“THE BEST WAY OUT IS THROUGH”

I saw those words once written on a poster and thought it’s probably a true statement. There are so many things we drag our feet at and don’t want to take on, but once we get into them, they either turn out to be important lessons that we learn something from, or they aren’t as horrible as we first thought.

Dancing with the devil is never an easy thing to do. That’s how I think of it: PTSD is the equivalent of dancing with the devil. You sure don’t get to lead! You get drug around to places you don’t want to go. Your toes are stepped on and all you want to do is get away and hide. But, you know, if nothing else, you learn to dance with a bad dancer!

I think it can be the same with PTSD. Facing it down and going out when you want to stay in, or trying to calm your heart rate down when it’s racing out of your chest isn’t easy. But nobody ever said it would be. The important thing is getting here. Here is where I can go out and not freak because there are other people are present. Here is where I am comfortable and where nightmares don’t chase after me each time I lie down. Here is a good place to be and I had to go there to get here.

Maybe the best way out is through. Have you put off going to a support group for PTSD? Even though you don’t want to dance with the devil, maybe it’s best to just get it over with and move off the dance floor. It’s worth thinking about.

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IMPROVEMENTS AT THE VA: MAKING PROGRESS

Mental Health

There are executive actions in progress designed to improve the mental health of military service members, veterans, and their families.

Improving Service Members’ Transition from DoD to VA and Civilian Health Care Providers: “ inTransition” is a program that focuses on servicepersons with mental health care needs to facilitate a smooth transition to mental health care through the VA.

 

Improving Access and Quality of Mental Health Care at the DoD and VA: the VA will expand mental health peer support to veterans being treated in primary care settings.

 

Continuing our Commitment to Improve Treatments for Mental Health Conditions including PTSD. 

Efforts will now focus on early detection of suicidal tendencies, PTSD, and long term effects of TBI, and other related issues in service members and veterans.

 

Raising Awareness About Mental Health and Encouraging Individuals to Seek Help: VA and DoD are expanding their suicide prevention and mental health training for healthcare providers, chaplains, and employees who work directly with veterans.

 

Improving Patient Safety and Suicide Prevention: VA and DoD are taking action to provide new opportunities for service members, veterans, and their families to give back unwanted medications, and thereby help reduce the opportunities for abuse. The Departments are also taking action to encourage firearm safety and reduce the risk of overdose.

 

Strengthening Community Resources for Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families:  Training will be provided for mental health professionals in understanding military culture and the experiences of service members and their families and the subsequent effect on PTSD