Email interview with a mother of a returning soldier with PTSD
Military duty may be over for many veterans but what happens to them when they get home? Unfortunately, the answer is quite shocking many veterans are left on their own battling a mental disorder which they do not fully understand.
June is post traumatic stress disorder month and I will be sharing with you the story of Jeremiah Tankersley written by his mother Teila. She has given me permission to tell her story. Unfortunately, this story is repeated over and over again in America with devastating results.
What is Post traumatic stress disorder?:
The DSM 5 was released in 2013 and defined post tramatic stress disorder as an anxiety disorder triggered by exposure to “actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation.” The criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder must result from direct direct experience with a traumatic experience, witnessing a traumatic experience, learning about a family member who experienced a traumatic experience or experiencing first hand repeated exposure to a traumatic experience. At least one of these situations must be present in order to receive the diagnosis. http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/PTSD%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
Most young men go into the military with a well deserved sense of pride; they will be serving their country at the highest level. However the effects of war on their mental health was something most young men and their families never expected. Our society is prepared to heal physical damage of war; we understand that, the evidence is before our eyes, we can see severed limbs and other injuries caused by war but we don’t always see the emotional and cognitive aspects of war.
Who is Jeremiah Tankersley?
Teila Tankersley writes:
My son grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was a kindhearted, adventurous child. In his late teens he joined the army. With the lure of higher pay he signed up to become a Scout. He had no idea what he was in for.
What happened to some men who served in the military?
Teila Tankersley writes:
Colorado Springs, CO - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among servicemen and servicewomen who risk their lives for our freedom is something we hear about far too often.
It's a vicious irony that those soldiers we trust and who served their country honorably, come back tainted. The reality of war is horrific, but it is a reality that seems inevitable.
When these soldiers come back, some are more resilient than others. Some come back able to put the horrors in perspective, while others come home with a baggage of horrific nightmares that follow them preventing them from carrying on with their day to day activities. Not everyone comes back hurting and damaged, but they all come back scarred.
How was Jeremiah affected by his military experience?
The duties of a Cavalry Scout are to be the commander's eyes and ears on the battlefield. When information about the enemy is needed, they call on the Scouts. They are the tip of the spear, usually being the first to enter an area, providing forward exploration and spotting for the U.S. Army. They find and relay key information about the enemy to commanders and other leaders in the field.
There are 2 major drawbacks to being a Scout. The first one is that it is a deadly job, it is a very real fact that they might not make it home at the end of the day. The second is that when the Cavalry Scout is stateside and in between rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, they spend a lot of time doing mundane things like working in the office and cleaning weapons. This mundane time gives them too much time for their mind to wander, wandering back to some of things that they experienced in war.
Editorial note: According to the National Institute of Health the epidemic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is continually growing. There are approximately there are approximately 7.7 million Americans who have post traumatic stress disorder and Members of the military exposed to war/combat and other groups at high risk for trauma exposure are at risk for developing PTSD .
Among veterans returning from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, PTSD and mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) are often linked and their symptoms may overlap. Blast waves from explosions can cause TBI, rattling the brain inside the skull.
to be continued
If you or your family is struggling with PTSD, know that you are not alone. If you are in a crisis you have options: Call 911; Go to the nearest Emergency Room or Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Please refer to the original article for more information. http://www.criminalprofiling.com/story.php?id=291&page=2
Interview with the Teila Tankersley with permission to reprint her story.