Tag Archives: PTSD Treatments

It is never too late to seek treatment for the symptoms of PTSD! Relative Peace of Mind is a Spiritual Gift…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

The statistics we don’t here about from post Vietnam War veterans…  Quote from this website article… Listen to the “Wall Song” before you leave this page…

Some Disturbing Facts About Vietnam Veterans

By , June 9, 2010 11:31 pm

I’ve recently been re-reading Chuck Dean’s outstanding book Nam Vet. I think some facts are worth sharing:

  •  Since 1975, nearly three times as many Vietnam veterans have committed suicide than were killed in the war.
  • Fifty-eight-thousand-plus Americans died in the Vietnam War. Over 150,000 have committed suicide since the war ended.
  • The suicide rate among veterans who have completed the local VA program is estimated at 2.5 per hundred.
  • The national accidental death and suicide rate is fourteen thousand men per year—33 percent above the national average.
  • Of those veterans who were married before going to Vietnam, 38 percent were divorced within six months after returning from Southeast Asia.
  • The divorce rate amongst Vietnam veterans is above 90 percent.
  • Five-hundred thousand Vietnam veterans have been arrested or incarcerated by the law. It is estimated that there are 100,000 Vietnam vets in prison today, and 200,000 on parole.
  • Drug-and-alcohol abuse problems range between 50 percent and 75 percent.
  • Forty percent of Vietnam veterans are unemployed and 25 percent earn less than seven thousand dollars per year.

Korean War veteran finds “peace” later in life is worth it…  Quote from this website article written BY CHRIS COBB, OTTAWA CITIZEN MARCH 29, 2014…  Click to see video clip interview!

PeaceNightmare ends: Korean War veteran finds peace after half-century struggle with PTSD…Jim Purcell 

“Casey didn’t live to grow old.

In the muddy, rat-infested trenches of the Korean hills, they had a bunker to sleep in and, like many 18-year-old boys, Casey loved to sleep.

The Chinese shell scored a direct hit on the bunker while he was napping.

“He got his head blown off,” says Purcell. “Casey come out there like a chicken with its head cut off, except it wasn’t quite off. He come to the door of the bunker and just dropped. That stayed with me for years. I’d wake up screaming, ‘Get out of the bunker, Casey. Get out of the bunker.’”

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Just like my father, Vernon’s, story of watching his best friend, Ken Powers, get his head blown off while the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Jim Purcell watched his buddy get his head blown off in the trenches of Korea in 1951.  While listening to this video clip interview, it was like listening to my Dad talk about a horrific traumatic experience that never leaves your head.

Like my Dad, Jim waited until later in life to seek treatment for the symptoms of PTSD.  And in my own case as a PTSD survivor, I waited until age 64 to start my journey of healing.  Too many warriors wait and sometimes it can be too late, especially when we look at the almost unbelievable statistics from Vietnam veterans listed above… “Fifty-eight-thousand-plus Americans died in the Vietnam War. Over 150,000 have committed suicide since the war ended.”

The stories of emotional pain and tragedy in life after war are too many to fathom.  I watched for many years while my father struggled with severe PTSD symptoms each and every day of his life until he was in his 60’s.  Dad finally received treatment through a balance of prescribed medications and counseling.  He started to calm down in his mid to late 60’s and lived a relatively peaceful life until 1998 when he passed away at 79.  I like to remember my Dad as a happy man even if it was just over 10 years of his life as a senior citizen.  His treatment was a work in progress but he was into the regimen because it made him feel so much better.  He and my mother spent quality time together traveling and enjoying life during those years.  Dad especially loved the ocean and beaches where they frequently spent time in Ocean Shores, Washington or walking in the parks overlooking Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Although the emotional pain and suffering lasted for over 40 years following WWII and Korean War, a few years of the gift of peace of mind was well worth it for my Dad and is true for many warriors who often wait until it is almost too late.  Dad’s awareness of PTSD, treatment, and path of healing was also a gift to my mother and other family members who felt more comfortable being around him in his later years.  Veterans should not only consider themselves in the process of healing, but remember how much loved ones benefit from seeing a happy camper.  Family members will all say that not having to walk on eggs shells at home was a real gift to them as well.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…click on my author page to order…

Listen to the “Wall Song” before you leave this page…

 

 

“Family resilience is important as it provides a way to “bounce back” from tough times. Learn more about this skill and the way it can benefit you and your family.”

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

ReadingToGroup

March is reading month… click on link…

Michigan State University, “Family Resilience…”  click on link…  Quote from this website article…

“Most people would agree that resilience is a good thing but may be confused about what resilience actually is. Resilience is considerably more than just being able to function following a difficult time in your life. Family resilience is the ability to develop and grow strengths that can help you meet life’s challenges, be able to work through them in a positive way, and emerge stronger in the process. Practicing resiliency skills is an ongoing process – not something you only use when times get tough. You may be surprised to learn that building resilience is not difficult.”

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I am fortunate in my work to pick up on the very best in articles and reference resources for children and families challenged in life.  Family centered traumatic experiences, including caring for a loved one who just returned from war, can tear a family apart over time.  I know this to be true because of my own childhood and life experience with my post WWII & Korean war family.

Michigan State University’s “family resilience” support programs and research is a good example of showing families how to be proactive by practicing resiliency skills over an extended period of time.  I had to learn how to become resilient by experimenting over a lifetime while watching my family become torn apart from war.  We just did not know what to do back in the 1950’s except survive one day at a time.  We didn’t understand what all the toxic behavior was about and why my father was so angry, depressed, and anxious.  We just thought about the celebration of the end of WWII and Korean War, and how we could all move on as a loving family.  But we didn’t know how to help ourselves nor were there any resources or access to support children and families who struggled in life after war.

I am very grateful that now in the 21st Century, families have excellent access to resources to support and complement family needs during tough times.  We can learn how to communicate more effectively as a family unit.  We are now open about the roots of toxic behavior and how to address specific family circumstances.  I am also happy to be in a position to share what I have learned with the goal to make a difference for others.  If I can help one person or one family move forward in a constructive way…a journey of healing, it is most rewarding.  It is also healing for me, keeping the emotional pain of my own life experience at a safe distance.    Take a closer look at what Michigan State University is doing to help children and families grow and become stronger even under very challenging circumstances.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story… click on my author page…

Medical Marijuana Research for PTSD Moving Forward…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

1395145343000-AP-Medical-Marijuana-California

Harborside Health Center employee Gerard Barber

(Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP)

Medical Marijuana Research at University of Arizona… Quote from this USA Today report…

“A researcher at the University of Arizona is a step closer to studying how medical marijuana affects veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although there is a “mountain of anecdotal evidence” that marijuana helps with PTSD, there has been no controlled trial to test how marijuana suppresses the symptoms, including flashbacks, insomnia and anxiety, said Suzanne Sisley, the study’s lead researcher.”

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I am no expert or researcher on the subject of medical marijuana…  I do believe we have proven that prescription medications, especially when combined with alcohol, cause major problems as a treatment strategy for PTSD survivors.  From my own experience, prescription medications with a narcotic component made me worse off.  I do use a prescribed anti-depressant and it seems to help as compared to not taking anything at all.  Anti-anxiety medications help me relax with the on-set of a potential panic attack or a high level of anxiety.  I also use an anxiety medication to help me sleep rather than a specific sleeping prescription drug.  All of this has been a long process of experimentation and appropriate medical professional guidance to find the right balance.  The best part is that, finally, after many years of frustration, the balance seems to agree with me.

Anecdotal experience and research in using medical marijuana for cancer and other health issues, suggests we should investigate further.  I am in favor of finding better ways to treat the symptoms of PTSD using complementary medications or even marijuana moderately as directed by a physician.  By far, however, alternative treatments using mindfulness strategies are the most effective for many on a long term basis.  I am convinced there is an ideal balance for each individual with the right kind of professional help.  My fear is that right now we just seem to try prescription drugs of all kinds as a challenging experiment.  With the risk of using alcohol at the same time, there is a danger of developing bigger problems for trauma victims, including suicide as the worst case outcome.

Please be guided by your primary care physician and medical professionals as you find the right treatment strategies, including prescription medications.  Some states, like Oregon, do have medical marijuana available with a prescription right now.  The main point is it can be life threatening using prescription drugs without appropriate medical advice and treatment strategies overall.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story & My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… Click on my author page…