Combat PTSD

by Cristin Kraus
(Wisconsin)

I’ve always felt the need to help other women mend their broken lives. But it took my life being broken to really get motivated. A little over 2 years ago, I met and married who I thought was my soul mate. He was a Sergeant in the army and had been in Iraq for over two years. We spent hours dreaming of our life together. The children we would raise in our own home, holding hands at our 60th wedding anniversary, and growing old together. It really was a possibility until the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder started creeping into our perfect marriage. Looking back, I can see that there were red flags all along. But there wasn’t anything that we weren’t willing to face together and conquer as a couple.

Unfortunately, the uncontrollable symptoms of this parasitic disease slowly surfaced and he was diagnosed in 2010 with PTSD and Major Depression related to the combat. With each passing day, I watched the man I love slip away until he didn’t even recognized himself. As his sanity and our life spiraled out of control, he was eventually medically retired from the Army as a result of the diagnosis.

For anyone who is not familiar with the symptoms of Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how it affects both the Veteran and his family, please research this for yourself. He begged and pleaded with me to leave because he knew he was quickly losing the ability to control his symptoms. But I refused to leave for about a year until I finally recognized how detrimental his disease was to my own health and safety. Looking back, I can see that he loved me enough to let me go.

The last time he visited our old apartment after we separated, he said he couldn’t stand being there, that it made him sick to his stomach. It was like reminder of what the disease had done to him, every room reeking of all the dark moments we endured. And like that apartment, I realize that I’m my husband’s dark room, his harrowing memory of a lifetime lost to the wounds of war.

Comments for Combat PTSD

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Finally seeing the light
by: Anonymous

My husband has depressive episodes and cycles on and off through bits of depression. He reacts very poorly to criticism of any kind. The wrong word at the wrong time sends him into a multi-day hide from the family and a wallow fest. He refuses to seek help despite the fact I began counseling 6 months ago. I cannot fix him, only me.

@ 3?
by: Anonymous

My mother was abusive. I never realized how much. I never realized how different my childhood was.

My oldest brother tied me to a chair in a basement when I was about 4. My brother's friends' molested me when I was about 8, as well as my step brother. My 1st husband died at 37, falling 4 stories in a freak construction accident in 1991. My father died in 2000. I was raped a month later. I re-married a man whose wife committed suicide and we tried to raise 5 kids who lost a mother or father, while we both had 2 businesses to run. My son developed a mental health disorder and almost died in a suicide attempt in 2001.

My middle brother died in 2003. He succumbed to a major heart attack while reading and died in his sleep and was dead for 2 days before anyone knew it.

I have tried to carry on with my business, life, and being a parent and was dumped in HI with nothing by my husband in CO. See "The Descendants'. I have had to tell my children their father was dead when they were 8 and 11, had a psychotic son saying he killed me, fought for NAMI, and tried to get legal representation for a deadbeat husband who lied about financial affidavits for divorce.

I am homeless, carless, and penniless and never considered myself to be a victim. BUT I WANT HELP AND AM READY TO ASK.

PTSD = Adrenal Gland issues
by: Anonymous

Please read about adrenal gland fatigue and look at DrWilson.org website. He also wrote a book which is excellent.

I think adrenal gland issues are the reason why our troops are coming back home with PTSD. Our adrenals help regulate our cortisol levels and over 50 hormones which in turn help regulate our thinking, our fight or flight mood and our ability to handle stress. Extreme long term stress cause our adrenal glands to lose their ability to regulate cortisol levels and in severe cases, basically the on off switch is broken and remains on producing too much cortisol.

Dr. Wilson recommends many things to help get someone back to "normal" i.e. change their diet, no exercise until there adrenals are repaired, and vitamins which he sells.

I also recommend Dr. Joel Furhman’s "Eat to Live" book for flooding your body with vitamins and nutrients which the adrenal gland needs to correct it-self. Dr. Furhman has also written several books and has an excellent website. If you can travel to see him in NJ it is well worth the money.

To check your adrenals you can take a saliva test.

If you or someone you know has PTSD please research Adrenal Gland issues.

feeling and have walked in the same shoes.
by: Gale

No disrespect, but I totally feel your pain. It was one of the hardest times I went through. I was with this man at a young age (eighteen) and he was much older than I. He would beat me with a tail end of his rifle, lock me in the closet, gave me bread and water, and it took a couple of days before he realized what he had done!! I was too scared to leave. I thought men did this to their women and we were supposed to let them. Love me or hate me? I didn't know about war and stuff like that. I would go to work, come home, cook, clean and on Friday start drinking early to numb the pain I was about to get. After four years of beatings, the cops knew us by our first names. Then I finally knew I was about to die. So I planned my escape, thank god we weren't married! I waited for the beating to prove self-defense. When he passed out on my bed, I wrapped him in the sheets and beat from head to toe, till I saw blood all over. Then I called the cops and told them I think I killed him, thank god I didn't. I got my son and never went back. He said it was about time I did it. The cops let me go and will never really know what he was going through. I still wish I could open a home for women who are dealing with these kinds of things. Good luck and you staying may have killed you. Sometimes letting go and letting god is best.

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