Military Struggling with PTSD

Ashamed99

New Here
Hello, I’m searching for ways to deal with symptoms from my PTSD. I was recently diagnosed with PTSD but I have struggled with it for years. I did not seek help before because I thought that I could handle it myself and I did not want it to affect my military career. My symptoms have gotten much worse over the past few months and have affected my home life and overall mental health tremendously. I am still active duty in the military and my PTSD events happened as part of my military job. The current job that I’m in exposes me to an environment that causes almost continuous flashbacks, depression and nightmares. When I walk into the building, I feel as though a dark cloud of depression is over me and I cannot be happy no matter how hard I try. I am fairly senior and that has made it harder for me to seek help because I don‘t want to face the shame and even greater sense of failure from those I work with or for. Once I did finally seek help, I was placed in a Limited Duty Status and removed from my leadership position. I was approached by many of my peers at work who asked if i was ”okay”. This led me to again try to cover up, down play or even lie to them in order to try and reduce the seriousness of my PTSD and my associated symptoms (Has anyone else done this because it makes me feel even worse that I don’t feel that I can be truthful). This has been further complicated by having my leaders leak my previous medical information to those that I work with. I deal with daily symptoms such as nightmares, paranoia, anxiety, severe depression, ANGER, IRRITATABILITY, lack of motivation, lack of ability to concentrate or focus, feeling of wanting to isolate myself, challenges with remembering simple things, and lack of sleep. I find myself lying to those around me and trying to act as normal as possible at work while sneaking off and isolating myself in places like the restroom or my vehicle to deal with my anxiety, panic episodes, depression, and fears. I’m tired of living this life. I’m tired of not having the motivation to do simple things. I’m tired of living in fear. I constantly feel like a failure because I was in charge during the two events that caused my PTSD and it has made me feel as though I’m a constant failure and incapable of making decisions. I have started seeing a therapist but wanted to know if anyone had any other helpful hints that have worked for them and similar PTSD symptoms. I am also on medication but have not seen positive results to date. I have a wonderful wife and family and I need to get this under control for them and myself so I’m reaching out to this support group to enlist additional helpful methods and support outside of my therapist. Thank you for the time that you took to read my post and consider solutions to my issues.
 

Ashamed99

New Here
@joeylittle hello and thank you for moving my post to the proper forum. I was wondering if I did something wrong when I saw that my post was gone. I appreciate the reading materials and look forward to reading them. Thanks for allowing me to utilize this great resource of assistance and support.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Happy to help, and if you have any questions about how to use the forum - you can reach staff and ask any questions via Contact Us.

And on topic:
I have started seeing a therapist but wanted to know if anyone had any other helpful hints that have worked for them and similar PTSD symptoms.
For me, just learning as much as I could (about PTSD/the symptoms) helped me visualize what was going on in my brain - and that became an important part of my own symptom management strategy, overall.
I am also on medication but have not seen positive results to date.
Sorry to hear that. You can probably get more specific info on other peoples experience with meds by searching (or just starting a new thread in) the Medications & Substances sub-forum. The thing to remember about meds for PTSD is, there really aren't medications for PTSD itself. Meds can be useful in taking some of the edge off of specific sets of symptoms, so that you can begin to work on them cognitively - which is where the long-term change happens.

Anyway, glad you reached out.
 

Ashamed99

New Here
Happy to help, and if you have any questions about how to use the forum - you can reach staff and ask any questions via Contact Us.

And on topic:

For me, just learning as much as I could (about PTSD/the symptoms) helped me visualize what was going on in my brain - and that became an important part of my own symptom management strategy, overall.

Sorry to hear that. You can probably get more specific info on other peoples experience with meds by searching (or just starting a new thread in) the Medications & Substances sub-forum. The thing to remember about meds for PTSD is, there really aren't medications for PTSD itself. Meds can be useful in taking some of the edge off of specific sets of symptoms, so that you can begin to work on them cognitively - which is where the long-term change happens.

Anyway, glad you reached out.
Thank you so much for the insight and taking the time out to reply to my questions. It has been very hard for me to get to this point. I read the first article about the cup that you provided and it made so much sense to me. I will read the other one and take on your other suggestions as well. Thank you again!
 

Sues

Confident
I deal with daily symptoms such as nightmares, paranoia, anxiety, severe depression, ANGER, IRRITATABILITY, lack of motivation, lack of ability to concentrate or focus, feeling of wanting to isolate myself, challenges with remembering simple things, and lack of sleep. I find myself lying to those around me and trying to act as normal as possible at work while sneaking off and isolating myself in places like the restroom or my vehicle to deal with my anxiety, panic episodes, depression, and fears. I’m tired of living this life. I’m tired of not having the motivation to do simple things. I’m tired of living in fear. I constantly feel like a failure because I was in charge during the two events that caused my PTSD and it has made me feel as though I’m a constant failure and incapable of making decisions.

Hello, and welcome. PTSD has a plethora of symptoms that we all deal with. I can relate to most of yours. I also lie to my co-workers and isolate as much as possible. I am in charge at work (I'm a civilian) and often feel inadequate, even though others tell me I am doing a great job. I just took most of this last week off form work at the urging of my therapist due to PTSD symptoms escalating.

Although I am not a vet or in the military, I can say you are not alone in the way you are feeling and trying to cope. I think as you interact more here you will realize that. This is a very supportive place and you are among others who will understand what you are going through.
 

Ashamed99

New Here
Hello, and welcome. PTSD has a plethora of symptoms that we all deal with. I can relate to most of yours. I also lie to my co-workers and isolate as much as possible. I am in charge at work (I'm a civilian) and often feel inadequate, even though others tell me I am doing a great job. I just took most of this last week off form work at the urging of my therapist due to PTSD symptoms escalating.

Although I am not a vet or in the military, I can say you are not alone in the way you are feeling and trying to cope. I think as you interact more here you will realize that. This is a very supportive place and you are among others who will understand what you are going through.
Thanks for your response. Reading your response and your similarities brings me comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my issues, especially those that I’m experiencing at work and in my professional life. Many people at work and in my field tell me that I’m great as well but after everything that has happened, I have a very hard time believing it. I constantly feel inadequate and worthless. Thank you for reaching out because it is hard to explain to people who do not have PTSD what I deal with every day of my life. I realize that it is not their fault, they just do not understand. Thank you.
 
@Ashamed99 . I feel as if I could have written your post. I had to be extended past my MRD to finish my med board.

Brief synopsis, early 2019 I was diagnosed with medboardable life time disorder. U started going to therapy to deal with that. That opened up a few compartments that I wish stayed closed. In July of 19 I went to an intensive outpatient program. When I told CSM he gave a double take, and said get the help you need.

Army didn't want to do the board....finally got it started in nov 19. The army just classified me with major depressive disorder and anxiety. VA diagnosed the PTSD. Jan 20 was my MRD. They fastracked my board. In early March my results came back. Due to my time in service the meb came back and declined the medical retirement. I was in patient at the time (voluntary) went to the ER I was close to crossing the I don't want to live turning into I want to die line.

Finally med retired in fall 2020. VA rated my PTSD at 50, I just went through my reeval they bumped it to 70.

I know you asked for ideas outside of therapy. Try group therapy. Look for reboot recovery REBOOT Recovery - Overcoming Trauma Together it's faith based, unfortunately I never got to finish that program due to COVID.

I'm doing a couples therapy with the va CBT- CT it's been hard but I've also opened more compartments.

I still get angry at myself when my motivation is lacking. I try to turn it around and look inside for the why.

I have been told to:
Find a new hobby
Make new friends
That's hard when the symptoms are strong.

Bluff, don't be ashamed, you are not alone with your symptoms, they are common. It takes time to heal/manage your symptoms.

I have changed meds so many times, let your med provider know if you don't think they are working.

I feel like I'm rambling and not staying on topic, one of my symptoms, in addition to anger, anxiety and most of what you listed, and memory issues too.

Welcome to forum
 

Freida

Sponsor
welcome!

This led me to again try to cover up, down play or even lie to them in order to try and reduce the seriousness of my PTSD and my associated symptoms (Has anyone else done this because it makes me feel even worse that I don’t feel that I can be truthful).
I find myself lying to those around me and trying to act as normal as possible at work while sneaking off and isolating myself in places like the restroom or my vehicle to deal with my anxiety, panic episodes, depression, and fears.

This is totally normal, especially in the military and first responder world. I'm from both - did the military thing and then 911 dispatch and yes. You do have to keep quiet about it because, well, it's the culture. Failure is not an option and ptsd is still considered a failure

But.
It's NOT OK that we are put in the position of having to lie about how we feel.
Read that again
ITS NOT OK that we are put in the position of having to lie about how we feel.

One of the new things coming out of ptsd research is that it's not the event that causes ptsd. It's what happens next. Take two people in the same situation. One has support afterwards, from employer, bosses, friends, family. They are given the opportunity to talk about what happened.

The other? Has to shut up and stand up and pretend they are ok.
Guess which one gets the pstd diagnosis?
Yep - the one who had to deal on their own.
That's us.

I constantly feel like a failure because I was in charge during the two events that caused my PTSD and it has made me feel as though I’m a constant failure and incapable of making decisions.
Yep. This is normal too
As you go thru therapy you will start working to sort this out - the whole "it's my fault" thing. I'm still working on it, but it has gotten easier with time (and a shit ton of therapy! 😁)

That's why this place is so amazing. It's filled with people who get it. Most every thing you can come up with someone here can relate to.

You're not alone
 
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