I admit it, I am a follower of SOFREP.com and I am not a veteran. HOWEVER, I was the wife of a veteran and have a Facebook page, which is called, For the Love our Our Veterans which is dedicated to helping veterans and their families. And it is through my daily search for veteran-based helpful information that I discovered, SOFREP.
SOFREP is where, according to the website, you can get – “… insider perspective(s) from the former special operations and intelligence professionals that mainstream news media can’t access.”
Not only that, but Brandon Webb, one of the founders of SOFREP is a former Navy Seal, and co-author of “The Red Circle: My Life in the Nave SEAL, Sniper Corps and How I Trained American’s Deadliest Marksmen,” and several other books as well.
All of which is rather a long way down the rabbit trail, from what I wanted tell you about, which is Brandon’s terrific non-profit, The Red Circle Foundation, a Federal 501(c) Non-Profit dedicated to “helping Special Operations Families by providing with the immediate financial assistance which they need to move forward.” And, 100% of all donations go directly to families in need. I can’t explain their goal better than Brandon can, so click HERE and check out his video explaining what the Red Circle Foundation does and how it helps Special Ops families in need.
Having and experiencing PTSD is no fun. Who really wants to relieve traumatic/dramatic events in their lives which have left a very large emotional (and sometimes physical scar) in their lives. I know that I don’t. And so what to do?
Now, I don’t claim to be a Veteran, but my husband is and so I have some experience with living with someone I love dearly who has PTSD. Also, it doesn’t help that I, too, have “issues” due to my personal disability, which is Aspergers. But, this particular blog is not about me, but about whether Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is helpful in dealing with the emotional, as well as physical, components of the Veteran with PTSD.
According to ptsdabout.com, in an article written by Dr. Mathew Tull, “CBT is often used to help people with their PTSD, as well as a number of other psychological problems.”
So what exactly is cognitive-behavioral therapy? Again, Dr. Tull tells us that: “A cognitive-behavioral treatment is one that is based on the idea that psychological problems arise as a result of the way in which we interpret or evaluate situations, thoughts, and feelings, as well as our behaviors.”
Well, that is all well and good, but does it work? I believe that it depends on four things:
1) The patient’s willingness to work with the therapist.
2) The quality of the therapist and his working knowledge and skill in working with veteran’s with PTSD and their families.
3) Is the patient comfortable with the therapist’s approach to CBT and PTSD? (Be sure to get referrals from other patients and check BBB ((it couldn’t hurt)))
4)Understand that it will take time and alot of work to get better.
In March of 2014 the VA began a study entitled “PTSD: Exposure versus Cognitive Therapy.” As to their findings, I believe that they have either not finished their study, or have not gotten the approval to post their findings as of yet. Whatever, the important thing to remember is it is your mind, your feelings, your body, your family and your PTSD. Therefore, it is ultimately up to you to find a therapist you can work with so you can move forward.
Memories, so hard to stop them flooding my mind when I am trying to sleep at night. I try to quiet their persistent noise in my head with telling myself to relax. Fortunately, for myself, I have discovered the benefit of using “white noise” which in my case is a fan that I switch on at night to help me sleep on those “my brain won’t stop thinking nights.
Sadly, being able to sleep and stop the thoughts is not so easy for many of our troops. Here is an article that addresses that issue.
The marriage vow “…to love, honor and obey…”, is not exactly easy for us to obey. Especially when our very loved military/former military spouse comes home with a TBI or PTSD. That threw my starry-eye vision of love/laughter/rainbows and joy into a bit of confusion and martial turmoil. But, you know, knowledge is power and understanding what has happened to change the love-of-my-life can make a big difference in the re-building a marriage.
Here is a link to an article entitled, Marriage Tips for PTSD $ TBI Families, which gives some very good suggestions to help bridge that gap of “what the heck happened to my husband” to “this will take awhile to get it right, but we can make this marriage work!”
Ever on the lookout for ways to help our warriors/husbands/wives/veterans/active military, etc., I recently popped on the website of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and thought I would share it with you as it’s goal is to – > ” support(s) the military’s Special Operations Forces and their families through three programs:
- College scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces
- Educational & family counseling, and advocacy support
- Immediate $3,000 financial grants to severely-wounded Special Operations Forces service members
Does this interest you or spouse? If so, please log onto http://www.specialops.org/ for more information.
I thought this might be some interest for you Veterans who are having a difficult time getting help from the VA. Below is an excerpt from the announcement from the VA about this new program and a link to the article.
“Many Veterans will now have the option to receive non-VA health care rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.
Beginning November 5, 2014, the new Choice Program will begin to cover non-VA care for eligible Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans are eligible if any of these situations apply to you…” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
I know first hand how a loved ones personality can change after a TBI. It is like they are different, yet the same. Strangely enough you can see the difference in their eyes as well as their mannerisms. Yet, should someone who has experienced TBI and suffers from depression be given anti-depressants? Should they see a doctor while taking these medication? Should they be receiving counseling as well?
Here is advice about TBI and meds by Dr. Brian Greenwald.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit geared
to serve veterans/service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound(s) , co-incident to their military service (and their families) on or after September 11, 2001.
The purpose of the Wounded Warrior Project as stated on their website is:”To help warriors make the most of their benefits and successfully transition to life after injury, the Wounded Warrior Project provides warriors with the tools they need to become financially secure.”
Unlike traditional models of veterans’ services the Wounded Warrior Project identifies the warrior’s individual needs and provides economic empowerment. The Wounded Warrior’s Project Benefits Service team ensures that warriors and their families have information and access to government benefits, as well as a full range of programs and the community resources necessary for a successful transition for the warrior (and his/her family) to life after injury.
A key part of the Wounded Warrior Project: to advise warriors of their benefits, along with information on how to access those services through the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).