Hi guys... I have to start the subject PTSD again.
Does anyone have a brother / husband / boyfriend who came home after Iraq, maybe even retired and now is struggling through PTSD issues???
He is working now, doing a lot off business travel, but having sleepless nights. If he gets some sleep then has nightmares. He tries to knock himself down with a drink just to get some sleep... He doesn't talk to close people but pushes them away, he feels like running away and not doing counselling... And that is a list quite generalized. I was told by him it's too bad to tell me the details, to get me involved in that, that he needs to get the things under control and then he would be able to get back to everyone he cares about... But I don't know how he thinks to get things under control with alcohol and running away from them and I can't see how the person I love more than anything in this world is just rolling down. The whole thing is more complicated because we are in different countries right now... The contact is only via email , seldom and only if I don't touch the subject health etc...
Has anyone any idea, maybe is there anyone out there with a degree / experience in Mental Health in general or worked /working with soldiers having a PTSD caused by military experiences; who could tell me what to do in such case??? I feel so helpless and it hurts to see how the person I care about can't get stable and harms himself. I'm seeing a psychotherapist by myself now... I got a PTSD as well... But my issue is nothing in comparison to his. Is there any trick/tactic to talk him in at least to start a counselling??? Please, any information is so much welcome!
One of the hallmarks of PTSD is avoidance...of anything familiar with the trigger, in this case, war. But, it is exactly what the person needs to confront...that is why it is confronting him instead. But, walking towards it may be frightening, but must be done again in order to move forward. Sort of like embracing your fear in order to eventually let it go.
It is good that you are moving forward in your own PTSD and in your own progress. It would be nice if he could move forward in his own as well. Two folks working on their own unique stuff...but, not alone. Don't lose hope. Typically though, and don't lose heart, a man waits till he hits his lowest until he seeks or accepts help. Just keep the door open...let him witness in you that counseling does help...show him by your own progress and share it ever so often. Maybe, one way of helping him take a step forward would be having someone from the VA outreach to him...or better yet, come meet him. He needs to see that folks are generally accepting of his condition, respect him for his past service, and can feel safe in discussing how his PTSD impacts his life. Another way for him to help bridge his fear/avoidance is simply by sharing how PTSD impacts his daily life...how has it changed him...without getting into the nasty details. Work on the safe stuff first which is easiest not to avoid...then over time, at his own comfort, he can begin to move inward deeper towards the more disturbing.
There is hope.
An ex-PTSD survivor
Last edit by Thunderwolf on Jun 17, '08
Your significant sounded alot like myself back then...complete avoidance...until the many outside stressors beyond my control overwhelmed me to the point in becoming full blown symptomatic (PTSD). At that time, I met most if not all the diagnostic criteria in the DSM. It was then and only then that I sought counseling and medication. Unlike your significant, my (then) wife denied I had PTSD and left me to crash and burn without emotional support...and I did. As a result, 2 hospital inpatient stays were required to reduce my triggers and to knock me down with medication. I was in counseling and on meds for 3 years till it finally resolved for me...and as you can imagine, our marriage ended as well. It was concluded in my counseling sessions that my wife and her family actually provoked many of my symptoms. Divorce became part of my treatment plan.
So, in a nutshell, I avoided PTSD as an issue for myself or the need for treatment until I could avoid no longer. In treatment, I had to learn how PTSD impacted my life, come to understand my triggers and embrace them in order to manage them/let some go, and had to make some major life changes in my life to reduce triggers known to provoke me.
There is life after the avalanche of PTSD. I have been symptom free, counselor free, doctor free, and med free for 5 years. And the great part about it...I can sleep easy at night once again.
Hugs to you and your man...you have my best.
Last edit by Thunderwolf on Jun 25, '08