Dreams and nightmares


Dreams and nightmares, you know, that successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur usually involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. That is what I’m going to talk about today, mainly because I forgot to take my meds last night and I was lucky enough to have a doozy of a nightmare. Several that I remember actually, but only one that stopped me from going back to sleep.  (For the purposes of this post, dream = good, nightmares = bad.)

For years now, I have nightmares that both would prevent me from falling asleep for free that I would have one and prevent me from falling back asleep because of how my body reacted to the nightmare.  Nightmares themselves are actually one of the 17 symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (If you are curious what the other 16 are, visit this link.) Nightmares, night terrors, whatever you actually choose to call them, they suck big time.  I don’t always wake up from my nightmares, nor do I actually remember every one of them.  I would know I have a rough night by how I felt in the morning and in some cases (with my current bed especially,) my movement and physical reactions to my nightmare would leave my bed covered in sweat and my bed in the middle of my bedroom.  I’m not talking about moving my bed a few inches, I’m talking a few feet.  That is a prime example of how the cause my body to physically react even when I’m asleep.

I have been awake since 2 am this morning, give or take a few minutes.  Asleep one second, wide the fuck awake the next.  Sweating, breathing like I just ran a marathon, hyper alert, waking up like this is horrible.  I have to actually remind myself where I am and how what just felt real to me was in fact just a nightmare.  A nightmare that I have lived before and I’m sure I will live again.  One so real that if I didn’t wake up in a completely different location than in which the dream occurred, I doubt I would be able to convince myself that it was not real.  That is how vivid they are.  As real as the world in front of my right now.  I can never tell the difference until after.  These are the things that make it difficult.

I consider myself lucky because I haven’t really had a problem of daytime flashbacks.  I have had them, I have had many a day plagued by intrusive memories but never to the point where I could not function.  I know some of my fellow veterans have those issues and that is why I consider misled lucky not to really have that problem.  Nights though, those have been miserable.  The combination of medications that the VA has me on seems to work a good 85% of the time.  I’m sure if I asked to increase the dosage they might go away completely, but I take to many pills as it is.

On days after nightmares I often find myself feeling isolated and I have difficulty focusing and concentrating.  Today was no exception; but actually having a good job to keep me engaged actually made today easier.  I still had to work at what I was doing to keep myself in task.  Working with the group of guys I work with also made it much easier.  My day isn’t easier and I still have to survive this train ride home.  Right now the close proximity to people is making me want to ride on the roof of the train car or even get out and walk the rest of the way home.

Hopefully tonight will be a better night.

I’ll have to change my plan


Certain times in the life of an individual there are things that become unimportant and relatively pointless.  Other things find themselves placed in a different perspective and when this happens a person can begin to focus on the things that are actually important to them.  I wish I had reached this point in my life much sooner than I have.  I guess the important thing I need to take away from these past few months is that despite everything going on in my life, I have reached this point in my life.   My conscious is clear and so are my thoughts when I think about my life and where I want it to go. For that matter, when I look at where I have been, it is still clear. By moving one step at a time I will achieve what I want with the remainder of my life.  No matter how much I try not to, I know for a fact that I will hit bumps and probably a lot of them. I will take unavoidable detours as I move down the road but getting upset at those things when they happen will not change them or stop them from happening so I won’t bother getting upset about it. For me, it has become that simple.

Just a little more than a year ago I honestly thought that I had my entire world and just about everything I had wanted in my life.  These thoughts, now that I’m privileged enough to look back upon them, were disillusioned for many reasons.  I know that most of those reason are in fact my own fault.   I had a beautiful home, I had a wife that I loved dearly and I have my beautiful children.  To me that was my American Dream. This vision of my American Dream is one of the things I had thought about for a long time.  It was the goal I strives for.  It, like many other things in my life, was essentially a pipe dream.  It was an irrelevant pipe dream that no longer matters and I accept that now.  It was difficult to give up and part of me does wish that I did not have to give it up.  But the time came where it had to be given up and I did.

Now, I know that I have been far from a perfect person in my life and the list of things I have messed up, done wrong and generally fucked up is probably much longer than I’d care to admit.  A long time ago, I was pissed off at the world and was content on blaming others for my problems or just avoiding the blame for things I did wrong.  One day I watched someone do something that changed my perspective on things and from then on I have made every effort to accept the consequences for mistakes I’ve done wrong even things not on purpose.

I came to have a reputation for being a man of my word and that became more important to me than anything that could be done to me if I did something wrong.  I know of several times in which these facts greatly reduced the amount of trouble I got in.  I now realize that at some point in the last few years certain parts of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affected my ability to correctly process right and wrong in some situations and 99% of the time I didn’t even realize it was happening.  It wasn’t until I started talking to a head SOCTOR that I even made the connections.  I cannot undo the negative effects of any of my actions the last few years. I mention the last few years specifically because that seems to be when the symptoms worsened.

I am confident enough to apologize for everything I have done and have said as much to as many people as I could.  I’m grateful that most people understood and accepted my apology and I am equally saddened at the few people who did not accept it.  I am however fully accepting of their decisions not to.  You cannot please everyone apparently and some folks just do not understand that people are fully capable of changing for the better even if it is not on their preferred time line.  Beyond that, I have given up on holding grudges against people or harboring anger towards people.  It serves me no purpose to do so and only things that benefits from things like that is my self-destruction bucket full and when my self-destruction bucket gets full, I seem to lose control.

I no longer choose to allow myself to lose control because of how it magnifies other things I have to deal with, like my PTSD.  Anger is pointless.  Grudges are pointless.  Resentment is pointless.  Self-destruction is pointless.  It is just time for me to move on. I am changing my plan to do what matters.  I should have realized this sooner.

Riding the Crazy Train


Sometimes it sucks having memory issues.  I went to bed last night having something on my mind to write about but I put it off until the train ride to work this morning because I was tired.  Good news, I guess, is that I was tried even to fall asleep even with crazy thoughts running through my mind last night.  Crappy news is that it was a good topic to write about.  So instead you shall get a post with various topics and nothing to specific.  Honestly they only hold PTSD in common, everything else about what you are going to read is likely to be off the wall and driven by a boring train ride. (I found that I had more to say than originally planned so it’s all about music and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.)

I have found that music is a great tool when it comes to having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Not playing music, because I can only seem to play the piano drunk just like Peter from Family Guy, but listening to music.  I often find myself struggling to organize my thoughts or find words to say something.  I have developed a playlist of songs that seems to help much of those problems.  I have a strong dislike of dealing with strangers so having music to block out the world is a fantastic thing.  Songs, good ones at least, can have a good and strong effect on my emotions.  I don’t clearly understand the connection but the result is there none the less.  Certain songs and genres can calm me down when I’m angry, others seem to relax my anxiety, and some seem to help me concentrate.

Some songs, this one in particular is last to Know by Three Days Grace, seem to say what I wish I could say out loud.  The song does a very good job of explaining (at least to myself) how I feel about certain events in my life.  The other day I actually found myself listening to that song on repeat.  I just really liked how it started.  Another song, Jekyll and Hyde by Five Finger Death Punch, just does an awesome job of explaining how it feels to live under the thumb of PTSD and I know the relationship with this song fits a friend just as much as it does me.  He called it “his PTSD song” and it is a fitting title for me also.   I’m sure it is an appropriate song for many people.

In addition to verbalizing or conveying feelings I cannot, I find that it worked wonders for getting me through uncomfortable situations.  For instance, the train ride to and from work.  People want to talk to me and they sit next to me.  These M8 trains do not give much space.  Headphones generally give people notice that I don’t really want to talk to anyone.  The music also serves to block out the people sitting unnervingly close to me.  I kind of zone out to the music.  Right now in particular, the train is exceedingly crowded and evidently bumping into people and not even apologizing is the cool think to do.

When I starting writing this this morning, I had really intended on writing about more than one thing but I guess that I have more to say about music and PTSD then I expected that I did.  To continue my real world example started in the last paragraph of this post, even though I had a good day at work today, I am now over-analyzing and getting worked up about a meeting I have to have with someone later this evening.  This particular meeting, its unknown topic of discussion and the potential for angry disagreement has sent my anxiety hit the roof.  In addition to that I’m finding myself particularly irritable.  Translate irritable into I really want to punch everyone on the train. The music loudly blaring into my ears from my lovely Bluetooth headphones is allowing me to concentrate on writing this instead of the concerns I have about the people around me.

If your one of the countless souls with PTSD, and music is not a source of help for you, I recommend you looking into it.  It helps me, maybe it will help you.

This post also appears on The Warrior’s Pointe, a blog written by America’s Warriors and supported by Warrior Pointe, Inc.  It can been viewed at The Warrior’s Pointe.

My support system


So I’m sitting here in the waiting now area at the West Haven VA outpatient pharmacy waiting in my meds.  The waiting area is full and the rest are waiting in the adjacent hallway.  This follows my regular CPT appointment and after this I still have to brave the ER down stairs to have my leg looked at again.  It’s starting to look pretty gross and is actually starting to hurt a little.  If I skip going, I might have a gaggle of Nurses I know kidnap me and take me to a doctor.  So what does all this unless information mean?  It means I have time to write and thanked to my CPT appointment and other events from this morning, I have things I’d like to write about.

What does your support system look like?  Do you have one?  If you do not.  Reach out to me.  I’ll be your support system and I’ll even lend some of mine to you.  My support system, while constantly evolving on the otter rings, has remained constant at its core.  I know that these people how I treasure my support by I highly doubt they understand their true value to me.  They are priceless and irreplaceable.  Those who support me on the fringes of my support system, while I am always great full to them, will come and go.  Time, distance and lives do not always allow us to give ourselves to those who need it all of the time.  Either way, that is a fact I understand and I am eternally grateful to anyone who joins my small band of supporters, no matter how long they stay.

My core support system, is a group of people who I know love me.  They care for me and for my best interests and the most important part is that they tell me what I need to here, not bullshit or any other manner of nonsense that won’t help.  They tell me these things even if they know I do not want to hear it, if I do not agree with it.  They tell me how it needs to be said and they do it because they care.  That is why they are so valuable to me.  Most of my inner core are family, some have been my friend so long they are family.  These people matter and they matter more than I could ever repay any of them.  They are my life jacket, my security blanket, my reason for getting better on all fronts.

I honestly do not expect much from anyone to give me anything.  I do not expect them to support me.  Hell, somedays I really wish they would leave me alone. But they do not.  They keep bugging me, for good reasons.  I try to give back what I can.  I know much of it seems like taking and not giving.  But I try.  One way I can repay them is by doing the same for others.  Making sure that I can help someone who needs it.  This blog, the one you’ve hopefully been reading, is a way for me to reach many other veterans.  Even though this blog is just over a month old, I already have a decent following.  I’m impressed really.  So thank you.

Now. Let’s see what your support system is.  Tell me about it below.

Here I go again


Here I go again.  No matter how much I try to calm my mind, my overly analytical mind, I’m failing miserably.  I’ve been stuck in thinking mode for the last few hours, well, all day really, but more intensely the last few hours.  I’ve learned that this is a side effect of PTSD, and a rather annoying one at that.  I’ve always been somewhat over analytical mind, but it has gotten so much worse and it almost makes me miserable.  So what is it that my mind has been focused on?  My kids.

I am finding one aspect of divorce to be quite difficult and I really do not think I like it.  Every time that I leave them or they leave me depending on the situation, I feel like my heart is ripping open.  What’s worse is that I feel like something bad will happen when I am not around.  It has absolutely nothing to do with their mother. I may not like her very much somedays but she is a good mother.  I honestly associate it with my hypervigilance and general mistrust.  Two more glorious symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.  It is annoying how many ways this shit can affect your life.

It is 2338 right now, just looked at the clock on my phone.  I purposely have no other method of telling time in my room.  Clocks really mess with my sleep.  Right now I am having a problem falling asleep because as you have just read, my mind is in overdrive.  I love my kids.  As I have stated in a previous post, they are my world and they are the reason I am alive.  Divorce is far from a liberating experience.  The effects that it might possibly have on them truly concerns me. It does not ever seem that it is the lawyers, the friends, or even the parents who have to pay the price of divorce.  It is the children.  I know that many children of divorce lead normal and happy lives.  I am just overly concerned that mine will not.

The reality is that I have felt empty since my ex-wife started the divorce process. I had a tremendous about of crap going on when it started and a divorce just piled on more crap. I tried coming to terms with divorce and the vague promises of freedom and excitement only to see them evaporate into the grim realities of day-to-day living, survival and my already stressful battle with PTSD.  My therapist has informed me that I meet a crap ton of stressors that can lead to suicide and that I am handling them extremely well.  Even so, we did up a plan to prevent it.  It is my kids who have stopped those thoughts from floating around my head.

I am concerned however, that in addition to the affects that the divorce can have on them, that my PTSD will affect them.  I cannot get the thoughts that my kids might someday suffer because of my short comings, problems and overall crappy outlook on life at the moment. Divorce might be release from one difficult situation, but in my case it is also an entrance in to a bigger more difficult situation.

You Don’t Understand


I originally had another post schedule for tonight but you will not be seeing it this evening.  I have interrupted your regularly schedule post for a little venting session.

Honestly, for someone to understand things in my life, you need to actually be me.  You cannot be someone who was lurking in the shadows and understand.  That’s just how it works and that’s pretty much a fact of life at this point.  If and when I decide that I trust someone and that I like someone enough to share my story with them.  The one response I do not want to hear from you is that you understand.  That’s because you do not and you cannot. You can sympathize with me. You do not truly understand.

Another person with PTSD, they can understand.  They can tell me that.  Even though we all have different stories and we all react differently.  Enough of our lives are the same that they truly understand.  This my friends is a fact of life and you will be hard pressed to ever change my mind in this fact.  You do not understand so do not say it.  Anyone have any questions on that, because if be happy to further elaborate for you.

Anyways, this is actually something my VA gets correct.  Since the beginning of the summer when I finally went into the VA to be see and diagnosed, I have never heard anyone on the staff utter the words, “I understand” in regards to my diagnosis and what I live through. Because even with all their training, they may know what I go through, but without living it themselves, they don’t truly understand and they don’t claim to.  I have gotten many things from them, all positive reinforcement, but not “I understand.”  My first appointment was filled with things like, “you are doing the right thing” or “we are sorry you have to go through this but we are going to do everything we can to help.”  I cannot speak for every VA in the country or even ever Doctor at the West Haven VA Hospital, but mine have been great.  Even my intern who is doing my CPT.  I can also say that I think every one of them genuinely cares about me and that I get better.

There are many other people who feel the same way I do.  I do not personally think everyone does and I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I do know that others do feel the same way I do. I am not just referring to vets with PTSD either, I am talking about anyone with PTSD. The whole lot of us.

In retaliation for anyone who might approach me to discuss how they understand, I have the following statement to share with them.Just for fair warning to the world, I think I might throat punch the next person who tells me they understand.  Consider yourself informed about my decision to do so.

Back into the World


So it’s good to say that for the first time in over a year I have a job again.  I’ve had a few self employed jobs in between but since I was fired from my job as an Avionics Tech at a local airport, but no real job.  Why did I get fired you ask?  Well the highlight of the listed reasons was the fact that I talked to a customer.  One who happened to be Mark Messier.  The fact that they used this as way to terminate me still makes me laugh.  Other reasons are open for debate, but that one is true.  I did talk to him while he got the oil changed on his plane.  The other reasons are bullshit.  What it boiled down to is that they did their jobs, every aspect of their “FAA regulated” business, but the seats of their pants.

I don’t work that way.  I never have and never will.  I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life and during my time in the Navy, most often though, it was when the manual didn’t cover what I was doing.  More importantly I owned up to my mistakes and learned from them. They did what they wanted, when they wanted.  I made the mistake of standing up to that practice and backing that up with the manual they were supposed to follow.  They tried to challenge me with a manual that happened to be a few years out of date. The next day they fired me.  Fun huh?  Getting fired for doing what’s right? 

So why am I talking about something that happened over a year ago?  Simple fact is that I’ve learned more about myself and why I acted the way I did.  This happened before I was aware I had PTSD or knew the reasons why I developed.  All this happened when I wasn’t exactly in the greatest mind set.  My adherence to the rules in that specific situation is a direct result of my PTSD.  How I reacted and responded to them is also a direct result of my PTSD.  My verbal response to the situation was inappropriate I’m sure.  But it’s partially irrelevant. Overall, I was fired for having PTSD because if you analyze every situation that they listed on my “termination letter” they all boiled down to a situation between real rules and their rules.  They way they did things and the correct and documented way to do things.  I know now that it isn’t right, but I cannot fault someone for doing something when they weren’t aware of everything, especially when I wasn’t even aware.

There is no way I’d ever work there again.  Where I work now, that’s a different story.  Two days in and I love it.  I haven’t worked this hard in a long time, definitely not since I left the Navy.     It is a very small boat yard and I was actually helped to this job by a friend I made after I was assigned to him through the VA’s CWT (that’s Compensated Work Therapy for anyone who might not know.) In addition to all the resume work he did with me and the guidance he gave, he reached out to a former employer who was essentially his first job back after hitting rock bottom.  They guys I work with are great, I am just a person to them.  Not judged about anything.  I know that the Owner and Manager know my situation, not every detail, but the extreme basics. 

It humbles me, to a point, that they are willing to take a chance on me.  My interview wasn’t an interview.  They made the decision to hire me before even meeting me.  I showed up and they told me what jobs I’d be doing and that all they needed to figure out what day I would be starting.  I started yesterday and I’ve they’ve given me the faith they have in their seasoned employees.  I was driving around expensive boats about two hours after I started.  I am highly thankful for the job and the chance they are giving me to essentially get back on my feet. Oh, and if Mark Messier happens to have a boat worked on where I work, I’ll make sure I ask the owners permission before I say hello to him again.

Who Needs Sleep?


Now I lay me down not to sleep, I just get tangled in the sheets, I swim in sweat three inches deep, I just lay back and claim defeat.

So I’m sitting here trying to fall asleep.  I purposely tried to go to sleep at 10 and that has apparently been an epic fail because I’m still lying here awake (edit- I ultimately fell sleep around 2 am only to wake up at 6am to sit in traffic on my way to Westport and be 8 minutes late for my first day at my new job.)  And I honestly think I feel more awake now than I did when I went to bed.  Frankly, it’s annoying. Really. Super. Annoying (Totally Fucking Annoying) I don’t understand why my brain insists on working this way.  It waits until I want to fall asleep to think about every problem in the world.  I can’t stop it from happening and I don’t think I can mix sleeping pills with my meds.  Going to have to ask about that at my next appointment.

Speaking of appointments, I have to reschedule mine for this week and that’s half of my problem. (Edit- I almost forgot to reschedule my appointment, I was driving a boat from Norwalk to Westport when I remembered to call.) I’m over analyzing everything in regards to my appointment.  All the things I need to do, all the things I need to say and trying to make sure I do not forget anything I want or need to talk about.  Lately I have the memory span of a goldfish and it is making things much more difficult than it needs to be. Writing things down helps, but only so much.  I feel incredibly dumb and annoying when I ask someone the same thing over and over because I do not remember asking them in the first place let alone remember their answer.

I remember reading somewhere when I started looking into PTSD about memory issues caused by PTSD.  I’m not talking about TBI because I do not have it and it is an entirely different animal I have very little knowledge about.  I’m talking about how the chronic stress caused by PTSD can contribute to an observed decrease in declarative memory deficits and then something about hippocampus volume.  Though I likely got that second part wrong. It made me look further into it.  I’m far from an expert and can only speak about what I’ve read and personal experiences. That said, PTSD can have severe effects on the hippocampus, causing problems with transferring short-term to long-term memory. Since there seems to be no one way that someone’s memories can affected by PTSD, it’s kind of hard to compare notes.

While I’m over the facts related to my divorce, one of the frustrating things toward the end was constant arguments about me not remembering things.  It’s hard to stomach being faulted for something you cannot control.  That whole short term to long term thing kicks my ass if I don’t write it down.  It’s gotten worse over the last view years (something I noticed in reflection after the fact) and it seems really bad lately.  I cannot remember what day it is half the time or even remember if I took my medicine.  I don’t really like discussing this because of anything ever happens it could likely be used against me.  But it is ultimately more important for me to share it than it is to hide it.

So what do I do?  What can I do?  I have no freaking clue.  I know I’ll keep going to my therapist at the VA and working on stuff.  Maybe that will help.  I’m going to work on a better way to write things down.  Writing things down helps as long as I remember to write it down in the first place. Maybe there is an app to help?  Going to have to look into that tomorrow.  As for me going to sleep, the problem I had that started me on the path to writing this, I’m still not sleepy.  But I am going to try again. I’ll edit this and post this later today (it’s after midnight now) and I’ll have some time after work tonight.  Well I will assuming I haven’t forgotten about something. (Edit – I didn’t forget about anything.)

How often?


So I’m curious how often I can keep writing for this blog.  Curious how often I will be moved to write something and curious how often I will like what I wrote enough to share it with the world.  I’ve been writing a lot lately, but something’s that I write never see the light of day because I dislike what I wrote.  For me to share something, I feel it needs to provide some substance to people who might read it.  Maybe it is as simple as providing insight into my life or for another post, maybe it is as simple as sharing a part of my story to prevent someone else from making a mistake I’ve made.  It all depends on my mood and what it sounds like when I read it back.  I do not want to just write for writings sake or to just share for sharings sake.  At this point in life, I just want what I write to have meaning.

My life is currently a struggle everyday.  I struggle for both good reasons and bad reasons.  I struggle with internal pressures and external pressures.  It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of some struggles while the cause of others struggles are blatantly obvious.  One of my biggest problems is that people care about me and because they care about me they voice their opinions.  Please don’t get me wrong.  I know some of those people are reading this and to those peoeple I say that if I didn’t want to hear it  I would simply say so.  Truth be told, much of the advice and opinions shared with me is extremly helpful.  Somethings are weighted against my thoughts and evaluated in this long drawn out process my mind insists I take. Others frankly…are irrelevant.  But I’m thankful that people care enough about me to share and voice their opinions with me.

Let me be honest with you for a minute.  Let me be honest with myself for that matter. I don’t like myself.  I don’t like who I am right now.  On this day, at this time, I don’t like me.  For as negative as that sounds, it’s not meant to be a negative statement. I can’t honestly say that I like who I am.  I don’t like the fact that I have PTSD.  I hate the fact I’m divorced.  I despise the things I’ve done to other people over the last few years.  That is why I don’t like who I am right now.  But on the lighter side things I know more about myself now then I have in a long time.  I understand, well beginning to understand how and why I do and have done things.  That’s important to me.  I understand that this stuff is not going a way.  I get that.  I accept that.  I will live with that.  But at least I can say that I know better ways to deal with things.  Understanding the why behind things makes things so, so much  better.  I won’t say easy, because it is all far from that.  But I will say it’s better.

So back to my original question, how long can I keep writing for this blog?  Simple answer is as long as I have something to write about and I don’t see myself running out of things to write about anytime soon.  My life is full of all kinds of fun stuff to write about.  I’ll keep writing as long as I have something to say and even if its only one person, I will keep writing as long as someone reads it.

Non-Combat Military PTSD


In the conversations I’ve had with people in the last few months that were not with family or friends, the moment PTSD is mentioned I get two questions.

1. Weren’t you in the Navy? I didn’t know the Navy saw combat.
2. How can you have PTSD when you didn’t see combat?

Personally I find these assumptions aggravating. You don’t need to see combat to be diagnosed with PTSD. Too many people are of the notion that non-combat Veterans in military or in my case the Navy can’t PTSD let alone have it service connected. If for any reason this were what you think, I want it to be known that a non-combat Veteran can get service connected for PTSD. Not only am I walking proof, I can direct you to many people in the same situation as I am.

It’s obvious that PTSD is the mainstream. With stories airing everywhere from your local media to social media, PTSD is getting coverage. However, the general public only sees PTSD as a result of being in a war zone. This is the far from the truth. While many Veterans with PTSD served in combat, not all served. Also, not anybody that serves in combat has PTSD. It may sound scary, but every case is different. Civilians can have PTSD. Simply defined, PTSD can occur as a result of witnessing a traumatic event.

Here are Common examples of Non-Combat PTSD Stressor


Non-combat related vehicle accidents are very common when it comes to PTSD claims. Regardless if accidents happened on base, or when a Veteran was on leave, it may be a stressor for PTSD. I would like to clarify the accident for PTSD claim. The common accident like “fender bender” will not be a good stressor for a PTSD claim. Moreover a serious accident in which people were paralyzed as a result of threatening injuries or witness death as a result of the accident would be a better example of how an accident can cause PTSD.

Physical Assault:
Something I have observed often in non-combat related PTSD claims are Veterans who were engaged in some form of physical, non-sexual assault. The claimants are always male veterans. Traditionally it is a superior officer who is bullying a lower ranking individual or an assault by the same lower ranking person.

Death of a fellow soldier:
It is well-known that suicide is one of the biggest problems confronting our nation’s military recently. I’ve heard many Veterans saying that they have seen another soldier commit suicide. This is clearly traumatic. But this does not only apply to suicide. I have been told by many great Veterans about people who were killed while in boot camp or during training exercises.

Diminished responsiveness to the outside world:
It is referred to as psychic mental or emotional anesthesia, typically starts from the traumatic event. An individual may complain of feeling detached or estranged from others, he or she lost the capacity to be interested in formerly enjoyed major activities, or the ability to feel emotions of most types, especially those related with tenderness.

Some symptoms of PTSD in Military Veterans

After returning from deployment, PTSD symptoms sometimes don’t show for months or even While PTSD varies from veteran to veteran, there are four symptom clusters:

➢ Intrusive, recurrent reminders of the traumatic event, flashbacks, nightmares, and distressing thoughts where you are feeling like it is reoccurring. Encountering extreme emotional and physical reactions to reminders of the trauma (uncontrolled shaking, heart palpitations, panic attacks, etc.).

➢ Absolute avoidance of things that remind you of the traumatic event, including places, people, ideas or situations you associate with all the terrible memories. Not relating with family and friends and losing interest in regular activities.

➢ Negative changes in ideas and mood, for example constant feeling of shame, remorse or anxiety or exaggerated negative beliefs about yourself or the world, decreased ability to have positive feeling and emotions from others.

➢ Being on guard constantly, emotionally reactive and jumpy, as indicated by angry outbursts, irritability, reckless behavior, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, exaggerated start response and hyper vigilance.

Some ways deal with Non-combat Military PSTD

Regular Exercise
Obtaining frequent exercise happens to be essential for military or navy veterans with PTSD. In addition to burn off adrenaline, exercise may release hormones and make you to feel much better, both psychologically and physically. Nevertheless, recent study shows that concentrating on the body and how it seems while you exercise; helps your nervous system move-out of the immobilization stress-response and “unstuck”.

Calm Your Nervous System Down
Just as certain smells, loud noises, or the feel of sand in your clothes can instantly take you back to the trauma of a non- combat zone, so too can sights, smells, sounds and other sensory input quickly calm you down. The important thing is to discover the sensory input that works for you.
Recall to your time of deployment: what makes you comfort at the end of the day? Maybe, it was taking a look at your family pictures or it was the flavor of chocolate in a care package from home, or listening to a popular song, or smelling a certain brand of cologne or soap.

Social Interaction
Interacting with someone who cares about you is a good method to calm your nervous system. For any military or navy veteran with PTSD, it’s important to find someone you can relate with face to face—someone you can talk to for a long period, someone who will listen to you without criticizing, judging, or being distracted by people or the phone. That person may be your spouse, a relative, one of your pals in the service, or a civilian buddy.

Look after your body
The outward symptoms of PTSD could be hard on the body therefore it’s very important to place priority on exercise, sleep, relaxing activities and healthy food.
You might find it very hard to relax in the beginning. It’s a common behavior for military veterans to become attracted to actions that speed up adrenaline after being in non-combat area.
Deal with flashbacks, Nightmares and negative thoughts
Flashbacks typically involve auditory and visual memories of non-combat trauma you experienced. It feels like it is happening all over again so it is essential that you accept and assure yourself that your traumatic experience will not occur in future.
One successful technique would be to say to yourself (either out loud or in your head) that while you are feeling like the experience is occurring, it is possible to look about and understand that you are safe.