True Life I Have PTSD

I chose the True Life episode where three men of the military were observed with post-traumatic stress disorder and how each of them coped and dealt with their situations. They all have different ways of dealing with the disorder as well as attempting to understand their emotions and interactions resulting from traumatic life experiences.

One of the men deals with a driving under the influence of alcohol charge where he entered a plea bargain sentencing him to three months of therapy from to uncontrolled actions due to the sporadic nature of his symptoms from PTSD. It was also mentioned by his veteran friend that he has an addiction to killing. Although this type of behavior is linked to the Chaos illustration, he also shows signs of restitution as he is eager to do his treatment and begin resolving his situation. Another man hopes to begin a holistic charity for others experiencing PTSD as he has a severe problem with alcohol and attempts to remain sober while he continues his hopes for his charity. The last man has difficulty with the disorder where his suicidal thoughts and other anxiety lead him to be unstable with jobs and decides to move in with his father where he has good friends and moral support to ease the symptoms. This situation best follows restitution as he has had difficulty with emotions and suicidal thoughts, however he has followed through with a plan to help himself get better and be in a better place.

These men experience PTSD differently although they react in similar ways of feeling mentally dysfunctional and difficulty with social life. It would be very difficult to handle these situations as it is stigmatized for men to not show these emotions and not show weakness in their masculinity. There are many people in our culture who know of PTSD as the wars in the Middle East have made these disorders quite prevalent. It seems that even though these men have used therapy and biomedicine to aid their symptoms, that it is still and most likely will always be a struggle having connections with the chaos narrative as well. With the discussion of fibromyalgia, it is known that there are many others experiencing these symptoms and situations; that these illness narratives clearly help with these situations with a feeling of less isolation. It helps everyone who is connected to people in these situations, as it attempts to let others who do not have these experiences make sense of how these individuals feel and the life altering effects that traumatic events can have on someone.

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  1. Nick Flaga says:

    It appears there are several common themes experienced by those afflicted with PTSD. Bill Blaikie served as the Deputy Director of Intelligence for the New Zealand army in Afghanistan during 2004. He also experienced many of the symptoms and afflictions that you described above. Bill struggled with many of the decisions he made during the war and the resulting deaths of innocent women and children. After his deployment, Bill isolated himself from family and friends, spent his time during the evening at the bar, and suffered from anxiety and depression. At the height of his despair, Bill unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide. Soon after, he sought out professional help. Bill’s story is not unlike those veterans featured in True Life’s documentary on PTSD. They all struggled with anxiety and depression, and turned to alcohol to numb the pain. The way each of the veterans dealt with their PTSD is in fact more similar than different. However, the differences that did occur can be attributed to culture, family/friends, and socio-economic status. Does the veteran have the support system to seek help? Does the veteran have the economic means to obtain adequate healthcare? Is it social acceptable to struggle with PTSD? Luckily for Bill, his support system allowed for him to tell his story and continue to feel loved and accepted as he was before his service. He also had the economic means to seek help. Ultimately his advice to others with PTSD was to talk about it; let your family, friends, and fellow soldiers know of your thoughts and experiences. The sense of isolation and inadequacy dissipates with understanding and acceptance of others.

    “Interview on MY PTSD,” YouTube Video, posted by “Bill Blaikie,” Feb 19, 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I63tfwO4FI

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