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16vmkII
09-19-2007, 18:09
I was diagnosed with Severe Chronic PTSD. Any Soldiers on here have it and getting better? I am in a intensive outpatient program for it. I will probably get MED Boarded out. I'm non-deployable now and basically don't function well w/in the military environment. I haven't worn a uniform in 3 weeks. I have been perscribed 6 different medications, totally 11 pills a day. I don't feel like I will get better. Anyone get better?

Thanks,

Tim

Flinter
09-19-2007, 23:09
Tim, I think many of us it have it at least mildly. Sudden, loud noises bother me still, but less so every month. I hope and pray you get better, bud.

Jammer Six
09-20-2007, 00:31
This isn't the place to deal with it.

shabz1319
09-21-2007, 16:08
Yeah man we all have it - take the meds - relax and get better...

deadday
09-22-2007, 14:17
Originally posted by shabz1319
Yeah man we all have it - take the meds - relax and get better...


That's about the sum of it there....It will start to get better with time..Take meds they give you, your base hospital BMH probably has a group session with other guys experiencing the same things as you...Just remember, you're not alone, and there are always people willing to sit and talk something out with you..


drew

16vmkII
09-22-2007, 15:07
Thanks for the responses. Today is a good day. Last night is the first night I have slept more than 3 broken hours in 23 months..albeit drug induced, but still I feel 100% physically today. Again, thanks guys.

deadday
09-23-2007, 09:00
Originally posted by 16vmkII
Thanks for the responses. Today is a good day. Last night is the first night I have slept more than 3 broken hours in 23 months..albeit drug induced, but still I feel 100% physically today. Again, thanks guys.


At least the drugs work for ya...They stopped working for me a while ago..



drew

ret_marine2003
09-29-2007, 19:00
pain meds and psych meds were killing me.

I got through it mostly by a great physical therapist, good friends who were psychs, and years of self help and study.

mitchshrader
09-29-2007, 19:11
and taper the meds a little at a time when they start to work.. IMO, not a doctor, get medical advise on my opinion..

but the drugs are to stabilize and re-set your chemical balance, not LONG TERM MAINTENANCE..

again, IMO, personal opinion from personal experience, and does NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE BUT IS ONLY TO POINT YOU AT A CHOICE THAT MAY BE OPTIMUM FOR YOU, DISCUSS WITH DOCTOR YOU TRUST..

you will get DIFFERENT. either better or worse. you will NOT be the same after a year on meds.

so, be busy HEALING. meaning, getting yo' butt back to NORMAL.

it's like the ballast tanks in a boat, when you get CLOSE to normal, start leveling out, a little at the time.

a handful of pills is NOT A LONG TERM ANSWER, and may well be perfect for short term, but SEEK THE BALANCE, not damp out all symptoms.

run. work out. stay HEALTHY. eat vitamins. drink a lot of water. talk to SANE people. young women and kids are good for morale, and i mean ordinary social events. be around the reasons to SMILE.

go fishing , build a tree house, grow a garden. something with a NON CRITICAL PURPOSE TO IT, that is pleasant to DO.

learn to BE. just BE. meditation is 'not thinking' .. it might help.

that's not religious, it's mental training.

SSRI's WORK.. really, they work.. but they're not good MORE THAN YOU NEED THEM.. once they START to work.. start needing them less, TAPERING OFF VERY SLOWLY. let your mind grow the HABIT of sanity and self control.

best of luck, it's a job, you've been damaged and need to do therapy but it's EXACTLY the sort of long term deliberate effort as if you had a motorcycle wreck. you CAN get better, it's a job. it's not a GOAL, it's a PROCESS.

and you CAN SUCCEED at it, don't settle for 'maintenance'.

maintenance is not a win. it's a quit.

best wishes, but the job part is on you, and the more you own the job, the better you'll do at the job. get well. no half stepping.. :)

ret_marine2003
09-30-2007, 00:08
That is the good sound advice I was unable to adequately express.

Thanks Mitch.

The VA will resort to pills on top of pills.

If you start bleeding from places you are not supposed to bleed from, consult a doctor right away.

It doesn't hurt to get your medical advice from the civilian side and use that advice to adjust the VA.

Second opinions are good when your well being is what is at risk.

onesiphorus
10-09-2007, 07:44
PTSD does not go away, buy you can learn to cope with it. The VA here rns coing skills groups that are very helpful. You may also want to try a Bible believing, Bible teaching church.

RENEA
10-13-2007, 03:11
Sorry bro. :sad:

deadday
10-18-2007, 08:28
And please, for the love of God, do not turn to booze or painkillers...Trust me on this one bro...




eddrew

16vmkII
10-20-2007, 19:46
Well, more information. I've spent the past month and a half in an intensive outpatient program. I take pills for anxiety, sleep and depression. I'm doing a bit better, but do not function at the level required for retention. I'm now in the process of being assigned to Ft Lewis's Warrior Transition Battallion, as I'm being medically retired from the Army. Thanks folks for the information, advice and IM's.

Tim

deadday
10-23-2007, 18:57
Is a MedBoard what you want? If not, then appeal the decision, and fight to stay in. It is a long, drawn out process, but don't let them shuffle you out the door if it is not what you want. Given a decent amount of time to recover, you will reach a level of management where you can cope with your symptoms, and generally function as well as you need to perform your job duties. You may be forced to reclassify, but if you want to stay in, it is possible. I just spoke with the Surgeon General (well, the acting SG, Schumaker hasn't been confirmed yet. MG Pollock) today in fact, about making sure I don't get shuffled out the door..



drew

the iceman
10-24-2007, 12:43
Whatever happens, don't let the army put you out on a personality disorder! Then you will lose all entitled benefits for life! The army has been putting soldiers hurting from PTSD out on personality disorders a lot lately in order to save money.

I have been out of the army for since 2004. I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2005. It depends on the day, somedays are easy as others are super hard to get through.

Just remember no matter how bad today sucks, tomorrow is a new day.

Bevo1
10-24-2007, 13:30
First of all, let me say that I want you to know that I am proud of you and want to say "thank you" for all you have done for me, my family and our country.
It doesn't matter to me whether people support the war or not, we cannot forget our soldiers.
Most people don't understand what happens to a body that goes through something like you have unless they have experienced it.
The only thing that has helped (in my limited experience) is close family or friends that will listen, and faith.
I wish you the best of luck and again, a sincere thank you.

16vmkII
10-26-2007, 23:38
There won't be any type of Personality Disorder diagnosis or discharge based upon such a faulty diagnosis. I wouldn't allow that to happen anyhow.

I do wish to be separated from the military. I'm spent.

bearshoegun
10-26-2007, 23:57
How long where you in?

the iceman
10-27-2007, 22:10
There won't be any type of Personality Disorder diagnosis or discharge based upon such a faulty diagnosis. I wouldn't allow that to happen anyhow.

I do wish to be separated from the military. I'm spent.

I know how you feel! I did 6 years and felt numb towards the end. I couldn't wait to get out only to find out the grass wasn't any greener on the other side.

Now I sometimes wish I was back in.

Bill Keith
10-28-2007, 05:44
Hi Tim, I'm a psychiatric social worker and supporter of America's finest. The Army has been hanging diagnosis of Personality Disorders on some troops to discredit them and keep them from benefits. This diagnosis of PTSD and other mental diagnosis comes from a book called the DSM IV (R), The title is "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" 4th edition, revised. It is a book that was a team effort of many mental health professionals of The American Psychiatric Association. The First edition came out in 1952 and the data is being revised over time, and mental health folks are researching and empiracally revising it as new info comes along. This book and its diagnostic criteria for each of the many mental disorders are offered as guidelines for making diagnosis. The proper use of the diagnostic criteria requires specialized clinical training, and reflect a concensus of evolving knowledge in the field. The war is causing scientists and doctors and psychotherapists to look closely at the illness of PTSD and there are conflicting ideas of what it is and how it is best treated. Modern psychiatry is often a brief encounter with a physician trained in prescribing medications based on symptom management. If you have problems sleeping, there are types of medicines to help you sleep. if you are anxious, there are antianxiety medications. Depressed, there are antidepressants, etc, etc.

You sit and talk to the psychiatrist and he/she reviews symptoms and from their training, they select the medicine(s) believed to target the symptoms needing relieved. Most of these medications are targeted at the neurotransmitters, the substances that cause the nervous system and brain to function. Stress causes the neurotransmitter called serotonin to be depleted pretty quick, so SSRI's (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) allow the serotonin, a byproduct of metabolizing carbohydrates to hang out longer between the synapses or spaces between the nerve endings. The theory is that as the serotonin levels reach a more normal range, the mood improves. Too much serotonin can cause problems such as mania, too little causes depression. There are MANY neurotransmitter chemicals, but only so many have been identified chemically and researched at present.

Here are the diagnsotic criteria for PTSD:
A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:
(1) The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others
(2) The person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. NOTE: In Children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior
B. The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in one (or more) of the following ways:
(1) Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. NOTE: In young Children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of trauma are expressed.
(2) Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. NOTE: In Children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.
(3) Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative, flashback episodes, including those that occur on awakening or when intoxicated) NOTE: In young Children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.
(4) Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
(5) Physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event

C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responses (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
(1) Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
(2) Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
(3) Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
(4) Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
(5) Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
(6) Restricted range of effect (e.g. unable to have loving feelings)
(7) Sense of foreshortened future (e.g. does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)

D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma), as indicated by two (or more) of the following:
(1) Difficulty falling or staying asleep
(2) Irritability or outbursts of anger
(3) Difficulty concentrating
(4) Hyper-vigilance
(5) Exaggerated startle response

E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B, C, and D) is more than one (1) month

F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

Specify if:
ACUTE: If duration of symptoms is less than 3 months
CHRONIC: If duration of symptoms is 3 months or more

Information taken from the:
Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV),published by the American Psychiatric Association,

These criteria are guidelines. The medications will help with the symptoms, but LIVING with this illness or condition is difficult because of the trauma and how the body and mind becomes caught in a feedback loop of how to respond to the stress. The healing has to 'rewire' how stress is perceives physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spititually.

Medications alone will not solve this riddle and therapeutic strategies are being looked at. The physical symptoms are managed. Sleep and energy need to be normalized. Stress management and relaxation tools have to be cultivated and time to heal takes time. Talk therapy helps. Each person affected by PTSD is going to respond diferently due to the trauma experienced and their own individual coping and strengths. I help people by helping them identify their strengths and we then build from that. It is hard work, but it is done a day at a time.

There is a good website about mental health and offers information and support. It is called www Nami.org.
Thank you for your service and hang in there.

My best and warmest regards
Bill Keith LCSW

the iceman
11-04-2007, 01:12
Wow, that is a great post Bill! Thank you for so much information and for the support!

DriBak
11-23-2007, 23:11
I have it bro, 11B from GW I the VA has kept increasing the dosages of the meds and now I feel immune to them, I have bad days and worse days. It's been 16 years since I came back and still don't sleep right, have anger issues, and an insane startle reflex.
PM me if you are interested in exchanging #'s and emails

onesiphorus
12-21-2007, 20:07
I have it as well. Follow the Doctors Orders, not the suggestion you've gotten here. Get involve in Coping Skills groups and ask Jesus for help. HE WILL HELP.

Biscuitsjam
12-22-2007, 09:13
Sorry to hear that, 16vmkII. Just remember that when you hit rock bottom, things will eventually get better.

Some of the strongest and best soldiers I know ended up with severe PTSD, and most everybody had at least some symptoms, including me. Don't blame yourself for it, and good luck on your recovery.