This content was Originally Posted on Moonlightflower.org portrayed by Carolyn Bigler Hebert.
|Good Evening. Welcome To My PTSD Page.
There will no music on this page. This page is dedicated to the men and women in uniform who have PTSD or have comrades and family who have PTSD. The page is rather lengthy and handles an extremely sensitive and important medical issue called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. This page is linked from my WWII opening page and not on my main links page. There is a pdf document that has the list of help websites. It is linked on my main links page in the WWII section and at the bottom of this page. To open links in a new browser window select the box at the end of this page.
PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder formerly known as a Syndrome This should at the beginning: Approximately 22 military veterans a day choose to end their lives. Veteran’s Crisis Phone Number: 1-800-273-8255 You don’t have to dial the one if you are in the United States. On a personal note: My birth father I knew and lived with. He was wounded at Hearbreak Crossroads which was the day the Battle of the Bulge began. You rarely hear about Heartbreak Crossroads. He received a Purple Heart and went to his grave with shrapnel still too close to his heart to be safely removed. On the other hand, my adopted father fought in the Pacific Theatre. He was a machine gunner. I did not know him until my mother divorced my birth father and married the man who would eventually adopt my brother and me. My sister born of that union said there were times when she was real little that they would go someplace and there would be a noise that would trigger a memory and a fear would come over him. Even though he was driving, he would duck and say “They’re coming, they’re coming!” meaning enemy aircraft. I remember times he would awake in the middle of the night from nightmares of the war. Back after WWII it was called Battle Fatigue and Shell Shock. Both of my fathers survived. Yet we have men and women who come home from war wounded severely and gets diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD also known as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and are treated like they are faking and/or trying to abuse the system and take advantage of government benefits they have to fight to even get. I have not walked in their shoes with reference to where and how they acquired their injures but I have walked in their shoes with reference to PTSD. My face broke the windshield in a T-bone (similar to a head on collision) fashion collision. The car I was in was totaled. I received an arachnoid tear, a left cereballar hemorrhage, a basilar skull fracture and many hematomas all over my body. There is a cyst on my brain and I have a seizure disorder as a result of that accident. Social Security said I was merely depressed, counseling would cure that and the carpal tunnel would be relieved with surgery. They did not pull in all of my medical records, called my physiatrist a psychiatrist and my dietician a doctor. The battle with them lasted from 1991 to March 2015. There were times when I considered suicide. I was knocked unconscious in that car wreck but flashbacks bring me back to that feeling of water running over my face yet it was my blood from my face breaking the windshield. I’ve flashbacks as to what my face looked like when I looked in the mirror. I also have flashbacks as to not having a good base of support and being alone and lonely. A base of support is so very important. This information I call The Caterfly. That section will be back in my website in due time, to include pictures. Right sided weakness continues to this day, improving and getting worse. It’s an emotional roller coaster ride and a ride on a motorized scooter. I worked hard to bring my IQ back up. It took a week to type one and one half pages yet today I type 119 wpm. It has not been an easy struggle. Count the years, December 1988 to September 2012 and up to today February 2, 2018. Define Caterfly: any person who is dependent on others. At first I considered this to only be brain injury survivors. However, eventually I expanded it to define anyone dependent on drugs, a gang, or any thing or object that controls the person. The gang leader controls the members. An addict is controled by the illicit drug or even a legal drug they abuse. It can also be anyone who is abused by the system meaning government programs that were designed to help. This definition is published in my book Princess and The Caterfly which can be purchased on amazon and barnes and noble. It should be easy for you to understand why my concern for our military is personnel. I’ve been there but not to the extreme of what they witnessed. In my opinion PTSD should be treated similar to TBI (traumatic brain injury.) Why? The brain has witnessed too much tragedy over and over and over again. If a person can lose their hearing from turning music up too loud when wearing ear phones what about the soldier who witnesses loud blasts over and over again? If a person can lose their hearing while using a jack hammer, what about a soldier who hears louder noises than that over and over again? If a football player can receive concussion after concussion from repeated blows to the head what about the soldier who receives sound waves from the blasts or gunfire or whatever noises they are hearing? Those sounds are reverberating through their brain. If an athlete loses a leg and manages to restore their life using prosthesis what emotional valley do you think they went through to get back to a high? Do you see emails going around the internet talking down about these people? No you don’t yet soldiers can develop mental injuries as well as the physical injuries and they are ostracized. Why? If the sound of an automatic door at the airport could affect my brain and almost cause a seizure, what about the soldier who experiences flashbacks when triggered? How can anyone criticize these soldiers? Lose your hearing get hearing aids. Lose your vision get glasses unless you lose an eye. Quick fixes cannot heal a wounded mind/brain. “Walk a mile in their moccasins or in their case, a mile in their combat boots.” What can cause PTSD? Living through or seeing something that’s upsetting and dangerous can cause PTSD. This can include: Death or serious illness of a loved one WAR AND COMBAT Car accidents and plane crashes Hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires Violent crimes, like a robbery or shooting. Our men and women who come back from war can suffer different levels of PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/Syndrome. Some may come back and not recognize they have PTSD immediately. Flashbacks can start happening. Something that may seem insignificant to one person may trigger major flashbacks in a person with PTSD. No two people are wired the same. These men and women saw people killed and perhaps had to do the killing themselves. They saw their comrades seriously injured or killed. Then too they were seriously injured and in some cases didn’t know if they were going to live or die. Those are nightmarish things to experience and remember. They should not have to face a stigma of being labeled and certainly need to be encouraged to seek help. They also should not be told well they just couldn’t handle it. Cases of suicide are high with people who had PTSD, especially among our military personnel. Suicide is a permanent decision. But when a person reaches that low of depression, they are not thinking rationally. The family may have to be strong and intervene. My daughter called me selfish because I considered suicide. But then she exited my life in 1994 and has been out of my life ever since. Where is the compassion and understanding? What about selfishness? The wreck was December 17, 1988. We are now approaching Valentine’s Day 2018. The list below has several websites that are of great help for those with PTSD and their family and friends known as their base of support. Included are some videos of war veterans who have or still are having issues with PTSD. Educate yourself before you start writing this off as some simple minded mental issues that “they just couldn’t handle it.” Be real, be honest, and be compassionate. I doubt many of you could ever imagine yourself in their place. Every person, every soldier has different experiences. Too many people are making light of these issues. That is so rude, inhumane and non-Christian. US National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops in reaction to physical injury or severe mental or emotional distress, such as military combat, violent assault, natural disaster, or other life-threatening events. (Source: NCI- National Cancer Institute) Here in Tyler, my husband and I were at Luby’s Cafeteria for lunch. I had printed two coupons for two for the price of one combo meals. So a little voice told me to give one away. I looked up and down the line behind us several people back because we were at the end of the line where they give you a ticket for your food. I looked at one older couple (we are 75 and 79) and said to myself, “No, the next couple in line.” So I rode my scooter back to that section of the line and asked if they could use a two for one coupon. The lady looked at me, did a thumbs up and said, “Yes, thank you” and took the coupon. When we were headed to get in line to pay for our purchase that lady approached me and thanked me again. We were ahead of them inline but they finished a little before we did. She thanked me and told me that was the encouragement they needed. Their daughter had been stabbed in the face, the neck, and the chest for no reason. The young man just followed up to her apartment and did that. She said it was going to be a lengthy trial. I asked her if I could pray for her daughter. She said she would appreciate it. I asked for the first name only. She said it had been all over the news. I told her we rarely watch the news. She said Victoria. That night I did indeed pray for that young woman. I also did a search on the internet and found the story. This guy had also beat her with a sock that he had put rocks in. I kept up with this case. The guy was found in another jail in west Texas and brought back to Tyler to stand trial. The sock was one thing used for DNA testing. That proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he was guilty. The jury did not deliberate long. I then prayed for his soul. I called that divine intervention. We were of different races which made no difference because this young lady was a child of God. For years she had been living with her parents out of fear, fear of him coming back, and especially for being outside for anything and for the safety of her child. She had nightmares. I feel sorry for anyone who would consider her experience no reason for PTSD and make light of it. I feel sorry for anyone who considers our veterans who come back and experience PTSD, “Well they just couldn’t handle it.” Lord have mercy on their souls. If my birth father suffered from any form of PTSD I will never know. But to live with shrapnel too close to his heart to safely remove it had to be a painful reminder of being that severely wounded before his comrades found him two days later. And on top of that his clothes were frozen to his body and he had frostbite on both feet. How dare anybody say they would have been able to handle that with no emotional issues at all. During and after WWI and WWII and even Korea, I don’t believe PTSD was even a medical term. “Battle Fatigue” and “Shell Shock” are the words I remember being used back then when soldiers were suffering from emotional issues from war. And I don’t remember anybody saying “Well they just couldn’t handle it.” There were quick marriages before men “went off to war” and then when they came home there were “quickie divorces.” Some men resorted to alcohol and became alcoholics. I don’t know about the nurses. These are links for websites to better understand PTSD and for where and how to seek help. I have included some videos for the “laypeople” to view to get a better understanding of what our military personnel are suffering from. Even war dogs suffer from PTSD if they survive the war. First the links: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder links of interest: ADAA Anxiety and Depression Association of America ADAA National Institute of Mental Health PTSD: National Center for PTSD US Department of Veterans Affairs US National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops in reaction to physical injury or severe mental or emotional distress, such as military combat, violent assault, natural disaster, or other life-threatening events. (Source: NIH – National Cancer Institute) PubMed Health Glossary Information on some basics of PTSD: Basic Information Re: PTSD National Institute of Mental Health PTSD: National Center for PTSD US Department of Veterans Affairs PubMed Health Glossary Information on some basics of PTSD WebMD – information about PTSD What can cause PTSD? Living through or seeing something that’s upsetting and dangerous can cause PTSD. This can include: Death or serious illness of a loved one War or combat Car accidents and plane crashes Hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires Violent crimes, like a robbery or shooting. WebMD – information about PTSD WebMD – information about PTSD CLICK HERE for the pdf document with the list of websites with
Please use viewer discretion when watching the following videos. Brian Mancini’s Battle with PTSD A dog with PTSD. The dog was born in Bagdad, taken care of and brought back to America. A book was written about it. From Bagdad To America My grandparents had a war dog, a miniature Shepard named Sargent. He was a smart and loving dog. This next video last about one and a half hours. Dogs are soldiers too and they get wounded physically and mentally. That too is an emotional stress, especially for the soldier whose responsibility it was to the care taker. Consider the soldier whose life that dog may have saved. Story -Military Dogs in Afghanistan When you go to YouTube you will see other videos with relation to soldiers and dogs who get PTSD. I will not post the worst ones in my website due to the graphic content. The graphics came from Gecko Graphics which no longer exists. For this page as a pdf document Click Here