Showing posts with label Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Show all posts

Monday, February 5, 2024

“honey-do dude” of Waveland

US widower and veteran fights grief and PTSD by offering home repairs – for free 

The Guardian
Ramon Antonio Vargas
Sun 4 Feb 2024
“That’s when stuff comes back to you,” Chauvin remarked to CBS.
Danny Chauvin, 76, the ‘honey-do dude’ of Mississippi, fixes doors and unclogs drains to protect his mental health after his wife died.
A retired US military veteran is coping with grief from his wife’s death and post-traumatic stress from fighting in the Vietnam war by providing daily handyman services to people in his community – for free.

Danny Chauvin is the so-called “honey-do dude” of Waveland, Mississippi, according to a CBS Evening News profile of him published Friday. He told the news program that one of his favorite parts of his marriage to his wife had been the small, mostly repair and building tasks she would ask him to complete around the house, which Americans colloquially refer to as “honey-do” jobs.

Chauvin, 76, lost that part of his life when his wife of 53 years, Patricia, died in November 2022 after being sick with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other health issues, Mississippi’s Sun Herald newspaper reported. In the subsequent quiet of his home, Chauvin realized he was not only struggling with his grief as a widower, he also was struggling to manage the depression and post-traumatic stress he had been treated for after serving with the US army in Vietnam.
read more here

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Who is testing you?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 27, 2024
Someone will tell you that God is testing you when you are suffering. No clue where they got that one from, but it must be connected to something they were told when they were suffering. It was not very comforting at all to me, so I doubt it would have comforted them. So why would they say something like that?

Another thing they say is, "God only gives us what we can handle." Is it because they think everything bad that happens to them comes from God? How does that work when we are supposed to pray to God to help us when we were just told He did it to us?

I've been going through an incredibly hard time since last year. I'm past anger. Past crying. I think I'm approaching numbness. It is understandable to the people who know me personally and they feel sorry for me. They want to help but don't know what to say. I wish they'd just say something like, "I'm here for you," instead of what I find troubling.

We all hear things people should not say to us when they want to help but don't know how. The thing is, too often we end up believing what they say especially when we hear it more than once from different people. Hell, they can't all be wrong. Actually, they can depending on how they understand the spiritual connection we have to God. Maybe they are thinking about what happened to Job and assume it is happening to others. But when you read his story, you realize from the start that it wasn't God doing the testing, but Satan was. God allowed it to prove a point. Honestly, that bothers me. 

Job had great faith in God and he was blessed. He thanked God for everything he had. As more and more were taken from him, he still trusted God. That is until he wondered why God would turn against him when he didn't do anything wrong.

People end up with #PTSD and we suffer mentally, physically, and spiritually. The worst part for me is when it is crushing my spirit and I hear something that disagrees with the faith I have. I used to just let it go until I understood that I needed to explain how unhelpful it was. If they were telling me that, then it must be what they believe. That's sad.

We all hear things based on what people believe. We hear it when they believe falsehoods about PTSD too. It is almost as if they've heard the rumors and believed them to be true. Have you heard you just weren't tough enough to take what happened to you? Unless they've lived through something you survived, they don't have a clue about how it would hit them. They'll judge you all the same because that was what they heard about it and accepted it. Maybe it is because they fear what their own life would become if it happened to them?

Job's friends tried to comfort him but ended up saying stupid things. There are some things I can assure you of that may comfort you simply because I know them to be true.

God didn't do it to you and is not testing you. If He was, there would be no point in praying to Him for help. He isn't punishing you after saving you from what happened to you. He's there to help you through it.

If people won't help you heal, it isn't because He's stopping them. He's sending them to help but they won't respond. He enabled all of us with free will. We are free to make our own choices and when they choose to not help you, that isn't God's fault. It is theirs. Maybe they want to help but don't know how to? It is up to us to let them know what we need and explain how they can help. If you need them to just listen to you, tell them. If they want to "fix" you, change their language into how they can "help" you instead. That allows them to be doing what you need and actually being helpful.

I can also assure you that you are not weak, even though too many people may think that way because of what they were told about what other people thought. Turn it around. Remind them of something they went through. Help them remember what it was like for them to recover from it if they ever did. Then ask them to think about what it would be like if the same thing never let go of them. That opens their minds to see a different view of you. You have to consider the fact you are the only one who can explain it to the people who care about you. Otherwise, they won't be able to understand. All too often they will think the way you are acting is about them and not what you're going through.

While it is true PTSD is not "curable" it is healable. Your life can become a lot better than it is. As with all wounds, you can heal. Sure you may have some scars left but you can deal with them when you get the help you need. Mental health help and physical help are huge parts of what you need but don't forget about the spiritual part of you. Misunderstanding the power of it can eat you up. Strengthening it will help you heal far beyond what could ever imagine.

I know that with all I've been through, and still going through, would be far worse if I didn't have a spiritual connection to God. I know I'm not alone. You aren't either.

Friday, January 12, 2024

PTSD why do nothing when you can do something today to heal?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 12, 2023



Last year there were headlines like this one from Fortune. "The mental health crisis is decimating America’s workforce–but we only have enough therapists for 7% of the population"

It had this warning.
What we’re facing
Mental illness is skyrocketing. Last year alone, 76% of U.S. workers reported at least one symptom of mental illness. The situation looks nothing like it did even three years ago.

Every employee engagement survey you see reports mental health as the number one issue in organizations. And yet, utilization of mental health benefits is extremely low, with the average utilization rate by employees hovering around 2%.
People like me have been pushing how getting therapy for #PTSD works for decades. We know it does but no matter how many people we can get to admit they need help, it does no good when the help they need isn't there.

I wasn't going to write this. To tell you the truth, I need therapy but can't get it. It isn't because of the shortage right now. I've been involved in a health crisis with my husband needing 24-7 care from me since last year. I couldn't leave him alone and getting him out of the house for anything other than doctor's appointments has been impossible. It has left me drained physically, mentally, and emotionally, as well as spiritually. Writing has gotten harder and harder to do. What became impossible was offering spiritual help to others with PTSD. That has been devastating.

Until our lives are more stable and I can make appointments with a therapist to take care of myself, I can do nothing but wait or do what I can to help myself for now. Writing has always been therapeutic for me, but instead of working on the 4th book for the series I published last year, I can only research by binge-watching shows like Supernatural and Grimm. The book is stuck in my brain and I gave up trying to put it into words. It happened before after someone I loved died of COVID and I couldn't get past the grief. I went into therapy and then wrote the three books published last year. I know it can help me again but for now, I do what I can when I can until hope starts to fill me again.

I still have a deep spiritual connection to God, which helps beyond words. It keeps me from wanting to give up on whatever hope I have left within me.

As for you, what can you do now until you can find a therapist? Find places where you belong! Google videos on PTSD and begin to watch ones from people who were suffering to learn how their healing journey began. Find hope there.

TEDTalks has some pretty good ones like this.
If you are a spiritual person, talk to God or whatever high power you believe in.  Find a support group that focuses on what caused your PTSD. Whatever you find comforting online is better than doing nothing when you can be doing something to help you right now until you can find a therapist to help you heal more than you can imagine.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Choices for 2024

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 1, 2024

Some people see the word "choice" and they think about politics because this is an election year. Sorry to disappoint you but it isn't. I don't have the time or the energy to get involved with that discussion. I have too many other things to deal with right now. Truth be told the way I feel right now, I am the last person that should be discussing what I think about all the nonsense people say. This is about choices we make for ourselves and the people we love, especially if you have #PTSD.
Why January 1 Starts the New Year
January 1 starts the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar in use today. In 45 B.C., New Year’s Day was celebrated on January 1 for the first time in history when the Julian calendar took effect (thanks to Julius Caesar’s reforms). Today’s Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII to correct some slight inaccuracies but continues to start the year in January.

The month of “January” is named for Janus, the ancient Roman god. Often depicted as having two faces—one looking forward and one looking back—Janus was the god of beginnings and endings, doors and gates, passageways and transitions.
Did you catch that? Two-faced Roman god with one face looking backward and the other looking forward. How many of us did the same today? I know I did. Last year sucked for me and my family. It drained me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It hit when I was supposed to celebrate publishing three books, but I could not get out for book signings or interviews. As the year went on, there was less and less of what I was able to do for others and less I had to give. I was drained. I still am. I have no regrets because of the choices I made to do what I could for someone I love and forget about what I wanted to do for myself. It was the right choices for the right reasons. It was an easy choice to make but hard at the same time.

We all make choices between what we want for ourselves and what we want for others. If the decision we make is based on what is loving, kind, and unselfish, then it is the right one and while it may be difficult, it is hardly ever followed by regrets. If we decide something based on what is selfish, hateful, or based on getting revenge, it is usually followed by regrets that cannot be undone.

If you have PTSD, you have the added component to all of what everyone else goes through. All too often we have the added turmoil of wanting to go back to the way things were before, even though we are smart enough to know none of us can go back to that time in our life. We've changed. The people in our life see the change but they don't understand it. We expect them to know us well enough to know we're in trouble and need help. What we have a hard time accepting is that they don't have a clue what we're going through because no one explained it to them. We sure as hell didn't because it is all foreign territory to us too. No one gave us an instruction manual on going from "normal" to survivor.

We either make the choice to pull them closer to us by opening up and letting them know we need help, or we push them away so they won't see our pain. We don't want them to feel sorry for us or worry them. As if that works. It doesn't. So we either hide our pain the best we can or we disconnect from them and walk away.

Sometimes, sadly, we reach the point where we think about what a burden we are to them. We see their confusion, anger, and frustration. The arguments we start cause them pain and their reaction causes us pain too because most of the time, we're going through the same emotional rollercoaster. We don't know what to do. Then we decide to not be a burden to them anymore. We decided to end the pain we're causing, one way or another. 

On the flip side, the two-faced god is looking forward, toward hope. So what if we decide to end feeling like a burden to the people we love by doing all we can to not just heal the wounds PTSD caused but help them heal too? The more you know about what's going on with you, and to you, the more you discover you have plenty of reasons to look ahead with hope. Finding a way to heal yourself, will make those you love a lot happier. Being able to explain it to them, helps them stop blaming themselves as well as stop blaming you.

Don't make the wrong decision because you think it is the only one you can make. Open your eyes and know you have options that can make life a whole lot happier!


What you do for love will make this year happier and a new begining.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Hero with PTSD wonders if he did enough

Army Veteran Who Disarmed the Club Q Mass Shooter Opens Up About PTSD: 'Did I Do Enough?'

PEOPLE
By Sean Neumann
Published on December 14, 2023
“There's a guilt,” Fierro explained to Hall, as the two discussed #PTSD and its impact on their lives. (Hall was wounded during the war in Ukraine while working for Fox News.)
Rich Fierro, the Army veteran who helped disarm a mass shooter who opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado last year, is speaking out about the post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms he’s been managing in the year since the shooting that killed five people and injured 17 others.

In a new interview with Fox News war reporter Benjamin Hall on his Searching for Heroes podcast, Fierro, 46, recounts the harrowing night of Nov. 19, 2022, when a gunman entered Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., and opened fire and how it has impacted both his and his family’s life.

The victims included his daughter’s longtime boyfriend Raymond Green Vance, who died in the attack, as well as bartenders Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston, as well as Kelly Loving and Ashley Paugh.

Fierro, who along with fellow patron Thomas James helped subdue the gunman and pinned him down for roughly six minutes until police arrived, has been regarded as a hero for his immediate response to the massacre. But Fierro has also spoken out over the past year, most recently on Hall’s podcast, about his lingering sense that despite his heroism, he didn't do enough.
read more here

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Officer used hug to start to heal veteran

OPD officer recalls early morning call where he met a man suffering from PTSD, threatening suicide

KETV
Cal Larsen
December 7, 2023
"I said, 'Hey man you want a hug?' He looked at me, I said, 'I'm serious I'm a hugger, you want a hug?' And he just starts crying and buried his head in my chest and I could feel that release," Ruby said.
An Omaha police officer was on a call in July when he came face-to-face with a young man who was threatening suicide, and suffering from PTSD.
Officer Justin Ruby was one of the first on scene and made initial contact over the phone with a 24-year-old, Army veteran who had a loaded gun under his chin. The man was threatening to kill himself.

"This male called in and said his roommate was sitting in the hallway holding a gun under his chin, he'd been crying, he's yelling his roommate's name," Ruby said.

Ruby got on the phone with the man for nearly 45 minutes before going up to the apartment for a conversation.

"I need you to unload the gun, I need you to get the gun out of play," Ruby told the man. The man responded with, "I don't want to hurt anybody, just myself."

Before Ruby went into the room the man unloaded the gun and slid it across the floor.
read more here

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Stigma around PTSD still exists despite ‘shock’

Stigma around PTSD still exists despite ‘shock’ around Ontario police officer’s death

Global News
By Dave Woodard and Don Mitchel 
Posted November 28, 2023
His death opened doors for his immediate family who used the episode to speak openly about his demons and reminded first responders they don’t stand alone in the stigma surrounding mental health.
A first responder from Alberta is making his way across Canada on foot. Now in Nova Scotia, he's hoping to encourage others suffering from PTSD to open up about their struggle. Shelley Steeves reports. – Jul 14, 2023
In a five-part series titled First Responders in Crisis, Global News is looking at some of the issues that continue to loom around mental health and first responders. We’ll explore what’s being done to help first responders and what has changed over the decade.

December will mark 10 years since a well-regarded Hamilton Police investigator took his own life inside Central Station, putting a spotlight on first responders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the job.

Family and friends of the late Staff-Sgt. Ian Matthews expressed surprise in the days following the Dec. 17, 2013, episode, including Const. Andrew Leng, who was a neighbour.

“He lived two doors down from me, and I watched his kids grow up with mine,” Leng recalled. “So I knew him as more than just a police officer, I knew him as a neighbour … as a person. When he took his life, yeah, it completely shocked me.”
learn more here

Monday, November 20, 2023

PTSD is a spiritual wound

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 6, 2023




We live in a complicated world. That's something we've come to accept as reality. While we acknowledge the existence of goodness and evil within others. We do not understand both live inside of us. We know there are wars around the world. News from Israel and Gaza have replaced what Russia is doing in Ukraine. People suffer for what rulers do while no one knows what to do to save the people. So why don't we see a war of powers all around us?

When we want to know the answer to something or learn something new, we believe it's all within a search engine such as Google. Google collects billions of information. How they do it should be the first thing we learn, but we avoid that primary question. It is easier to trust it knows all than to come to the conclusion we live in a delusionary comfort zone.

Apparently, the world once again managed to create a trap for those searching for more than others know. Outcasts have been forced into hiding since the beginning of time out of fear those in power would lose their control over others. Examples of this are found within clues scribes wrote leaving trails into the mysteries of the unrecorded. Google won't find the answers for you because these answers have never been written.

History is written by humans and as such they do not always know if what they are recording is all there is to know. Even more to the point, we don't know if they write all they know or just what they want to be known by others. There are clues to this in one of the most-read books but few dare to wonder because it will lead them to question what they have been told about the faith they live by.

Begin with the fact that there are other gods besides the God. Shocking? Hardly. It has been known since Moses gave the Ten Commandments and Thou shall have no other gods before me was right at the top of the list. God acknowledged them. He did not command people to stop believing in them but wanted none to be held to a higher place of honor than His. Had that fact been valued, there would have been fewer wars when one group of religious zealots was trying to obliterate all others for worshiping what they deemed as false gods. He was the judge among the other gods. If your eyebrows just went up, you're not alone.

In some parts of the Bible, consulting the dead was condemned, yet churches not only venerate dead Saints, but they also support praying to them. Scriptures are written to condemn those who see the future or what we call fortune tellers, yet venerate others because they are called prophets. There were 12 of them. So how can gifts of the spirit be an abomination as well as holy? 

When you read the clues it is easy to see that when people used their spiritual gifts to harm someone it was an abomination against the Creator. When they were using their gifts to help someone, they were honored for the blessings within them.
This is a partial list of those gifts.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit thereby:
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But all of these that one and the selfsame Spirit worketh, apportioning to every man individually as He will.
The answer is while souls were given gifts to benefit others, some made the choice to benefit themselves. They surrendered to the war of powers within them. Titles were given to the wicked and all with the label were condemned. Consider the title of a witch. Anyone called a witch was hated even though most were using their gifts to help others. Jesus Himself was accused of having His powers come from a demon.
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, except by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.”

Accusations spread to all those who were with Him. The thing is, not all those with Him were known. Two clues to this have been overlooked. While the 12 famous ones were known by their names,  there were many more with them. Luke 10:1-23 has the first clue when it was known that 72 were sent to serve God and perform miracles. No one knows their names, their stories, or what happened to them afterward. Still, there is another clue. There were 120 gathered to vote on a replacement for Judas and Peter called them "brothers and sisters." This implies while we've been led to believe there were only men serving God with Jesus, women were held with equal status.

Who were they? What did they do with their powers? Where did they go? Historians don't know the answers because no one wrote about them. Really odd considering how vital they were to the spread of Christianity. This interview on Biblegateway with Rev. Dr. John Teter sums it up.


What do you mean, “I would like every Christian to see themselves in the anonymity of the 72”?

Rev. Dr. John Teter: We know very little about the 72 that Jesus trained for mission. All we know is that Jesus communicated with them personally to join his mission team. And we know they obeyed. I think it’s intentional that Luke puts this mission event in the very next chapter after the 12 are sent for mission. We see the 12 go and think to ourselves, they are the apostles and they should do that. But then when the 72 do the exact same thing we’re internally challenged that this might be our calling as well. Luke gives no details about the 72. We don’t know their age, gender, race, socio-economics, education, marital status, spiritual gifts, or even their names. In keeping them completely anonymous, Luke is inviting us to see ourselves in the mission.
Therein lies the mystery of what we do not know. Or do we? We know Christianity spread around the world in loving ways, as well as horrible ones. Unfortunately, people used the power of the name Jesus to control others and blamed evil acts on "God's will," instead of their own. Nothing those horrible people did had any kind of connection to what Jesus taught. 

He told His followers how to treat others. He did not command any acts against others. As a matter of fact, when a Roman Centurion went to Him for help to heal his servant, Jesus did as he requested without demanding the Centurion did anything to deserve it. Why? Because the Centurion showed great love for his servant and proved he believed Jesus could and would deliver a miracle.
The Faith of the Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
We have been led to believe things that are simply only part of the history of our faith but that isn't the only thing we have been misled about. Think about all the different faiths and how you now know there were many other gods since the beginning of time. Think about what you now know about the gifts of the spirit and how those gifts were used as intended by many more than the general public has been told about. Now think about how it was written that God is spirit and since we are made in His image, we are spirit, the spirit He created, sent equipped with gifts, and must pray to Him in spirit

What gifts were you sent with? What if you have them and don't know about them? What if you were sent for a purpose but suffer because you don't know what it is?

You may have heard that if you do not attend religious services, or attend the "wrong ones" you are not a believer. Now you know they are wrong. Jesus prayed outside. Some believe he did so because He was not welcomed in the temple. That may be part of the reason however, the reason is far more simple and loving. He preached and prayed outside with all the people that chose to listen to Him. He healed people without interrogation or demands they convert to follow Him. He became an enemy of the powerful because He told the people they should pray directly to His Father. That His Father was also their Father.

One of the biggest struggles people with #PTSD have is a spiritual battle. We wonder if God did it to us or saved us. Depending on our understanding, we either abandon our beliefs or draw closer to Him. Should we abandon what we believe, then God becomes an enemy, and angels protecting us are replaced with demons determined to destroy us. They feed off whatever negative emotions and thoughts we have to remove all hope our wounds can heal. Now you know the battle we fight is against spiritual forces. 

We also have to battle false beliefs other people have about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some think that we are weak and can't handle what we survived. Others have the idea that our suffering came from God's judgment against us. They see the changes in us as evil taking over. Sometimes we may think that as well. Should we view our survival in a secondary place from the trauma itself, we can view the event as punishment. If people are telling us something like "God only gives us what we can handle," then they reinforce that thought. The truth is, God gives us what we need to handle it and everything we need to heal is within us. 

Just as the spiritual gifts are within you, so is your ability to heal what was done to you. You have the ability to defeat the negative emotions already there but you may not know you have them. PTSD is a mental, physical, and spiritual wound that enters you. 

Change came the second you survived whatever did it to you. You may think that only veterans fight PTSD, but the truth is, that survivors of all different events fight their own battles. Trying to fight them alone doesn't work since you are not just fighting what you believe, you are fighting what others believe because they do not know what they need to know. That's why it often feels as if we're beating our heads against the wall with no way out.

So what do we do? We learn all we can about what we need to know and then find others like us. We don't try to fight this battle alone. Try to use the way the members of the military fight enemies. They do not try to fight alone. When they are outnumbered, they call in reinforcements. They call for everything they can so they survive. They do not deny they need help. You need to do the same. We all do.

We try to explain it to others in our lives because they are just as confused as we are. They look for easy answers as to why we are not the way we used to be. We need to give them the right answers by letting them know we are struggling with the changes we went through from living our normal lives to surviving what we did. We can also give them hope that with help, we can change again from struggling into being a survivor of it as well as defeating PTSD itself.

While we cannot be "cured" we can heal the wounds we have and change again only this time for the better.

That is what I tried to answer in The Ministers Of The Mystery Series. The Scribe Of Salem, The Visionary Of Salem, and the 13 Minister Of Salem explores people sent to help heal the world and fight against those using their gifts for their own sake. Different causes of PTSD are included with victorious characters going on to help others because someone helped them heal. After all, that is what love does when we are shown the way. You can be assured that when you accept help and heal, you will seek to help others heal too because you know what it was like when you did. You know they're suffering and want to make sure they know your victory!

Friday, November 3, 2023

"Local groups unite for PTSD awareness event"

Local groups unite for PTSD awareness event

The Joplin Globe
Roger Nomer
November 3, 2023
As people remember veterans and their service at this time of year, several local organizations are holding a post-traumatic stress disorder awareness event. They say PTSD is an issue not just for veterans.

“PTSD is a community issue, and that’s why we made this a community event,” said Ted Donaldson, director of Compass Quest Veterans Advocacy Group. “We want to present information to people so that if they encounter someone who is struggling, they know where to refer them.”

The event’s core is the 2023 movie “Mending the Line.” It’s about an Afghanistan veteran with PTSD who uses fly-fishing as a form of therapy. Donaldson reached out to Holly Crane, co-owner of Bookhouse Cinema, for help getting the movie shown at the Joplin theater.

The PTSD awareness event will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Bookhouse Cinema, 715 Langston Hughes-Broadway in Joplin. It will start with a social time, and food will be available at Bookhouse. There will be a PTSD discussion panel with representatives from the Missouri Veterans Commission, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other participating groups.
read more here

I consider this a step in the right direction. Reminding veterans they are still only human, and others end up with #PTSD too, is fantastic. It also helps the rest of us know we are not forgotten.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Maybe they should consider what worked to prevent military suicides?

Marine Corps Had Highest Active-Duty Suicide Rate of Any Service in 2022, Latest Data Shows

Military.com
By Drew F. Lawrence
31 Oct 2023
"What we can do is ensure that Marines know that it is OK to ask for help, it does not injure your career," Gen. Eric Smith, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said during the Military Reporters and Editors conference in Washington, D.C., last week when asked about the increased rate.
Recruits hike with ammo cans during a night movement and supply event during the Crucible aboard Marine Corps Depot Parris Island, Oct 3, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali)
The Marine Corps appeared to be struggling with suicide more than any other service branch over the past year, according to an annual Pentagon report on suicide data released last week.

It had the highest rate of active-duty suicides among all of the military services in 2022. The report, which measured the rates per 100,000 service members to account for the varying sizes of the different military branches, also reported that the Marine Corps had its highest suicide rate since 2011.
read the rest of this here

What can they do? Are they seriously asking the same question after all these years? Yes, and that is exactly how we ended up in the military community and the civilian world too. Just to remind you nothing civilians receive for mental health would be there had it not been for Vietnam veterans coming back, suffering, and fighting to get help to heal what they survived. They didn't do it just for their generation but for all generations. It is doubtful they even considered how much their efforts would help every survivor of traumatic events around the world, but they did it.

But here we are with leaders still asking, "What can we do?" Maybe they should consider what worked that was forgotten about? 

I remember when I first got into all of this over 4 decades ago. I heard the same logic back then from several veterans. They talked about what they went through and then reminded me of the things I survived. I figured there was hope for every survivor if they could understand how human they were to the point where they could connect to someone after what they survived. That's how you can tell them it's OK to not be OK and ask for help. That's how you connect them to other humans after trauma and we can help each other heal no matter what caused our pain. The other remarkable thing about veterans and members of the military is that they have it within them to risk their lives to save others. Safe bet they would be willing to help us heal and in the process, help themselves heal as well. After all, that's what heroes do!

If not, then we'll see what we've been seeing since 2012 when the average yearly suicide rate was around 500 a year.
Department of Defense Suicide Report

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Peace "as far as it depends on you"

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 31, 2023

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

That is from Romans 12:18 and that is what the people of Israel and Gaza want to do, were trying to do but others wanted to destroy any sense of peace. The desire to live your life in peace should not cost you your life, but it does.

There have been wars since the beginning of time for many different reasons. It was never about "faith," but people used the idea of faith as fuel to cause people to fight wars. They accused others of trying to take away what they believed fed hatred and that hatred energized vengeance.

The suffering and deaths they caused did not matter as long as those in charge got what they wanted.

Right now it is Israel trying to defend itself after Hamas decided to slaughter citizens in Israel. Bombing buses didn't achieve what they wanted it to. Sending bombs didn't cause as much death and destruction as they hoped. The people of Gaza are paying for what that group did and in return, the people of Israel are paying the price as well. It would be wonderful if both sides decided to invest planning, time, and money, on discovering a way to live side by side but neither side seems to want to give in on what they want out of it. The problem is, that they don't see living in peace as their goal. They want destruction.

And now we've arrived at a deplorable response from far too many blaming the people who were attacked for just trying to live a normal life, including enjoying a music festival. Brutality of Hamas attack seen at Israel morgue on CNN is a reminder of what happened to them.
They are being blamed for the response from their government. It doesn't matter if the people support what their government is doing or not, they are being attacked no matter where they live. What is happening in Gaza is terrible because the people are paying the price for what Hamas did. It doesn't matter if the people support Hamas or not because Hamas hides among the people without the ability to fight them. Hamas is not interested in peace any more than they are interested in taking care of the people living there.

What is the answer? It is the desire to live in peace becoming stronger than anything else. No parent wants their children to suffer, live in fear, or die because of what others do. It is heartbreaking to see the suffering in Israel as well as Gaza, but blaming the people is deplorable. Both sides will be paying the price for the rest of their lives as well as generations to come.

Read the reports of #PTSD caused by all of this and understand that this battle is being fought by people around the world and then understand that everyone is paying the price because PTSD is not limited to the survivors but to their entire families and friends.
 
To witness hatred spread around the world and people being targeted because of their heritage is something we've seen throughout history. All that was achieved by it was more suffering until more people decided to try to stop it. Where are those heroes now? Where are the people with the ability to see clearly what is happening and stop hatred from spreading? 


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

"Our veterans and first responders need help, and they need to be heard" and so do we

Hundreds turnout to run for first responders, veterans and law enforcement officers

ABC Action News
By: JJ Burton
Oct 22, 2023
“Our veterans and first responders need help, and they need to be heard,” she said. “Seeing how much this event grows every year just shows how much noise is being made for a cause that needs more concern.”
Hundreds showed up at Madeira Beach for a very important race, the Legends Never Die 5K. For the people racing, winning wasn’t the goal. “We are here to raise awareness about PTSD and mental health for first responders and our military,” said Fire Chief Clint Belk.
MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Hundreds showed up at Madeira Beach for a very important race, the Legends Never Die 5K.

For the people racing, winning wasn’t the goal.

“We are here to raise awareness about PTSD and mental health for first responders and our military,” said Fire Chief Clint Belk.

The department started the race three years ago with just their firefighters. Now, it’s grown to more than 300 people running with them.

“It’s great,” Kaylee Turner said. “This event means so much to me and my family.”
read more here

This is a good thing to do. Not trying to take away from helping them at all. It just makes me wonder what if they do something for everyone with #PTSD to show that if civilians can get hit by PTSD by just one event, those subjecting themselves to events all the time, can learn just how human they are!

Saturday, October 21, 2023

"Countless veterans can experience delayed #PTSD" and so can everyone else

Countless veterans can experience delayed PTSD, showing signs months to years after traumatic incident 

KETV News
Rob McCartney Anchor/Reporter
October 20, 2023

"Trauma is not like wine. It doesn't age well," said Jason Kander.


OMAHA, Neb. —
There are countless veterans walking around with no idea their lives might change because of what they've seen.

They may have something called delayed post-traumatic stress disorder.

It can hit years after they go through an incident.

But they can get help from people who really know what they're going through.

Steve Kane is a financial expert, helping people and businesses.

Life was good until he started getting unwanted callbacks from his past.

"It was great until I walked out that door," Kane said.
That's when he was jumped by five guys and beaten badly. "I ended up having a broken vertebrae in my back, broken bone in my face," he said,

The attackers also tried to break him psychologically.

"Had me call my parents tell them that this was the last day that I was going to be on this earth, and they stuck a gun to my mouth and pretty heavy stuff," Kane said.

Afterwards he went to the doctor who told him he'd be fine.

"Just take it easy, you know, you'll heal up. You should be ok," Kane said.
read more here
I hope you paid attention to the last part of that. His traumatic event happened after a party. The headline directs the information to "veterans" but the truth is, the rest of the report shows that any survivor of events like his can, and all too often does, get hit by PTSD.

Most of us have received rotten advice at one point or, many after surviving. Hopefully after reading this site, you've discovered that there is a lot of great advice out there. Knowing you're not alone is a blessing but the greatest one is discovering no one is trapped with PTSD and you can heal. Remember, the causes of our traumas are different however, one thing unites us. WE'RE SURVIVORS!

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Firefighter gets justice after being fired for seeking help to heal #PTSD

Frisco firefighter fired while on medical leave wins workers' comp case

Dallas Morning News
By Susan McFarland
October 14, 2023

After the case was heard by the Texas Department of Insurance, a judge ordered the city of Frisco to pay back lost income.

Cameron Kraemer, a firefighter who worked for the city of Frisco for 27 years and was fired while on medical leave, won his workers’ compensation case before the Texas Department of Insurance, and now the city must pay accrued unpaid income with interest, according to the Frisco Fire Fighters Association.

Kraemer, an assistant fire chief, was in the midst of a workers’ compensation appeal for PTSD when, on May 1, Frisco fired him.

He was undergoing treatment for long-term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition he has been dealing with since 2020 and has been getting medical help for.
read more here

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Israel and Gaza should be preparing for a tsunami of mental health crises

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 14, 2023

When responding to your citizens being slaughtered by terrorists is being protested, this world has gone insane.
Last week people in Israel were minding their own business when they were attacked, dragged out of their homes, gunned down at a music festival for peace, and children were decapitated. It has been reported that the terrorists were ordered to target schools to kill as many children as possible.

The people of Gaza did not order it but the terrorists running their country did. Israel responded by targeting places they knew were occupied by them and those places included being among civilians. Many of the innocent people have been killed in the process of killing the terrorists.

The people of Israel want to live in peace. The people of Gaza want to live in peace. Their leaders have to defend their people. So what is the answer when it is not an army against an army? No one knows.

Israeli people cannot allow what happened to them to be forgotten about because it was committed by terrorists. Yet the people of Gaza should not be punished for what the terrorists did. What's the answer?

No one knows what the right answer is unless it is finding a way for both to be able to live in peace but hatred has taken over too many. The terrorists are like well-armed bullies intimidating everyone else to the point where they fear standing up to them.  The terrorists are outnumbered but the citizens do not have the weapons to fight against them. What's the answer?

When you live in constant fear, can you heal from the terror you've already survived? How do you heal when the threat never ends? How do you heal when you've spent your entire life living with it? If you have #PTSD you don't have to wonder too hard because you know what the result can be like. For me, I was only able to heal from the worst that was done to me when the threat died. The only way for the people of Israel and Gaza to begin to heal is to have the threat to their lives die. The problem is hatred does not die. It spreads. It doesn't have to be allowed to spread unchallenged if people refuse to surrender to it. If they find enough hope for peace, they will refuse to give up on achieving it. Who can deliver it when both sides want vengeance?

This is happening in Ukraine too. We cannot forget about what they're going through. What happened here on September 11 only lasted a day but what if it kept on happening? We responded by starting a war in Afghanistan that lasted 20 years and another one in Iraq. Our military was responding with the rules of warfare while they were playing by their own rules. The terrorists did the act but the people of the nations paid the price. It was not military against the military but with terrorists living among the people. Our response did not work. How does the Israeli government think it will work in Gaza?

No matter how it ends, Israel and Gaza should be preparing for a tsunami of mental health crises that will vastly outnumber the number of wounded bodies.

UPDATE

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Find what works for you and feeds your soul

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 30, 2023

Writers talk about writing, or so the title says, but this video is so much more than that. They talk about their struggles in their own lives. For Anne Rice, it was a struggle with faith as a Catholic growing up, with an alcoholic mother saying it was more like a thirst in her blood than anything else. That struggle turned to writing about vampires and she was married to an atheist artist. Her life brought her back to the faith she had and she is writing more about the supernatural power of God in her life. 

All of these writers used their own struggles to feed what they created. Lucky for us, they do it brilliantly!
Enjoy a look back at "Sunday Morning" conversations with some of the most popular writers of our time, including John Blackstone's 2006 profile of Anne Rice; Martha Teichner's 2017 interview with Louise Penny; Anthony Mason's 1999 visit to the home of Umberto Eco; Rita Braver's 2006 conversation with Neil Simon; and Jane Pauley's 2021 interview with Stephen King.

All of us struggle with faith because it is a journey. Some arrive at a point where they no longer question it. For most people, we question everything, and what we discover says more about ourselves than anyone else. I struggled with faith because I reached the point in my life when I noticed that all denominations of Christianity claim their beliefs are the only right ones. Each has its own set of rules made by man, but if you read the Bible, none of their rules were established by the One who started it, Jesus.

I walked away from religion but did not walk away from my spiritual connection to God and Jesus. I try to follow what the Holy Spirit leads me to, instead of what other humans try to drag me into. Had I listened to them I would have turned against what I knew was right for me. I'd be miserable trying to live that way. I'd be miserable trying to "fit in" with how their rules wanted "members" to conform to, especially if it was something that Jesus never said should be done.

After surviving what caused your #PTSD there is a spiritual struggle going on inside you. Let healing that part of you become as vital as healing your mind and body. When you do, you will see more complete healing that will get you through what cannot be totally healed. Part of that is being able to forgive yourself and others for what was said and done based on little or no understanding of what was happening to you. It may be easier to forgive others than it is to forgive yourself. I know I had a hard time doing that but if I managed to understand I was forgiven, it made it easier to forgive myself.

When you watched the video, did you see how they talked about faith as a part of themselves instead of something that is simply a topic? That's because they are deeply, and spiritually connected to it. No other human influence needs to be involved in something so personal. No other human needs to be in between you and the One that Created you.

The best thing is, that there are no limits on how many times you can change your mind, explore other options, and grow what is already inside of you. Find what works for you and feeds your soul. Well, unless it's like in Anne Rice's vampire books.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Columbus expert addresses changing #PTSD therapies

MENTAL HEALTH: Columbus expert addresses changing PTSD therapies

News 3
by: Olivia Yepez
Posted: Sep 25, 2023
“Post-traumatic stress disorder is my body’s physiological, emotional, mental reaction to a life-threatening event and doesn’t have to threaten my life,” said Waynick.
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Long misunderstood, the way people view and treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has changed drastically over time. The disease is often associated with soldiers, however its current definition extends to traumatic events beyond warfare, such as rape and natural disasters.

Often linked with increased risk of suicide, experts now emphasize the importance of receiving treatment for what was once viewed as an untreatable condition. September marks National Suicide Prevention Month in the United States.

“We have record of PTSD going all the way back to the Greek and Roman wars,” said Pastoral Institute CEO Thomas Waynick, who will step down from the position at the end of October. Prior to joining the Pastoral Institute, Waynick was a U.S. Army chaplain for 35 years and director of the Family Life Training Center at Fort Moore.

National Geographic reported in a 2020 story accounts of symptoms aligning with PTSD were recorded as much as 3,000 years ago in Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets.

“Post-traumatic stress disorder is my body’s physiological, emotional, mental reaction to a life-threatening event and doesn’t have to threaten my life,” said Waynick.
read more here

Find some encouragement with the rest of this article...and hope too!

Monday, September 25, 2023

Harnessing Major Life Transitions for Healing

Guest Post by Dorothy Watson



Image via Pexels

Harnessing Major Life Transitions for Healing: Tips for Those Dealing with PTSD

Major life transitions often arrive uninvited, disrupting our comfort zones and challenging our coping mechanisms. Yet, it is precisely during these transformative periods that we have a golden opportunity to rewrite our scripts. For those dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), these transitions can serve as pivotal moments to implement healthy, positive habits. This article from Wounded Times aims to instill hope and resilience by offering actionable tips for harnessing life changes for healing.

1. Embrace Flexibility

Life transitions require adaptability. Whether you're moving to a new city, going through a breakup, or starting a new job, being flexible can be your greatest asset. An open mindset allows you to navigate the murky waters of change, turning potential setbacks into opportunities for growth, particularly important when dealing with the complexities of PTSD.

2. Practice Self-Reflection

Understanding oneself is crucial in managing PTSD. Engage in self-reflection to identify triggers, emotional patterns, and coping strategies. Journals, meditation, or even conversations with trusted individuals can help you gain self-awareness, allowing you to better control your reactions and decisions during transitional periods.

3. Start Small

Adopting an incremental approach is often the most effective way to cultivate positive habits, especially when the aim is to make long-lasting changes. Instead of setting overwhelming, monumental tasks for yourself, it's far more manageable to start with smaller, achievable goals. Simple actions like taking a short daily walk or engaging in deep-breathing exercises can be powerful initial steps. Over time, these small victories accumulate and pave the way for more substantial, meaningful progress in your personal development journey.

4. Manage Caffeine Intake

For those dealing with PTSD, caffeine can exacerbate anxiety and other symptoms. Consider alternative options if you find it hard to let go of your daily cup of joe. Caffeine Gurus, a resourceful website, provides ample information on caffeine-free alternatives that can still provide the pick-me-up you might need.

5. Consider Career Changes

A job can either be a source of stress or an avenue for fulfillment. If your current career isn't serving your mental health needs, consider making a change. A well-crafted resume is indispensable in this quest, and saving it as a PDF can enhance its professional appeal. For guidance on how to create a PDF file online, numerous tools are available that offer PDF conversion, compression, and editing. With the right tools at your disposal, you can not only make a smooth career transition but also contribute positively to your overall mental health.

6. Seek Support

The journey towards healing is seldom a solitary one, making it important to actively seek out support systems tailored to your needs. Professionals like therapists or counselors, as well as support groups, can offer targeted strategies and coping mechanisms that are essential in navigating mental health challenges. These resources not only provide specialized advice but also offer a community of individuals who can relate to your struggles. The emotional support garnered from a community can be invaluable, serving as a constant reminder that you're not alone in your journey. By connecting with these support networks, you bolster your resilience and equip yourself with the tools needed for lasting well-being.

7. Entrepreneurship and Independence

For some, the path to mental well-being lies in autonomy. Starting your own business can provide a sense of control and accomplishment, often therapeutic for those managing PTSD. Forming an LLC is an advisable step for business ownership, offering legal protections and separating your personal assets from those of the business. Working with a formation company can make this process quick and easy.

For those grappling with PTSD, major life transitions can be both intimidating and empowering. By embracing flexibility, practicing self-reflection, starting with small yet impactful changes, managing caffeine intake, pondering career shifts, seeking external support, and even exploring entrepreneurship, you are setting the stage for healing and growth. Harness these transitions as unique opportunities to rewrite your narrative and step into a healthier, more positive version of yourself.

For tips and resources to help families heal PTSD, visit Wounded Times today!

Best,

Dorothy Watson