Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Be brave and unashamed of PTSD

Be brave and unashamed of PTSD
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 11, 2013

Wounded Times has been focusing on Combat PTSD for six years. There are 5,643 post on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 673 on PTSD and 4,100 post for Combat PTSD. For military suicides, veterans and active duty, 1,353.

There would be only a few on these topics if veterans and family members were not brave and unashamed of what was happening in their lives. Veterans seeking death over life is at least 55 a day but there would be even more if no one was talking about all of this. These families have been torn apart. The only reason they have for coming forward is to try to spare others from the same heartbreak.

While Americans seem to find plenty of time for all the reality TV shows, the reality of what combat does to far too many families is our reality.

Vietnam veterans came home and fought for everything done on PTSD. They pushed for all the research 40 years ago and have not stopped pushing for it, not just for themselves, but for all veterans. Even though they are the majority of the suicides tied to the military, the largest percentage of VA claims as well as the backlog, they are the minority of news coverage.

The new generation has the attention of the press, congress and most of the charities. They have the opportunity Vietnam veterans didn't have to bring an end to military suicides and defeat PTSD. If you have PTSD or a family member does, be brave. Be unashamed of this and talk about it. Contact the media and tell your stories. This is reality "TV" for the rest of us. Veterans are only 7% of the population but if Duck Dynasty can break records for their season opener, it is a lesson that even a minority matters.

If you are one of the veterans or family members I worked with, don't worry. I won't share your stories. That is up to you. Please think of contacting the media to tell your story because all of them are important. I can't give you as much attention as they can. The more people know about what the reality is for us, the closer we get to saving more lives. You were not ashamed to tell me your stories and now you understand it better so help others to begin to heal. Be brave and unashamed!