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Why Publicly Air My Issues? –PTSD

November 28, 2012

I’ve written often about my private PTSDdiary that I kept to try and combat the feelings I was having when I came home from Vietnam.  Looking back on what I was going through, I can safely say I was experiencing PTSD.  So if a private diary worked for me, why am I requesting others to participate and air their own private thoughts with others, at this site?

The private diary did work for me and I would bet it would work for others like me.  So don’t get me wrong, I think that “Whatever gets you through the night” is what I am in favor of.  I also think, however, that there are many levels of success that can be achieved and I am not sure that my private diary was at the top of that list.  First, it took a lot of discipline which, when I look back on it, I am amazed that I worked on it so religiously.  I wonder how many others would work as hard as I did because it was so easy to “fall off the wagon” which I did many times.  Fortunate for me I kept at it and worked my way through many of my personal PTSD issues but only after a long hard fight.

The second thing that I personally experienced was both individual and group therapy.  These occurred much later, in my life, and mainly due to the fact that my wife was and is a psychologist.  She encouraged me to continue on my quest to diminish the effects of PTSD by working with different professional mental health providers.  I can say that I don’t think I was ready for therapy when I first got home but I can also say that I should have been more open to it because it moved me along on the path to dealing with my PTSD problems.

So again “Why the Blog?” you continue to ask.  As I said, I did the individual psychotherapy which I liken to my individual diary.  Of course not at nearly the intensity nor success in outcome as the professional therapist. The therapist kept me on course and wouldn’t let me slide when he felt I was not being truthful or was evasive.  These things can always happen since we want to be the hero of our own story when relating them to others. I feel that the diary, for me, had some measure of success which was different. It is a lot more difficult lying to yourself so complete honesty was the norm

The Military PTSD Forum blog reminds me of group therapy.  In my group therapy experience, we all sat around in a circle and the therapist sat in the center.  Each week he would go around the circle and find out what was going on with each set of involved couples.  The group was not specifically a PTSD group so a variety of marital topics came up unrelated to PTSD and actually many of the couple issues were the focus.  Each issue was not exactly what I was feeling, sometimes I couldn’t relate at all, but each made me think about what I felt like and sometimes stimulated something in my own experience that I could reframe, to add to the discussion. When I would speak it would be much more personal but I feel others would process what I was saying the same as I did.

I think the blog is just like that but focused on PTSD issues.  Of course anyone who posts has their own slant that they put on things.  I, as a reader, can read these anonymous posts and examine them and compare them to my own innermost feelings.  Sometimes I’m moved to comment on my own issue regarding this same topic, sometimes I just take it in knowing that this might be something I should look at in my own emotional PTSD struggles.

I know PTSD is being under reported and there are many who are suffering in silence and this is just another way to open the door to healing.  Please feel free to use it.  It’s free and we’re open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.