The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #3649615
Posted By: Rapparee
09-Aug-14 - 09:51 AM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Ah...I've tried to keep it sorta undercover. Really. But I'll tell now, and it's THE REAL TRUTH.

Last September I took over as facilitator and Peer Specialist for a local VA PTSD Group (Group North, to be exact). I am trained to help veterans (and others, I guess) who have PTSD work through recurrent problems, such as flashbacks, anger, nightmares, depression, and such stuff. I volunteer to do this; for VA purposes I'm a "WOC" (With Out Compensation). My "home base" is the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City (see here.) I took this on because the person who was doing it was retiring and the group would fold if someone didn't step up. It is my very good fortune to be the Peer Specialist most distant from the place in SLC and work out of the most distant Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC).

Veterans don't talk about their hard experiences except with other veterans, so a Peer Specialized program provides someone who's been there, done that, and won't make judgements like "You shouldn't have machine-gunned that teenager even if he WAS shooting at you, you horrid little man!" It also frees up a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker to do more in-depth work with those who need it.

Yes, there are some pretty hairy stories out there. No, I can't tell you. You see, even Dear Mom MOAB ain't worth going to a federal penitentiary over.

But I'll leave this thought: people with PTSD is far, far more likely to harm themselves that others. Hollywood and the media have a LOT to answer for. And it's no big secret that as the Vietnam vets retire and work doesn't eat up their time, The Memories are coming back and the PTSD that they've had all along to flare up and bite them in the butt.

But it was a good session yesterday.