Thursday, December 02, 2010

Living with PTSD

I've often debated on whether or not to write about this in my blog.
Contrary to some wives, I knew or thought I knew what I was getting into when I married a veteran with PTSD.

I was going to write about it on Veteran's Day...but after listening to a radio program on Wisconsin NPR, I decided to mull it over and then write my piece.
The person interviewed had written a book called Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home by David Philipps.

I listened to the radio interview on my drive home from work...and thought
My God, this man has absolutely no idea!

Frustrated, I came home and logged on to Joy Cardin's Facebook account and was going to ask her to ask her guest if he knew what PTSD really was, what it really entailed...what it was like to live with each and every day.
I didn't though.

There is a lot of information out there about PTSD, its diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. But there is not very much written about living with it daily.
In fact it seems to be a very 'not much discussed' topic.

Imagine if you will, living with a person who appears absolutely normal, sounds normal, looks pretty healthy; a person who acts mostly responsible yet that same person is...
like living with a person who suffers severe depression, has A.D.D., Bi-Polar Disorder, Anxiety Issues...the list goes on.

It is a quiet issue. Only the really bad things make the news. The rages of killings, the suicides...but not the feelings that the veteran has of isolation. He/she hardly wants to make it public that they suffer from PTSD.
I've told others that my husband is a veteran who has PTSD.

*Why that war was 40 years ago, why doesn't he get over it?*
People look at you as though you have two heads and wonder why in the heck are you putting yourself through a relationship that tough.

Perhaps they don't know, and I try to that yes it can be trying at times. But the good times outweigh the bad.

Through adversity one can grow. Together we can help each other. I can help him feel mostly whole.
...and that is why I live with PTSD.


Rose said...

Wow Val, if more of us only knew. I know I had no idea that it was a daily thing really. As you say you only hear about the really outlandish and horrible parts of it and not the daily day to day stuff. How wonderful for him to have you and also for you to have him! As in all marriages I'd say, there are good days and bad days...let us just pray that there are more good than bad for everyone. Thanks for sharing so much with us Val.

Val said...

There are so many young families going through this same thing...adjusting to how to cope with PTSD.
It is sad that it is talked about only when it makes big news.

It is like you said, a marriage, a relationship and every relationship needs special adjustments.
We have good and bad days, but I feel the good is so darned good, it outweighs the not so great days!
Thanks Rose!

crazy mule lady said...

Thank you Val for sharing with us this difficult diagnosis. I too know what it is like to live with a wonderful man who has some mental health issues that he is just beginning to accept. God Bless you for standing with and by your man even in the bad times........I do believe that's somewhere in the vows I took when I took this man. He has been in a long time low after losing both his parents within 15 months of each other and his mother was just last month. It's been rough for me but WAY worse for him. I am his sole support system and love him with all my heart.