Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What does it feel like to have PTSD? Describe what PTSD feels like to you.

Today I would like to write about PTSD and how it effects me in my daily life. I write this post in the hope that others with PTSD will recognize similar things going on in their lives. If you feel like you could have PTSD, I encourage you to try and get help. I am not cured, in some ways I am worse but the medicine helps and talking to other veterans really helps. What makes PTSD so difficult to treat is the avoidant and isolationist activity. When we shelter ourselves from the disorder and the world, we lose our connection to those that can help us. Our family, our friends, our clinicians all get cut off from the chance to help us. If you are a veteran, know that you are not alone, even though it feels like you are.

If you need to talk to someone, I encourage you to reach out to the Veterans crisis line. Their number is: 1-800-273-8255
They are also available by chat, which I prefer.

I was part of the very first combat deployment to Afghanistan and got to participate in various covert and overt combat activity. I was injured and evacuated from Stan during the fall of Khandahar. Before deployment I suffered a mild TBI that caused me to lose conciousness after my rocket launcher misfired and fragmented on my shoulder. I was an assaultman, a counter-terrorist. My specialty was rockets and demolition. I received conventional warfare training as well as special operations training.

So that is cool part of my story. Being a Marine was badass and I loved kicking ass.

The sad part of the story begins here. Being a veteran with PTSD is awful. My life feels meaningless now. I have no job and suffer from flashbacks, agitation, arousal, anxiety and depression. I have been out since 2002. My life has been chaotic in varying degrees. I have complex PTSD, TBI comorbid with depression and panic disorder. I have been hospitalized numerous times for suicidal ideation, weird seizure like episodes, and hostility. I have been unable to hold a job or finish college. My relationships always end dramatically. I avoid everyone that knows me and I lash out at those that "threaten me." (The threat is misperceived)

All I want to do is smoke weed, hide from the world, listen to Metallica in the dark and obsess about war, violence and feeling pumped. I love the fucking adrenaline. I get so keyed up from PTSD that thirteen years after honorabe discharge, that I feel like I am at war. I feel like I am still on LP/OP missions. It is not a delusion, it is very physical. PTSD effects the release of adrenaline like compounds that make you feel jacked up. Feeling the pump makes me feel strong and capable which is the inverse to the way I typically feel; sad, broken and worthless. I deal with suicidal thinking near daily. I have been hospitalized four times!

I have been in treatment for over a decade. Sometimes I do a little better with life, sometimes not so much. My life is pretty much out of control. I have to depend on others and that hurts my self esteem. I have no idea where my life is heading because I don't know if I can keep myself alive.

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