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Iraq and PTSD


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Hello,I'm JT I usually hang out in the bp pole dance section but I could use some input on PTSD.My wife's son spent 18mos in Iraq,and is out of the army now.He is suffering depression,and mass anxiety,he'll only go to his app ts at the VA if his mother takes him.He spends his time sleeping all day,and staying in his room smoking pot and playing video games.This has been going on for a year,this is a bright kid in the army he was a communications tech,he was not on patrol.We have tried countless times to reach him but he rebuts all our attempts at help.He lashes out at us and is living in his cousins cramped little mobile home.We have tried to set him up in an apt open a checking account,and I'm thinking of buying him a vehicle.I suffer from bp mixed I know first hand what its like to live with stress,anxiety,and depression,but I can't fathom what he needs.He's wasting his college fund on pot and beer and over priced rent of a tiny little room.His pdocs and us think he is being lazy granted he's dealing with many issues but the way he's going he may end up homeless.The VA has offered in-treatment hospitalization,a really good program but he'd refused that as well.He is on a few meds and abuses his xanax to the point that we couldn't wake him up for thanks giving.This is a tough and stressful situation,and we have given up helping him in the last 2mos.My wife and I are going to take him to an appointment at the VA today I would appreciate any and all input on how we can help this kid.Thank you.

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Please don't take any of this as an attack on you. I'm just another combat vet, lookin' out for a brother, and trying to help you make sense of what he's going through.

There is a lot going on in that post, but this really jumped out at me:

in the army he was a communications tech,he was not on patrol.

If you've expressed that sentiment, or if he's sensing it from you, that creates a huge barrier, that can be damned near impossible to breach. One, being a commo tech doesn't mean that he didn't get tasked with a convoy support, or convoy from one base to another in the course of his duties. Two, even if he never once left the base he was stationed on, mortars, rockets and snipers are a pretty regular occurrence. Saying "he was not on patrol" is tantamount to saying that he didn't experience living hell, in the mind of a combat vet. Whether that is your intent, that's the way it is perceived, especially to a young kid trying to come to terms with his combat experience.

He may also be experiencing Survivor's Guilt, because he *didn't* go outside the wire, when others did, and died. Pointing out that he did not go outside the wire only aggravates those feelings of guilt.

His pdocs and us think he is being lazy

He's not. He's sick. Not only is he dealing with a debilitating mental illness, but to boot, his entire world changed overnight, and he has no frame of reference for what to do. Everything he was ever taught about love, good, morality, duty, honor and basic humanity, was destroyed.

The VA has offered in-treatment hospitalization,a really good program but he'd refused that as well.

Can't say as I blame him. The VA effing sucks most of the time. If I had a pdoc who thought I was just being lazy, and shared that with my parents, I wouldn't want to be locked up by them, either. Trust is not easily earned from a combat vet, and almost impossible to regain once its been lost.

He is on a few meds and abuses his xanax to the point that we couldn't wake him up for thanks giving.

Noting that he was deployed for 18 months, that means he spent a Thanksgiving over there. Depending on when and where he was, its not uncommon for Al Sadr's Army to mortar the fuck out of a base on Thanksgiving, as it is right after Ramadan.

I wasn't able to go to the VA for quite awhile, on my own. I had to be taken, as I was terrified of the VA.

It takes time, and support. Lots and lots of time.

How long has he been home?

Thanks for the input,my wife and I brought her son to the VA yesterday where we talked with his pdoc.This doc didn't give us much insight and seemed bothered that he had to take time to talk with us.Our soldier has been almost mute sense he got out of the military,he speaks with one word replies,unless his anger is present.The VA has given him the option of inpatient treatment but his fear of stepping out of his safe zone is to great.I am not angry with our kid I am however showing signs of impatience,and frustration with not being able to help this vet.We talked with his counselor as well,all she could say is "he has to stop the drugs and booze"okay no shit.I am quite aware this young man is suffering and there is a mine field around him' anyone that attempts to help takes a risk.We our guilty of trying to push him.I asked him yesterday if he wanted to go get his drivers license next week he said yes.So we'll asked him if he's ready to try something,if not we'll we'll give him his space.He's been ill almost 2yrs one year of that in the army where he spent much time on sick call.When is he considered disabled? I ask myself.The army says he needs to stop drugging,and drinking and that he's fit for work.This kid needs to have every thing done for him he won't even talk to strangers on the phone,wont go anywhere unless we take him.What do you think of inpatient treatment to deal with his ptsd,and readjustment,Iknow that he has to agree.What helped you?

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