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

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Wake Up Call For Reporters With PTSD

They report on what causes PTSD in the rest of us. For us, all it takes to set off PTSD is the "one" time that was too many. Sometimes, that one time comes with the only time we survived. There is a growing number of reporters experiencing their "one too many" times and it is easy for us to understand that what they go through over and over again, can have a lasting impact. Stephanie Foo, Marcella Raymond, Colin Butler, Chris Cramer, and David Morris are just some joining the club no one wants to belong to.

I've talked to several reporters over the years and a few shared what they were going through. Now, they are not just reporting on the events that cause PTSD in the rest of us. They are talking about their own.

Alarming levels of stress among journalists a 'wake-up call'
Workers who keep Canadians up to date on the latest news of the day are suffering disturbingly high levels of work-related stress and injury.

Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) of journalists and media workers are suffering from anxiety and 46 percent go through depression, according to the “Taking Care: a report on mental health, well-being, and trauma among Canadian media workers” report.

Another 15 percent have post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the report based on the survey of 1,251 news executives, desk editors, frontline reporters, and video journalists.
The Madness by Fergal Keane review – the BBC correspondent on conflict, fear, and PTSD
The Guardian
Emma Graham-Harrison
17 Nov 2022
For Keane, many of these memories are of Rwanda. Going to testify at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which he saw as a moral duty, triggered another breakdown: “I dreamed vividly of the dead, horrible images that caused me to wake sweating, sometimes fighting in my sleep with arms flailing, knocking over my bedside lamp. I had experienced such symptoms immediately after the genocide but now they were accompanied by crippling anxiety. Panic attacks kept me in bed for days.”
Fergal Keane at the Ukrainian army frontline at Peski in Donbas, 2016. Photograph: Unknown/BBC/Fergal Keane A brutally honest exploration of the ethics and motivations of war reporters, and of Keane’s own demons
Journalists are unpopular, as a profession, but war correspondents get a rare pass. In films, books and the wider culture there is a dark glamour, a reckless heroism that attaches to people (mostly men) who head with laptop and camera towards battles that other civilians are fleeing.

Fergal Keane, one of the most celebrated faces of BBC news, embodied that myth. His new book The Madness, part memoir, part meditation, picks it apart. He explores with brutal honesty why he and many colleagues travel to conflict zones in the first place (it is different, of course, for journalists who have war break out on their doorstep), and keep going back when their mental health is fraying.

“Nobody forced me” begins his account of multiple journeys to see first hand the cruel things humans do to each other, from missile strikes to terror attacks and genocide by machete and club. He knew he was risking his mind amid the violence, as well as his life, but couldn’t stay away. That mixture of fear, vanity, inadequacy, driving ambition: this is as familiar to anyone who has spent time with a press pack in a war or at its margins as explosions, checkpoints and guns.

read more here


Friday, December 9, 2022

NYC Paramedic "I’ve Never Witnessed a Mental Health Crisis Like This One"

I’m an N.Y.C. Paramedic. I’ve Never Witnessed a Mental Health Crisis Like This One

New York Times
By Anthony Almojera
December 7, 2022
I’ve gone down the road of despair myself. The spring and fall of 2020 left me so empty, exhausted and sleepless that I thought about suicide, too. Our ambulances are simply the entrance to a broken pipeline. We have burned down the house of mental health in this city, and the people you see on the street are the survivors who staggered from the ashes.
Mr. Almojera is a lieutenant paramedic with the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and the author of “Riding the Lightning: A Year in the Life of a New York City Paramedic.”


There are New Yorkers who rant on street corners and slump on sidewalks beside overloaded pushcarts. They can be friendly or angry or distrustful. To me and my colleagues, they’re patients.

I’m a lieutenant paramedic with the Fire Department’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, and it’s rare to go a day without a call to help a mentally ill New Yorker. Medical responders are often their first, or only, point of contact with the chain of health professionals who should be treating them. We know their names and their routines, their delusions, even their birthdays.

It is a sad, scattered community. And it has mushroomed. In nearly 20 years as a medical responder, I’ve never witnessed a mental health crisis like the one New York is currently experiencing. During the last week of November, 911 dispatchers received on average 425 calls a day for “emotionally disturbed persons,” or E.D.P.s. Even in the decade before the pandemic, those calls had almost doubled. E.D.P.s are people who have fallen through the cracks of a chronically underfunded mental health system, a house of cards built on sand that the Covid pandemic crushed.
read more here

Thursday, December 8, 2022

What helped you heal?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 8, 2022 

Every day is hard for people with #PTSD. This time of year is usually harder. If you've healed, you remember what it was like to see people "celebrating" when you had a hard time just getting out of bed. It's hard to think of anything beyond living day to day as hope slips away that the next day will be any better. So what happened to you? What helped you heal? Was it a friend helping you find your way? Was it a family member taking the time to listen to you? Was it a stranger there to help you when you finally reached the point when you decided to seek help? Was it something someone wrote, or a video they put up to help you understand you weren't alone?


Being part of a miracle happening is saying "yes" to God. Standing in the way of it is saying "yes" to the darkness the miracle was supposed to defeat. It is that simple.

Christmas is coming and we're supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. Set aside the debate as to when He was actually born and how all the celebrating we do was tied to the winter solstice. I focus on the life He lived, what He achieved, and the simple fact that He was not forced to do it. He had the chance to refuse to do what He was sent to do.

Mary had the chance to refuse to become His mother.  Joseph had the chance to refuse to take her as his wife and protect the mother and son. Mary and Joseph could have refused to travel to Egypt to save His life.

When He was grown and went to John the Baptist to be baptized, John had the choice to not believe what his soul was telling him about the man standing in front of him.

When Jesus was fasting for 40 days, He had the choice to allow Satan to corrupt Him.

When He returned to the villages, He asked fishermen to help Him. Each one of them could have refused to do it. The people they asked for help could have refused to help them, as well as refused to listen to what He had to say.

Imagine what would have happened if none of what happened, was able to happen because people said no to becoming part of a miracle.

How many times have you had the chance to be part of a miracle but refused to do it? 

How many times have you received a miracle but refused to acknowledge it?

If you live your life only caring about yourself, then you are saying "no" to God. If you live your life doing something for someone else, you are saying "yes" to God. Which way do you think will make you happier?

This Christmas, instead of debating what December 25th means, think about what His life was supposed to mean and do something for someone else. It doesn't have to cost you a dime but may cost you a little time you spend listening to someone, praying for them, or even giving someone clearly having a bad day a smile.



Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Witchcraft trials, Charles Dickens and PTSD?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 6, 2022

What do the Salem Witchcraft Trials have to do with PTSD? Oddly enough, a lot! When you consider the people at the time who thought they were fighting against evil, they must have also thought the people doing the accusing were on the side of what was good. They had no clue that those making the false accusations had other motives for doing so. Call me Polly Anna but, I have to believe there were good people who got caught up in the conspiracy must have been sick to their stomachs they believed the lies, and innocent people died.

Consider how long it took them to come to their senses and then try to give some justice to those they attacked.

This is when Wilmont Redd was hung,
On Thursday, September 22, 1692, Wilmot Redd was brought to the execution site at Proctor’s Ledge in Salem, along with Mary Easty, Martha Corey, Ann Pudeator, Margaret Scott, Alice Parker, Mary Parker, and Samuel Wardwell.
And this is when people tried to clear her name along with others.
In September of 1710, a committee was sent to Salem to look into how to make restitution to the victims of the trials after a number of the surviving accused had filed petitions with the court asking that their names be cleared. For reasons unknown, none of Wilmot Redd’s relatives filed a petition with the committee.
And this is when it finally happened.
On October 31, 2001, the Massachusetts legislature amended the 1957 bill and officially exonerated five victims not named in either the 1711 bill or in the 1957 bill: Wilmot Redd, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Susannah Martin, and Margaret Scott.

On the 300th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials in 1992, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial was built in Salem, Mass and a marker was established for Wilmot Redd.

In 1998, the town of Marblehead placed a cenotaph for Wilmot Redd next to her husband’s grave at Old Burial Hill.

After the site of the Salem Witch Trials, executions was discovered in 2016, the Proctor’s Ledge Memorial was built there the following year and a marker was established for Wilmot Redd.

People with PTSD were falsely accused too when no one knew what it was.


It is thought that many of the accusers during the witchcraft trials suffered from PTSD after they survived attacks from Native Americans.

Then, by the Civil War, the lingering ailments were finally seriously researched. This is from the National Center For PTSD.
Early Attempts at a Medical Diagnosis Accounts of psychological symptoms following military trauma date back to ancient times. The American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) mark the start of formal medical attempts to address the problems of military Veterans exposed to combat. European descriptions of the psychological impact of railroad accidents also added to early understanding of trauma-related conditions.

Nostalgia, Soldier's Heart, and Railway Spine

Prior to U.S. military efforts, Austrian physician Josef Leopold (1761) wrote about "nostalgia" among soldiers. Among those who were exposed to military trauma, some reported missing home, feeling sad, sleep problems, and anxiety. This description of PTSD-like symptoms was a model of psychological injury that existed into the Civil War.

A second model of this condition suggested a physical injury as the cause of symptoms. "Soldier's heart" or "irritable heart" was marked by a rapid pulse, anxiety, and trouble breathing. U.S. doctor Jacob Mendez Da Costa studied Civil War soldiers with these "cardiac" symptoms and described it as overstimulation of the heart's nervous system, or "Da Costa's Syndrome." Soldiers were often returned to battle after receiving drugs to control symptoms.
And this, they also knew about non-veterans.
The thought that physical injury led to PTSD-like symptoms was supported by European reports of "railway spine." As rail travel became more common, so did railway accidents. Injured passengers who died had autopsies that suggested injury to the central nervous system. Of note, Charles Dickens was involved in a rail accident in 1865 and wrote about symptoms of sleeplessness and anxiety as a result of the trauma.

You can read more about Charles Dickens here. When you think about everything Dickens wrote, it isn't hard to see some of yourself in the characters created by parts of his own inner struggles. Now, imagine being around him and what he must have been acting like. It would have been very easy to make assumptions about him because no one had a clue back then.

Now, we know better, or, at least, are supposed to know better. The fact the general public has no clue what it is like is not so much a reflection of ambivalence, but more, due to the fact reporters won't look beyond what they see at the moment they see it. Events centered around veterans with PTSD bombard them and they go to cover those events. They remain blind to the fact most of the people involved in the events they cover otherwise, do not always "move on" from the story they focus on just long enough to write the article.

I asked a few reporters over the years why they don't cover what happens to the rest of us and they said no one is interested in it. Feeble excuse but it is what it is. It makes me think back to the witchcraft trials and how good people didn't give up on getting some sort of justice. We shouldn't either.

For us, be aware that while you know what PTSD is, too many do not. Try to open their eyes so they see what struggles they have are not new. After researching this article, I'm going to watch A Christmas Carol in a totally different way, because I never made that connection before.

This is the version I like best.


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The pandemic turned the Golden Oldies years into the Golden Lonelies!

The pandemic turned the Golden Oldies years into the Golden Lonelies! The article on Spectrum news about seniors being hit by loneliness because of the pandemic hit me hard. For me, it was moving into a new state 4 months before the pandemic shut everything down. The new state was hard enough for an extrovert like me. I was planning on solving that problem by getting a part-time job since I was close to retirement age. Most of the friends I made over the years were with coworkers. The pandemic killed that idea. My husband and I are both high-risk, so, I decided to just wait it out and take early retirement.

Three years later, I haven't made any new friends. I thank God we have friends living not too far away that we've had for decades and our daughter is up here too, or I'd go completely insane. (Confession, I'm close enough to it now.)

During all this, I realized that some of the people I called "friends" turned out to be not interested in anything more than what politically motivated them. They refused to wear a mask or understand what COVID was doing to people. They refused to get vaccinated. Why? Because their political leaders were saying it was all a hoax. 

They were supposed to be "Christian" but apparently, anything that Jesus preached they should do, didn't matter anymore. Lying and hating was Okie Dokie with them. They turned against people they pretended to care about, leaving people like me, not just dealing with the pandemic, but dealing with the loss of trust in everyone.

I still wear a mask shopping because when too many people were not wearing them when there was a mask mandate, now I wonder what kind of germs they're running around with and not bothering to even cover their sneeze or mouth when they cough. Plus, I went for a checkup yesterday and they are still under mask mandates. 

I think all of this, caused me to see people in a way I don't like. I mean, not everyone is evil, selfish, despicable, or reprehensible, but there are a lot more than I ever thought there were. 

Now that my therapist got me passed grieving for the loss of my friend to COVID, we're working on getting me to want to be around people again. That will be great because it turns out, there are a lot more seniors like me not out there but are wanting to be. 

The thing that cracked me up a bit about the article was the woman they interviewed said she filled up her days with reading. I filled them up with writing books. If you have PTSD, there are lessons in this article for you too because part of PTSD is isolation. It's easy to lose trust in others when you have it and hard to gain it back but if you don't try, it will never come back to you. Your therapist can help with that. Last night we went out for dinner and I got to hug some people again!

Aging in Upstate: Film addresses isolation and loneliness in New York before pandemic hit

Spectrum
By Mark Goshgarian
Nov. 28, 2022

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — "Reading. I did read," said Louise Wiggers, 77, of Findley Lake in Chautauqua County.
That's how she dealt with the isolation she felt during the pandemic. She even missed out on seeing her twin grandchildren in person for a year and a half.

"It was very difficult. And they changed a lot during that time, absolutely, they did. Yeah, it was hard. it was very, very difficult," said Louise.

Isolated, but not lonely, she lives with her husband of 55 years, Kent.

"So, we weren't seeing anyone, really. Even our neighbors because of our age and our being at risk," said Louise.

The two spent hours watching their favorite TV shows and movies on BritBox, not knowing day to day just how long they would have to stay cooped up.

"It was frustrating. And you know, I think I would say I was a little bit angry about all of that, too," said Louise.

Chautauqua County Office for the Aging recently hosted a screening at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown of the documentary "All the Lonely People," which chronicles a cross-section of adults sharing their experiences living in isolation.
read more here

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Hadley's Half-Hanged Mary

The Witch of Hadley: Mary Webster, the Weird, and the Wired
The Massachusetts Review
Anna Smith
October 15, 2019
Mary Webster’s troubles started not long after what non-native historians typically refer to as Metacom’s (or King Philip’s) War—America’s most devastating civil war if judged in terms of deaths per capita. This conflict included an attack on Hadley in 1675, and it seems likely that the witchcraft scares were at least in part related to fears stemming from these conflicts. You don’t have to be a trauma expert to imagine that settlers in Massachusetts, just a decade later, might have still been a bit unhinged.

 

It is in Hutchinson’s history, written some years after the actual events, that we first hear of the hanging of Mary Webster. He writes that a group of “brisk lads” went to her house, hanged her till she was near death (did they believe she was dead?), then cut her down, rolled her into a snow bank, and left her there.

But Hutchinson ends on a cheerful note, “It happened that she survived and the melancholy man died.”

Apparently, she lived another eleven years and became known as “Half-Hanged Mary.” In 1985, Margaret Atwood dedicated her novel The Handmaid’s Tale to Mary Webster, her ancestor, and ten years later, wrote a poem to “Half-Hanged Mary.” The resurgent popularity of Atwood’s novel and its Hulu series, as well as the anticipation around the release of the novel’s sequel, tell us that this noxious strain in our collective consciousness is still in need of healing. We’re a long way from understanding everything about misogyny, groupthink, and terror.

If people already think you’re a witch, it’s hard to imagine what surviving a hanging would do for your reputation. I like to envision that first encounter with her neighbors. And yet, Judd tells us she “died in peace.”



 

You can watch her story here 

 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

PTSD: Grateful Thanksgiving

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 24, 2022

The word Thanksgiving follows the word Happy. For many of us, we have forgotten what that word means from time to time. I know I did. This year started out with losing one of my best friends and struggling to rewrite my books. I ended up knowing I needed to go back into therapy to work through the grief.

I could have just dismissed it, because of all the other losses I've had in my life, but not honoring the loss of someone so dear to me, would have not been honoring what he meant to me. My therapist helped me work thru it and now I can remember him, think about him, remember the things he said, and find comfort in those memories. I'm not done with therapy yet because now we have to work on my inability to try to meet new people. I'm an extrovert, in case you haven't noticed that by now. That means being away from people is torture for me. Since we moved into our new home in New Hampshire 4 months before the pandemic hit, I'm having a hard time with it. Ok, honestly, working on these books has sucked up whatever free time I had. 

And all that brings me to this point in my life today. I am giving thanks for what I am grateful for, if not happy about. If you have PTSD, I bet that doesn't sound strange to you at all. I know for me, faith did not allow for the possibility that God could not have prevented it from happening. Once I got passed the fact I did survive, I began to wonder why. I was ok with that but when I wondered why He didn't prevent it, it ate away at my soul. Then I remembered how we all have free will and God doesn't mess with it.

We cannot control what others do to us, any more than we can control who does something for us. The only thing we can control is what we choose to do. I lived my life more about "doing for" than "doing to." Doing something to someone else brings no joy and whatever momentary gratification we may obtain, will leave us feeling empty. Knowing did something for someone because we could, fills us, even if we are the only ones to know we did anything at all.

Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief
Next week the books will be out on Amazon and I hope that this labor of love helps you find how much God put into creating you! For today, skip the "Happy" and just give thanks for what you do have to be grateful for!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

If you have PTSD, Annie Kuster along with others, are on your side

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 23, 2022

When you have PTSD and discover others have it too, while you may be sorry they are a member of this club because of the price they paid to join it, it is helpful to know they understand you. The causes may be different but what it does strikes about a third of survivors. This is why peer support matters. That is what members of the House and Senate discovered after the Capitol was attacked on January 6, 2021.

Annie Kuster, along with other members, has been trying to do something about making life better for those with PTSD. She understands it and has not been ashamed to talk about what she survived. She has also been very vocal about how important getting help and support is.

She has been speaking out on PTSD for a long time.
U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster kept silent about the sexual assaults she had endured as a young woman for nearly 40 years. Concord Monitor On Tuesday night, the 59-year-old congresswoman from Hopkinton broke her silence to her husband, family and the world. Her hands clasped on the lectern on the House floor, Kuster launched into a speech detailing one of her most painful memories.

Kuster, along with other members of Congress, are talking about their struggles as well.
ABC 9 News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long after most other lawmakers had been rushed to safety, they were on the hard marble floor, ducking for cover.

Trapped in the gallery of the House, occupying balcony seats off-limits to the public because of COVID-19, roughly three dozen House Democrats were the last ones to leave the chamber on Jan. 6, bearing witness as the certification of a presidential election gave way to a violent insurrection.

As danger neared, and as the rioters were trying to break down the doors, they called their families. They scrambled for makeshift weapons and mentally prepared themselves to fight. Many thought they might die.
“When I looked up, I had this realization that we were trapped,” said Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., a former Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. “They had evacuated the House floor first. And they forgot about us.”
Bound together by circumstance, sharing a trauma uniquely their own, the lawmakers were both the witnesses and the victims of an unprecedented assault on American democracy. Along with a small number of staffers and members of the media, they remained in the chamber as Capitol Police strained to hold back the surging, shouting mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
Kuster, D-N.H., was one of the first to be let out of the gallery on Jan. 6, escaping through the doors along with three other members just before the remaining lawmakers were locked inside. When Kuster’s group reached the hallway, a group of rioters was rushing toward them.

“We ducked into the elevator,” Kuster said. “And I said to this incredible policeman — I said, oh, my God, what if the elevator doors open, and they kill us? And I will never forget this moment ... he said, ‘Ma’am, I am here to protect you.’ And he was there to protect our democracy.”
NH Congresswoman reacts to January 6 primetime hearing
Jul 22, 2022
Rep. Annie Kuster says she believes the select committee hearings are changing the minds of many Americans

While some people may think this is not a big deal, the truth is, it is a huge one. So many lawmakers have been dealing with PTSD in their own lives and they understand all of us now. Maybe, just maybe, they'll push legislation through to address the help all of us need to heal. I know from where I sit, that it is hopeful to know, that people with the power to make our lives better know exactly what we're going through and what got them through their own battles.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The loudest voices do not speak for the rest of us!

Kathie Costos
June 25, 2022


I woke up this morning in a country I no longer recognize. Every time I heard a pro-birth person say they "believe" life begins at conception, all I could think about was when others believed they were the only Godly people in Salem. Everyone else, not believing or acting like they decided they should, was subjected to accusations, imprisonment, trials, and often, death.

Today on PTSD Patrol I posted SCOTUS: Salem Witch Craft Trials 2.0 It was because the ruling from the Supreme Court eliminating the rights of females to decide what they choose is right for them, was so vital, that the right to choose was the first sentence of the 1st Amendment to the Consitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

In other words, even back then, people were supposed to have the freedom to make their own choices. While this was written, women had very little choice over much at all. SCOTUS ruled against the 1st Amendment by the ruling based on religious reasons and not medical ones. 

The pro-birth movement kept screaming that life began at conception but the Bible does not agree with that. There is a lot that some people believe, but that is their choice. The problem came when they wanted to enforce their rights while making everyone else surrender their own rights.

That is what happened during the Witch Craft Trials. Pilgrims came here for various reasons but one of them was religious freedom. They turned around in the next generation and used it against 200 people and putting 20 of them to death.

You can read more on the link to the post but it was because of this, that I wanted to make sure people knew, this was one of the reasons why I felt it was necessary to write The Lost Son Alive Again and Stranger Angels Among Us. I had to rewrite them because the loudest voices in this country are pushing people away from God.

Over 90% of the people I helped during the last 40 years, said they believed in God, and most believed in Jesus, but none of them attended church. I had to reassure them that Jesus didn't attend a church building either. As a matter of fact, He wasn't free to preach in a Temple either. He prayed and preached outside most of the time. Then I had to reassure them that they could reach God all on their own with a direct line of communication from their soul directly to the One that sent it into their body the second they were born.

Why was that important? Because spiritual healing is vital in healing what other humans do to us. It is vital when a health issue or natural disaster causes PTSD along with everything else. If they understand what PTSD is, then they will go for help. When they understand it, they go for mental health help and the healing begins. Add in spiritual help and there is greater healing.

The National Center for PTSD even approves it! Are you going to go if you think it is all about what the zealots, haters, and corrupters of Christianity have delivered? I wouldn't. The thing is, it doesn't matter what you believe spiritually because the power is in feeding your soul. 

If you believe in God as a Christian, then please understand that the people with the loudest voices do not speak for the rest of us! If you don't believe as a Christian, then please still seek spiritual healing from people of groups who believe as you do. PTSD isn't a Christian thing. It's a survivor thing! 


Monday, June 6, 2022

Matthew 5 Christians time to speak boldly

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 6, 2022

Are you a Matthew 5 kind of Christian? Those who believe they should treat others the way Jesus explained it in the Sermon On The Mount, need to start speaking out just as loudly as those who scream about condemning others, treating others horribly, and lying about how "Christian" they claim to be. To me, they are not just repulsive but make others think all Christians are like them'


 We live in some terrible times but instead of being the voice of what Jesus taught, we walk away, shaking our heads in disgust and then fear saying we are Christians because of them.

When 19 little children and two teachers were slaughtered at Robb Elementary School, right away politicians who professed the loudest about their so-called "Christian values" were defending gun rights instead of the rights of these children to go to school and for parents to be able to send them without fear they would be slaughtered by a weapon intended for war.

People like Sen. Ted Cruz actually said that it was more a mental health issue than a "gun" issue.
Cruz continued to say that targeting felons and fugitives and those with mental illness is a more effective strategy in preventing crime.
The rebuke was swift.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) also had choice words for Cruz, tweeting at the Texas senator, “F— you @tedcruz you care about a fetus but will let our children get slaughtered. Just get your ass to Cancun. You are useless.”
Gallego was referencing when Cruz flew to Cancun, Mexico, while his home state of Texas experienced a severe power outage that left millions of Texans without heat or electricity in February 2021.

Firstly, we have the fact that Cruz admitted that people with mental illness can get their hands on these guns at will, but he doesn't have a problem with it. If he cared, then he would support background checks and limitations to access. The slaughterer managed to buy two AR15s on his eighteenth birthday, in the same state where he cannot buy a handgun until the age of twenty-one.

Cruz went to speak at the NRA convention along with others and blamed "evil" for what was done, yet again, avoiding the fact that evil people can obtain these killing machines as easily as everyone else. It is repulsive they do not have a problem with that at all. Ex-President Trump added this, "The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens."

There were heavily armed men outside of the school when the children were being slaughtered, yet they insist that arming more people, including teachers will solve the problem.

They use the title of Christian while they do not prove they have any relationship with Jesus at all. These quasi-Christians have been allowed to corrupt people by using their fame to turn people away from Jesus as well as everything that is good. They say that evil is bad while committing evil acts, and we say nothing?

There is a group in the House holding hearings on the January 6th attack on the US Capitol searching for facts. The same people screaming about how their faith matters so much, have no problem with what was done in Trump's name and want to divert the conversation from seeking the truth into something politically motivated when their own actions trying to overturn the election were in fact politically motivated.

When does this end and when do we rise up to speak boldly against these people who apparently hate all we are supposed to love. Seeking to destroy all we are taught we should value, they claim their right to do it. When do we claim our right to defend the One We Follow? 

People like them add to the number of people with #PTSD by all they stand for, from gunshot victims, pandemic patients, and people being attacked for what they do in their own personal lives with the same free will choices we all have. We are only supposed to live our own lives and take care of others with kindness and love, as directed by Jesus. Top all that off within this country, everyone is free under the Constitution to worship as all of us see fit. 

So, when do we do it?

Saturday, June 4, 2022

PTSD Awareness Month, history repeated

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 4, 2022

This is the 4th day of PTSD Awareness Month. I think it should be changed from awareness to beware-ness because of the way some reporters cover stories on PTSD.

This is good reporting on PTSD among members of law enforcement.
Public safety officer deaths by suicide, PTSD could soon be considered line-of-duty injuries
Post-Gazette Washington Bureau
ASHLEY MURRAY
May 31, 2022
Law enforcement officers are 54% more likely to die by suicide compared to the general population, according to a 2021 study published by the journal Policing. Authors cite available data from 2017 to 2019 that shows deaths among law enforcement officers were more likely to be from suicide than from accidents or felonious acts.
WASHINGTON — Just over two weeks ago, Pittsburgh police responded when a 6-year-old accidentally shot himself in the head in the city’s Hazelwood neighborhood. Officers arrived at the home on Johnson Avenue and rendered aid, giving the small child CPR until he could be taken to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in critical condition.

The next morning, a member of the police department’s peer support team reached out to the officers, and the team’s founder and lead, Sgt. Carla Kearns, got in touch with the company behind a smartphone app that local first responders can use as a mental health resource. They quickly added a module on dealing with the crisis of child injury and death, Sgt. Kearns said, and the team reported an uptick in app usage.

The repeated exposure public safety officers face when responding to any number of situations -— opioid overdoses, fatal traffic accidents, mass shootings, and psychiatric distress and domestic violence calls — or other job duties, for example serving warrants to potentially dangerous or armed suspects, contributes to elevated rates of occupational mental health issues.

This includes what psychologists are defining as a “crisis” level of suicides in the profession.
read more here

The problem with this is, that too many still have to deal with terrible treatment from their superiors, and sue.
Former LMPD detective suing police department for wrongful termination WAVE By Dustin Vogt Published: Jun. 2, 2022
LMPD notified WAVE News that all of former officer Christopher Palombi's cases had been transferred to different investigators following his firing.(WAVE)
Burbrink told Palombi in a text message exchange he could seek inpatient treatment and would be moved to temporary duty to another LMPD unit following treatment completion. Palombi flew to California and enrolled in a 30-day treatment program, which the department paid a portion of the treatment cost.

According to the document, Burbrink was not truthful in his statements to Palombi via text, and once Palombi returned, he was served pre-termination paperwork.

Palombi was terminated on March 2.
And then there is this bad reporting, from Metro News, Crash-Suicide victim suffered from PTSD
“For an unknown reason he wrecked, upon further investigation it was determined he had shot himself while driving down the road,” the sheriff explained.

The deputy pulled over the man for speeding and noticed drug paraphernalia in the car. He asked a woman in the car, who was the man’s fiancĂ©, to step out. She did, but the driver fled.


“This individual was a previously discharged Marine. Later on we discerned he suffered from PTSD and had some psychological issues and it got the best of him there for no apparent reason,” said Eggleton.

Click the link for more, but I think you spotted the same thing I did. No one gets PTSD for "no apparent reason!"

Some reporters are trying and their timing is terrific. Because of the slaughter of little kids in Texas, they have covered what the families are going through and a lot of reporters are telling the stories of what the kids are going through. The problem is, they did that before with all the other mass murders.

If you're wondering what life will be like for the survivors of the recent mass murderers attacking all over the country, especially in schools, here is a story that sums up what happened to one of them from what he survived five years ago.

Central Texas mother pleads for help as young Sutherland Springs shooting victim continues battle nearly five years later

SAN SABA, Texas (KWTX) - Nearly five years after the Sutherland Springs shooting claimed the lives of 26 people and injured 20 others, a mother in San Saba says her son’s journey to recovery from being severely wounded is far from over.

Ryland Ward was shot once in the shoulder, twice in the stomach, and twice in the leg on November 5, 2017 inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

“As he’s getting older, the more he is realizing what actually took place that day and the extent of it,” Chancie Mcmahan, Ryland’s mom, said.

Ryland is now 10 years old and he has been in and out of hospitals undergoing 30 surgeries. It’s been a fight to recover both physically and mentally.


“His PTSD is really starting to kick in gear,” Mcmahan said. “I have him in counseling and he sees a psychologist. I’m taking all the necessary steps to make sure that he is mentally OK, but he struggles.”

It’s not just a challenge for Ryland, it’s putting strain on his mother.
read more here
As a reminder, this is what happened.

Air Force ordered to pay $230 million to Sutherland Springs shooting survivors and families of slain victims

Texas Tribune The U.S. Air Force was ordered to pay more than $230 million to survivors and families of those killed in the 2017 mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, a federal judge ruled Monday evening.

Judge Xavier Rodriguez had previously found that the military branch was mostly at fault for the mass shooting because it did not report the gunman’s previous assault conviction to the FBI, which could have prevented him from purchasing the semiautomatic rifle he used to kill 26 people.

In the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history, Devin Patrick Kelley fired more than 450 rounds at attendees during the church’s Nov. 5, 2017, Sunday service, injuring 22 and killing 26. He died later that day from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after two men chased him with firearms of their own as he fled the scene.

The thing reporters are missing is, that they need to stop reporting on veterans as if they are the only survivors with PTSD. They need to stop reporting on members of law enforcement as if they are the only ones. Until they decide that they need to remind everyone that survivors of traumatic events have PTSD too, and need help to heal, the toughest among us won't even try to get help. The other factor is, that their bosses will still treat them like crap because they don't understand what they should about what happens to the survivors of the things their responders respond to! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Study found 63% had significant symptoms of PTSD families of Covid-19 ICU patients

"Even that small act of compassion from the health care team to the family can really have a really powerful impact for those family members and their risk of developing these (PTSD) symptoms," Amass said.

And that is how everyone heals, no matter the cause of PTSD. Compassion goes a long way toward helping them.  When you read the rest of the article, please keep that in mind so that you never undervalue the power of love.

Family members of Covid-19 ICU patients may emerge with a different condition, study says

CNN
By Madeline Holcombe
April 25, 2022
Amass and his team surveyed family members in the months after a loved one was admitted to the ICU with Covid-19 in 12 hospitals across the country. Many of the people studied were limited in visitation and contact with the patient. The study found that of the families that responded to the survey, 201 out of 316 (about 63%) had significant symptoms of PTSD.
CNN)When thinking of post-traumatic stress disorder, your mind may go to a movie about war.

It's a quiet day at base camp when suddenly the enemy launches an attack. The main character is scrambling to respond to incoming fire, making quick decisions about how to respond to danger that is largely out of their control.

In many ways, it's a lot like the experiences of families of patients in the intensive care unit with Covid-19, said Dr. Timothy Amass, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

These family members, too, often see an abrupt change in circumstance, have to make difficult decisions quickly and feel a loss of control, he said. And often, they come away from the experience with symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD, according to a new study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
read more here

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

South Korea's "trauma week" filling the void on PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 19, 2022

This is according to the VA on PTSD Awareness and "8 million"
Help Raise PTSD Awareness 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.
But on another page from the VA there is this and "12 million"
Facts About How Common PTSD Is
The following statistics are based on the U.S. population:
About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
About 12 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
Apparently, in December it there were 3 million more, but no idea why they changed the number from "15 million" or can't seem to make up their minds.
If the National Center for PTSD is unaware of their confusing data, that is not a good way to raise awareness of something this important.

The thing is, we are doing a lousy job raising awareness of anything meaningful on helping survivors with PTSD heal. After all, considering the stigma is still keeping people from even admitting they need help, it shows how bad we are at it. 

If you mention PTSD to someone right away, they connect it to veterans. After all, that is all they hear about. Tell them you have PTSD from some other cause, they trivialize it unless they have it too or know someone with it. What do we do? If we manage to get the courage up to say we have it, we choke on answering the next question they have when they want us to explain how we have it. 

Too often what comes next is, they say they know someone who went through the same thing and they are fine. You can tell by the look on their face they are wondering why we are not fine.

If you know what PTSD is and what it does, and learn how much power you have over it, you can stand your ground and explain it to them patiently. If you don't know, then you walk away feeling as if you've just been judged as being weaker than the person they know.

It is time to remember that we're survivors and there is nothing to be ashamed of at all, even if the rest of the country hasn't caught up to the facts we live with.

So how is it that South Korea is doing something all our news stations should be doing?

Arirang News

This week is South Korea's "trauma week"... where mental health experts and survivors of national tragedies gather to raise awareness on how to treat trauma.

Our Shin Ye-eun met some of those traumatized by South Korea's worst disasters, and looks at what is being done to help them recover.

Everyday on the news… we see tragic events wreaking havoc around the world.

But what we don't see are the lasting effects on the people affected.

Many develop trauma.

Trauma is an emotional response to experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event.

While most people recover quite quickly with the help of friends and family... some... develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Many people suffering from PTSD develop other mental health problems like depression or anxiety.

"I'm a survivor of the collapse of Sampoong Department Store."

"27 years ago… where I am walking right now, South Korea saw its deadliest building collapse."

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Lost Son and Me

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 23, 2022


When I created this image of me, I was trying for something that looked more like an elf. It didn't work but I got a big kick out of it and decided to keep it. It made the point I was trying to make, that although my wrinkles, scars on my face, bags under my eyes and graying hair, make me appear to be mean, I am far from it. The thing is, people who know me, know what I am all about, and know my character, don't need convincing about that. Only strangers do.

When I wrote The Lost Son, people in my life saw parts of me in the main character. Christopher Papadopoulos is mostly the male version of me.

The scars on his body were reminders of what he survived but the scars in his soul were reminders of why he didn’t want to anymore. Chris Papadopoulos was tired of waiting for his life to get better while he grew more bitter. Tired of paying the price for covering suffering while working as a report for an LA newspaper. Tired of the seven years he survived the bomb blast that ripped through his body while covering the war in Afghanistan. Tired of watching all he had erode like the fire escape from his window.

Seven years was long enough. He sat on his bed with a gun in his hand while a war between hope and despair kept him from lifting the gun to his head. He gave up and went to the bar figuring that if he got drunk enough, he wouldn’t have to think about anything much longer.

Chris thought everyone he knew burned down the bridges between them and him. He couldn’t see he was the one with all the matches and his friends were trying to find the firehose. Chris was dismissing the fact he had PTSD. He was right about one thing. Seven years was too long for him to be suffering instead of healing, but God had other plans for him. That night, Chris was sent on a mission to save himself and millions of others when he discovered a secretive society changing the world one soul at a time.

This is for the "churchless" children of God so you will know, that miracles do not come from a church, but they come from God.

Like Chris, I survived an attempted murder when my first husband came home from work one night and decided to beat me. He almost killed me. He stalked me, just like Chris's wife did to him.

Chris wanted to become a Priest in the Greek Orthodox church, so did I but, as a female, that was never going to happen. Later in life I was told I missed my calling and should have converted to another denomination they would let me preach. I became a Chaplain instead. My church does not support women in ministry, so I felt as if there is no place for me there.

Chris didn't know he had #PTSD and thought he would just get over it. I thought the same thing too. After all, I had devoted 40 years of research, writing and helping other people discover how much power they did have and nothing to be ashamed of as survivors of whatever caused it. The problem is, just like Chris, I turned it into a contest that I didn't want to win. So many others over the years, had it a lot worse than I had it. My panic attacks, mood swings, flashbacks and nightmares, only came to life when I heard the sound of a muscle car, because that was what my ex-husband drove. 

Like Chris never read anything about someone like himself, I never read anything about anyone like me. I survived over 10 events beginning at the age of 5. I saw two therapists and neither of them diagnosed PTSD. I dismissed what I was going through because it didn't happen all the time and did not rob me of a good, happy life.

Chris wanted to become a reporter. I always wanted to be a writer. When Chris started to heal he began to write a book to help others heal too. He wanted them to be able to read about people just like them so they would know they were not alone and their lives could be better. I wanted the same thing and tried through three other books, over 700 videos and countless articles on this site, as well as others. I wanted to tell the truth as much as I wanted to offer hope.

Chris spent 7 years regretting he survived because he thought everyone he knew walked away from him and God sent the suffering to him. On September 13, 2019, seven years after a bomb blast changed his life and caused the nightmarish series of events, he decided his suffering should end. So did God, but God disagreed on how that should happen.

In 13 days, he was led out of the darkness he had been living with, to enlighten the world of what was possible when miracles walk in the door, when he least expected them. Within 6 months, he wrote a book about miracles workers in a secret society of Chaplains and a miracle worker named Mandy living in a cabin in Gabriel New Hampshire. As for me, I wrote 3 books in 6 months because I prayed for a new way to say what I've been saying for 40 years. No one should choose to stay in darkness when the road has been cleared to make it into the light of God's love, even without a church.

Most of the people I helped all these years, believe in God and Jesus, but no longer felt they belonged in a church where they would be accepted. These books are for people like me. It is important that they see what is in the Bible and the beauty of it without feeling as if someone wants to beat them over the head with the Bible they refuse to read, instead of emulating what Jesus said His followers should actually be.


Sunday, January 2, 2022

Reporters talk about PTSD year after attack on Capitol

One year later, reporters are still processing what happened on Jan. 6

CNN Business
By Ramishah Maruf
January 2, 2022
Some journalists have been candid about post traumatic stress disorder following the insurrection. Walker said one hallmark of PTSD is to have eerily clear flashbacks -- something he has experienced when reflecting on Jan. 6.
One of the defining stories of this year was the Jan. 6 insurrection, and its significance is only growing from here, CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter said on "Reliable Sources" Sunday.

Approaching the one year anniversary, journalists are continuing to report on the attack and its aftermath, and many are still reeling from their own experiences covering the insurrection on the ground.

"We're all kind of feeling the same thing right now, this sort of disbelief that already a year has gone by and here we are," Grace Segers, a staff writer at the New Republic, said.

Hunter Walker, author of the newsletter "The Uprising" and a contributor to Rolling Stone, said that many Americans are still not truly aware of the extent of what happened that day, and not just due to active attempts to deny the seriousness of the event. Many journalists were working from home due to Covid, and jammed cell signals delayed the release of videos from the Capitol.

"There's a bit of an informal network of reporters who've been through it that day, and are still coping with that, who are leaning on each other and talking to each other," Walker said.
read more here

Thursday, December 30, 2021

PTSD is "invisible" because they don't want to see it

Invisible and unheard: how female veterans suffering trauma are let down by US healthcare

The Guardian
Rose Empson
December 28, 2021
Gender differences exist in trauma exposure. PTSD is twice as common in women than in men, according to a study conducted by Kathryn Magruder at the University of South Carolina.
Neither Jen Burch’s assault nor her PTSD were taken seriously. Photograph: Courtesy Jen Burch/Handout

For Felicia Merkel, the PTSD trigger is any loud sound – an overhead speaker, a slammed car door – transporting her back to the blistering heat of Afghanistan. For Liz Hensel, it is looking into her daughter’s chestnut brown eyes, their color reminding her of those of a young Afghan girl named Medina, who lost her mother and leg at the trauma hospital in Kandahar. For Jen Burch, the intrusive memory is of the man who assaulted her before she deployed.

More than a decade has passed since these three women were deployed to Afghanistan. It’s now almost four months since the US military withdrew from Kabul on 30 August. Still, specific memories consume them. Three hundred thousand female veterans served in the 19-year war, and as media coverage dwindles and the nation slowly forgets, Felicia, Liz and Jen continue to remember.

Their experiences in Afghanistan differed from those of the male soldiers with whom they served. Now, their stateside lives do too. Being a woman in war comes with its own set of distinct traumas. While congressional legislation that has recently been proposed is welcome, essential bills are still being blocked that would help repair the suffering these women have endured for years.
“If it means sharing the darkest details of my story, then I’ll keep doing this,” Jen said, “until the gendered gap in veteran healthcare is finally closed”.
read more here

It is really time for people to stop using the excuse that PTSD is "invisible" because they don't want to see it. They don't want to acknowledge something that can happen to them. They don't want to face the fact that no one with PTSD wanted it, or even saw it coming. They don't want to think about every day of their own life could stop being the way they were used to and come crashing down all around them in an instant.

It is not just military women/veterans who feel invisible. It is all of us. It is the civilians, female as well as male, who survived death only to discover they entered into a whole new reality as a survivor. It is the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday all over this country walking out the door one day and knowing, they may not come home the same way they left. It is the ministers who never even think about hearing the one more story from their flock that could push the pain put on their shoulders to the breaking point and they end up with PTSD too. It is the doctors and nurses facing death and suffering on their normal shifts, being faced with the results of people who will not accept facts or believe science to prevent the spread of the pandemic and then turn to the same people to save their lives.

It is the kids who are abused by parents, family members and strangers along with everyone else they were supposed to be able to trust. It is the woman, like me, paying the price for loving someone who did not even understand that attempted murder and stalking is not something love caused.

It is survivors of natural disasters, accidents, fires, crimes and even living with someone who has PTSD but has not even attempted to heal. It is the mental health professionals counting the number of dead patients as much as they are counting the numbers of their peers who gave up.

Want to talk about invisible? Over 15 million Americans every year join this club that does not want to grow. We're all invisible because the only people anyone is paying any attention to at all when it comes to PTSD are members of the veterans community. Don't believe me? Ask someone if they ever heard about PTSD, because if they did at all, it was about a veteran and not their next door neighbor.



Wednesday, December 15, 2021

When the church has no room for you

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 15, 2021

Almost 40 years ago, I started researching PTSD and in all these years, 90% of the people I helped, do not attend church. They felt as if there was no church that had a place for them. They just never fit in with what the leader preached, but did not practice. They didn't fit in with what the parishioners claimed when they saw how they actually acted. More had other reasons. Some were raised in a certain faith, but it was not practiced at home. Others were not raised to worship in a place, but raised to be "good people" with compassion and kindness, the same way Jesus taught.
Some knew that God still had room for them, even if they simply lived their lives worshiping Him the same way Jesus did. He did not attend "church" but prayed outside most of the time. He was actually against what was being done in the name of God, while it always involved money.
Jesus at the Temple
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[e] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[f]”

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

They charged money for everything and if you didn't have any, you got nothing from them. Jesus never charged anyone for anything but paid for everything people needed from God with His Own Life!

Early Christians did not attend church, but prayed at home, or in small groups among their friends. They passed on hope, healing, God's mercy and love for them freely!

Not all houses of worship are like the robbers, and that is wonderful. Not all religious leaders are saying, "Praise God but write the check to them." Not all of them are living in mansions while people go homeless and hungry. Not all of them are involved with seeking political power over prayer. Not all of the people attending church are showing up just to be seen and then doing what they want the rest of the week.

No need to wonder why so many have left organized religion and prefer to be called spiritual instead of religious.


What's your religion? In US, a common reply now is "None"
Associated Press
By LUIS ANDRES HENAO, KWASI GYAMFI ASIEDU and DAVID CRARY
December 14, 2021
Through high school and college, he "drifted away" from Christian beliefs and in his 30s began a serious, long-lasting journey into spirituality while in rehab to curb his alcoholism.

"Spirituality is a soul-based journey into the heart, surrendering one's ego will to a higher will." he said. "We're looking for our own answers, beyond the programming we received growing up."

'I want to inspire people': Woman dedicates 10 years to copy the entire Bible by hand His path has been rough at times – the death of his wife from a fast-moving cancer, financial troubles leading to the loss of his house – but he says his spiritual practice has replaced his anxieties with a "gentle joy" and a desire to help others.

He previously worked as a landscape designer and real estate appraiser, and now runs a school teaching qigong, a practice that evolved from China combining slow, relaxed movement with breathing exercises and meditation.

"As a kid, I used to think of God up on a throne, with a white beard, passing judgment, but that has totally changed," Marston said. "My higher power is the universe... It's always there for me, if I can get out of my ego's way."

This is why I wrote The Lost Son series on Amazon. 

We live in a time of growing traumas and survivors need help to begin to heal. Experts have proven the need for mind-body-spiritual approaches to healing. How can they turn to spiritual healing when they feel there is no place for them?

Most people focus on veterans when they hear the term PTSD and then dismiss others suffering after surviving other events. They turn it into a contest to see who has the worst story of survival instead of listening to those who have the best stories of inspiration. It is almost as if having a happy, successful life afterwards is something we made up. I've heard it said time and time again, if a person is happy, then they made up the suffering.

I refuse to be ashamed of surviving over 10 events and still having a strong relationship with God, even though I have become a churchless child of His. I refuse to get into a contest with churchgoers because they are satisfied with their house to worship in when I prefer my own house.

There is a place for all of us with God. It is up to us how we live our lives and how we choose our own beliefs to live by. The Lost Son is about healing through faith and the actions of others to deliver the miracles out of God's Hands into our lives.


If you are still unsure of how God does understand trauma, all you need to wonder is, "Did Jesus Experience Trauma?" Experts Say ‘Yes’
Under the weight of the sins of the world, Jesus' body began to show signs of acute stress and trauma even before the physical torment leading to the crucifixion, and the crucifixion itself took place. In a moment of overwhelming love for us, dedication to his Father’s will, and desperation to be released from the agony to come, Jesus suffered in his mind, body, and spirit as he knelt in the garden. And then, he surrendered himself to the men who would torture, humiliate, and murder him.

“From a neurobiological perspective, we know that Jesus experienced pain so intense and overwhelming that by any human standards would likely mean he became traumatized,” says author and therapist Aundi Kolber.

So yes, He does. He doesn't send all the bad  stuff into our lives. People do. The weather does. Fires do. Wars do. Evil people doing evil things do. If you believe in God then you need to admit that the other guy is just as real. We've all seen what he does but he gets most of the attention making headline across the world. The Lost Son is an attempt to get people to see it is time to give credit where credit is due and give God as much publicity as Satan gets. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

TBI shouldn't be invisible anymore in any of us

Concussion Linked to Depression, Anxiety and PTSD, Studies Show

DVIDS
Story by Claudia Sanchez-Bustamante
Military Health System
September 28, 2021

Recent research shows mounting evidence of a link between mild traumatic brain injury and mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

For the first time, a study [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27291520/] of post-mortem brains of service members who were diagnosed with blast-related concussions found visible evidence of damage to the brain.

Researchers believe the unique scarring that the study found could account for the mental health conditions that are diagnosed more frequently among service members who have suffered mild TBIs or been exposed to blast concussions.

In other words, the "invisible wounds" - as TBI is frequently called - might not be invisible anymore.

"The more we look, the more we're finding other subtleties and other kinds of changes in the brains of individuals who've been exposed to blast," said Dr. Daniel Perl, one of the study's researchers and a neuropathologist specializing in TBI and neurodegeneration at the Uniformed Services University (USU) of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

As a result, "we think there is a biology to this, that the exposure to blast can, in some people, produce damage to the brain, which leads to dysfunction and underlies some aspects of [mental health issues]," Perl said.
A 2019 study of a Department of Veterans Affairs health care database found that "a history of TBI increased the risk for suicide and other psychiatric conditions by more than two-fold."

Veterans with a history of TBI also had a two-to-four times higher prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses compared with those who did not suffer a TBI, with PTSD being the most common, according to the TBICoE team.

The prevalence of depression in the mTBI group was 68.1 percent, the TBICoE team said.

David Riggs, a clinical psychologist and chair of the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology at USU, explained how the exact reason for the neuropsychiatric symptoms service members experience following a blast-related concussion is not clear.

"We don't know exactly, particularly in the case of mild TBIs or concussions, what might be leading to these problems because it's very hard to identify the specific change in the way that the brain functions after a concussion," he said.
read more here
I had TBI from one incident when I was 5 and almost died twice the same night. Back then they didn't call it TBI (traumatic brain injury) but had a fractured skull and a concussion, which also caused changes in how my brain worked. (Yes, try the joke but I've heard them all before) I changed how I remember things, including spelling, but it also caused a lot of speech problems.

I find it fascinating that researchers seem to avoid the fact that a bomb blast is traumatic and thus, one person could have both from the same event!

Also keep in mind that they have also been studying football players too.

Degenerative Brain Disease Found In 87% of Former Football Players: Study TIME
Among players with severe CTE, 85% had signs of dementia, and 89% had behavioral or mood symptoms, or both. They were also likely to have issues in brain regions associated with depressive symptoms, impulsivity and anxiety. 95% had cognitive symptoms, like issues with memory, executive function and attention.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Want to believe in miracles again?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 27, 2021

We walk away from what we survive one of two ways. Either God did it to us, or God saved us. It is human nature to want to know why something happened to us. I know I did everytime I faced death. People like me are nothing worth reporting on, even though reporters always manage to cover the events that cause our lives to change. They show up to report on crimes, accidents, along with anything else that is traumatic and violent. Then they are gone while we continue to rewrite the story of our own lives.

According to the National Center for PTSD, there are about 15 million of us every year yet we are forgotten about. With all we survive, we lose so much afterwards that it is hard to find a reason we did. There were times when I didn't want to. Like the main character in my 4th book, The Lost Son, God had other plans for me too!
 


From The Lost Son

The scars on his body were reminders of what he survived but the scars in his soul were reminders of why he didn’t want to anymore.


Chris Papadopoulos was tired of waiting for his life to get better while he grew more bitter. Tired of paying the price for covering suffering while working as a report for an LA newspaper. Tired of the seven years he survived the bomb blast that ripped through his body while covering the war in Afghanistan. Tired of watching all he had erode like the fire escape from his window. 


He lost everything. His job, the only one that gave him purpose in life was over and he was writing greeting card messages. The condo in LA with his office covered with awards, was no longer his and he was living in a studio apartment back in Salem Massachusetts. His marriage ended when his ex-wife tried to kill him and then stalked him. All his friends were out of his life except his favorite bartender at a local bar.


Seven years was long enough. He sat on his bed with a gun in his hand while a war between hope and despair kept him from lifting the gun to his head. He gave up and went to the bar figuring that if he got drunk enough, he wouldn’t have to think about anything much longer.


Chris thought everyone he knew burned down the bridges between them and him. He couldn’t see he was the one with all the matches and his friends were trying to find the firehose. He was right about one thing. Seven years was too long for him to be suffering instead of healing, but God had other plans for him. That night, Chris was sent on a mission to save himself and millions of others when he discovered a secretive society changing the world one soul at a time.


Chris had been a "good guy" most of his life. He welcomed a new family to Salem when he was in the 6th grade. Bill Gibson became his best friend. Up until they were planing their futures as adults, they did everything together. Chris wanted to be a reporter so he could travel and let people know what was going on in the world. 


Bill wanted to join the Army, like his Dad did during Vietnam, and his grandfather, and his great grandfather. They all served willingly no matter how they were treated by some because they were black. Bill was half black and half white but he never saw people by the color of their skin. He always saw them by what was in their souls.


By the time September 11th happened, Bill and Chris were established in their new lives. Chris was a reporter for an LA newspaper and Bill was stationed at Fort Drum. Bill's sister Brenda ended up marrying Chris because she knew his job would have his traveling most of the time. She could do what she wanted, whenever she wanted to do it. Chris was back in Salem for his mother's funeral when the planes hit the towers but Brenda had another excuse to make his go by himself. Chris drove to New York as the only reporter close enough for the newspaper to get there with all planes grounded.


When Bill was deployed to Afghanistan, Chris had enough clout to get assigned to covering the war so he could watch over Bill. He became very close to Bill's buddy, David. They spent as much time as possible together like brothers.


September 13th 2012, a bomb blew up and Chris was torn up by shrapnel. Bill and David saw it happen. They saved his life until the medics took him away. That was the last time they saw him until seven years later when they walked into the bar and back into Chris's life. 


If you want to believe in miracles again, this may be what you need to open your eyes to how miracles happen all around you.


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