Thursday, February 28, 2013

Iraq veteran talks about attempted suicide

Iraq veteran talks about attempted suicide
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
February 28, 2013

When it is too late and we read about successful suicides, we settle for feeling sorry for the families left behind. Shame on us! We settle too easily for too much.
Military Suicides on Rise; No Simple Solutions
Arizona Public Media
Story by Gisela Telis
February 26, 2013

When Ricardo Pereyda returned from Iraq, he thought his most difficult days were behind him. But nothing had prepared him for the battle he would face back home.

“It was extremely difficult when I got back,” Pereyda recalls. “Here I was, a 22-year-old kid ... and I felt used up. I felt like, what now?”

Pereyda, who had served in the U.S. Army military police, was now living with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Nightmares kept him from sleeping, and his days were wrought with anxiety, anger and grief.

Within a year and a half, Pereyda was medically discharged and going through a divorce.

It was then, Pereyda says, that he decided to end his life. On a quiet afternoon, with his beloved dog beside him, he wrote a letter to his loved ones and held a gun to his head. He would have pulled the trigger, he says, if it weren’t for the thought that entered his mind in that moment: the thought of the pain his death would cause his parents.
read more here
We settle for what the military tells us they are doing about it, then settle for excuses they give us for more and more committing suicide everyday, then we settle for lame ass titles like "No Simple Solutions" as if that is supposed to do any good or save one life.

Reporters are given assignments to cover and sometimes they don't care or have no clue what they are reporting on. Sometimes they do care but are not given the proper deadline so they can actually investigate what is real to weigh against what they are being told. They go out and interview "professionals" without anything to know if they are being fed a BS line or the truth. Most of the time I sit here shocked by what disinformation passes for facts.

Here are the simple solutions that keep getting ignored.

1. End Resilience Training.
Because telling them they can train their brain to be "mentally tough" is a barrier to asking for help. When they get that notion into their heads that PTSD is being mentally weak, they are not about to admit they need help. They feel defective as if the others they are with are tougher or "trained" better than they were able to.

2. Stop pretending any of this is new.
Because while OEF and OIF veterans are the first internet generation, they are not the first generation of war fighters to suffer from what was asked of them. Everything printed in the press has happened to every other generation. The general public just didn't know what was happening because reporters and researchers had limited access to reports.
If they think for a second all this suffering is just about them they will not listen to older veterans and their families who have been through all of this and are still standing. They went through coming home with no help at all, between 150,000 and 200,000 of Vietnam veterans committed suicides, went through many divorces and then tried again, got jobs, lost jobs, over 300,000 of them ended up homeless and the list goes on.

3. Stop funding research that has already been done.
Because PTSD and combat has been studied for over 40 years and there has not been anything new that has come out to justify wasted spending topped off with no accountability on any of this.

4. Start funding programs with a proven track record that includes families.
Because families are on the front lines of helping veterans heal. They can help or they can do more harm simply because they do not understand what PTSD is, why they act and respond the way they do or where to go for support for what they are going through.

5. Stop pretending that "moral injury" has not always been part of Combat and PTSD.
Because it has already been well documented that it begins with that. It has to include healing the soul/spirit of the veteran.

6. Stop pushing attempts to numb them.
Because numbing is not healing and does not work.

7. Cognitive therapy has to be changed.
Because exposing them to face what happened and what they did will not work unless they are able to forgive what they did as well as what was done to them.

8. The final thought on this is Congress must stop holding hearings on the problems and start holding hearings on what works along with holding the DOD, VA, groups and charities accountable for the outcomes of what Congress paid them to do. If they do not then we will continue to see suicides and attempted suicides go up.