Suicide # 3
I’m quite baffled by PTSD sufferers. Firstly, I know that there are many who visit both this Facebook page and also our site at militaryptsdforum.com. There are many who complain about their symptoms on this Facebook page. They complain about the VA and how the VA hasn’t “cured” them. They complain about how I haven’t fixed them and then they complain about how miserable their lives have become since they were added to the PTSD statistics. I have warned so many about Facebook and these sufferers and their willingness to publicize to the World that they are a PTSD patient not knowing who may be reading their confessions. This warning of protection resulted in quite a few people criticizing me for some reason. I do believe that you are welcome to say whatever you want but I am starting to believe that though many talk a good game, few really have any interest in trying to heal themselves. I guess these people want to find an easy out and complaining is their starting point but unfortunately their ending point too.
Someone came up with an idea that I thought was a good one. They suggested that I select topics to discuss on our website at www.beyondptsd.org, which is completely confidential and allows for anyone to speak freely without the danger of an unwanted viewer exposing them and/or their hidden feelings. I thought that this idea had some merit, so I opened the discussion with his suggestion. At first, the topic “Triggers” received zero responses. I complained on Facebook and admitted my disappointment. As a result, received 4 responses on our web site. Considering that there may be, as many as, 400,000 military PTSD sufferers in the United States, this seemed rather an anemic number of responses. But I rationalized that perhaps the topic was wrong.
I then offered a warning about what the next topic was going to be so that anyone with something to say would have a time to think about it. My second topic was “Suicide”. With the magnitude of this issue, in many people’s minds, I thought this would be a very thoughtful conversation that might lead us to interesting possibilities to think about and explore further. That was my thought. I warned not to admit to anything on Facebook and welcomed ideas at out site. After three days, we received 2 responses.
I’ve repeated to all, repeatedly, that this is not my site, alone. It belongs to all PTSD sufferers. With 7.7 million in the United States, I felt that it would offer everyone a place where we (those who have PTSD and their caregivers), can come and safely discuss their issues. There is no right or wrong thing to say but everything said has value. I strongly believe that we , as a group, have the answer buried in us somewhere.
I am sorry that those who feel discouraged because of their PTSD, choose not to write but hopefully, they might read. I am sorry that those who already have found some peace in their own struggles with PTSD have chosen to ignore those who might benefit from seeing and hearing of their successes in the battle. In general, the apathy of PTSD sufferers is so shocking to me!! It seems complaining is the easiest choice so everyone wants to complain and yet very few will lift a finger to start to figure out their own healing.
I spoke in my discussion of suicide, that I attended, led by, Col. Carl Castro. He stated at this conference that the Army cannot figure out what to do about the suicide issue. After seeing the response to my request for a discussion about it, I can see why. The excuse of “I’ve never contemplated suicide” doesn’t fly with me. All this really says to me is that, not only do I not have any ideas that might advance the subject so I won’t even take the time to think about it. So sad!! We who have PTSD are the key to finding out the answers but only if we want to do something more that complain or say, “Tell me what I can do?” It is you who must pledge to help by participating. I have just as many possible answers as you. Some of mine might be right, some might be wrong, but all possibilities are worth discussing. I have mentioned this African proverb many times both in my book, and also at the web site and probably here on Facebook too. The proverb goes, “If you don’t think one person can make a difference then try locking yourself in a tent with one mosquito.”