“There are times that I am medicated. My PTSD comes in cycles and when things get bad I need that extra chemical push to regulate me. I accept this and because of it I do not drink. I have other physical problems that could easily warrant an addiction to pain killers, but just like most of us with PTSD, I avoid it.”
I took the above quote from the article published in the above link. But the entire article touched me and represents a powerful example of the feelings and experience of just one of countless combat veterans who return home suffering from the symptoms of PTSD. What is so critical to understand about the selected quote is how pain killers and alcohol can be a devastating mix with the appropriate medications that truly help balance brain chemistry as an effective treatment for PTSD.
I do not drink for this reason, and have not for going on 12 years. But have recently eliminated pain killers, which have been useful for a number of years while recovering from several surgeries. The pain medications became a huge problem; however, because they are not only addictive, but also interrupt the effectiveness of the medication that is really important to PTSD, including depression, and anxiety treatment. Sleeping medications also become a problem after awhile when it becomes a nightly habit. Now, Ibuprofen is back in my life and doing a pretty good job helping with my pain management challenge.
I am not a mental health professional and only provide the above information as a lay person who has gone through the experience of treating both pain and the many symptoms of PTSD. I have been under the supervision of my doctor and have learned exactly what RU Rob describes in his article; a must read by clicking the above link.
My best wishes to all veterans returning home from combat duty. As RU Rob says, “you were strong enough to make it this far, don’t give up.”
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story