Combat veterans from the Vietnam-era through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan often turn to Vet Center counselors for help with post-traumatic stress or depression. And some of these counselors are themselves feeling stress – in part, they say, because of what they’re calling unrealistic productivity requirements.
Ted Blickwedel, 63, is a Marine Corps veteran living in Smithfield, R.I. And recently, when he was working as a clinical social worker at his local Vet Center in nearby Warwick, he began to think about suicide.
“I didn’t sit around and ruminate about how I’m going to go about taking my own life or anything,” he says, “but nonetheless, it was just this sense that I didn’t want to be here anymore.”
Full story at NPR.org
By Robert Lavine
The boom of the plane hitting the towers, the gray pieces floating in the air, and the people jumping out were parts of the scene replayed in physician Margaret Dessau’s mind for years after the 9/11 disaster. She remembers looking out her apartment window to see a “guy with this white towel, and he’s waving it.” After he jumps, she hears children scream from a nearby school.
Nearly 10 years later, she described these memories as part of her post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to writer Anemona Hartacollis for the New York Times. Many PTSD sufferers replay disastrous events as memories that intrude on everyday life — intrusive memories — or in nightmares. They complain of not sleeping or concentrating. They may overreact to loud noises, become excessively alert and hypervigilant, and avoid reminders of the disaster. Dessau, who witnessed the attacks from her window, avoids looking at the skyline.
Intrusive memories are only part of a larger picture that often includes a sense of isolation, hopelessness, anger, and emotional numbness.
Full story at The Atlantic