Into the Fire-PTSD

October 24, 2012

I just watched an interview on Morning Joe with Dakota Meyer the first living award winner of the medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He has written a book called “Into the Fire” which I am anxious to read.

In this interview in addition to plugging the book, he spoke at length about the battle for which he received his medal. Listening to him speak gave me a new appreciation for the difficulties of PTSD and the ramifications of dealing with it.

Although he didn’t mention PTSD specifically I know that he has suffered from it and is suffering still because of it. Receiving a medal actually exacerbated the symptoms and he actually asked President Obama to not award him the medal at all. His issue is not what he did but what, in his mind, he failed to do which was to save 4 of his friends who died in this battle.

He stressed how important his family and friends have been in supporting him since he has returned home. Again I want to re stress this to anyone reading this post. We need to reach out to returning the troops. Many of them, up to possibly 30%, will be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. It doesn’t always show itself immediately and not everyone will ask for help. As a matter of fact, most will probably try to deal with this PTSDissue on their own and turn away from the help of others.

This should not dissuade you from trying. Like someone who has lost someone, or is dealing with illness, a word of kindness and support will make a difference. You can’t fix it and this PTSDillness is persistent and may last forever but the people who are suffering from PTSD have a better chance of leading a normal life if they seek and receive help as soon as possible.

This Military PTSD Forum blog has been started to allow sufferers and families and friends have a safe place to voice their pain in a safe and place, free of criticism or advice. The best disinfectant is the light of day.