There is Help, There is Hope

Today I met a couple who are celebrating their 49th anniversary. That’s a long time of loving another person. Bill, the husband, is a Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD. He and Joy were married before he left to serve in that war, and she’s watched the symptoms grow over the years since he got back. Like so many, it’s gotten worse as time has gone by.

It started with anger, a constant rage. Now it manifests itself primarily in nightmares, and a fear of going to sleep and facing them once again.

Hopefully his discussions with another veteran of the same war, another man named Bill, will encourage him to get the help he needs.

walkers-486583_640If you haven’t been there, you don’t know, I’m told, and of course that’s true. I wasn’t there, but I’ve seen the war played out in the faces of the men and women who served those many years ago. They are haunted, just as servicemen and women returning home today from the Middle East no doubt are or will be in the coming years.

My friend Beverly told me of a man she and her husband knew, who had also served in Vietnam. He seemed fine; no one, not even his wife, knew of any problems. Yet one day he shot and killed himself.

“I can’t take the nightmares anymore,” his note read.

Post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t limited to veterans. Victims of sexual assault make up the largest number of its victims in the United States, and like so many, they are reluctant to get help. Yet it can be treated, quite effectively.

Another woman visiting the bed and breakfast I work at is a retired psychologist, and she spoke of some treatments that seem a bit off-beat, yet they’ve had tremendous results in even the most jaded of individuals. I don’t know enough about them to speak effectively here, but they relate to eye movements.

candleThere is help. There is hope. Local Veteran’s Administration hospitals have experts on hand, and rape crisis centers can also refer victims to someone who can change your life for the better. A friend of mine who’s a social worker for the VA tells me she sees even the most reluctant veterans improve dramatically once they’ve gotten some basic treatment.

If you are suffering from PTSD or any other mental disorder, let the nightmare end.

Photo Credit: (candle) © 9comeback — Fotolia


16 Replies to “There is Help, There is Hope”

  1. I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it must be to be haunted by the nightmares on a constant basis. Thank you Belinda for posting this and hopefully even if it only helps one person suffering from any post traumatic incident it will be a blessing! Sending prayers of relief to all who suffer!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure your prayers are welcome! I was taking medication once that caused nightmares, and I remember how much I dreaded going to sleep. That only lasted a very short time — I went off the medication — but it was awful. Going through that every night, for years, has got to destroy you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mental trauma like PTSD is a reality and is much bigger than the physical trauma. They deserve hope in the form of therapeutics. Thanks Belinda for touching a raw point in the lives of these sufferers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The treatment the retired psychologist mentioned is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) therapy. It’s had great results and could be a viable option for people suffering from trauma. Hopefully, your post will prompt readers to get more information for themselves or their loved ones!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I realize that PTSD is very much associated with war veterans. On a much smaller scale, I experienced a lot of flashbacks after some very traumatic incidents in my life. My therapist considered it to be PTSD and although I didn’t suffer the extreme symptoms – reliving those terrible things was a hard cycle to break.
    I think many traumatic things linger with us afterwards, unfortunately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bring up a good point. PTSD can happen after any traumatic event, and what is considered traumatic varies from person to person as well. If anyone is suffering from any symptoms, I encourage them to seek help. Things can change.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for your post and information. I just wrote a paper for my thesis in college about my experiences with PTSD and not many people know that it’s not something war vets get. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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