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

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.”


“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 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 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.”
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
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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Four fricken decades of PTSD?

Four fricken decades of PTSD and this is the best we got?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos

July 24, 2018

It is very hard to not be in a very bad mood today. We went out for dinner and I had a huge glass of wine. No margarita tonight since I have to get up at 3:45 for work. Hangovers are always bad but way, way too bad at that time.

I came home, feeling a bit more positive than I was before the wine and a great steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse (one of our favorites) until I saw more emails with the same theme we should have eliminated years ago. 

The going trend is the stigma of PTSD is alive and well, while far too many are not.

I read this out of Canada and wondered if it was too early to go to bed. 

Family angry top general rejected stigma as factor in RMC student's suicide on The Canadian Press, JULY 24, 2018
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Kelertas said the version provided to his family specifically identified stigma as a key factor in what happened to Harrison, who died only weeks before he was scheduled to graduate from RMC.
OTTAWA — The father of a Royal Military College student who took his own life says the family is upset that Canada's top general rejected a board of inquiry's finding that stigma around seeking mental-health support was a contributing factor in the death.

Richard Kelertas says Gen. Jonathan Vance's response suggests there is a "disconnect" between senior officers and other Forces members, including RMC students, who remain fearful of what could happen to their careers if they ask for help. (click link for more)
The truth is, it is not just Canada, or the UK, or Australia, or the USA. It is everywhere, because common sense has left the military behind in every nation.

Anyone still approving of, pushing the theory of, or using it for whatever reason they have, are complete total imbeciles!
Psychology. (no longer in technical use; now considered offensive) a person of the second order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, above the level of idiocy, having a mental age of seven or eight years and an intelligence quotient of 25 to 50.
If you find it offensive, then you must be among those who refuse to learn anything after 4 fricken decades of some of the best minds clarifying it!

We know that anyone who survives a life threatening event can get hit by PTSD.

How common is PTSD?
An estimated 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women (10.4%) twice as likely as men (5%) to develop PTSD. About 3.6 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 54 (5.2 million people) have PTSD during the course of a given year. This represents a small portion of those who have experienced at least one traumatic event; 60.7% of men and 51.2% of women reported at least one traumatic event. The traumatic events most often associated with PTSD for men are rape, combat exposure, childhood neglect, and childhood physical abuse. The most traumatic events for women are rape, sexual molestation, physical attack, being threatened with a weapon, and childhood physical abuse.

About 30 percent of the men and women who have spent time in war zones experience PTSD. An additional 20 to 25 percent have had partial PTSD at some point in their lives. More than half of all male Vietnam veterans and almost half of all female Vietnam veterans have experienced “clinically serious stress reaction symptoms.” PTSD has also been detected among veterans of other wars. Estimates of PTSD from the Gulf War are as high as 10%. Estimates from the war in Afghanistan are between 6 and 11%. Current estimates of PTSD in military personnel who served in Iraq range from 12% to 20%.
If there is a "stigma" then it is for all those people. If there is a stigma for anyone who willingly puts their lives on the line subjecting themselves beyond what average people go through, then it is not backed up by any thinking-rational human!

If anyone is prevented from asking for help to heal as a survivor, especially those who make facing events a career choice, then the leaders at the top are in fact responsible for it!

If they think so less of their own people, we need to wonder what they think of us. Considering they come to rescue us but won't bother to rescue their own people, they must really think we do not deserve help either.

If you have not guessed already, I think I need another glass of wine! This has been one pathetic day and it isn't even Monday! It just feels like it!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

PTSD: It happened all in a moment

"It happened all in a moment"
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 22, 2018

Tia Coleman got onto a Duck Tour boat with her family hoping to have a nice ride. A thunder storm rolled in.
Video captured by a passenger on a nearby vessel shows a duck boat capsize and sink during a severe thunderstorm in Missouri, killing at least 11 people. Source: CNN
Eleven people died. Nine from Tia's family. Duck boat accident survivor mourns her 9 relatives who drowned
"I said, 'Lord, please, I've got to get to my babies. I've got to get to my babies," she said Saturday at a news conference at Cox Medical Center Branson, where she has been hospitalized since the incident that took 17 lives, including her husband, three children and five other members of her family.
Duck boat survivor describes sinking
CNN Newsroom
Duck boat survivor Tia Coleman tells how she survived the incident that killed nine members of her family. Source: CNN
In Los Angeles people were shopping at Trader Joe's. A gunman walked in after his grandmother was shot multiple times, which he is being charged for. Another woman, shopping in the store was killed.
"It happened all in a moment. He came out of the car, the cops were already shooting at him in that instant, right before he came out of the car," said Miguel Jeffrey Trujillo Cerventes, who saw the end of the police chase and the suspect emerge from his car.
That is the cause of every case of PTSD. It happened! One moment the world you live in is "normal" and in the next, chaos. 

For citizens it is the moment you do not expect to come. 

For military folks, it is the moment you dread will happen.

For firefighters and police officers, it is the moment they know may come with the next one.  

Responders prepare to do what has to be done to save the rest of us. They also deal with the same traumas the rest of us do, but the simple fact is, they are willingly rushing to those events for the sake of others.

That is how PTSD starts. That is the only way it happens. The term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder actually says that clearly. 

Post means "after" it happened.

Trauma means "wound" and the "stress" surviving causes the survivor. The "disorder" part seems to the the term people have the most problem with, but that is simply because they do not know what that means. 

"Disorder" means that things were one way one moment and out of order in the next moment.

Nothing is ever the same after you survive a traumatic event. It is not supposed to be back to "normal" moments the moment before it happened.

The key is that you can change again, just as you did from "victim" to "survivor" and defeat what is still trying to kill you.

Monday, July 2, 2018

PTSD Patrol Road Crew Needs You!

This is how we change the conversation from doom and gloom to the message of #TakeBackYourLife and heal PTSD. This is for everyone who has survived traumatic events...including me.
This is a one and one will be given to a veteran or anyone who wants to join the road crew.
If you want to do a video, you get a shirt. Just link it to PTSD Patrol from your own cell phone or YouTube. It has to be positive and related to driving! Much like driving a car, we're trying to get the message across they can take control of the vehicle they live in.
If you want to just be able to open a conversation to let someone in need that you care, you get a T-shirt.
If you want to just get a T-shirt to support this cause, please donate $25 and then you get one and just bought one for the road crew.
Message me your address and the size you want. I'll send you my business cards so that you do not have to talk more than you are comfortable doing.
Also. PTSD Patrol is doing Sunday Morning Empowerment Zone videos. Be sure to check it out!
The money is going directly to my work under my tax exempt with Point Man.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Fight to take back your life! I did!

Trauma is what happens but surviving is what we make it!

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 1, 2018
By the time this picture was taken, I had already survived five times.

Before I turned six, it was already three times. There was a car accident and I still have the scar on my chin from hitting the dashboard while my head hit the windshield. 

I was pushed off a slide, had a concussion and scull fracture (along with brain damage) but the Doctor missed all that and told my parents to let me have a good nights sleep.

The next day, it was obvious I was in trouble. The next Doctor told my parents that I should have died twice the night before. Not "could have" but "should have died." There was no reason I was still alive.

Then there was the health scare that was caused by shingles. Yes, the one that "old people" get. It was horrible, painful and terrifying but usually not life threatening. It only seemed that way.

My Dad turned into a violent alcoholic but I was not his target. My oldest brother was. He kept drinking and causing misery until I was 13. Then he stopped after the was pulling apart the living room, threw a chair that almost hit me. He didn't know I was there.

Years later, another car accident. That was followed by my ex-husband coming home from work one night and deciding I needed to die. He stalked me for over a year.

By the time I met my Vietnam veteran husband, I understood what trauma could do to a person first hand. While I did not know what war was like, even though my Dad and Uncles were veterans, I just knew what war was doing to them.

I miscarried twins and hemorrhaged. By then I knew what PTSD was but what I didn't know was that night was PTSD was about to get worse. He totally changed. When our Doctor explained the egg split wrong, he refused to listen and blamed himself for having Agent Orange.

After our daughter was born, I had an infection that did not totally clear up and I ended up in the hospital. Yet again, I heard the words "should have died" when my Doctor said he had never seen a bacteria count that high on a live patient.

That was the last thing I could take. My husband was no longer my best friend. He was a stranger and he was standing by the hospital bed holding our baby, listening as the nurse told him I was fighting for my life. They didn't know I was praying to let go of it.

I lost all hope and the will to fight. Then I understood what drove people to commit suicide. The only thing that stopped me was when I was able to open my eyes long enough to see our daughter's big brown eyes looking right back at me. I couldn't leave her.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because while trauma cannot be prevented, what it does can be stopped from taking over your life.

In my family, there were no secrets. Everything was talked to death. Turns out that is what Crisis Intervention does. It takes you out of the abnormal moments of facing death and brings the survivor back into a safe place within what "normal" life should be.

I knew the worst that could happen but also knew how to take back control over the rest of my life. I became a Chaplain for that reason and trained with the IFOC so that I could help first responders and veterans better than I could have on my own. 

That training was followed by two more years worth of every free training I could get here in Florida. I refuse to be called a "victim" of anything. I AM A SURVIVOR! I do not have PTSD because of what was done soon after the times that tried to take my life.

We learned a lot of things from Vietnam veterans coming home and fight for all the research. I learned a lot about veterans because of the veterans in my life. I learned a lot about about lives can be so much better when we fight to take back control and heal.

Over 35 years later, researching, living with PTSD, I am living proof that tomorrow does not have to be another dark day of misery. It can be a brighter day with the hope of healing.

I also became a leader with Point Man International Ministries because of the spiritual healing that must be included when treating PTSD, especially within those who faced multiple traumatic events.

Some advice on this first day of the New Year. Take the negative energy you are using up and use it to put something good into your life. Fight as hard now to heal as you did to survive the "IT" that could have killed you and stop thinking it "should have" killed you.

Defeat PTSD and fight to take back your life! I did!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Some Reporters Doing More Harm Than Good

(My two cents is that this article is very true, but also applies to man on social media.)

Some media covering Las Vegas shooting accused of doing more harm

News 1130
Marcella Bernardo
Associated Press
October 8, 2017

"Miller, who treats sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, says the last thing you should say to someone who’s been through a trauma is "'You’re lucky to be alive.'"

Melissa Gerber, left, Nancy Hardy, center, and Sandra Serralde, all of Las Vegas, embrace as they look on crosses in honor of those killed in the mass shooting Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on an outdoor music concert on Sunday killing dozens and injuring hundreds.(AP Photo/Gregory Bull) 
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A local psychologist is worried about the impact on survivors of the Las Vegas massacre, saying some TV reporters are deliberately inciting an emotional response with their interview questions.
Doctor Lawrence Miller says it’s not a good idea for reporters to act as amateur psychologists for survivors or first responders who might be traumatized.
“So that’s really risky. If you go up to someone in the crowd in Las Vegas and you say, ‘Oh, you know, you’re lucky to be alive,’ the person may be just kind of still trying to formulate, like, what all this means.  Well, what the person hears is, ‘I could have been killed’ and that is the kind of thought process that can begin the development of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
He adds certain questions are deliberately asked with the goal of prompting tears, but that’s dangerous when dealing with someone who’s mentally fragile.
“When someone’s been through trauma like that, the worst thing you can do is start saying how they should be feeling and ‘You must be the luckiest guy alive, you know, you’re lucky to be alive. 
read more here

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Burnette Chapel Church Of Christ Fellowship Unbroken Faith

Nashville church tries to move forward amid shooting trauma, questions
USA Today
Holly Meyer
September 30, 2017
"I sat out here. It was early Monday morning and I was looking up and I could see Orion's Belt," Carter said. "I mean just how great — don’t understand why — but how great God truly is." Terry Carter
The sound of gunfire haunts Terry Carter.

She and the young students in her Bible class barricaded a classroom door one week ago as a masked man opened fire at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, killing one woman and injuring the minister and six others, police said.

The shooter did not go into the classroom, but the Sunday morning mayhem clings to Carter's thoughts.

"You can’t get some of the stuff out of your head for a while," Carter said. "I’ll gradually get there. But those sounds. The pop."

Carter and other members of the small Antioch church are trying to process what happened in the violent attack. In the midst of the pain and big unanswered questions, the congregation is moving forward.

The crime scene tape is gone and so is the carpet in the chapel. The 25-year-old suspect, Emanuel Samson, is in jail on a homicide charge. They have buried 38-year-old Melanie Crow, who was gunned down at the end of last week's service. And the victims who remain in the hospital are in stable condition.

After the Wednesday night service ended, Carter stood in the church parking lot chatting. Her great-grandchildren played nearby.

"It’s kind of a relief that we can get together and have a fellowship," Carter said. "That’s what we’re supposed to do, have fellowship and encourage each other. It’s going to take a whole lot of encouragement."

She was not certain the Wednesday service would occur nor that she would want to attend Sunday. But Carter will be there equipped with plans for better classroom safety.

She remembers hearing the first shot. It sounded too close. Carter put her finger to her lips, told the children to be quiet and turned off the classroom lights. Together, they moved furniture in front of a door and she cycled through scenarios in her mind.

Carter has her own questions. She knows nothing is guaranteed in life, but her faith is strong and she believes God is everywhere, Carter said.
read more here

Andrew Nelles
Kaitlyn Adams, a member of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, hugs another church member at the scene after shots were fired at the church on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Antioch, Tenn. (Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP)

Tennessee church suspect may have sought Charleston revenge

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Canada: Beyond Trauma Documentary on PTSD

Yes, there are more civilians with PTSD than veterans, but there are also more civilians than veterans. Percentages are a different story. Plus you would also have to consider the difference between "civilian PTSD" which comes with surviving trauma, and occupational PTSD, which comes from putting your life on the line on a daily basis, topping off all the other causes that can include you in the group.
Illuminating Canadian documentary puts spotlight on PTSD
Published on: January 13, 2017

Nary a day goes by without hearing a story about someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its tragic consequences. Too often, the public hears the story of a traumatized soldier returning home and unable to come to terms with the horrors witnessed in war thousands of miles away.
Just last week, Canadian veteran, retired corporal Lionel Desmond, 33, still shaken by a tour in Afghanistan, is alleged to have shot and killed himself, his wife, their 10-year-old daughter and his mother at their family home in Nova Scotia.

On that note, the timing of the world broadcast première of PTSD: Beyond Trauma, Thursday at 8 p.m. on CBC’s Nature of Things, couldn’t be more auspicious. The sad reality, however, is that PTSD has been around for far too long and is becoming ever more prevalent.

Among this documentary’s fascinating findings are that PTSD affects more civilians than soldiers. The doc also notes the disorder affects twice as many women as men. Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Patrick Reed (also the producer of Shake Hands With the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire), PTSD: Beyond Trauma makes for disturbing yet most compelling viewing.

One of the subjects Reed came into contact with while filming last year was Steve O’Brien. As it turns out, the soldier was based at the same New Brunswick outpost as Desmond, but didn’t know him personally. Ironically, while O’Brien had done several tours overseas, his PTSD is actually the result of dealing with an air crash in the Arctic that left seven people dead, including a young child whom he had uncovered.
read more here

Saturday, January 7, 2017

PTSD Does Not Have A Chance When We Fight Back

While I do not share everything I read on PTSD, there are many times when it reflects conversations we do not have often enough. Reading about a psychiatrist "quest to understand PTSD" touched home for me. I first heard about PTSD in 1982 after I heard the term "shell shock" for the first time and then went to the library to find out what it was.

Over the years, as I understood more and more about what it was, what it did and how to help my husband, it turned into one more quest to follow. Why didn't I have PTSD? 

Over the years, following extensive training, it became clear that as soon as the event was over for me, the battle started. Each time it was proven that the event itself was out of my control but what came afterwards was in my hands.

I had to reason with how I felt about it, myself, get past the "why me" and the questions about what I did wrong, or right, that left me alive, facing a future as a survivor.

I talked until I was done talking and when I wasn't talking, I was thinking. It was dealt with head on before it had a chance to take over my life. 

There is a 30 day window after trauma, where symptoms either go away or at least grow weaker. You are not ever going to "get over it" but you can get past it. It is part of you but then again, so is your strength. You have to grab control of your life out of "it" and you can with hard work. 

Two sections to spotlight from A Psychiatrist’s Quest to Understand PTSD on The Wall Street Journal report "Charles Marmar of NYU Langone Medical Center is on a search for better ways to diagnose and treat post-traumatic stress disorder"
What many people don’t realize, says Dr. Marmar, is that an estimated 85% of cases result from an event outside of the military, including sexual violence, a car accident or the violent death of a friend or family member. Outside of the military, women are twice as likely to develop PTSD as men—in part, he thinks, because women are disproportionally targeted as victims of interpersonal violence. PTSD is sometimes misdiagnosed as depression or anxiety, he says.

And he is right about the other causes however, consider that most of them are in fact caused by occupational traumas.
PTSD: The Hidden Toll of Policing
An estimated 100,000 active U.S. police officers have PTSD, according to the organization. However, the numbers are not conclusive.

And then there are the firefighters
46.5 percent Percent of surveyed fire fighters in Florida that had considered suicide, according to a Florida State University study. 19.2 percent Percent of surveyed fire fighters in Florida that had suicide plans, according to that study. 15.5 percent Percent of surveyed fire fighters in Florida that had attempted suicide, according to that study.
The other part of the report from The Wall Street Journal is this;
Current approaches for treating PTSD, such as long-term psychoanalysis and antidepressants, haven’t been effective at reducing symptoms in everyone. “We have been struggling since World War II, at least, to develop treatments for PTSD,” says Dr. Marmar. 
But while that is also true, research began during WWI, well over 100 years ago when it was called "Shell Shock." Still everything that is known about PTSD began when researchers focused on the ones with surviving the most traumatic events along with the number of times and duration. This is all the result of research on service members during war and after they were supposed to be living in peace.

When we fight back as survivors, it just doesn't have a chance to destroy us. Every expert I have read over the last three decades explained that PTSD stops getting worse as soon as we start talking. So start fighting back as soon as you get up off the ground and take control back for the rest of your life!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

ORMC Doctor Wore Army Boots Before Sneakers As A Medic

The doctor behind the bloody shoes on Facebook
Orlando Sentinel
Naseem S. Miller Contact Reporter
June 16, 2016

Corsa joined the Army after he finished high school in North Carolina. He spent six years in the Army, where he was a medic. He came back home and got his bachelor's degree in two years and then went to medical school.
A week before the bloody massacre at Pulse nightclub, Dr. Joshua Corsa bought a new pair of shoes from the REI outdoor company.

They were Keens and he liked them because he could put them on quickly – one of those important little details for a senior resident who has to rush around a busy Level I trauma center like Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Little did he know that in a few days those sneakers would become a symbol of all that's good and evil in this world.

It started with a text from an attending physician at the trauma center: possible active shooter and up to three injured with gunshot wounds.

Throughout those years he worked full-time as a firefighter/paramedic.
read more here