Friday, January 1, 2016

More "Unawareness" on Veteran Suicides

With all the awareness talk, you'd think you may have heard it all but you haven't heard you have a lot more reasons to live "for" than you have to die because of.

Finally a major newspaper pays attention to what Wounded Times has been talking about for years! The number "22 a day" on veteran suicides is not right. It is also not right for folks to simply forget that most of the veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50!

Within the real veterans suffering and being forgotten about is one more astonishing fact. They fought for all the research being done yet are the first to be left behind!

Veteran suicide estimate of 22 per day sparks debate, spurs lawmakers to action
Washington Times
By Anjali Shastry
December 31, 2015
Indeed, the study found that suicide rates were highest not among newer recruits but among older veterans — two-thirds of those covered by the research committed suicide after reaching 50 years of age. But suicide rates among younger veterans shot up from 2009 to 2011, according to a 2014 update to the 2012 study.
Photo by: Evan Vucci
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (at microphones) has continued to speak of the need to head off veteran suicides. (Associated Press)
Its most oft-cited — and contested — figure in the grim field of veteran suicide research: 22.

That’s what some researchers say is the average number of U.S. service veterans who take their lives every single day, and it’s a statistic that’s fueling efforts by the Obama administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to address the plight of struggling veterans.

Cited frequently by President Obama and lamented by veterans organizations, the death toll estimate spurred Congress to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act earlier this year, designed to stem what lawmakers saw as an epidemic of suicides among veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The number itself, taken from a 2012 Department of Veterans Affairs study, is debated by researchers, and within that number are a number of populations who, other than sharing a background of service as members of the armed forces, are trickier to generalize.
read more here

The problem is suicides went up after Congress paid attention in the first place. We've heard it all before but what we haven't heard is an apology for what they failed to take responsibility for.

They not only have jurisdiction over the Department of Veterans Affairs, they have it over the Department of Defense as well. These veterans were created by the DOD and mistreated by the VA because Congress didn't learn much at all. They just kept repeating the same failed programs after writing bills and spending money on what had already failed far too many.
“We don’t think it’s the best way to talk about it,” said Dr. Caitlin Thompson, VA’s deputy director of suicide prevention. “It’s an easy thing for people to grab onto. At least it’s getting awareness out there that it’s a significant issue and one we’re all working really, really hard on, but there’s certainly other ways it should be done.”
Raising awareness of what exactly? That veteran are committing suicide? They already know that and a lot better than members of Congress have begun to care about. How about raising awareness of what veterans need to know to stay alive? You deserve the truth no matter how unpopular it is.

PTSD hits only after surviving a traumatic event. It isn't something you are born with but something that was done to you. It hit you! It is not a sign of weakness but more about the strength of your emotional core that made you feel all of it more than others.

You survived it and you can not only survive being home, you can live a better life.

The first portable computer was not hand held but was held in the human scull.

It is the super computer controlling everything from the way your body moves, your bodily functions work, your immune system is fighting off foreign invaders and how you actually feel.

You are in charge of what you learn and what you think. If you think PTSD is your fault guess what comes next? You blame yourself and it didn't help when the military told you that you could train your brain to be "resilient" to prevent it.

That training cause the wreckage because you misunderstood what it means to survive.

Being resilient is like what happens when an infection tries to get into your body. To a point, our immunity system makes us resilient, fighting off the invasion. Then there comes a time when our immune system needs help.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body from infection. Although scientists have learned much about the immune system, they continue to study how the body targets invading microbes, infected cells, and tumors while ignoring healthy tissues. The combination of new technology and expanded genetic information promises to reveal more about how the body protects itself from disease. In turn, scientists can use this information to develop new strategies for the prevention and treatment of infectious and immune-mediated diseases.

Your mind remembers what you focus on but it also retains what you tend to forget about. Focus on what is painful and you forget what was good about the experience.

I don't know what it is like to serve in the military. I am a post-Army brat. My Dad was out by the time I was born. My husband was out a decade by the time we met. What I do know is what it is like to survive life threatening situations that cause PTSD in civilians.

The first time was before I was five and there was a situation with a car, then one with another kid pushing me off a slide causing a concussion along with a fractured skull. That one capped off several life threatening situations.

The doctor at the hospital made a mistake reading the X-ray. She didn't see the crack and then she didn't notice the signs of a concussion. She told my parents to take me home so I could get a good nights sleep. Yep. She almost finished me off.

Woke up the next morning with my left eye swelled shut and had a speech problem. After a week in the hospital, my life changed. So did my family. My Dad became a violent alcoholic after that. Anyway, more accidents, health issues, traumas, all leading up to making bad choices, including getting married to the wrong person.

My ex-husband was jerk. He came home from work one night and decided I needed to die. He almost succeeded when he had me on the floor with his hands on my neck.

I could look at all that went wrong then I'd think maybe I should have died instead of I could have died.

I let myself feel the pain and the bad for a time then I made the choice to see the good that surrounded me afterwards. For everything bad done to me, there were more folks doing something good for me. For every time someone didn't care about me, more came afterwards caring about me.

Everything that happened helped me understand the man I've been with for over 33 years now. My Vietnam veteran husband. I couldn't understand combat anymore than he could understand what I went through but we understood the pain of the other perfectly.

I didn't have PTSD but he did. For a time it made me wonder why I didn't until I took what I did in my own life to help him with his.

Oh, don't get me wrong here. It isn't that I don't know what it is like to think about maybe I should have died, because there was a time when I actually prayed to die. I just didn't want to be here anymore. After years of living with the darkest days of PTSD, I had given the last bit of strength I had left in me.

After our daughter was born I walked around with a massive infection and ended up in the hospital with a bacteria count higher than my doctor said he had ever seen in a live patient. In the midst of fever spikes I prayed to not wake up. Then I thought about our baby girl and wanted to live. The bad feelings passed. There were more reasons to live "for" than to die because of.

We made the choice to move forward with grace. So can you but that is just one more thing they all forget to make you aware of.

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