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Friday, May 15, 2015

Bob suggested I write up a set of Q & A for an advice column on PTSD and try and sell it to a newspaper or something. It is really what I love to do, but do I have the energy? It would be easy if someone else came up with the questions...
I have a blog at…/PTSD_Help-For_Spouses.html and two other facebook pages, Patience H C Mason, Author and Recovering From the War.
Last Year in June (PTSD Month) I posted everyday here and cross posted to all of them. I think it helped some people.
I keep directing people on some of the groups I belong to to…/PTSD_Help-For_Spouses.html which also links to the stuff for kids, the Gazettes and various essays. I have written so much on this subject and few people know, but 

I really think my non-professional take on PTSD is way more helpful than the way professionals look at it as a random collection of symptoms with no rhyme or reason. 
I see it as survivor skills built into your brain which are rapidly/instantly activated by war or abuse and which play out in a logical order, hyperalertness and rapid adaptation leading to numbing and then avoidance, ending up with re-experiencing symptoms like nightmares, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, anniversary reactions to incidents you may or may not remember, one of the commonest causes for a resurgence of PTSD symptoms.
The other common cause for a resurgence is a new stressor which, having been to war, may not seem like it ought to bother you, but suddenly you are keyed up, angry etc.
I'd be glad for suggestions or inspiration.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

To my Congressman about marijuana

When Bob got back from Vietnam
 anyone who had problems was treated badly at the local VA where they were rude and dismissive. The diagnosis of PTSD did not exist. There was no treatment except valium, and he was told to take all he wanted since it was the new wonder drug. He also drank heavily. The students at UF introduced him to pot.
Bob survived BECAUSE he had these three drugs to use. Not because he got help at the VA. Not because I helped him. Because drinking, smoking pot and taking lots of valium just kept him down to WIRED. He could not sleep. Sleeping pills kept him awake. He was irritable and angry a lot, numb a lot, but whatever he was, the pot HELPED.
It helped him and it helped me because it calmed him down.
I think it should be available to every veteran.

What I wrote Ted Yoho, a supposedly pro-vet Congressman in Florida:
'I happen to live with a vet who has PTSD and who has suffered a lot as a result. I have written a book called Recovering From The War and have a website on recovering from PTSD, which involves different things for different people.…/PTSD_Help-Gazettes.html
I believe that with so many veterans killing themselves or hurting their families with outbursts of anger etc, they should be provided with something which will help them NOW, not after weeks of therapy, if they can even be seen in the VA or find a therapist who understands. Medications may help, but if they have bad side effects, most vets won't take them and won't say they are not. They give up. Pot just makes them feel better and it should be available. For years after Vietnam, it was the only thing that helped my husband and I was glad he had it.
I know you won't agree, but I wanted to let you know that you could have helped our veterans and you didn't. 

It is not an ideal solution, but it is something that has helped many. "

I wrote this when I signed a letter to Representative Yoho about the fact that VA doctors can't even talk to vets about pot, thanks to a recent vote. The letter came through the Drug Policy Alliance