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CBS Sunday Morning and PTSD Suicide

January 14, 2013

I’ve been worried about the number and frequency of PTSD suicides in the veteran population.  There are lots of calls for ideas of what to do about it and I’m sure many people are as concerned as much or more than me.  But this morning I was watching the CBS Sunday Morning program and they had a segment on the show about a young man named Nick Vujicic.  My suggestion is for anyone with PTSD even contemplating suicide, to get this news segment and to watch it.

Nick was born in Australia with no arms and no legs.  He suffered from a very rare disease and his birth startled the doctors who were expecting a normal birth.  They had done the normal procedures and each procedure showed a normal progression in the cycle.  When he was born with no arms or legs they were startled.

Nick, for several years, never thought of himself as different and his parents obviously did a fabulous job in raising him.  However, when he was school age and started going to school the children were very mean and abusive to him.  At the start of every day, he had to endure teasing and ridicule so that he hated going to school.   He admitted that one day he was so tortured by these children that when he came home and when it was time to get ready for bed, his Father put him in the tub.   Nick asked his Father if he could be left alone for a while.  Nick’s intention was to commit suicide.  As the water rose in the tub, he laid down and then rolled over so that his nose was facing downward.   He was going to drown himself and as he laid there he realized how hard this was going to be for his Mother and Father and suddenly he fought to stay alive.

Nick has gone on to do amazing things, golfing, skydiving  among other things, and he is currently a motivational speaker.  For those suffering from PTSD, his story is one that should be watched.  To see this young man and the attitude that he brings to life every day is simply unbelievable.  He has everything to feel sorry for himself and yet he has allowed himself to have no pity for himself and his attitude is one I wish I had more of.  He sees no limitation to what he can do.  The interviewer was examining a classic car that he was restoring and he asked “Do you drive?”  Nick answered “No…..not yet”

So yes, PTSD is a terrible thing and no sane person would wish it on anyone.  But for those who are experiencing PTSD it is a fact of life and you have two choices.  One is to roll over in the tub and drown the other is to fight for your life and take steps to do something about it.  The World has lots of positive things in it and it isn’t too late to start fighting for them.