Tag Archives: Veterans

PTSD and Cognitive Behavior Therapy

primeape-movement.com

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.

TBI/PTSD – To Love, Honor and Obey-ish?

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!”

 

National Center for PTSD homepage

Your Dear Veteran is home, now what?

Margo was ecstatic. Her soldier/warrior husband, Dean had returned from Afghanistan safe and sound. Her family and friends are greeted him at the airport with signs welcoming him home.  There was a flurry of hugs, tears, laughter and relief from everyone, most especially Margo. Dean was home, he looked wonderful, happy and a bit bewildered.  She was eager to get him home, but was unsure of herself as he had been gone for almost a year, maybe he had changed. Dean was her hero, her husband, her one true love and she couldn’t wait to show him how she decorated their home in flags and flowers. She was proud of her soldier husband and was eager to show him off to her friends at the huge welcome home party she had planned for the coming weekend.

And yet, as they drove home together, Margo’s hand resting lightly upon his khaki-clad and muscular leg, she could feel that Dean’s tenseness.  Wasn’t he glad to be home, did he not love her any more? What was wrong?

The above scenario is not unique. A veteran (a soldier who has been in the armed forces for over 6 mos.) coming home from deployment is understandably, a bit confused and disoriented. He or she has been in an environment where they have had to rely on themselves and their fellow soldiers for support and survival.  They have probably seen friends or acquaintances killed or wounded, perhaps right next to them.  Their life for months has been of order and fairly predictable. Coming home can be for many a very big…culture shock.

I would recommend anyone who is a friend or loved one read this helpful article-> Ten Things You Should Know to Help Bring the OIF/OEF Veteran All the Way Home By Alison Lighthall, RN, MS (Former Captain in the US Army Nurse Corps) Founder, HAND2HAND CONTACT.

Here is a brief excerpt of her pdf article:

10. OIF stands for Operation Iraqi Freedom, also known as the Iraq War, and it began on March 20th, 2003. OEF stands for Operation Enduring Freedom and is a multinational military operation aimed at dismantling terrorist groups, mostly in Afghanistan. It officially commenced on Oct. 7, 2001 in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks;

9. Returning Service Members do not think of themselves as heroes, no matter how extraordinary their skills, courage, or actions may be. Their heroes are the ones still over there or coming home in a flag-draped boxes;

To read more, click (here) and it will take you to the HAND2HANDCONTACT.org webpage, scroll down halfway and click on the article “10 Things You Should Know About Today’s Veteran.

Other sites to visit:

Called to Serve Ministry

Naval Alliance to End Suicide

Soldier’s Angels

Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Wives

 

VA testing drugs on war veterans – Washington Times

VA testing drugs on war veterans – Washington Times.

Pretty sick stuff the VA has done and is doing to Veterans. Our men and women are NOT guinea pigs. The VA should be accountable for their actions, though I believe that nothing will happen unless we as a people stand up as a nation and start standing up for our veterans and all those in the military.

 

Ten Things You Should Know to Help Your Veteran

Ten Things You Should Know to Help Bring the OIF/OEF Veteran
All the Way Home
By Alison Lighthall, RN, MS
(Former Captain in the US Army Nurse Corps)
Founder, HAND2HAND CONTACT
-Reprinted with Permission from Author-

10.   OIF stands for Operation Iraqi Freedom, also known as the Iraq War, and it began on March 20th, 2003. OEF stands for Operation Enduring Freedom and is a multinational military operation aimed at dismantling terrorist groups, mostly in Afghanistan. It officially commenced on Oct. 7, 2001 in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks;

9. Returning Service Members do not think of themselves as heroes, no matter how extraordinary their skills, courage, or actions may be. Their heroes are the ones still over there or coming home in a flag-draped boxes;
8. Service Members are as varied in their political beliefs as everyone else in America.

Some are adamantly against the war, others staunchly support it, and everyone else falls somewhere in between. Assuming that everyone who joins the military is a card-carrying right-winger will only make you look stupid;

7. No matter what his or her opinions about the war are, every Service Member of every branch of the military takes a solemn oath to support and follow our Commander In Chief, the President of the United States, and therefore cannot say anything derogatory about him;

6. No one can describe how hot it was while deployed in a war zone, so don’t ask a returning Vet about the heat. Instead, imagine yourself putting on every piece of winter gear you own, in multiple layers, putting a metal bowl over your head, turning your oven on to 120 degrees, climbing inside, and living there for 6 months;

5. Worse still is asking any Veteran, “Did you kill anyone?” It is an unanswerable question. Perhaps she did and wished she hadn’t. Perhaps he didn’t and wished he had. Perhaps she did, but it wasn’t fast enough to prevent a comrade’s death. Perhaps it was accidental or perhaps it was so many instances of killing, he lost count. War requires things of us and taps into parts of us that are never otherwise touched—things most people need to work through or want to forget. US military personnel do not take killing lightly, and anyone who has not been there simply cannot discuss it with those who have,
much less pass judgment. Listen quietly if they choose to talk about it, but otherwise, leave it alone;

4. OIF/OEF Veterans often want to go back to the war zone. Sometimes it’s because they feel called to go in to finish the mission or support their buddies, sometimes it’s because they feel they can no longer fit in to American society and its frivolous interests and fads;

But regardless of reason, it is fairly common, so if they tell you they’re planning on redeploying, please don’t look at them as if they are insane.

3. They are exhausted when they get home—physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. They often do not have the energy or focus to talk for long periods of time. It will take some time for them to adjust, so follow their lead;

2. There is nothing black-and-white about what has happened to them. Almost always, there are good things that come from a deployment experience. Likewise, there are some pretty difficult things that they face once they are back home. Do not make any assumptions about their experiences;

And the # 1 thing you should know about OIF/OEF Veterans are…

1. They are not the same people they were before they deployed. But do not assume that is a bad thing. The Service Member may come home more confident, with better problem-solving skills. He may return with a deeper sense of gratitude for the comforts that he used to take for granted or she may have found a greater sense of purpose and direction than she ever had before.

Yes, there may be many unseen wounds of the soul and spirit. But there are tremendous resources to help heal those wounds, both for the Service Member and the Service Member’s family, and an ever growing number of people who truly care and want to help.

If every American understood these 10 important facts about our returning Veterans, life would be a lot easier for them. So pass it on.
http://www.hand2handcontact.org

Why We Are Here to Help our Veterans

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the military trains them to go to war......

THE MILITARY TRAINS THEM TO GO TO WAR, BUT NO ONE TRAINS THEM TO COME HOME

The above is one of the reasons why we created the support group for Wives and Girlfriends of Veterans at Christ the King Church in Bellingham, WA. To learn the tools to help the ladies understand and assist their Veteran in reconnecting with civilian life.

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