Over 13 Years To Seek Help-PTSD

November 15, 2011

When our clinical director told me that it took 8 years, on average, for a married couple to finally decide to seek help for an existing problem in their marriage, I was shocked, to say the least. Then yesterday I read that a PTSD sufferer will waste 13.4 years before finding help.

13.4 years!  This is an astounding statistic for me. I hated feeling the depression and stress of my own PTSD. I had to find answers as soon as possible. I didn’t know that PTSD is what I was feeling, honestly, but I knew that I was different than what I was before I went to Vietnam. I have never been a negative kind of person but this was the way I was feeling all the time. I couldn’t enjoy the good things in my life and the bad things were simply terrible. My sleeping patterns were screwed up and I was on edge all the time.

When you are going through something you are sometimes the last one to know because it is happening in your own skin. You are not an observer but the participant and this makes it hard to see because it happens gradually. I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know what to do about it.

With PTSD being in the headlines I think that being unaware of it now becomes more difficult to use as an excuse. I suppose hoping it will cure itself and go away could account for some of the delay but not 13.4 years worth. This is especially true when you start to add in the effects that the PTSD problems have on family and friends.  To put them through this is unforgivable and it is certainly understandable how PTSD victims and their spouses have a higher rate of divorse.

If you know someone that you suspect might have PTSD you need to encourage them to seek help. PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of and no one asks to get PTSD. If you are the one with the PTSD problem there are lots of programs for you. Take advantage of whatever help you can find. Use this site Military PTSD Forum to write your feelings down. Come as often as you need to and post as often as you choose.