Discussed PTSD IRT Assholes

The Hate Ape

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BLUF: I got a wave of Veterans issues stuff force fed into my social media feed and was aggravated by the tonality of the image of PTSD veterans.

(I hate the Veteran lives here, be courteous with your fireworks shit... a lot)

I was annoyed and did my once a month FB rant. It drew a lot of appreciation so I thought I'd share it with you guys.

Bare in mind, it is not entirely professional and has some comedic flair to it as well.

The information presented is by me through my own experiences and therapy sessions. I make no claims to being an expert but feel well informed enough to relay my takeaways to any audiance.

---------------------

Public Service Announcement on PTSD:

Anyone who draws attention to oneself stating that they cannot do / perform / witness an action or event due to their disabling PTSD is more than likely (not all the time) a lying piece of shit.

PTSD (For Combat Veterans) is portrayed in a negative or childlike disabling light by those assholes. The common perception by the uneducated (majority) is that PTSD means crazy, at the breaking point, or "give this hero all the sympathy."

No. Fuck no.

If I see a bomb on the side of the road, I won't have an AFG "flashback" but I may consider:

"Oh, there's a bomb on the side of the road - why? who is handling this? who is at risk? who the fuck puts a bomb on a road in the united states?

what an asshole..."

Humor aside: PTSD blends unrelated events, actions, sensory activations and incites A SUBCONCIOUS/AUTOMATED psychological and/or physiological reaction in a human being who has reacted or lived through traumatic experiences previously.

There are no "flashbacks" experienced beyond the subconscious level.

For example, distant noises may become overwhelmingly distracting for someone who is in the middle of a conversation. You may see this individual subtlely divert their attention to the noises and back to the conversation.

Did the motherfucker combat roll? Did he get all sweaty and flushed at the face? Is he suddenly yelling for a gun or his vagisil?

No.

Backtrack to that individual with PTSD who you were just having a conversation with. His demeanor is okay, he is smoking a cigarette with you and looking at a big booty heaux. You talk to him about 20 minutes later and suddenly his mood has shifted and he's sort of coming off as an asshole.

You, not knowing whats going on (he doesnt either) think:

"Man, why is this guy acting like a dick all of a sudden?"

What happened?

Well remember the noises? He doesnt and neither do you - but his body remembers. His body (through experience in a hostile enviornment) knows that weird shit in the AO = danger Will Robinson. Odd sounds, features, people, smells, light, whatever are all bad until proven nuetral or okay'ish.

This is not an active mental function, it is a physical and emotional reaction through repetition. It is passive and occurs deep within the subconscious levels of the human brain in fractions of a second.

He (PTSD Guy) is now becoming aggressive/hyperactive emotionally and at his subconscious level. His ReadyToFuckShitUp factor just went up ten fold but the problem rests with the fact that neither you or him are aware of this paradigm shift.

To him he is just him, to you he is just being a dick. You are both at the Pour House (hopefully) and none of you are thinking about Iraq or Afghanistan conciously.

Unchecked PTSD leads to what many assume are PTSD symptoms but are actually forms of anxiety or depression. It's no coincidence that the most common diagnosis is Anxiety, PTSD, and Depression for veterans who depart military service or have served in combat deployments.

Most individuals with PTSD (especially from dangerous work enviornments) are unaware of their condition. Most assume they probably have it, but have no idea how it works - others write it off as if they couldn't possibly have PTSD if "Insert Name Here" who they know is a fucking badass hasn't claimed to have it. This is common in the combat arms communities, especially ours where humility is abundant.

One guarantee - PTSD is not a curable condition.

You don't change the way your brain works and unless you can literally dump an entire memory bank you can bet your sweet ass you already have and will continue to react in ways that upset the emotional and physical balance within yourself while engaging with the world around you.

Your best COA available is to understand your conditions, your emotional state, and strengthen these cognitive tools to keep your emotions balanced effectively to avoid disorders like the mentioned Anxiety or Depression.

Impulsively switching hobbies & constantly re-planning your life? Poor interaction / confrontational behavior when social? Short term memory loss? Overactive sensory receptors (especially at night)? Talking to yourself or mumbling (as your family members notice)? Massive & Sporadic emotional spikes (high and low) with no consistency or predictability? Abrupt changes in beliefs, opinions, or appealing suddenly to drastically different ideals? Digestive problems? Catastrophic predictions (overwhelming distrust of the physical safety or security of every situation / person / whatever)?

Indicators are only indicative of PTSD, Anxiety, or Depression in clustors and should be examined by a professional. The above was just a short list - if you suspect anything, get the help you need.

REGARDLESS OF THIS POST ONE THING IS FOR SURE:

FIREWORKS DO NOT CAUSE PTSD - It's not that I don't believe you (guy putting up signs in his yard or with the "angry vet" sticker), it's that I don't believe you AND I think you are an asshole - - - the crazy veteran image is only cool to douche canoes.

:)
 

Gunz

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...Well remember the noises? He doesnt and neither do you - but his body remembers. His body (through experience in a hostile enviornment) knows that weird shit in the AO = danger Will Robinson. Odd sounds, features, people, smells, light, whatever are all bad until proven nuetral or okay'ish.

This is not an active mental function, it is a physical and emotional reaction through repetition. It is passive and occurs deep within the subconscious levels of the human brain in fractions of a second.

He (PTSD Guy) is now becoming aggressive/hyperactive emotionally and at his subconscious level. His ReadyToFuckShitUp factor just went up ten fold but the problem rests with the fact that neither you or him are aware of this paradigm shift.

To him he is just him, to you he is just being a dick. You are both at the Pour House (hopefully) and none of you are thinking about Iraq or Afghanistan conciously.

Unchecked PTSD leads to what many assume are PTSD symptoms but are actually forms of anxiety or depression. It's no coincidence that the most common diagnosis is Anxiety, PTSD, and Depression for veterans who depart military service or have served in combat deployments.

Most individuals with PTSD (especially from dangerous work enviornments) are unaware of their condition. Most assume they probably have it, but have no idea how it works - others write it off as if they couldn't possibly have PTSD if "Insert Name Here" who they know is a fucking badass hasn't claimed to have it. This is common in the combat arms communities, especially ours where humility is abundant.

One guarantee - PTSD is not a curable condition.

You don't change the way your brain works and unless you can literally dump an entire memory bank you can bet your sweet ass you already have and will continue to react in ways that upset the emotional and physical balance within yourself while engaging with the world around you.

Your best COA available is to understand your conditions, your emotional state, and strengthen these cognitive tools to keep your emotions balanced effectively to avoid disorders like the mentioned Anxiety or Depression.


Impulsively switching hobbies & constantly re-planning your life? Poor interaction / confrontational behavior when social? Short term memory loss? Overactive sensory receptors (especially at night)? Talking to yourself or mumbling (as your family members notice)? Massive & Sporadic emotional spikes (high and low) with no consistency or predictability? Abrupt changes in beliefs, opinions, or appealing suddenly to drastically different ideals? Digestive problems? Catastrophic predictions (overwhelming distrust of the physical safety or security of every situation / person / whatever)?

Indicators are only indicative of PTSD, Anxiety, or Depression in clustors and should be examined by a professional. The above was just a short list - if you suspect anything, get the help you need.

REGARDLESS OF THIS POST ONE THING IS FOR SURE:

FIREWORKS DO NOT CAUSE PTSD - It's not that I don't believe you (guy putting up signs in his yard or with the "angry vet" sticker), it's that I don't believe you AND I think you are an asshole - - - the crazy veteran image is only cool to douche canoes.

:)




Spot on and thanks for sharing this.

I'm amazed at the silly shit I hear from non-hacks working PTSD claims. They have no idea WTF they're talking about because they're too stupid to research their fraud. Cliches abound. That's why I left Group Therapy at the VA. Too many fucktards working it, and therapists who talk to you like you're a 12-year-old retard. The Vet Centers are usually better, and if you're lucky you get a combat vet counsellor.

I sought help because I didn't know WTF was wrong with me, only that my wife begged me to get help. I never had a fuckin flashback. Intrusive thoughts? Yes. Anger? Yes. Depression? Absolutely. Rage? Yep. Very low threshold for petty bullshit? Yes. Violence?...sometimes. Trying to punch a hole in the drywall? Yes. Getting in the car and roaring off in an rage and driving around for hours? Yes. Throwing a smartass ball-busting co-worker over a desk? Yes. Self-medicating in a bar with loud music? The louder the better. Going out looking for trouble? Yeah. There were times I'd put on my combat boots with jeans and a t-shirt and go out to a bar just waiting for somebody to give me shit so I could unleash whatever the fuck it was that had a hold on me. They asked me these questions and I answered them and they diagnosed me with PTSD.

And all this happens and you really don't know why, it's just that sometimes it twists you up like wet rope.

I used to see cloud formations. Low, gray, fast moving overcast that reminded me of the monsoon season in SE Asia. It usually makes me quiet, introspective for a while. Helicopter rotors? Of course. Nightmares? Yeah, sometimes...usually running-out-of-ammo scenarios or trying to communicate danger to a superior who isn't listening. Combat frustration.

But I never dove under a desk for a truck backfire. I like loud noises as long as I'm the one making them, i.e., shooting or lighting pyrotechnics. Distant fireworks, that pop-pop-pop boom will sometimes remind me of seeing sister units in contact a few klicks away at night, tracers arcing up into the sky, and maybe I get the uncomfortable feeling like I should be shooting back or that I'd feel a bit more comfortable with a rifle in my hands...but it's a passing thought, not a freak-out.

I've been under control for some years now, specifically with anti-depressants, but I failed to seek help until my mid-forties and it was almost too late. I had just gotten married for the first time after years of relationship-avoidance and I knew it was for keeps. I had two little stepsons, 2 and 5, and bio-baby on the way. They got to see the bad side of me and I would've lost everything if I hadn't sought help...and even then my wife had to threaten me with leaving to get me to finally do something about it.

I didn't know what was eating me and the only reason I sought help at a Vet Center was because I didn't have enough money for a civilian psychiatrist...it was free. And it turned out to be the start of good things. And after a year or so, with the help of the internet, I started hooking up with men I'd served with in VN. And that was an epiphany because it was like coming through the wire and dropping a heavy ruck, one of the heaviest I'd ever carried and being welcomed into the perimeter by my brothers after so many years wandering alone in the jungle. And discovering that they had endured the same shit.
 
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The Hate Ape

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Spot on and thanks for sharing this.

I'm amazed at the silly shit I hear from non-hacks working PTSD claims. They have no idea WTF they're talking about because they're too stupid to research their fraud. Cliches abound. That's why I left Group Therapy at the VA. Too many fucktards working it, and therapists who talk to you like you're a 12-year-old retard. The Vet Centers are usually better, and if you're lucky you get a combat vet counsellor.

I sought help because I didn't know WTF was wrong with me, only that my wife begged me to get help. I never had a fuckin flashback. Intrusive thoughts? Yes. Anger? Yes. Depression? Absolutely. Rage? Yep. Very low threshold for petty bullshit? Yes. Violence?...sometimes. Trying to punch a hole in the drywall? Yes. Getting in the car and roaring off in an rage and driving around for hours? Yes. Throwing a smartass ball-busting co-worker over a desk? Yes. Self-medicating in a bar with loud music? The louder the better. Going out looking for trouble? Yeah. There were times I'd put on my combat boots with jeans and a t-shirt and go out to a bar just waiting for somebody to give me shit so I could unleash whatever the fuck it was that had a hold on me. They asked me these questions and I answered them and they diagnosed me with PTSD.

And all this happens and you really don't know why, it's just that sometimes it twists you up like wet rope.

I used to see cloud formations. Low, gray, fast moving overcast that reminded me of the monsoon season in SE Asia. It usually makes me quiet, introspective for a while. Helicopter rotors? Of course. Nightmares? Yeah, sometimes...usually running-out-of-ammo scenarios or trying to communicate danger to a superior who isn't listening. Combat frustration.

But I never dove under a desk for a truck backfire. I like loud noises as long as I'm the one making them, i.e., shooting or lighting pyrotechnics. Distant fireworks, that pop-pop-pop boom will sometimes remind me of seeing sister units in contact a few klicks away at night, tracers arcing up into the sky, and maybe I get the uncomfortable feeling like I should be shooting back or that I'd feel a bit more comfortable with a rifle in my hands...but it's a passing thought, not a freak-out.

I've been under control for some years now, specifically with anti-depressants, but I failed to seek help until my mid-forties and it was almost too late. I had just gotten married for the first time after years of relationship-avoidance and I knew it was for keeps. I had two little stepsons, 2 and 5, and bio-baby on the way. They got to see the bad side of me and I would've lost everything if I hadn't sought help...and even then my wife had to threaten me with leaving to get me to finally do something about it.

I didn't know what was eating me and the only reason I sought help at a Vet Center was because I didn't have enough money for a civilian psychiatrist...it was free. And it turned out to be the start of good things. And after a year or so, with the help of the internet, I started hooking up with men I'd served with in VN. And that was an epiphany because it was like coming through the wire and dropping a heavy ruck, one of the heaviest I'd ever carried and being welcomed into the perimeter by my brothers after so many years wandering alone in the jungle.


Awesome post and its crazy/enlightening to see a brother from a different generation having quite literally, the exact same background music like the guys from OEF/OIF/OIR. I'm proud you figured out how your clock works during a tough time in your marriage; it doesn't always pan out that way especially in today's generation and coincidentally, with my own circumstances among friends.

I'm not quite sure what I was seeking to accomplish with my Facebook post but as stated, I was really irritated with the way combat veterans are portrayed or how some attempt to portray themselves. The good aspect to this is that I've received a few texts from friends who were compelled to of course: ask if I was okay, but also to acknowledge that they hadn't quite thought of their own deal until reading my post. I hope it helps them.

Regardless, I have nothing but love for the VN veterans - you guys are fucking awesome, thanks for posting brother.
 

Devildoc

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PTSD is the male military generation version of fibromyalgia. Very difficult to accurately diagnose, very difficult to 'treat,' and is way over-diagnosed. Lots of professions can lead to it; we (vets) don't have ownership. Only now is 'real' PTSD starting to be recognized in the LE/EMS community.

At work when assholes are being assholes I will say, in jest, my PTSD is about to make me snap, and I swear I can see the fear in their eyes. I recognize that I will someday say it to the wrong person and end up in HR (again). In all honesty I have far, far more concern about a mild TBI I had in the Navy (and not even combat-related) than any concern about PTSD.
 

The Hate Ape

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At work when assholes are being assholes I will say, in jest, my PTSD is about to make me snap, and I swear I can see the fear in their eyes.
Being honest with you - I fucking hate this. This is exactly the situation that encourages negative perceptions of veterans AWA inspires others to do the same as if their manhood status is elevated. I feel like with the masses, there is some sort of elephant in the room. Sure, we all have different perspectives but we could all sit around and talk for a while and probably come up with a white board write up on what PTSD is and definitely is not. Saying shit like "I can see the fear in their eyes" leaves me and others to believe that you think its a cool thing; I think HR should be the least of your worries though - you say that to the wrong person and they might put you in a hospital or a morgue.
 

Devildoc

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I don't know WTF it is but women get it too. Especially since they've been getting into high-risk occupations, military and civilian.

I am not sure I said it the right way. Of course women can get it. In fact it is probably more underdiagnosed in women than men, and likely far more because of domestic violence than work-place violence (military included). But it is far more prevalent diagnosis in men than women.
 

Devildoc

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Being honest with you - I fucking hate this. This is exactly the situation that encourages negative perceptions of veterans AWA inspires others to do the same as if their manhood status is elevated. I feel like with the masses, there is some sort of elephant in the room. Sure, we all have different perspectives but we could all sit around and talk for a while and probably come up with a white board write up on what PTSD is and definitely is not. Saying shit like "I can see the fear in their eyes" leaves me and others to believe that you think its a cool thing; I think HR should be the least of your worries though - you say that to the wrong person and they might put you in a hospital or a morgue.

I read this a couple times and I am not sure why you infer what you inferred. I could very likely be diagnosed with PTSD from civilian jobs alone; and having been in the military/EMS/etc community for almost 30 years I am pretty sensitive to it. Cool? No. My point is that civilians (particularly) and those who don't understand the experiences which could lead to PTSD think we will snap at any minute. Dive under desks. Have flashbacks. If we say "boo" they will jump. It IS the elephant in the room.
 

The Hate Ape

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I quoted specifically what part of your post I was referring to and stated clearly what I was inferring.

Example:

Man #1: (random shit talk)
Man #2: (" ")

Guy With PTSD: "My PTSD is about to make me snap"

^ Float it however you want, but any vet who hears that and says that they don't at least slightly feel that THAT is a douchey thing to say isn't being fully honest with you. I am being honest with you, open, and addressing THAT elephant in the room. The new pop trend that PTSD is something that it really isn't.

To even say "My PTSD is about to make me snap" isn't even really accurate. You saying that demonstrates that you don't fully understand your own condition. Your anxiety is about to make you snap, your PTSD contributed to the development of your anxiety. Your PTSD is a response that exists in your subconscious - anxiety and depression are the typical actors of the side effects. Those are what exist in your conscious mind. That is the entire thing myself and Ococka-One and I were discussing, that is the dialogue that we hated (him at the VA, me at the guys who parade it)

Your statement, despite whatever intention you had - was the whole problem I've been discussing.

I don't need your bona fides written out, you do not have to outline why you understand PTSD or bad feels more than I understand you do. That isn't the point of this thread and none of what I said was a personal attack on you personally but a highlight through an example of where I stand and where others agree on.

This is a guided discussion you are free to participate in but is not a debate session. If you have anything you'd like to discuss with me personally feel free to PM.

H/A
 

Devildoc

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I've seen guys parading it, too. I've seen REMFs who spent their tour in air conditioned barracks, who drank cold beer every night, who saw movies and USO shows and had burgers and pogeybait and a big fucking super walmart sized PX within walking distance and a whore house on the next block. "I can't talk about it, I've got PTSD. I almost strangled my wife the other night during a flashback." A flashback of what? They run out of Johnny Walker at Freedom Hill? Your cigarettes got wet on the way to the NCO club? I've heard more bullshit war stories in the past 40 years and they don't make muck boots high enough.

Parading it bothers me. Using it as a crutch, bothers me. I feel the same for the "Veterans Park Here" parking spots, don't-shoot-off-fireworks PSAs, etc.
 

The Hate Ape

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^ Hit the brakes. I'm absolutely parking in Veteran Parking spots - especially at Mission Barbeque. :ROFLMAO:

Fuck walking around everywhere and its not often you even see those spots so I take full advantage like a boot PFC on veterans day meals.

Me and my friends always laugh in the car when we do it too.
 

Devildoc

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^ Hit the brakes. I'm absolutely parking in Veteran Parking spots - especially at Mission Barbeque. :ROFLMAO:

Fuck walking around everywhere and its not often you even see those spots so I take full advantage like a boot PFC on veterans day meals.

Me and my friends always laugh in the car when we do it too.

Have at it, Brother Lol...I am a park-in-the-last-spot kinda guy. Ticks my family off having to walk, but I like the walk.
 

Marauder06

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^ Hit the brakes. I'm absolutely parking in Veteran Parking spots - especially at Mission Barbeque. :ROFLMAO:

Fuck walking around everywhere and its not often you even see those spots so I take full advantage like a boot PFC on veterans day meals.

Me and my friends always laugh in the car when we do it too.

I totally park in the "Veterans Parking" outside the post office when I go in to mail a package and don't feel a bit bad about doing it. I don't ask for military discounts but if they're offered I accept.
 

Marauder06

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Lots of good points in this thread. I disagree slightly with a few of the points made, however. PTSD is imminently "curable." And many times (most of the time?) it clears up on its own, over time.

I liken PTSD to this generation's "back pain," for the same reasons mentioned for "fibromyalgia."
 

pardus

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Lots of good points in this thread. I disagree slightly with a few of the points made, however. PTSD is imminently "curable." And many times (most of the time?) it clears up on its own, over time.

I liken PTSD to this generation's "back pain," for the same reasons mentioned for "fibromyalgia."

In my limited experience with it, I will say that it is not curable, but sometimes manageable (to the point of being seemingly cured), and that can take many, many years. However I have spoken with several veterans from WWII/Korea/Vietnam etc... who said that PTSD came back to haunt them in their waning years after a lifetime of being "fine".
PTSD can be insipid.

My .02c
 

Marauder06

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In my limited experience with it, I will say that it is not curable, but sometimes manageable (to the point of being seemingly cured), and that can take many, many years. However I have spoken with several veterans from WWII/Korea/Vietnam etc... who said that PTSD came back to haunt them in their waning years after a lifetime of being "fine".
PTSD can be insipid.

My .02c


Hmmmm... I was pretty sure I had a credible reference that explained PTSD generally wears off over time and that it can be cured, but now I can't find it and the stuff I CAN find on the internet contradicts my original assertion. But instead of admitting the possibility I might be wrong, I'm going to "hate" your post and go off in a corner to pout while muttering mean passive-aggressive things about your parentage. 8-)
 

The Hate Ape

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Ptsd is not curable. The only things you are mitigation of effects through constant work and attention to it. Even then, its still a pain in the dick.
Couldn't agree more if I tried. I cannot speak on all sources of traumatic stress - but to me, war driven PTSD has been engrained and set through repetition and a constant heightened sense of awareness and active sensory receptors. PTSD in this sense, preys less on stimulus and more on a train of thought or patterned behavior that reacts to the stimulus.

It becomes difficult to assess at first but one of the things my therapist had me do was carry around a pocket journal:

I would outline the following in my log:

1. What was the emotion?
- Anger, Sadness, Fear, Concern, Etc...

2. Was the emotion appropriate?
- Yes or No
- Why?

3. What was the stimulus?
- Briefly describe the first things you remember


This is really tedious, but works wonders in identifying patterns of stimulus. By habit I'm able to come back down from the emotional shifts though sometimes I only notice in hindsight. The truth as RP alluded to is that you'll never get rid of it, but with effort you will learn to live with functionally.
 
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