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PTSD from Air Force 'Career'

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Hellokitty, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. Hellokitty

    Hellokitty New Member

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    I was in the Air Force for 19 years and was medically retired at the end of '04. The military diagnosis for my condition was depression but I've since learned that what I really have is PTSD. I had never been in combat in the military and, according to their definition of PTSD, that is the only way you can get this condition. My job was organizing responses to emergencies. I enabled the base to respond to real world and wargame emergency situations. For over 10 years I worked in a room with no windows, fighting WWIII over and over again in wargames and responding to aircraft and personnel emergencies. At one base, 7 people died over a three month period in fatal car crashes while I was working and I had to notify all the commanders on base every time it happened. Add to this stress the fact that I worked rotating shifts (three 12-hour day shifts, 3 days off, 3 12-hour night shifts) most of that time and what you got was PTSD. I have migraine headaches, insomnia and panic attacks. I am seeing a therapist but will be moving soon outside the US so I thought I'd give this format a try for working out my feelings.
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Kitty,

    Welcome to the forum. Let me first say, the military is wrong, as you don't need to only serve in combat to get PTSD. The initial prerequisite for PTSD diagnosis is:

    The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:

    (1) the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others.
    (2) the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.

    As you can see, from your explanation, you fit within the prerequisites for diagnosis, even though you were locked in a room simulating and dealing with both real world and fictional events.

    Yes, I am a veteran from operations, however; I have seen some of my soldiers get PTSD from non-operational service, merely just training was enough to give a handful PTSD. Some training events went wrong, some where just too close for comfort, but that is what being in the military is all about to begin with, training for war, hence the training is often as close as it comes to the real deal at times.

    The military say what they said, because that is their rules to be applicable to claim for compensation through veterans entitlements, though Australia has a mirror agency of veterans affairs, for those who are not veterans, so similar compensation can often be achieved, though veterans are just entitled to more because of their service. I am not sure whether the US has that type of agency to help cover medical costs and compensation or not.

    Your certainly not alone kitty, and all sufferers here can directly relate to what you are suffering with your symptoms. Regardless how we got PTSD, our symptoms are all the same.

    We are here to just chat with, understand, relate and support you kitty... so I think you found the right place. Welcome and look forward to chatting more with you.
     
  4. Hellokitty

    Hellokitty New Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement! I get compensation from the military. According to them, I am 40% disabled for migraine headaches and depression caused by my job. It's better than nothing. My goal for this forum right now is to get on here once a week and vent. I'm afraid I don't have more time than that right now. I'll also try to offer support to other people, although I'm not sure how much help I'll be.
     
  5. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Kitty, fix yourself before you attempt to help others. That is the most important aspect of one's recovery.
     
  6. mac

    mac Active Member

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    Hellokitty (by the way, my wife loves the 'Hellokitty' toys),
    It's nice to see someone else here from the Air Force... I don't think there's many of us; I could be mistaken. I was cut at 13.5 years in. Take care. -Mac
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Welcome to the forum Mac, and glad to have you here. When I did my PTSD course we had a retired airforce emergency services guy, and some of the things he told us he went through with emergency rescue and the like.... well, certainly nothing to be taken lightly.

    I think its great that the forum is getting such a wide spectrum of experience, which is the aim. The more range and scope we get here, the better it becomes for everyone, that way we have more internal support available with similar experiences.
     
  8. mac

    mac Active Member

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    Anthony, thank you for this site. I think I will post my intro to break the ice.
     
  9. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Hellokitty!

    Once a week is better than not at all!!
    Glad to have you here :)
     
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