Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Younger PTSD Marriages Show They Learned Nothing

I started to read this article before going to work today. Not sure what to make out of it, I just didn't want to go with my gut on this and now I am glad I did.

When I re-read this part, I knew there should be a lot said about all of this.
“Sometimes it’s really hard,” Kerrie Bowers said. “The only way I have of coping is to just push through it. I have yet to really find a way to cope with the emotional part. I just have to take a moment and remind myself that this is how it is and I have to find a way to help him express how he is feeling, good or bad.”
The article on the Aurora Sentinel is a good one to read especially when it points out how little these younger generation couples know about PTSD.

That's pretty sad considering we've been doing it for decades and managed to do it without all the bells and whistles or attention, or even the claims of so many charities stepping up to pull the wool over our eyes masquerading as changing anything for real.

They have the internet but we did it without it. So did our parents and their parents and all other generations going back to the Revolutionary War.

OK, as a second generation Greek American, all the way back to the Trojan War and Achilles other than Brad Pitt was in a movie about it. But why bring that up? After all one of the best minds in the country on PTSD and combat is Jonathan Shay and his book on PTSD about Vietnam Veterans is one of the best I ever read. Plus it came out long before troops were sent into Afghanistan and Iraq, yet too few of this generation even know it exists. Ok, then again, they forget we exist too.

Most of the 400,000 new veterans charities popping up all over the country have nothing to do with us including asking us about what worked for us. To hell with the fact that over 70% of the suicides hit our generation harder. To hell with the other fact that while the younger marriages end because they "aren't happy" while our marriages are up there in the 30+ year range. Most of us are doing a lot more than "pushing through it" as if it is supposed to be easy at all.

All marriages are hard work on both parts but with PTSD, we have an extra fight to take on and it's time they realized they need to kick the crap out of it.

So how is it that they know so much less than we managed to learn without all the gadgets, social media and all the news reports about how bad it all is? After all, isn't that what all the "awareness raisers" have been telling everyone? Would love to see them actually make folks aware that PTSD is change after trauma and they can change again. We all change! We decide what is not that big of a deal and what is important enough to fight for!

We "adapt, improvise and overcome" whatever the enemy (PTSD) tries to unleash on our families. Is it hard? Hell ya! Maybe we were just tougher? Some of us will admit maybe we were a bit high in the 70's and 80's, so we didn't sweat the small stuff. Considering how our husbands were treated and are forgotten as if all their problems never happened, I'd love to hear them explain how everything available on PTSD was ready when their husbands and wives came home. Hell I'd really love to hear the politicians explain why after all these decades they still haven't managed to fix anything with the VA or stop funding research that was proven to be a waste of time (and money) over the last 40 years.

Oh, but then again, remembering our generation would prove how bad they all suck at their jobs because if this generation has learned to little after all has been said and done, God help the next generation to come.
THE WAR BROUGHT HOME: Veterans, spouses fight together
Aurora Sentinel
By Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
January 19, 2016

“They might be afraid to talk to anyone about it and that makes them feel alone, which is so difficult. This is a hard thing to deal with and there, unfortunately, is such a stigma attached to post traumatic stress.”

When troops return home from a combat zone, for some, the fight isn’t over. According to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Foundation of America, one in three troops returning from combat will be diagnosed with PTSD. Many have difficulty understanding and processing the experiences of combat, leading to a number of different issues.

Spouses are on the front lines of having to help and care for these returning service members. For them, their spouse’s combat experiences can seep into their relationship, bringing the war into the household.

“I think it’s hard for the spouses because they often don’t know there is help out there,” said Kerrie Bowers, spouse of Senior Master Sgt. Colby Bowers, 460th Medical Group superintendent. “They might be afraid to talk to anyone about it and that makes them feel alone, which is so difficult. This is a hard thing to deal with and there, unfortunately, is such a stigma attached to post traumatic stress.”

Senior Master Sgt. Bowers has spent more than a thousand days down range as a medic since September 11, 2001. As a medic, he experienced first-hand the horrors of war.

“Four hundred ninety-three outside the wire missions and seven mass casualty events,” Bowers said. “I did four mass casualties in one deployment.”

When Bowers returned home, at first, he wasn’t aware he was dealing with any ill effects of his time down range.
read more here