The Many Faces of PTSD
What an “Other Than” thinks about PTSD.
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It comes in bouts, often without warning. Sometimes it is provoked, other days you just wake up with it. It cannot be explained and is rarely understood.
Combat zones dictate complete awareness of your surroundings. This behavior is molded into service-members, especially when it was key to their survival. With it, comes no peace and a constant state of alertness.
When you see the human condition in combat, it is difficult to trust anyone. Often, service-members only trust one another and anyone outside of being “over there” doesn’t “rate” to be trusted.
After returning from combat, service members question their existence. Why did they live? Why did others die? What is it all for? When there is no clear answer, many service-members contemplate suicide or take risks “normal” people would not.
That knee that just won’t stop moving, a mind that will not stop running, and constantly avoiding situations/places that make you feel anxious.
In short, we don’t feel anything. If someone gets hurt, we don’t understand. When someone cries, we want them to stop, but if they left the room we would be just dandy. Out of site, out of mind. This is a relationship killer.
Impact on Society
Setting the service member aside, we cannot pretend these issues do not affect our society.
The infantrymen that fought and took lives for this nation, and later made poor choices, are being left in the dark.
The VA does not help.
The majority of Other Than Honorable discharges result in the service-member being disbarred for VA benefits.