Showing posts with label hope of healing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hope of healing. Show all posts

Sunday, September 17, 2023

How common is #PTSD? The answer may surprise you.

Let it be this if you take nothing else away from this article.
“Recovery and healing is certainly possible and this is important to name for trauma survivors,” explains Verhulst. “Within this recovery, initial symptoms can become much more manageable and individuals can go on to experience better qualities of life with significant improvement.”

PTSD Statistics And Facts: How Common Is It?

Forbes Health
By Rena Goldman
September 14, 2023 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after someone experiences a traumatic event. While not everyone who goes through a traumatic event will experience PTSD, those who continue to deal with problems related to their social, physical and/or spiritual well-being after experiencing trauma may be dealing with PTSD. It’s also possible to experience higher levels of PTSD symptoms at different periods of time, such as during events like war, a pandemic or a natural disaster.
PTSD Statistics By Gender The type of traumatic event and the age at which it occurs can determine whether or not someone develops PTSD, and certain types of traumatic experiences put people at a higher risk. Women are more likely than men to develop PTSD, but that may be because women are more likely to experience sexual assault, a type of trauma that can cause PTSD.
About 8% of women and 4% of men get PTSD at some point in their lifetime.
Women are two to three times more at risk for developing PTSD when compared to men.
In women, about 10% to 12% develop PTSD during their lifetime.
In men, about 5% to 6% develop PTSD during their lifetime.
Women are also more likely than men to experience another mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.
Men are more likely to experience trauma from physical violence, combat, accidents or disaster, while women are more likely to experience trauma from rape, sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse.
learn more here
Now you know that you are nowhere close to being alone even though you may not know someone like you.

The other good thing this article does is it breaks down how #PTSD strikes other people and not just veterans. Once we see that survivors are human first, we realize that we are all survivors of what could have killed us and need help to heal. It's a lot more powerful to have the reassurance others struggle too and we can all learn from one another and lean on them.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Break the sound of silence before it is too late

Reach Out in the Darkness and Keep a Friend
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 1, 2018
Preventing suicide begins when you reach out to those who have lost hope. Not by reducing them down to a number because you think it is easy to remember. They do not need to be made more aware of others who lost their battle.

When people tell me they are spreading "awareness" with a number, that is simply not correct, it is repulsive! This lazy attitude has replaced their commitment to the cause they claim be devoted to. It is not that they do not care. They did not care enough to become aware of facts first.
No one fights alone and the battle for their lives requires us to be aware of truth, not what is sold as a true effort to change lives before they are lost.

Men and women, dedicated to saving lives of others, should never be more fearful of asking for help. They already know how to die, but they do not know how to heal.

If we really honor and remember their sacrifice for the sake of others, then we need to make sure to do the work to help them heal and save their lives for a change. PTSD is something that can be defeated but it requires knowledge first and action afterwards. Not the other way around.

"Reach Out In The Darkness" and you may keep a friend!

Tried to boost this on Facebook but they disapproved of it.

Gee you see the post and it is not political. When will Facebook get this censorship right?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

PTSD Suicide Squealers vs Healers

The Numbers They Are Not Aware Of
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 19, 2017

It doesn't take a crystal ball to see right through them! All of these stunts the "22 a day" squealers keep shouting, are in fact all about them, and not the veterans they failed to do anything for. It is all so easy for them to have an event to raise funds when they don't have to lift up a single veteran. 

Why should they? Gullible, well meaning folks, simply trust them. After all Everyone claims to care, few actually care enough to take the time to make lives better while paying a price with their own.
If you are a healer, this rips all of us apart. We go through it all the time. We are the ones standing by their side until they can walk away to a happier life that is being lived. We give them a better understanding of what PTSD is, what it does to them, but then, then we help them see what is still within them. That love, compassion and truly amazing courage they had to be willing to risk their lives for someone else.

We listen to the pain in their voice, hold their trembling hands and spend hours in silence when the words just won't come out of their mouth. All too often that is when we learn the most from them.

We make them aware of why they should continue as a survivor when squealers remind them of how many they think don't make it. 

We do it in privacy, without T-shirts or banners of how many lives we saved, when they have reporters surrounding then, writing down whatever they claim without asking for any proof or accountability.

They get away with claiming to help "veterans and families" but when you look up their site, it turns out they only have a "mission" toward the OEF and OIF veterans, not the older ones needing help the most and waiting the longest.

We only need to know they are a veteran in need and give them what we can.  Most of the time, it is a lot more than our time. They take a piece of our soul with them as they leave to continue to work at what we told them they needed to do and going where we told them they needed to go.

Squealers get to enjoy the glory without having to learn anything about the story of their lives or invest any time making sure they had the resources and knowledge to actually change the outcome.

They talk about numbers that are not real, we remember the names of every single one of them who came into our hearts for the one thing we do best, but we cannot tell anyone what we are doing. We made them a promise understanding that their stories are not ours to tell.

So, yes Healer, I understand exactly what you are going through. Take my advice on this one, since I've been in this for over 3 decades. 

If you stop what you're doing because they get in the way, veterans will continue to lose their battles. 

If you give up because this is too hard, better think of all the times when it was a lot harder to help veterans and that blessing you felt when they got out of that dark place they've been in for so long.

If you do not find enough comfort in that, then think of this. When their time of judgement comes, they may come face to face with all the ones they used for their own gain, while you will come face to face with those you saved long enough until their own lives have come to a natural end.

As they squeal about numbers without reading the reports they came from, we'll keep doing the work to make sure the one we work with does not become one of those they are unaware of.

Veterans face off with law enforcement at least once a week in this country. I found 49 of their stories. How many more do you think it is happening to?

All veterans should matter everyday. They did to their families and friends but not to the people running around the country ignoring what can't fit on a bumper sticker.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Vietnam Veteran Message on PTSD "There’s no need to suffer alone anymore.”

Iowa veterans speak out about getting service members the help they need
The DesMoines Register
Molly Longman
May 20, 2017

Vietnam veteran Larry Clayton approached a podium under the Iowa State Capitol Rotunda Saturday with a message for Iowans.

He wanted veterans, their families and their friends to realize the physical and mental health problems veterans face during and after their service — and to understand that there’s help.

“I am proud of the part I played in the Vietnam conflict, and I pray for all those soldiers who did not come home and those who came home physically or emotionally broken,” Clayton said. “And I thank God every day that he has seen fit to grant me peace during my life.

"Others haven't been nearly as fortunate."

Clayton talked about the effects of Agent Orange, a defoliant chemical sprayed over South Vietnam to eliminate forests and militia crops used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. The chemical is linked to diseases such as B-cell leukemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

He talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the high rate of veteran suicides.

He wanted veterans to know this: “Admit to yourself that you or a family member might benefit from some medical attention.

"There’s no need to suffer alone anymore.”
read more here

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

To Lay Down His Life For The Sake of His Friends

There are some things that just need repeating. Between now and Christmas, I'm digging out some older posts. The dates have changed but the message has not. You can heal.

Do you think God abandoned you still? Come on and admit that while you were in the center of the trauma, you either felt the hand of God on your shoulder, or more often, never felt further from Him. In natural disasters, we pray to God to protect us. Yet when it's over we wonder why He didn't make the hurricane hit someplace else or why the tornadoes came and destroyed what we had while leaving the neighbors house untouched. We wonder why He heals some people while the people we love suffer. It is human nature to wonder, search for answers and try to understand.
In times of combat, it is very hard to feel anything Godly. Humans are trying to kill other humans and the horrors of wars become an evil act. The absence of God becomes overwhelming. We wonder how a loving God who blessed us with Jesus, would allow the carnage of war. We wonder how He could possibly forgive us for being a part of it. For soldiers, this is often the hardest personal crisis they face.
They are raised to love God and to be told how much God loves them. For Christians, they are reminded of the gift of Jesus, yet in moments of crisis they forget most of what Jesus went through.
Here are a few lessons and you don't even have to go to church to hear them.

Matthew 8:5-13)
As he entered Caper'na-um, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress." And he said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion answered him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; be it done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.

This sounds like a great act Jesus did. You think about the Roman Centurion, powerful, commanding, able to lead men into combat, perhaps Jesus even knew of the other men this Centurion has killed. Yet this same man, capable of killing, was also capable of great compassion for what some regarded as a piece of property, his slave. He showed he didn't trust the pagan gods the Romans prayed to but was willing to trust Jesus.
Yet when you look deeper into this act, it proves that Jesus has compassion for the warriors. The life and death of Jesus were not surprises to Him. He knew from the very beginning how it would end. This is apparent throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. He knew He would be betrayed, beaten, mocked, humiliated and nailed to the cross by the hands of Romans. Yet even knowing this would come, He had compassion for this Roman soldier. The Romans had tortured and killed the Jews since the beginning of their empire as well as other conquered people. The Roman soldiers believed in what they were doing, yet even with that, there was still documentation of them suffering for what they did.
Ancient historians documented the illness striking the Greeks, which is what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is evidence this illness hit every generation of warriors. Jesus would be aware that saving the Centurion's slave, because of the faith and trust He placed in Jesus, would be reported from soldier to soldier. Jesus showed compassion even to the Romans.
How can we think that He would not show compassion to today's soldiers? How can we think that He would look any differently on them than He did toward the soldiers who would nail Him to the Cross?
God didn't send you into combat. Another human did. God however created who you are inside. The ability to be willing to lay down your life for the sake of others was in you the day you were born. While God allows freewill, for good and for evil, He also has a place in His heart for all of His children. We humans however let go of His hand at the time we need to hold onto it the most.
When tragedy and trauma strike, we wonder where God was that He allowed it to happen. Then we blame ourselves. We do the "if" and " but" over and over again in our own minds thinking it was our fault and the trauma was a judgment from God. Yet we do not consider that God could very well be the reason we survived it all.
PTSD is a double edge cut to the person. The trauma strikes the emotions and the sense that God has abandoned us strikes at the soul. There is no greater sense of loss than to feel as if God has left you alone especially after surviving trauma and war. If you read the passage of Jesus and the Roman, you know that this would be impossible for God to do to you. Search your soul and you will find Him still there.
For the last story on this we have none other than the Arch Angel Michael. The warrior angel. If God did not value the warrior for the sake of good, then why would He create a warrior angel and make him as mighty as he was?Michael has a sword in one hand and a scale in the other. God places things in balance for the warriors.
And in John 15:
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

When it comes to waging war, issuing orders, God will judge the hearts and minds of those who sent you and He will also know yours. If you feel you need to be forgiven, then ask for it and you will be forgiven. Yet if you know in your heart the basis of your service was that of the willingness to lay down your life for your friends, then ask to be healed. Know this. That if Jesus had the compassion for a Roman how could He have any less compassion for you?Because the military is in enough trouble already trying to evangelize soldiers for a certain branch of Christianity, understand this is not part of that. It's one of the benefits of having I don't care what faith you have or which place of worship you attended. If you were a religious person at any level before combat, your soul is in need of healing as well. There is a tremendous gift when the psychological healing is combined with the spiritual healing. If you have a religious leader you can talk to, please seek them out.

Kathie Costos

Monday, January 5, 2015

Canada: Suicide is based on sense of hopelessness

This report is out of Canada about what families go through after losing someone they love to suicide.
Durham families haunted by the ‘why’ of suicide
January 5, 2015

Protective factors
• Feeling like you belong • Spending time with people you enjoy • Having good physical health • Feeling in control of your life • Being able to solve problems • Having your basic needs met (e.g. safe housing, stable income)
Risk factors
• Childhood trauma • Traumatic life experience • Being isolated and or feeling alone • Having alcohol, drug and/or gambling problems • Having a parent with a mental health problem or illness Source: Durham Region health department

“I felt that deep sense of responsibility had slipped through my hands. That was unbearable. We were supposed to be there for each other ... why did I not see it, why? The word ‘why’ has a lot of counterparts to it.”
And as much as the “why” haunts suicide survivor families, there are no simple answers.

According to the World Health Organization, someone takes their own life every 40 seconds, and for every one of them, there are many more people who attempt suicide. 

Let that sink in for a minute.  

Long enough.

Add in that almost every hour a US veteran has taken his/her own life. 

Families get the added misery of trying to figure out how they made it through combat, but not able to make it back home where they were loved.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hope stands up for the harmed

Hope stands up for the harmed
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
April 23, 2013

One of my least favorite jobs was working for a newspaper as Circulation Manager. (To tell the truth, I was lousy at it. Just not cut out to be a manager hiring and firing.) Newspapers have a slogan when it comes to deciding what story gets the top of the fold "if it bleeds, it leads." In other words when the paper is folded to fill stands, the stories showing up there will get the most attention. The worst story grabs people, or so they think but if this blog is any example, the good stories matter more.

The top post on Wounded Times is the story of Pfc. Kyle Hockenberry with a tattoo "For those I love I will sacrifice." Stars and Stripes had a great article on combat medics and his story was in it. Later on TIME picked up the story reporting that "Kyle Hockenberry, 19, lost both legs and his left arm in the blast." This post has been read over 35,000 times.

The second biggest story was about Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter, "his face missing an eye and crisscrossed with deep scars, stood on the floor of the S.C. Senate on Wednesday to receive the thanks of his state." That post has been read over 14,000 times.

I have a feeling that the first three stories from this morning will be at the top of the hit list of this blog soon.

Daniel “Doc” Jacobs an amputee getting his own baseball card. Combat veterans visit double amputee Boston survivor and then Cpl. Jake Hill. All of them offering hope to others.

They do not hide their wounds. They walk around with shorts. They tell their stories, not for sympathy but to show empathy and stand as an example of hope that brighter days are ahead of them. That their body is not who they are and the missing parts are not parts missing from their character.

I don't know if the people rushing to help the wounded last week really thought about what they were doing. I suspect all they were thinking about was that someone needed help and nothing more beyond that. Some people ran away and no one can fault them for that. Others rushed to help even though they didn't know if another bomb would blow up or not. They proved hope stood up for the harmed. They mattered. Someone, as we now know their names, decided to do harm to total strangers. It was not personal to them because they just didn't care. The ones rushing to help did care about them. There should be an award for these folks risking their lives to help someone else. It turned out there was another bomb. They rushed to help again.

I used to be a young wife, lost and confused after discovering combat had come into my life. That was way back in 1984. No one was talking about what I was going thru anymore than they were talking about what my husband was going thru with PTSD. Now I am amazed by how many are talking about it knowing there is no shame in any of this. The only shame in this is the fact we've been working on Combat PTSD for over 40 years yet lessons learned, the right lessons and studies, have been forgotten. As for the veterans and their families, most of them want help to heal but that is not their ultimate goal. They want to help others feeling as lost and alone as they felt.

They want to offer hope that it does get better. No one is alone in this fight back home. Most of the veterans and family members I talk to want to do something to offer that hope and it doesn't matter to them they will end up refocusing on their own pain to do it. To them all that matters is standing up and telling others it is not hopeless.

They lead the way out of the horrible and to Wounded Times, now that I get to decide what leads, these heroes do.

Combat veterans visit double amputee Boston survivor

UPDATE from NPR May 3, 2013
From Battlefield To Boston: Marine Comforts Bombing Survivors
Capt. Cameron West was interviewed on The Last Word by Lawrence O'Donnell

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Double Amputee Marine Brings Words Of Hope To Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors
Huff Post
Posted: 04/22/2013

During a recent hospital visit with two survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy, a Marine who lost both his legs in combat shared a powerful, inspiring message of hope.

"There are so many opportunities that are going to come your way," the unnamed Marine, who uses prosthetic limbs and is said to be a paralympian, told Celeste Corcoran and her 17-year-old daughter, Sydney, as they lay recovering together at Boston Medical Center. "This isn't the end, this is the beginning."

Celeste, 47, had been standing with Sydney at the marathon finish line last week when one of two bombs exploded, severely wounding both of them. Celeste's legs were amputated below the knee, and Sydney suffered near-fatal shrapnel wounds.

“I can’t do anything right now,” Celeste told the Marine from her hospital bed on Sunday, her legs still heavily bandaged.

“Right now, yes. But I’m telling you right now you are going to be more independent,” he replied.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the visit from the injured Marine and his words of encouragement brought comfort to the resilient mother-daughter duo. “They had a good day today,” Sydney's uncle, Tim Corcoran, told the newspaper. “Celeste was encouraged.”
read more here
Veterans from Semper Fi inspire Boston wounded

Friday, July 27, 2012

Does Hope Really Make a Difference?

Does Hope Really Make a Difference?
Scientific Findings

Almost everyone has some experience with hope: We hope for the best. We hang on to hope. We despair when we lose hope.

It would seem that hope, which is broadly defined as an emotional state that promotes the belief in a positive outcome, is in inherent in human nature.

Reflections of the importance of hope are found in early mythology, religion, philosophy and literature.

Pandora, although forbidden, opened the box given to her by Zeus, and in a moment, all the curses were released into the world and all the blessing escaped and were lost- except one: hope.

“To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.”
The King James Version of the Bible

“Hope is a waking dream.” –Aristotle

“Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.” -Albert Camus

Monday, July 26, 2010

How You Can Use Crises to Transform Your Life

We've all had one crisis or another. For my family it was my husband and PTSD taking over, the loss of the twins I was carrying, deaths of all our family members, job loss, accidents and health problems. The list seems to never end. Right now it is a financial crisis, but we've had many of these hard times before.

It's really hard to get through hard times when things don't seem to be getting any better. Yet when you look back at other hard times you've faced, one thing stands out, those bad days didn't destroy you because you're still here.

Looking back, faith gave me hope and hope got me from one day to the next no matter what the crisis was. I turned the heartache of watching my husband suffer with PTSD and all that did to my family, into something positive. Helping veterans and their families get through their own pain. What you see on this blog is part of what I do. Tracking reports across the country makes it impossible for anyone to think this is not a national problem. The videos are part of it. Putting in my two cents on essays is part, but then there are the emails and heartbreaking stories leading up to emails when other families come thru the worst of times just like we did.

If you measure success by money, then I am an absolute failure, but if you measure it by lives saved, families held together and proving hope to other people, then I guess you could say I have succeeded. On the grand scale of things, I'm just a nobody, ignored by a lot of powerful groups no matter how hard I try to get them to just listen. Yet on a human level, I talk to some of the most magnificent people you'd ever want to meet.

Right now there is a couple involved with a ministry. He is a veteran trying to heal from PTSD and the wife is a Godsend to him, standing by his side and trying to do whatever she can to help him heal better. All they want is to take what this crisis has done and turn it into a positive outcome by helping other families and especially veterans.

There was a Vietnam veteran, outcast from everyone he knew yet all he wants to do is get better and stronger so that he can help other veterans.

These people are simply amazing. They didn't want to give up and they certainly didn't want to give in. Neither do I. Reading the advice from Tony Robbins may seem like just publicity for his new show but when you think of the gift he has to offer, let him publicize it all he wants because he's giving a lot more than others have.

A Chance to Break Through: How You Can Use Crises to Transform Your Life

Arianna Huffington and Tony Robbins
Posted: July 26, 2010

A month ago, when Tony Robbins was passing through New York, we met for a drink. In the course of our conversation, we realized that -- from our different perspectives -- we both had been thinking about a similar problem: how can people faced with enormous challenges carry on without collapsing under the burden?

I had just finished my upcoming book on Third World America in which I write about the millions of middle class Americans who are suddenly finding themselves without a job, or without a home, or without the possibility of giving their children a better future. By the end of the book, I found myself consumed with identifying practical solutions and sources of help that those struggling could use right away -- instead of anxiously waiting for government to act. And I recognized that it all starts with each individual's inner strength and resilience.

Tony, meanwhile, had been working on "Breakthrough with Tony Robbins," a series of primetime TV specials for NBC focused on the stories of people who had been dealt an incredibly bad hand by life. He showed me a clip and I was not just deeply moved but, more the point, I was struck by how these people were able to find the strength to transform their lives -- even in the most extreme circumstances.

The clip I saw was about a newlywed who jumps into a swimming pool on his wedding day, hits his head, and instantly becomes a quadriplegic. When we first encounter them in Tony's special, premiering tomorrow night, he and his wife are trapped in their house -- the wife feeling depressed and angry; the husband feeling guilty and at a loss for what to do. The transformation in this couple's lives that we see by the end of the hour is stunning -- and I knew it would be really inspiring for anyone going through difficult circumstances of their own (most of which, of course, would pale in comparison to becoming a quadriplegic).

By the end of our meeting, Tony and I had decided do something on HuffPost that would focus on solutions instead of problems. The result is Breakthrough: The Power of Crisis, which launches today.
read more here

How You Can Use Crises to Transform Your Life

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Double-Edged Sword Called "HOPE"

January 22, 2009

The Double-Edged Sword Called "HOPE"
by Lily Casura
Healing Combat Trauma
"Got hope?" the Obama bumper sticker asked. (Hey, we're non-partisan here, it's just an illustration to make a point.)

The reality is, hope turns out to be VITAL, not optional, in someone's struggle to "heal." And "healing," of course, is not specifically an end-result, a "one and done" event -- but a progress along a continuum.

Even the Bible talks about how, "without vision, the people perish." Emily Dickinson, who it's easy to imagine as a profoundly depressed, but nevertheless highly imaginative New England poet, referred in one of her more famous poems to hope "as a thing with feathers." Meaning, pretty airy, light-weight, and able to fly away. Hard to trap and catch, hard to hang onto. If you put the two concepts together, though, hope is both necessary AND hard to hard to hang onto. No wonder it's so important.

Over the last few months, I've been watching as a hardened combat veteran, with severe PTSD, has stepped out of his comfort zone, and put his "hope" to the test: Hope that there was a life for him outside the realms of severe combat trauma. It's been incredibly interesting and refreshing to see what's happened to him since. And hope shows up at every turn. Without going into it in much depth here -- there'll be another time and place for that -- I've been able to see his physiology as well as his psychology change, in just a few short months -- and I've seen the renewal of "hope" this has caused within him. For one thing, hope to be considered more than just another "crazy, effed-up combat veteran" -- the mask he's apparently worn for society for years (decades, in his case). Hope that he can have an actual life and happiness beyond what he had been reconciled to, by virtue of "throwing off" some of what's hindered him (the Biblical wording here is purely incidental.)

The deal about having a mask that you wear, as a combat vet, because it's what society expects of you -- and it's also what allows you to keep other people at bay -- is a very interesting concept in its own right. It helps, but it also hinders. It frees, but it also constrains. And suddenly, with better health, comes the realization that it may be time to consider laying that mask down, at least part-time.

Whoa. Strangely...that turns out to be a tad problematic.

click link for more