Posted on Jun 9, 2015
SGT Alicia Brenneis
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From friend/normal to crazy with 4 little letters? Do your civilian friends treat you differently when they find out you have PTSD? I find that when I am upset or justifiably angry my friends or family whisper "she has PTSD" like its some justification as to why I am upset or mad. I can no longer just have a bad day. I am currently in school and during my psychology class today the instructor asked me if I have PTSD and how I deal with it. I am the only veteran in class and was kind of embarrassed to be put on the spot but I was honest and said yes. I explained that I deal with it and that most of them would not even notice if I was having a moment. The next 20 minutes was cross talk of horror stories about people they heard about with PTSD. I tried to explain that not every with PTSD is how the media portrays it and that their are degrees of PTSD but it was like I never even spoke. One girl even asked me if I was safe to be around or if I would just snap someday. I don't know how to react to all of this. What do I say? Yes I have issues but I am not crazy.
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Edited >1 y ago
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1SG Claims Assistant
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SGT Alicia Brenneis, I think it absolutely atrocious that your professor would put you on the spot like that without at least discussing it with you first. An introduction should have shaped the discussion into a more positive, informative one as well.
What you do next could make or break you. I suggest that you explain in detail how this came to be a part of your life and what causes it to manifest. Describe how a sound or smell causes the involuntary reactions we all know of, how you deal with it, and how you have found that you can continue facing the challenges of life and overcoming them.
People fear what they don't understand. They need to see you as a real person who could be them, but for the grace of God, and that life goes on. You can't win them all, but I think you'd find that the tenor of the conversation becomes less hostile and more understanding.

Like college is supposed to be.
Good luck.
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PFC Julian Wright
PFC Julian Wright
>1 y
I have found that an excellent way to answer the question is to say, "I have exactly what you would have, if someone close to you was shot to death, and someone you dont know tried to kill you by blowing himself to pieces, leaving a nice mess of body parts all over your lawn, and being surrouded every day by a shoddy police force of people who secretly belong to that group who are still trying to blow you up, all while having to spend 22 hours a day awake, in 120 degree heat while wearing all the clothes you have in your wardrobe at all times, for twelve months straight."

Understand, that PTSD is not a disease, its brain damage that happens when a person goes through more than their mind is designed to handle.
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SFC Lee Flowers
SFC Lee Flowers
>1 y
I am a retiree who served at Khe sanh while with A1/9 3rd Mar Div. We fought hand to hand, wounded three times during that six hour battle but worse, out of 68 Marines we lost all but 28 and we were all wounded more than once. I was 18 years old. Back then they had not even come up with that word ptsd, they just called us crazy VN Vets. I could even today recv disability for ptsd but there is no damn way I would ever put myself thru that. I have sorta of a good and bad feelings for (help) for ptsd. I see that it can help but, on the other side too much help for some in the way it is done allows some and I am not talking about all but for some soldiers they never get over it, I mean they would rather sit back and complain and suck all the disability out of the system as they can get. To me that is a crutch and it will always be a crutch if you don't dig down and find the strength/courage to make a stand. Let me tell you for me, it was like sheer terror screaming out of my mind, drove me crazy for years and years. I had many failures in my life during that time, that type of stress is hell to over come. I did it own my own but not without a lot of consequences.........today at 65 yrs old, 24 yrs active duty......I realize what I went through, how I got through it and my experience tells me that I don't think by going thru group therapy seeking counseling would have helped spend up the process. Not saying it would not have been comforting during those years but, Ptsd is a permanent problem. I mean I'm sorry but there is no damn way you can sit there and make me believe you don't feel it, that you are completely cured.....it don't work that way. My combat experiences that I endured in 1967 & 68 will never be forgotten, I will take this to my grave with me, that's not opinion that's a fact. Best we can hope for after those type of experiences is to be able to have good meaningful relationships with others without causing any negative effects on them or yourself. If you can do that then, you got control. But its always going to be with you.........always.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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@SFC lee flowers
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1SG Claims Assistant
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SFC Lee Flowers ,
I understand. From one man to another.
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PO1 John Miller
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The sarcastic side of me would say to your fellow student: "Why don't you try pissing me off and see if I snap?"

The rational side of me would talk to your professor in private and express how you feel and request that they drop any further discussions of PTSD.

You should also consider filing a formal complaint if these "discussions" persist.
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MSgt John Carter
MSgt John Carter
>1 y
"...piss me off and see if I snap...." I genuinely laughed at that, John. Thanks. :o)

J.
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PO1 John Miller
PO1 John Miller
>1 y
Glad I could give you a laugh MSgt John Carter! :)
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SFC William Farrell
SFC William Farrell
>1 y
Nice answer PO1 Miller, i like your thinking! I should try it sometime.
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PO1 Command Services
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Edited >1 y ago
Unfortunately, like you stated many are ignorant on the subject and do not truly understand nor at times do I think they WANT too. I personally do not have PTSD but I see this happen to my friends that do all the time. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are many that struggle with this every day. One of my dearest friends (Marine vet) and I have discussed this at length. Anytime I get frustrated with ignorant people, I just watch this video and feel so much better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0_qzlk5Bjs
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SFC Frank Burns
SFC Frank Burns
>1 y
Thank you, that just made my day! I'm sending the like to my Supervisor and Manager. They are idiots and maybe they'll stop saying stupid stuff.
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CDR Michael Goldschmidt
CDR Michael Goldschmidt
>1 y
Awesome post, but if I didn't have PTSD already, I'd have it from the singing. (I think I'm having a theme song flashback NOW!!!)
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1LT Richard C.
1LT Richard C.
>1 y
Thank you so much for that video....just awesome.
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SGT Writer
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6 y
This is Awesome.
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