Showing posts with label after trauma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label after trauma. Show all posts

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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

PTSD needs crisis intervention now

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 29, 2022

Some people think that crisis intervention is some kind of new thing. Then again, some people don't think it is worth the time or effort either. Aside from having been certified in it by the International Fellowship of Chaplains, I am also a survivor of it many times.



First here is a brief history of it. The word crisis comes from the Greek word, Krisis from Vocabulary.com
A crisis is a difficult or dangerous time in which a solution is needed — and quickly. For example, the crisis caused by a natural disaster might inspire you and your friends to make a donation.

The noun crisis comes from the Latinized form of the Greek word krisis, meaning "turning point in a disease." At such a moment, the person with the disease could get better or worse: it's a critical moment. Think of a celebrity whose recent antics generate headlines like "Rock Star in Crisis" — that person needs help that may or may not be sought. At the moment of crisis, things are unstable and maybe even dangerous.

Trauma is also a Greek word that means wound. When we're discussing PTSD it literally means after trauma. Connect that to the word crisis meaning turning point and you have, not only the definition of it, you have the solution.

Crisis Intervention goes back to the 1940s and '50s.




INTRODUCTION TO THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CRISIS INTERVENTION


Definition of Crisis
The origins of crisis theory are usually attributed to Lindemann's classic study of grief reactions. LINDEMANN(1944) established the basic framework for defining the symptomatology of a crisis. He reported on the evaluation and treatment of 101 persons who had experienced a recent death of a close relative, a number of whom were connected to the victims of the Boston's Coconut Grove Club fire. He observed that acute grief was a normal reaction to a distressing situation and noted that such reaction presented some characteristic features that appeared to form a distinct syndrome.

According to Lindemann, persons experiencing acute grief display one or more of the following symptoms:
1. somatic distress;
2. preoccupation with the image of the deceased;
3. guilt,
4. hostile reactions, and
5. loss of patterns of conduct.
Sometimes the person experiencing crisis of bereavement may have distorted or delayed grief reactions. Lindemann also stated that the grief work inclu- des achieving emancipation from the deceased, readjustment to the environment in which the deceased is missing and formation of new relationships. His contribution has been considered the starting point for the development of crisis theory.

While the origins of crisis theory are attributed to Lindemann, the work of Gerald Caplan and his colleagues at Harvard University provided the foundations for the development of crisis intervention theory and practice. Caplan's interest in crises resulted from his work with families immigrating to Israel following World War 11. Caplan has pro-vided various definitions of crisis (1964, 1974): he considers that a crisis is provoked when a person faces a problem for which he appears not to have an immediate solution and that is for a time insurmountable through the utilization of usual methods of problem-solving. A period of upset and tension follows during which the person makes many attempts at the solution of the problem.

 (Please read the whole article.)

So why isn't it being done? Why is so much time wasted belittling survivors instead of helping them get the help they need? Because if the answer isn't easy, no one wants to do the work.

That was obvious when all the groups popped up all over the country, speaking out to the rest of the world devoting time, energy, and funding to raising awareness that veterans were committing suicide, instead of including the millions of others doing the same. They reduced this heartbreaking outcome for many survivors that survived the event that caused PTSD, but could not survive surviving itself.

With PTSD Awareness Month coming to an end, you'd think that this would have been a topic worth covering. So why wasn't it? Not enough people know about it. It is one of the biggest reasons why I made most of the characters in The Lost Son Alive Again series Chaplains!

Surviving trauma is a turning point into crisis. It is at that time you want someone there to help you make the right turn toward healing ASAP!

If you are a police officer, you may have heard something ridiculous like, "you let your job get to you" as if you are supposed to not let what you see bother you at all. It all bothered you enough in the first place that you decided to take the job to prevent as much as you could knowing you'd be exposed to all of the dangers that came with the job. You'd think your superiors would be more understanding of that fact since that was probably the same reason they became officers too.

If you are a veteran or currently in the military, you may have heard, "you didn't train right" because they were told residency training would help you toughen your brain. They say things like that because they are not capable of admitting the training they touted as so successful did not work! If it did when they started it, suicide would have gone down, and not increased.

If you have PTSD from any other cause, you may have head people tell you, "get over it" or "let it go" as if you are choosing to let it hang onto you.

What if right, after you survived, someone came over to you, and was there to show you the way to begin to heal as a survivor instead of making you feel as if what it is doing to you is your fault?

While First Responders help you survive the event itself, Chaplains help you begin to take the next turn toward healing instead of suffering.

If you haven't heard about Chaplains before don't feel bad. I sent the first editions of The Lost Son and Alive Again to a psychologist I know to review them. He really liked the story and said it flowed but he didn't know Chaplains were actually out there in the real world doing the work we did.

This is from Advent Health
What Does a Chaplain Do?
A chaplain is a certified clergy member who provides spiritual care for individuals in a non-religious organization, rather than a church congregation. Chaplains can work in government roles and serve members of the military in different locations. They can serve patients in healthcare or hospice facilities. Working in police departments, fire departments, and prisons is also common for chaplains.

Since chaplains are ordained ministers, they can officiate ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. They can lead baptism services and provide final rites for patients who are passing away. Chaplains can also take on the role of a spiritual leader for individuals who do not belong to a specific religious community."" Rather than preaching messages directed toward one religious group, chaplains lead non-denominational religious services that can benefit individuals from a variety of religious or spiritual backgrounds. Chaplains who hold positions at different institutions can also minister to staff members. For example, chaplains at hospitals can provide spiritual care to nurses, doctors, and administrators, as well as to patients and their families.
This is from Franciscan Friars
Chaplains minister to people in illness and death, counseling those who are having their worst days, many with loneliness and depression. Their work encompasses being compassionate to people of all faiths, in various stages of spiritual development, and even to those who have turned their backs on God or blame him for their illness.

Often, they minister not just to patients, but to entire families. And because patients are discharged so quickly from hospitals today, chaplains are always ministering to a new set of people. They must work quickly, always on their feet, as they walk the hospital halls seeing new patients.

Yet this is how the IFOC explains Chaplains

What does being a Chaplain mean?
Minister in areas of critical incident stress, grief and loss, trauma, and stress management
Provide counsel, education, advocacy, life-improvement skills, and recovery training
Build a bridge between the secular and spiritual environments of community life"
Bring life-changing service to every sector of community life, such as health and welfare, education, transitional living, emergency service, and governmental support.

As you can see, even with different groups, the common theme is that Chaplains are in the community, where the greatest need is.

Now, some people fear the Chaplain showing up will judge them or try to convert them. Using myself as an example, I drink, smoke, and swear, so I am far from perfect. If you read this site, you know how I feel about a lot of the nonsense going on over people that forget their right to believe what they choose, does not remove the rights of others to do the same. Sadly, you may run into some more interested in doing what they want, instead of doing what you need based on where you are spiritually and emotionally.;

Lumping all Chaplains in the same pile is like piling up all Christians with the fraction self-proclaiming the moral high ground of "pro-life" when in fact what they do with the living proves they are only pro-birth.

There is a long list of Christians that believe all of us are given free will by God and it is up to us to choose what is right for us. No one has the right to use their free will to remove it from others. Most of us know that we are not there to convert anyone. We are only there to help those in need of what they are in need of and most of the time, they need someone to listen to them.


From The Lost Son Alive Again
Mandy's notes
Chris was sorting out more of Mandy’s notes when he came across her notes about him.
Chris Papadopoulos: multiple traumas, war, abuse, domestic violence, a survivor of attempted murder, betrayal, but above all, lost his sense of purpose doing the only job he believed he was born to do as a reporter and attempted suicide.
Chris just left and I am praying for him. It is almost as if those last 7 years were punishment for him. The night of the 7th anniversary of the bomb blast he survived, he struggled between regretting he survived and being grateful for being saved. Regret was winning.
He held a gun in his hands as the two opposing sides were arguing within him. He survived the bomb but saw it as the beginning of his punishment. All that came afterward, in his mind, was all his fault. The more he blamed himself, the more he destroyed himself. His wife abusing him was his fault. Losing his job was his fault. Having to go back to Salem, broke and feeling like a failure was his fault. He couldn’t see that while he did make choices in his life, some were forced on him. If his wife loved him and supported him, he may have gotten help. If his boss valued him and had compassion, he may have supported Chris and got him into counseling.
There is so much he does not understand about forgiveness and how God forgives him because he cannot forgive himself. I pray he can do that soon and realize while he forgives others, he must forgive himself as well. He cannot change anything that has already happened. All he can do is learn from it and use the power he does have over defining the rest of his life.
Chris was supposed to become a priest but now he can become a minister to millions who feel as if there is no place for them in churches. His gifts are writing and a curious mind. He has compassion and understanding of what this spiritual pain feels like. Now he knows what healing feels like and can give hope to others that they can heal as well. They will know God hears their cries, forgives them when they blame Him for their suffering, and holds His arms out to them. He waits to welcome His lost children back to their Father’s home and see that they were never really alone.
In a way, one more indication that God sets our purpose inside of our souls, and sometimes, He has to come up with plan B to get us there. The key is always if we choose to follow where He leads or not. People that listen, find inner peace no matter what they face. Those who do not, are in turmoil. I can’t stop thinking about Jesus and how the story of one life never ended. What He left us still spreads across the world. I have a feeling that the story of Chris’s life will never really end. We are all never-ending stories of the life we lived.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Peeving and perplexing problems to ponder on PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 17, 2022


Peeving because the following story has been repeated over decades of promises from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to do better addressing PTSD. A claim we've been hearing for decades. Not a typo because they started working on PTSD in the 80's.

Perplexing because I lost count of how many times this was reported on from different alerts. Not one of the reports had solutions and didn't seem to ask many questions. 

Like for starters, why is this such a huge story when there are so many other people, in the millions with #PTSD but reporters don't seem to report on any of us? How on earth will veterans finally understand that when humans survive trauma, that is the only way PTSD happens, if reporters don't report on the rest of us? Wouldn't that go a long way toward getting rid of the stigma for all of us?

Ponder this one.

KABC STUDIO CITY, LOS ANGELES reported a veteran refused to get help for PTSD until recently, but couldn't get an appointment. He shot a police officer.
"He kept saying 'I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dead.' He kept saying that, but I'm sure he probably is experiencing some kind of PTSD," said Lewis. "He said he was in one of the bloodiest battles in Afghanistan, but he also said he had two platoon members this week to commit suicide."

Khosroabadi's family said they've been trying to get him help for years but he refused. He sought help from the VA recently but couldn't get an appointment until January.

"It hurt us a lot to see that because we do have family in law enforcement, so if we ever got that call, we would be really sad as well and we're so sorry," Shayesteh said.

You can find more information here from The National Center for PTSD. 6% of the population of adult Americans with PTSD. That means the vast majority of members of the PTSD club have PTSD while veterans, a minority in the country, have PTSD, but are the bulk of the news reports on PTSD. Doesn't make sense as it is but what is worse, is the fact

Did you know about this?
Child protection services in the U.S. get around three million reports each year. This involves 5.5 million children. Of the reported cases, there is proof of abuse in about 30%. From these cases, we have an idea how often different types of abuse occur:
65% neglect

18% physical abuse

10% sexual abuse

7% psychological (mental) abuse
Why didn't he call the VA Crisis Line? On their site, there is this,


If he couldn't get an appointment but knew he needed help, why did he still have a gun instead of making sure he couldn't use it? Why didn't he call the crisis line and get the help he was looking for?

His family says they tried to get him to go for help for years, but he wouldn't go. This is a common problem. Ask the family of any Vietnam Veteran and they'll tell you horror stories about trying to get their veteran to go for help. (Including me) The question use, why didn't he want to? It isn't like it was back in the 80's or 90's. Reporters have been covering veterans with PTSD for over 20 years because of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans using social media to share with others. Why aren't they sharing solutions as much as they share scams and stupid ideas like "raising awareness" veterans are committing suicide, when they already know that?

Top that off with the news report had the "22 a day" number which was debunked ten years ago. Do they mention how many Americans commit suicide every year is over 46,000 according to the CDC?


For Heaven's Sake! This is PTSD Awareness month but first we need to make reporters aware of what they are supposed to be reporting on or nothing will ever change for any of us!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Gun maker used child and Bible to sell guns!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 7, 2022

I don't have time to read much that does not involve #PTSD but considering all these mass murders are creating more survivors with PTSD, I've been reading these reports more lately.

I was sent a link to a Tweet about a gunmaker using a child and a Bible passage to sell guns. I totally lost my mind!


Gun-Maker Posted Chilling Ad Of Child Cradling Firearm Before Uvalde Tragedy

Huffington Post
Mary Papenfuss
May 27, 2022

Daniel Defense posted a Twitter ad with a young boy cradling a gun like the one used in the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
The Georgia gun company that manufactures the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle used in the horrific attack at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, posted a disturbing Twitter ad featuring a young boy holding a similar type of weapon.

The ad by the Daniel Defense gun company, one of the largest private gun-makers in America, featured a child holding a huge scoped firearm in his lap with an ammunition clip in front of him. An adult’s hand with a finger pointing at the boy appeared in the foreground.
read more here

Evidently, it was not well received considering he blocked people from seeing it after 19 children and 2 teachers were slaughtered.

Daniel Defense quickly blocked the public from its Twitter account after the mass shooting on Tuesday, and the ad was reportedly pulled. It can still be seen on screenshots and archives captured by The Wayback Machine.

I have a Bible passage too! How about Matthew 7:15-20 for starters?

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

The fruits of these people are rotted to their core! Here is the rest of the passage so you can see what they decided to leave out in order to support their wickedness.

The Value of a Good Name
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have this in common,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,
And the rod of his anger will fail.
9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.
10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge," But He overthrows the words of the faithless.
13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be slain in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,
And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.

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! 

Friday, June 3, 2022

Time for the majority to use their power

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos 
June 3, 2022

The majority of Americans own guns. The majority of Americans are also supporting gun law restrictions. So why are the members of the GOP in the Senate and House against them?



The answer comes from FORBES.

The poll found a combined 59% think it’s important for elected leaders to “pass stricter gun control laws,” including 83% of Democrats, 52% of Independents, and 37% of Republicans.

Just 37% of Republicans? Seriously? I know a lot of them and they are great people, love their families and friends, and would not want to see any harm come to them, especially from a bullet. They are responsible gun owners. Well, there was one time when we were in a truck following our husbands on a ride from Florida to Washington DC for a Memorial ride. We stopped for lunch with the guys and had a great time. We drove for about twenty minutes when one of the women realized she left her purse behind. We were in the passing lane, so we missed the next exit, had to drive more miles, and turned around while she tried to calm down. She ran in and thanked God a waitress found it instead of an unethical person, or, God forbid, a child got their hands on it. (I don't own a gun for a simple reason. I'm a klutz. Ask anyone I know and they'll agree that is the last thing that should ever be in my hands.)

The other thing is, most of the people I know are Republicans and I never once worried about being around them with their guns. They must be in the 37% of the Republicans thinking there should be stricter gun laws. I can't imagine any of them being in favor of anyone getting their hands on an AR15, or any other weapon, considering all of them obey the law and treat their weapons with respect.

So when do the majority of people in this country actually act like they are? When do we use the power of our numbers instead of just shutting up, living our own lives, worrying about our own problems, and shaking our heads because we don't think there is a damn thing we can do about any of this?

The minority has more power because they scream about what they want and demand it. The minority of people acting up always get the attention of the media, including social media because the majority think there is nothing they can do, so we allow them to do and get whatever they want.

I was talking to a woman yesterday and she said it seems like everything is just too much. She ran down the list of everything that is wrong. I told her I felt the same way, but take comfort when I see enormous groups of people joining together to fight for what is right and let their voices be heard. I take comfort when I hear politicians and members of the press showing the emotional turmoil they are in when they talk about the children massacred in Robb Middle School in Uvalde, Texas. 

That is another problem for the members of the GOP in Congress because they keep saying the way to address it is by arming more teachers and putting armed guards into schools. After all, as they say, "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." The truth, however, is not a movie. There were plenty of armed "good guys" outside of Robb but nothing while the murderer was murdering more kids.

Let this headline sink in for a second from People.

Police Knew Texas Shooter Was in Room with Kids, Undermining Claim They Thought He Was Barricaded: Witnesses

Read the rest of this and then try to figure out how you can use your own voice to stop all this. If you read Wounded Times because of #PTSD, then know this, when we do nothing, we increase membership into this club no one wants to join.
There are about 393 million privately owned firearms in the US, according to an estimate by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey -- or in other words, 120 guns for every 100 Americans. That's the highest rate of any country in the world, and more than double the rate of the next country on the list.


A number of polls and surveys conducted in recent years share some insights on gun ownership in the United States.

What studies reveal about gun ownership in the US

CNN
By Harmeet Kaur
June 2, 2022

(CNN)As the nation continues to endure devastating mass shootings and increasing homicide rates, guns remain a fixture of American culture.

Many Americans consider the right to bear arms sacred, seeing guns as key to their identities and individual freedoms. Some keep guns for protection, hunting or sport, while others see guns and the lax regulations around them as a threat to life and safety. Recurring tragedies involving guns contribute to a climate of fear in which those positions become more entrenched.

Understanding gun ownership in the US can help inform debates about firearm laws (or lack thereof). Obtaining a precise picture, however, is challenging because no definitive database of gun sales exists. What we have to rely on then are polls and survey data from think tanks and academic researchers, which vary somewhat in their estimates. Still, there are some broad trends that stand out.
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."

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.



Tuesday, July 27, 2021

“Too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist..."

Today on PTSD Patrol I posted about the officers who testified today at the House hearing over the Capitol being attacked. 

Listen to the members of the committee recount what it was like for them that day when they feared for their lives.

The officers detailed the horror of their experiences, their injuries and the lasting trauma as they begged the lawmakers to investigate the attack.

“I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room,” (Michael) Fanone testified.

Pounding his fist on the table in front of him, he said, “Too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually wasn’t that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.”

AP “This is how I’m going to die.”
I will let the officers speak for themselves. When you listen, you don't have to imagine what that day did to them, or what it is like to have that day in their mind. You don't have to image what it has been like to hear people say it didn't happen, the way it happened. What you should do, is imagine a way to take a stand for them!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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

Advice getting through another crisis


PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 8, 2020

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


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

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

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

This is from ABC News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 17, 2020

Civilian with PTSD hired, then fired because of PTSD

Wounded Times continually points out how employers do not want to hire veterans because they may...or may not have PTSD.


The following is a great example of the fact that civilians can have PTSD too, but employers never wonder about the other 8 million Americans with PTSD they hire all the time.

Woman Says She Was Fired As Gas Station Cashier Because Thorntons Couldn’t Accommodate Her PTSD


CBS Chicago
Tim McNicholas
January 17, 2020

CHICAGO (CBS) — A South Side woman says a major gas station chain fired her because they can’t accommodate her disability, even though she didn’t ask for any special accommodations.

CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas has the story, including her questionable conversations with human resources.

“I asked her (the human resources employee) three times, ‘Why are you firing me?’ She said, ‘Because of your disability,’” she said.

Jamerson then got in touch with another human resources employee, and this time she recorded the call.

JAMERSON: “It stands as I’m terminated.”

HR: “Yes, ma’am”

JAMERSON: “Because of my disability.”

HR: “Not because of your disability, but because we can’t accommodate. And..”

JAMERSON: “You can’t accommodate my disability?”

HR: “Right.”

JAMERSON: “Okay.”

“I didn’t ask for any accommodations, or anything. So I didn’t understand,” she said.
PTSD patients sometimes struggle with interacting with the public, but Jamerson said she learned coping skills through months of therapy, and she was ready for the job.
read it here
It also shows that too many employers do not understand what PTSD is...or what the law is.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

If you want to help the Jar Heads

Here is what to do if you want to help after a tragedy

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 19, 2019

Right now, everyone wants to help the Jarheads after the terrible tragedy that claimed the lives of 7 of their group.

Right now they need all the support they can get, but it is more important they receive the right kind of help. 

While the shock is still fresh for them, many will experience a harder time after the funerals. Some may think it is their job to stay strong for the others, and that is OK, as long as they allow themselves time to grieve.

Let them honor what they are feeling so they can begin healing. 

If they are angry do not try to shut it down. Help them yell at the air, hit pillows, stomp their feet...let them release it.

If they want to cry, let them. Hold their hand, walk beside them or sit near them. Let them know you are there for whatever they need. Do not try to stop their tears. They will stop crying when they get out as much pain as they need to.

If they want to talk, listen to them. Do not try to fix them. They do not need to be "fixed" and you finding something to say is not what they need from you. They need your ear, your time and patience.

If you think about what you would want from them if you were in their place, that will help you know what to do...as much as you will know what to not do, or get as close as you can.

There is no time limit to grieving other than as long as it takes them to do it. No two people are the same.

If you are a survivor, know that the guilt you may feel is "normal" but whatever you think you may have been able to do, it was not like the movie you can play out in your own mind. Most of the time, what you think you should have done, or could have done, is usually impossible. 

Do not blame yourself any more than you blame God. He did not do this, but He did send people to help comfort you as much as they can. Lean on those who care about you so you can heal. After all, you'd probably do the same for them.

Within 30 days, if you address what you are going through, your pain should ease up. Flashbacks and nightmares should begin to lose power. 

While the pain may be there for a long time, as long as it is not as strong, keep working on it.

If your pain is stronger after 30 days, contact a mental health professional so that you can work on healing with their help.

Know that if you are hit by PTSD, it hit you because your emotional core is strong. As you feel good stuff stronger, you feel pain on a deeper level. As a survivor use that strength to help you heal.

Honor your feelings so you can begin healing! Trying to "get over it" or "stuff it" lets that pain spread out like an infection.

If I can help contact me at woundedtimes@aol.com or 407-754-5426 and it will be kept confidential.


Motorcycle club leader says resignation of RMV head over N.H. crash is ‘ridiculous’


Boston Globe
By Travis Andersen and John Hilliard Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent
June 26, 2019

The head of a motorcycle club that lost seven people in a horrific New Hampshire crash last week said Wednesday that the abrupt resignation of the Massachusetts RMV boss is a “ridiculous” response to the tragedy, allegedly caused by a West Springfield man who kept his commercial driver’s license after an impaired driving arrest last month in Connecticut.

“It’s ridiculous for someone to be allowed to resign, or forced to resign . . . [and] run away from the problem,” said Manny Ribeiro, president of Jarheads MC, which lost seven riders who were killed June 21 when a truck driven by Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, allegedly plowed into them in Randolph, N.H.
read more here

‘It was extremely horrific’: Jarheads motorcycle club president describes New Hampshire crash scene


“It was like nothing I’d ever seen — never in my life.”
Boston.com
By Dialynn Dwyer
June 25, 2019

A Marine who survived the deadly New Hampshire crash that killed seven motorcyclists says what he witnessed that day was worse than anything he saw in combat.

Manny Ribeiro and his wife, Valerie, were riding in the front of the group of motorcyclists with Jarheads MC, a New England-based club for Marine veterans and their spouses, when an oncoming pickup truck hauling a trailer collided with other bikers in the group on Friday evening in Randolph, New Hampshire.

“It was like nothing I’d ever seen — never in my life,” he told reporters on Monday, according to CBS Boston.

The driver of the pickup, 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, was arrested and charged Monday with seven counts of negligent homicide. Authorities have not revealed details about the potential cause of the crash, only that Zhukovskyy was traveling west on U.S. 2 while the bikers were headed east at the time.

Ribeiro, who is now serving as president of Jarheads MC, told the Associated Press that the 21 riders in the group of 15 motorcycles had just finished dinner and were on their way to a fundraiser at a nearby American Legion post.

The motorcyclist had been riding beside the club’s president, Albert Mazza Jr., 59, of Lee, New Hampshire, at the time of the crash.

“It was just an explosion … with parts and Al and everything flying through the air,” he said. “He turned hard left into us and took out pretty much everyone behind me. The truck and trailer stayed attached and that is why it was so devastating … because the trailer was attached and it was such a big trailer, it was like a whip. It just cleaned us out.”
read more here

To contact the JarHeads go here

Friday, April 12, 2019

Ariana Grande shares brain scan of PTSD to #BreakTheSilence

Ariana Grande ‘Didn’t Mean to Startle’ Anyone With ‘Terrifying’ Brain Scan Pics


US Weekly
By Dan Clarendon
April 12, 2019

“I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come, and it’s still very painful.” Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande wants fans to know that her post-traumatic stress disorder is “not a joke,” and she documented her mental health struggle with brain scan images posted to her Instagram Stories on Thursday, April 11.

The post displays images of a typical brain scan, a brain scan from someone suffering from PTSD, and Grande’s brain scan. The scan of the PTSD-affected brain showed more highlighted areas than that of the typical brain, but Grande’s brain scan showed even more highlighted areas than either of them. In her caption, the 26-year-old called her scans “hilarious and terrifying.”
read more here

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Seniors share Thanksgiving with Marines who saved them from fire

Seniors share Thanksgiving meal with Marines who saved them from fire


CBS News
Nikole Killion
November 22, 2018

Two months after running into a burning building to save elderly residents at the Arthur Capper Senior Public Housing complex in Washington, D.C., U.S. Marine Corps Captain Trey Gregory is coming to their aid again – with a Thanksgiving meal.
"These people have been through a traumatic event," said Capt. Gregory. "It is so sad right before the holidays but I'm just honored that we get to serve them again and give them food and put a smile on their face." There were plenty of smiles and hugs to go around as Gregory and several other Marines from the Washington Barracks dished out turkey, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, green beans and other traditional fare for dozens of residents and their families. 

"It is an honor and a blessing to see them serving us this way, you know, because we know they care," said D'Artois Davis who has been stuck at a hotel since the fire. "It's the holiday and you're used to your family coming around but there's no place for them to come and we've lost so much." read more here

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Officer Stewart Beasley Lost Battle For His Own Life

Missing Baytown officer found dead Tuesday morning
KHOU
Author: David Gonzalez, Jamie Galvan
August 7, 2018

Sheriff Hawthorne said everyone is trying to understand how a local hero who seemed to have everything going for him would make the tragic decision to end his life.
Officer Stewart Beasley, a 23-year veteran, was last seen at his Chambers County home around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. His wife reported him missing that night.

CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas — The search for a missing Baytown Police officer is over.

Chambers County Sheriff’s Office deputies, along with Texas Search and Rescue, discovered the body of Officer Stewart Beasley around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Beasley’s body was found in a field less than a mile from his home.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said Beasley died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“We’re cops. We’re supposed to stand in the face of evil, and so sometimes it’s hard for us to admit that we have a problem. It’s hard for us to admit we’re dealing with issues that we can’t cope with, because we’re supposed to be able to cope with anything.” 
Lt. Dorris read more here