrong information getting all the publicity while the truth, that could set them free from misery, is something they never hear. PTSD is a wound and survivors can heal, but someone has to tell them it is possible!
Here is the chart that was mentioned in this video.
And this chart shows how the percentage of suicides went up while people were out there spreading the lie of how many made the choice to die instead of learning how to heal!

They need to hear messages that will empower them to seek healing, #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Real help vs others helping themselves

Getting wrong kind of help worse than none

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 3, 2019

If you are wondering why I could not post on this site for a while, it became impossible to be upbeat and share anything encouraging when we were being tortured for trusting the wrong people.

There are people we think we can count on to help us get to where we want to go. It can be devastating to discover we were wrong.

My husband and I decided to sell our house in Florida so that we could move closer to our daughter in New Hampshire. We turned to "friends" we had known for 15 years to sell it. Worst mistake of our lives!

I found a buyers agent to help us in New Hampshire. Catherine Allen was a stranger turned into a blessing. Our house was not getting much attention and she took a look at the listing. Catherine said the pictures were the biggest part of the problem and so was the price.

When I told our "friend" what Catherine said, that was the last time she took my phone call and would not respond to emails. I had no clue what the hell was wrong with her but what made it worse was what it did to us personally knowing that "friends" would treat us like that.