Friday, September 9, 2016

PTSD Veterans Healing Past Demons of War

Veterans share their stories to help others fight PTSD
CBS News
By JIM AXELROD
September 7, 2016

After two tours in Iraq, after trying to drink himself past the demons that darkened his mind, and after a second member of his old platoon committed suicide, Frank Lesnefsky got help. Finally.

In his therapist’s office, he can talk about his post-traumatic stress instead of being haunted by it.

“I was immobilized,” Lesnefsky said. “It’s like being frozen, just watching time pass. It’s crazy.”

Lesnefsky, a retired Army staff sergeant, hit his own bottom and contemplated taking his own life.

In 2014, Lesnefsky found help through Headstrong, a non-profit whose mission is helping any vet who needs it deal with their hidden wounds. No cost, no wait.

Now, Lesnefsky is leading by a very public example. He is sharing his struggle with the 20 million followers of the popular blog Humans of New York.

More than a dozen stories have been published. CBS News asked a few of the bloggers to share what they posted.

Lesnefsky shared the story of how he was drawn to serving in the military, and detailed some of the horrors he witnessed in Iraq.

“There was an old man who fished in the same spot every single day. ... And one day this fifteen-year-old kid rides by on a scooter and drops a bomb behind him. ... I always honored the human form and now I’ve come to a place where the human body is shredded and stomped and blown to bits. And that just wasn’t me. I used to be jokey. I used to be goofy. I was Frank from North Scranton. And now i won’t ever be that again,” Lesnefsky wrote.
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