Canadian Army Vet’s Story: Ron and Ryan Anderson’s PTSD treatment and homecoming.

This article may hurt the Sensibility of someone; mine, for sure, but this is my duty here.

So, I let you check details of the painful homecoming of this two brothers, back from their last tours in combat zone ( Afghanistan, the last ) and no more capable to deal with a normal family life.

My deeper Compassion and higher Respect go to the whole Family of these guys like they were my own brothers.

By the way, my work here is not a campaign against pills, right?, I won’t take the risk to go against any Big Pharma here, ok? Fuck them, that’s a fact. New York Times staff knows what they do and denounce, but I am Nobody, and I am really not interested in doing any fights against nobody.

What I can do, here, is merely reporting facts and stories, to take example from as well as mine, of course. Many of WP readers just throw up words from nowhere, sorry, because they feel relief with doing it. That’s ok. Do it. The fact I put on my beautiful face, here, it means that I am taking the Responsability of my Words and Actions. And that I am ready to talk about all this mess, and shit, in a public domain like internet or anywhere else, anytime.

Pills took a part of my life and memory, when I was in my 20s. But Nineties are gone, now. Remember how Depression was treated in 50s like Ernest Hemingway. Lobotomia was practiced as cure and therapy. Electroshock, … yes, indeed.

We have turned the century, so, there is no more reason to treat Mental Health with chemicals, guys ! Sure, I know it’s tough, cos I’ve been there, but you are not alone. And I can just suppose that pressure in a military family is very high as well as feelings like Shame and Guilty. Forget the sense of Honour; you did your best, that’s fine, now focus on your Life after combat and your Wellbeing. You do deserve it. Paragraph.

What you can do with your silver cross medals, now?

The first step, really, the hardest one to do is taking this fuc*** First Step and Talk about it and ask for help to someone who is not JUDGEMENTAL. YOU CHOOSE WHO and WHICH PHONE NUMBER. I did it. And things went better and better.

Gotta say that. Done.

***

Ok, I’ll leave you with the link to the full article right here. And bless you, both, Ron and Ryan’s spirits. I wish that if there are other guys like you, they will take the chance to talk about their anger outbursts, lack of control, depressive thoughts and negative stuff with the right person, Right Now.

You won’t do it for YOU? Ok, do it for your Mother, or your Dog. Do it for next Sunset, or Sunrise, that you will enjoy, within your Heart.

Do it for your Self, not your Ego.

The Anderson’s expect that something is done by the governements or the system for preventing suicide. Don’t wait until anything is done from The Outside, darling, pray that something is done from The Inside.

“Knock that door.”

Luv

xx

 

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Message to Veterans from Dan Nevins.

Yesterday, it was my birthday, and while in southern France we lost another Iraq vet, Arnaud Beltrame, in a sort of pointless attack to a supermarket, who swapped with a lady, in order to do his job, and then lost his life after injuries, I sent a message to Dan Nevins. And I mentioned that it’s my honour to promote his mission as warrior to help other human beings to heal.

Here is his reply: “Hi Anto! You’re welcome to include my story 🙂 Thank you! 🙂

He called me like friends usually do. Shall I tell you more about how I feel? It is a honour for me to spread out his message. Not only to vets, but whoever is suffering from PTSD.

My unique experience with a french Afghanistan vet wasn’t lucky. He was 29, a nice guy with spanish origins, who was very much likely to feel shell shock. We met just once, and then chatting almost during two years, and never met again.  He lived in Paris, and I felt like we were living overseas from each other. His early pictures were quite different from his last pics, after he spent 4 years in the army, as helicopter sniper.

We crossed our path during 2015 attacks, and I thought he would be my hero, but he definetely couldn’t. Nobody’s fault. Self-growth is not suitable to anybody.

Never mind, this post is really meant to focus on who still give a damn to humbly seek for help and want to rehabilitate back from any war missions. And that’s all I want to say about it.

What’s PTSD?

images (3)

If you agree, we – as human beings – were born to be a wholebalanced, and strongindividuals. Greek philosophers, and physicians, say that the natural state of things is calm and, sophrology – the science that studies the Consciousness – promotes body, mind and spirit harmony (SOS = free from diseases, balances. PHREN = diaphragm, emotional heart and by extension, spirit, conscience. LOGOS = Science, study, speech).

So, naturally, PTSD occur as a consequence of a lack of it. The fact is that you don’t realize at which cost, until your life becomes a mess, when you finally admit that something has broken, and you need help to fix it. It can be a physical wound, or invisible, when it concerns heart and soul, or if you are blessed enough, as brits would say, both.

DAN-NEVINS.4

Before 2015, I used to practice Yoga, once a week, basically to keep healthy, in a good shape and mood, it was relaxing, and I could fully stretch my body, especially my neck, happily turning 40.

After the 2015 events (january and november), I got completely unbalanced, both emotionally, and physically, put on weight, panic attacks, anger outbursts, no way to do my job anymore, like dealing with typical visitors problem solving (e.g. lost baggages, fully booked restaurants,..), or simply baring mood swings of my bipolar colleague. As soon as someone started crying or yelling for any reason, my self defense felt in danger (“that freeze, fly or fight thing”).

In february 2016,  I was diagnosed obviously inadequate to my position, until today.

For the short storytime, I knew panic and fear on a terrorist attack at workplace and PTSD soon started with insomnia, poor emotional intelligence like Hulk’s syndrome,  inability to put words on my own feelings, anxiety and fear of going crazy, exhaustion and chronique fatigue disease, after sleep burn out, tremors (mouth, legs, hands), tachycardia, and memory loss, just to mention a few. Others symptoms you can’t just describe, like a sort of electrochemical pinching in your veins, especially in legs, or warmth flames in the back, which give you the right sense of burning inside.

“A short circuit of your soul.” 

It goes without saying, my health was severely damaged, as you know stress is quite dangerous for neurons, once they are gone, they don’t regenerate, so you start aging earlier, that’s also why, today, it’s not so rare to see stress effects in people who suffer Alzheimer’s syndrom much younger than 60, or stroke and heartattack victims.

By the way, I lost three colleagues between 27 and 43, in 5 months, does it count for stress disorders statistiques? Of course, it doesn’t, except if you can prove it. And you can’t. Occupational joke between Medicine and Managament states that it’s confidential.

During my journey, back from burn out, I have been told several times that this is the illness of the strong. And this is one of the main reasons why I feel a proud trauma survivor, today. Of course, you have to consider a deep cleaning of your personal life, as well as a full transformation of your jobcareer and lifestyle. 

You can’t figure out coping with PTSD and holding on the same life schedule than before trauma. It involves stop overthinking, letting go, and modulating negative emotional responses compared with the healthy controls.

“You need some yoga in your life.”  

Yoga practice really made a difference for me. It brought “justice” to my body and mind, especially since I am doing it regularly, almost everyday.

Check out Ted Nevins’s story “a soldier’s surprising journey to becoming a yogi” on the following: Warrior Spirit Retreat

phonyop

Thanks to a welsh penpal, and army brit, nicknamed Salad Dodger, my attention was caught by an association for Combat Stress, and reading an article I was quite shocked, because some of my burn out symptoms were perfectly matching with war vets PTSDafter battlefield.

This study led me to another article written from the american journalist, Sebastian Junger, published by Vanity Fair, who experienced PTSD on his way back from Afghanistan, where he spent 15 months on a mission with a Battle Company.

“Sometimes, we ask ourselves if we can save the vets, I think the real question is if we can save ourselves.”

To resume up, PTSD symptoms can be:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dissociation
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability and outbursts of anger
  • Suicidal thoughts and suicide
  • Alcohol misuse and dependence
  • Sexual problems and confusion about sexuality

Other effects:

  • Eating disorders
  • Self-injury and self-harming behaviour
  • Transient psychotic episodes
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Somatisation – Emotional distress experienced as physical pain
  • Increased rates of physical conditions like heart disease and cancer
  • Homelessness Re-victimisation Prostitution
  • Criminal behaviour (including, for a small minority, sexual offences)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of confidence
  • Sleep problems
  • Parenting problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Trust issues

 

 

via What’s PTSD?

Understanding is the key to trauma healing.

Brendan Obyrne speaks out about his alcohol addiction, and what really helps healing back from combat. Talking to other veterans, or alcoholics, more than VA associations or other civilians.

Yes, I might repeat my self, but I really appreciate the work of this journalist, and completely support it. I find that he gives finally back humanity to the troops, behind patriotism propaganda, politics, and bla bla bla….

And, dealing with trauma, of course, I feel concerned.

Btw I am on the “War” reading, and the book starts with a visit to a veteran interview,  from Sebastian and Brendan. Here, in this video, you can see both.

Willie Gillis, an ordinary guy, on The Satuday Evening Post.

Because I found these two articles so pertinent, and relevant, I would like to thank this cowboy, who is not posting since 2012, so I assume he might be somewhere else. If he is still alive, he can contact me, and ask me to delete his posts, or leave them, with his courtesy.

During the WWII years Norman Rockwell created a character named Willie
Gillis — an ordinary guy from a small town who joined the army.
Rockwell chronicled his experiences in the war in a series of Saturday Evening Post
covers.  After the war, he showed us Gillis returned to civilian
life — above you see him in college, on the G. I. Bill, having
survived and put on a little weight.

It’s a poignant image, for all it doesn’t say.  Gillis is
preparing himself for a “normal” life in post-war America, with his
pipe and his golf clubs — but the war souvenirs hanging over his head
suggest that he will always be haunted by memories out of place in a
“normal” world.

One of the virtues of Ken Burns’ newest documentary The War
is that it addresses the sort of post-traumatic stress disorder that
returning vets, and the whole civilized world on some level, suffered
in the wake of WWII.  For the vets it was peculiarly disorienting,
with feelings of triumph, guilt and shame all mixed up together.
It was not something that could be talked about in the world Willie Gillis was
trying to become a part of.

All of this I think reinforces my notion that it was in art, in film noir
particularly, that such disorientation could be engaged in a safe way,
a socially acceptable way.  You can read more thoughts on
the subject here.

Posted on  by 

A Norman Rockwell for today

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND FILM NOIR

World War Two was a “good war”.  America and its allies pulled together
and destroyed the Axis powers.  On balance, and in retrospect, it
has to be considered one of the great achievements of
humane civilization.  But human beings don’t live on balance or in
retrospect, particularly where war is concerned.  They live inside
the horror of it and it takes a toll on individuals and on societies
which can never be fully measured.

The upbeat spirit of American propaganda during the war, and the
genuine satisfactions of victory, veiled the true experience of the war
for millions — not just for those who fought it on the battlefields of the
world, but for those at home who lived in terror that their loved ones at
the front might never return . . . and of course, most especially, for those at home whose loved ones didn’t return.  On a broader level, anyone who simply witnessed
the spectacle of total war on a global scale, from whatever distance, had
to have experienced a soul-shaking anxiety about the fragility of all
social structures and cultural norms.

After WWII, the whole planet experienced post-traumatic stress disorder
— localized in this case by the fact of the atomic bomb, which ended
the war but left the world with a paradox that wouldn’t go away.
It took an act of colossal horror to finally “win” this good
war.  And the prospect of this horror being again visited on the
world was far from unimaginable.

We now know a lot more than we used to about post-traumatic stress
disorder and the ways it can be treated.  In the immediate post-war era, the
phenomenon was more elusive, and often unrecognized.  We made
meaningful social restitution to the veterans of the war, with measures like
the G. I. Bill — we reconstructed the devastated nations we
conquered.  But that just scratched the surface.

It was in art that the true psychic cost of the war was exposed and explored — nowhere more pointedly than in film noir.  The sort of trauma that engenders PTSD is identifiable by several characteristics — a sense of being out of control and confused, a sense of terror, a sense of being outside the normal realm of human
experience.  Is there a better description of the usual
predicament of the protagonist in a classic film noir?

PTSD on a broad cultural and societal level is what best explains the phenomenon of film noir, which on its surface is so mysterious.  Why should a triumphant
nation, after a great collective victory in a good war, have been
gripped by that mood of existential dread which informs so many Hollywood films of the post-war era?  Why should the most spectacular achievement of American arms have led to a crisis of manhood, a sense of impotence, a fear of powerful women
incarnated in the morbid fantasy of the femme fatale?

femme_fatale_by_kaceym

Film noir was a dream landscape where the buried costs of WWII could be recognized, reckoned and mourned, as a prelude to psychic recovery, or at least psychic survival.
Veterans of combat often report the difficulty of dealing with people
who have not shared their experience of it — people who can never
really know what it’s like.  Film noir, far more than the WWII combat film, was one of the few arenas of American life where the true legacies of war, its lingering moral and
psychological dislocations, could be engaged without apology or shame.

Posted on  by 

Yoga warriors.

Veterans_brain

Tonight, I found this wonderful project by US Army Veteran, Jeffrey Sargent, Warriors at Ease, which promotes yoga and meditation as tools to recover from PTSD and anxiety disorders. Of course, this is meant to support the health and well-being of Veterans, Service Members and their families, but his example confirms my theory on how much relevant have been these practices, also in my case, since I am struggling with stress disorders and recovering from trauma. Actually, I am getting on pretty much better. My nervous system is releasing “fight and flight” process, slowly but surely. Thank’s to regular hatha yoga practice, mindfulness, healthy diet and sleep habits. And definitely no pills. This is huge. With much love.