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  • Tommy Estes

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

In the middle of the night my wife is shaking me awake in the hopes to pull me out of another nightmare. Hello, my name is Tommy and I am a disabled combat veteran, who has a rating from the VA with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD is directly linked to an exposure to a trauma whether inside or outside of combat or a life-threatening situation. This may surface as a perpetual, perceived danger, or reacting in extreme proactive and protective measures that bring more harm than help. Symptoms may appear immediately from a traumatic event, but more often than not they manifest later on in life.

Maybe you’re asking what I was asking myself while struggling with its symptoms: “Do I have to live this way forever?” PTSD is a legitimate, and treatable condition that our veterans face on a daily basis. Because this is treatable, loved ones can encourage their veteran to seek treatment and play a supportive role in his/her healing journey.

When a veteran has experienced a traumatic event, common symptoms that they might report are:

• A lack of interest in things they once enjoyed

• Feeling numb with their emotions.

• Always on guard, even when a situation doesn’t warrant it

• Inability to sleep through the night

• Nightmares

• Irritability

• Sudden, intense anger

Some signs that you or your loved one might have PTSD:

• Avoiding situations that remind you of what happened

• Excessive use of drugs and alcohol

• Physical harm to self or others

• Becoming insulated or isolated

PTSD is not a mental condition that you need to just learn how to live with. As these PTSD signs appear, professional therapy intervention is crucial because the symptoms will not abate on their own. A professional therapist can help explore therapeutic techniques that veterans can use to address thoughts and reactions to the symptoms mentioned above.

You and I can reconnect with loved ones and feel like part of a community again. This allows us to be more at peace with ourselves and it make us feel like we have more control over our lives!

When do we get to schedule a time to meet?

Tommy Estes, MTh

Graduate Student Intern

Supervised by Angel Hirsch, LPC #78101


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