This PTSD Symptom Is Killing You and No One Is Talking About It
It’s not listed in any of the clinical literature. It’s not part of any diagnostic criteria. No doctor will ask about it. But it’s real. And it will kill you.
I want to tell you about the most embarrassing moment of my life.
But when I look back at it now, I shudder a little bit. When I think about it, I just kind of shake my head. It’s one of those moments in life when I was the farthest off-course. When I was the most lost. When I believed something utterly untrue.
I was in College. Three years out of the Army and back-to-back tours in Iraq. I was an alcoholic. I didn’t know that then but I know that now. My life was shit. I was a pretty awful person all around. And, to be fair to myself, I was an awful person because I was suffering greatly.
Here’s the embarrassing part
One day, these words came out of my mouth. Well, not out of my mouth. I don’t think I said them out loud. But I said them in my head…
Why hasn’t anyone come to check on me? Don’t they know? Can’t they see how much I’m suffering? Why are they doing this to me?
Do you know who I was talking about? The VA. The Department of Veterans Affairs. Those folks who are responsible for treating Veterans like me with severe PTSD. The ones who are supposed to prevent us from killing ourselves.
Let me tell you why that is an insane thing to think:
There are millions of Veterans. I was just one of them. And, I had never set foot in a VA. I was supposed to. Everyone is supposed to. But I never did. That means I never registered. I wasn’t enrolled as a patient of any VA system in the country. They had no idea who I was.
And even if they did know who I was, how exactly were they supposed to know I was suffering? I’d never been to an appointment. I’d never told anybody at the VA (or otherwise). How were they supposed to know I was thinking about killing myself? And even if they did know all that, did I expect them to do house calls?