Tuesday, November 23, 2010

PTSD Article in the NY Times really hits home for this Vet

I think everyone suffering from a medical condition that doesn't have very visible and recognizable symptoms would look for some form of validation their condition is real. The victim or injured knows something is wrong, but until there is a diagnosis, there is practically nothing to explain the feelings. I knew I was suffering when I came home from Iraq in November 2005 but I didn't know it was PTSD or even a medical condition. Sure I've had my ups and downs in life but everyone takes their licks and tries to pull it all back together again.
I knew something was wrong while I was in Iraq when I started getting headaches and tension migraines. Once I got home I thought things would get better, but they got worse. My family relationships were strained and I knew I had to seek help. I walked into the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and was immediately assigned a primary care physician. I think I did the right thing. I know many of our 'Walking Wounded' find other mechanisms to cope with PTSD symptoms. All too often they turn to drugs, alcohol or other outlets to dull the pain, confusion, frustration, and even the feeling of self-worthlessness.
I've wanted validation throughout my healing process and I've received it for the most part with excellent care and follow through by my care providers. Even with the additional diagnosis of a mild-to-moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in 2009, I was still seeking to understand my condition. That is why I collaborate using social networks like this blog and Linked-in to keep on top of PTSD and related news. My PTSD group on Linked-in forwarded me this link to a story published today in the NY Times. I highly recommend service men, women and their families read this article. If you notice any similarities between what you have read and what is going on in your life or the life of your Veteran family member, please seek professional medical care. If you don't trust the VA, seek care through a private care provider.
Here is the link to the article. Please contact me for more information about my research and opportunities to collaborate on these topics.
November 22nd NY Times PTSD Article
Patient Voices

Behind the Facade, Post-Traumatic Stress by: Karen Barrow

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