Hello Everyone - Iraq Veteran with PTSD

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New Here
My name is Johnny. I am a veteran of the Iraq war. I was over there when the war began and I served six months in theater, mostly in Fallujah and the so called "Sunni triangle". Initially I never realized, or perhaps even denied that I had a few problems that I brought home with me. I let things go for almost two years until it all came to a head and I had an "episode." It seems like the only emotions that I have left are anger and sadness. I have been referred to the VA, etc. for counciling and have not yet even contacted them. I hope to gain some insight into what I am going through by coming here.

Kay Dee

Kay Dee

Hi Johnny

Welcome. Nice to see another new person here. This is the place to talk about your issues, PTSD or otherwise. I am fairly new - 2/3 weeks. I am still breaking ice. And know that you are not alone with anger or sadness. I hope to hear more from you. You can read more under PTSD Chat - EMDR. There is quite a bit of info.

Again, welcome.



Hi Johnny,

Welcome aboard. Well, your in the right place, that's for sure. Mate, PTSD is something I would never wish upon my worst enemy, to be quite honest. Its unfortunate that some of us see things, and do things, that provoke it upon us. There is plenty of good information within this place already, and resources linked to for you to find out even more detail.

IRAQ... ouch. What you need to know at the moment, is your not alone I guess. I have been in war zones myself, and I know what your feeling, though the times and places may be different, the same things happen. I suppressed everything for years, and it all got buried under alcohol and cigarettes. I ran off the rails in 2000 initially, got it back together (well I thought so anyway) 12 months on, and then returned overseas on a UN mission which really just put the final topping on me. I got PTSD at the end of 99, but just didn't actually know I had it until 2003. When a counsellor told me I had PTSD, I simply said, "what the hell is that", at which she told me.

She gave me a book to read, as it wasn't officially diagnosed at that point, where I gave the book back to her a week later and said, "they wrote a book on me". It was that point she put me onto a vet friendly doctor, who referred me to a phsch for diagnosis. Well, the doctor and phsch only had to look at me and diagnosed me, apparently it was that obvious.

Anyway, I know your anxiety is probably sitting pretty high just thinking about going to a doctor about it, but go and seek help. You most likely need to get on some sort of medication for the time being, to help you control some of the immediate problems, so you don't go killing yourself, or someone else (if your that bad, or get that bad at times).

Please, feel free to chat here, as we all learn from each other quite honestly, as there is no "right" answer to what we have, just the hope that there are others exactly the same as you, who are fighting to go forward, and not backward.

Chances are, if you haven't seen a doctor yet, and know little about it, then your probably doing some of the following:

# getting drunk (lots)
# using drugs
# smoking like a chimney
# fighting (both physical and mentally) with people around you, except those you served with
# chances are you have just stop talking with them though
# you are most likely fairly withdrawn from society
# you have restless sleep, if much at all, nightmares, flashbacks and so on
# if you have a partner, you've probably hit or kicked her in your sleep during a dream
# you get so agitated in a shop that you want to start punching and kicking your way out
# and the list is so long...
# your probably just better reading the [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread6.html"]symptoms of PTSD[/DLMURL], which you can probably relate to most of them
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New Here
Thank you all for the welcome. Anthony your list of symptoms is amazing. It is almost as if you had been watching me personally. I think that I have every trait that you listed there. :) Good news is that yesterday evening I went over to the local VA hospital and walked into a PTSD group therapy session. Funny thing is that I was more scared walking through that door than I ever was walking down a street in Fallujah. Best thing is that I plan on going back next week! I actually broke down and cried on the way home. I don't feel so isolated or alone after two long years. I am glad that I found this site. It motivated me to take those first steps toward recovery. Thank you.


Your welcome. Don't worry mate, we have all been there in one form or another, and walked the same path. Everyone with PTSD just clicks... we all know what each other has gone through I guess. I guess this is the same for those with cancer, and who beat it and go into remission. Talking to another with cancer, I guess they would have an immediate bond, as they fully understand what the other has gone through. I look at PTSD the same.

That is great that your going to go into some sessions. It is absolutely amazing what they can get out of you, when talking in a group of PTSD sufferers. I don't know many with PTSD that can actually talk to a counsellor that well... meaning, we talk, but we know they don't understand. Talking to another with PTSD, you automatically know that person understands, as they have most likely done the same, or similar things.

Something I had mentioned on this board somewhere, is that they did a trial with some counsellors to help them better understand PTSD by sending them into a war zone to experience what us soldiers have experienced, and hopefully gain a better understanding of the symptoms. Well, they won't ever do that again, as every single counsellor is not inoperable, by way of suicide, mental instability or other factors. Not one can do the job. The people running the trial wondered, if that is what happened to the counsellors going into action, then what the hell do veterans experience? They are still no wiser, but most PTSD related physicians who know about this trial, seem to have a whole new respect for PTSD, and what the sufferers go through to still be living with it, considering most of their trial counsellors killed themselves afterwards.

I said to our counsellor at the course when told this, that one of the reasons they so many of them would have killed themselves, is that they never had any lead up, ie. basic training, then advanced training, exercises and tactics to help them deal with it. The entire military experience is a brain wash right from start. It has to be to my understanding, otherwise we wouldn't do what we had to when required.

Honestly, I have a new found respect for anyone with PTSD who is learning to cope with it, or willing even, and not take the easy option out. I've thought about it, nearly done it even, and just about everyone else with PTSD, it has crossed their mind, but the strong continue I believe, and what I know now from the PTSD course, is that we can live with it, and control it, when in the right environment, ie. we don't intentionally put ourselves in situations where we will lose control.

Funny thing is, is that I said the same thing about the symptoms when they gave me a book to take home and read. I brought it back a week later to the next session, and the counsellor asked me what I thought. My answer was, "you wrote a book on me". That was enough to send me for further assessment.

Its really good to know that we are helping people though, and I know that every one of us here, who post and talk about our experiences, are helping others, helping ourselves, and hopefully going to get more people to open up and get some off the problems of their chest, or even seek professional help.
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