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New Seeking Help - Boyfriend an Iraq Veteran

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Redd, May 29, 2007.

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  1. Redd

    Redd New Member

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    My boyfriend recently came to the realization that he has PSTD, though we have not sought as of yet any professional diagnosis due to lack of coverage and funds, and I am least to say a little distraught. He was in the army for 8 grueling years, and went through Iraq on several separate occasions, having enlisted at a young age. There are things he won't tell me about that time, and I am not sure I want to know--he will only say that they were terrible. I have done my little bits of research here and there, and came to the conclusion that in order to get more information, I needed to speak with some people dealing with it currently. There is only so much one can learn from medical articles that may or may not be biased (we both have a low opinion of doctors). He says he can just deal with it and it will go away, but he has lost interest in things he used to pride himself in--exercise, hygeine (it took me a full three days to get him to shave after he already had a good beard going...), martial arts and meditation, and reading. Also, his anger is becoming more prevalent, to the point where he shoved his fist through a wall (luckily when I was not home). He is dissatisfied with life, short with me, and goes through mood swings where one day he will be normal and the next he will go off on rants about his job and such. He used to have flashbacks and night terrors, but luckily since we moved in together he has not had these specific symptoms. You can see why this has become my problem--our problem--and not just his. It is becoming more fo a tax on our relationship than he wants to admit. If this is truly what is happening to him, I ask for opinions on treatments for a very stubborn, intelligent and argumentative man who will not take a non-natural supplement of any kind (anxiety meds are out) and information from those who are suffering or who just know more than I do. Thank you. :)
     
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  3. Portabella

    Portabella Well-Known Member

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    I see that no one has answered you here. I am not learned enough myself to offer any guidance. I have found that therapy can be good for some and bad for others. I would advise posting in the "Carers" section where you will find others that are going through what you are about to embark on. Also, read read and read. This forum teaches you immensely. Best of luck to you and yours.
     
    Simply Simon likes this.
  4. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Redd, welcome to the forum. It will not go away, take my word on that. He must seek professional help ASAP.
     
    Simply Simon likes this.
  5. crzypvt

    crzypvt New Member

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    Redd,

    I don't know where you are from, but I have found veterans groups to be of great help. I have had friends with big issues and they have been able to find help from the service officers at the VFW and American Legion.

    These groups can help with finding and funding coupling for PTSD. Plus they are full of old vets who have been there before and are willing to be there in a time of need.

    Allot of times I have heard "you weren't there", so I have found some that were. I have been able to talk to people who have been through the same things I have been, sometimes the same time and place. It makes opening up just a bit easier when you know they do understand, then with their support it made talking to my wife easier.
    To this day smells and sounds can set me off, but 7 years ago when I had no support network it was really scary, today I know that there are people there who do understand and will set up if I need help.

    The VFW and American Legion will help out even if he is not a member, it's free and the benefits are well worth the time.
     
    Simply Simon likes this.
  6. jeffp

    jeffp New Member

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    I can understand your concern and frustration being a veteran with combat PTSD. A lot of times the flashbacks, night terrors, tactile hallucinations, and other symptoms have not really gone away, but the person has taught themselves to internalize everything to not worry the people around them. The nightmares seem to me to be the hardest symptom to decrease and I still average 3-5 hours of sleep per night, even with sleeping pills. The less I sleep, the more my moods seem to be unsteady. Loss of interest in hugely common with PTSD sufferers and is a definite sign of depressive symptoms associated with the illness. You can contact the VA Medical Center in your area or the Vet Center for referral to treatment information. When I first got treated I was very resistant and untrusting of the whole process. I agree with the above post that the VFW and American Legion can be a great resource as well.
     
    Simply Simon likes this.
  7. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum Redd. Grand to see another carer. Do post in the carers section and read the information sections as well. Much good information to be had here. All the best.

    Jim.
     
  8. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Hi,

    First off welcome....Second, your boyfriend and his buddies in Iraq are true hero's, Give him my Thanks.

    He needs therapy, and plenty of it. Things will just get worse until he decides to get serious about his mental health.

    Please take care of you....You are a victim in this too.

    Wendy
     
  9. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Welcome to the forum Redd. Lovely to have you here. Please feel free to post in the Carers forum as well. Your boyfriend must seek help, and it must be his decision, one you cannot force him into. You can be there for him, be supportive and understanding - by far the best way to do this is to educate yourself about PTSD, discuss matters with him as openly as he will allow, and be willing to admit your own mistakes. Do be sure to take care of yourself in the process. Your personal happiness comes first, and should not be contingent upon his healing.
     
    Simply Simon likes this.
  10. Cole

    Cole Active Member

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    Welcome Redd. Hope you find your way! No one way works for everyone. We'll help in whatever way we can; just ask. It's all about baby steps and hard work. Glad you're here.
     
  11. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

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    Just wanted to mention that the VA will start a claim for him - if he's willing to seek out his veteran's service office. Try to get someone whose sole job is doing PTSD claims. If your county doesn't have a lot of experience with specifically PTSD claims - ask to be directed to someone who does. I was lucky enough to find an officer in my county with a woman on staff who specialized in PTSD claims. (HINT - I asked the secretary who was the best at PTSD claims since there was more than one claims specialist). Took FOREVER to get the claim processed by the government, but I have access to free help now, counselling, drugs, and compensation (since I find it impossible to venture out into the world to hold down a job.) I dont actually use the help given any more, but it was a starting point for me.

    If your claim gets denied - and some do - take copies of everything to someone else that can help with your claim and see if they can open a new claim with new evidence or argue the old claim for you. I absolutely recommend opening a claim....he will be lost without help and the VA offers FREE help. Good luck with everything. I wish you well - I have a soft spot for military and those who support them. I'm no expert but I may be able to help you navigate the VA stuff a bit since I went round and round with them for years before receiving help.
     
  12. I am a Iraq vet Marines

    I am a Iraq vet Marines New Member

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    I am a Marine that has been out of service since 11-2004, once a Marine always a Marine that is the mnotto and the code as to were I will die by, I was in Iraq at the beginning in 2003, it is now 2011 and things are getting worse not better, I went to college and lasted a month and a half before the past caught up and I quit the college, now I have to pay everything back, this ws in 2010, I have no money cause stupid me got married to a woman that has a house but does not own it, we pay a mrtgage of $870 a month, with comensation i have $1300 a month, with heating electric car payment for her ( i now own a 1994 jeep that the head gasket blew on), we will not own the house until we can come up with the roughly $80,000 left on the mortgage, the government does not give a home lone like they made it out to be prior to me joining the Marines, also tell your man to not to go to college, I lasted a month and a half and now I have to pay it all back, government did not tell me that when I joined, I have 70% rating at the VA from PTSD, all I can say is stay with the man and show him what a real woman is made of, unlike the majority of these spineless American woman that are around
     
    Simply Simon and caliaviator like this.
  13. I am a Iraq vet Marines

    I am a Iraq vet Marines New Member

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    i have been going to the VA for about 2-3 years and there is no help given as of yet, I believe that the VA gives us head meds to were we take on the cops because we self medicate with alcohol when the head meds are supposed to be taken without alcohol being used, alcohol is what a lot of us use to help bear the guilt and shame of what we have done and what we have seen, the VA gives these meds out like candy because when the vet takes on the cops and ends up getting shot this is a tool that is used to ask the federal government for more money, the VA is not helping but rather using the vets once again to make money as was the Iraq war
     
    Wornout likes this.
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