Collateral Damage

PTSD comes standard with a hefty dose of collateral damage.

If someone asked me to describe what the last few years of my life were like, I’d tell them this: it’s been the biggest and most heartbreaking personal battle of my life. With that said, I am grateful that I was able to recognize the trouble I was in. In doing so, I avoided becoming a statistic. There has been, however, a fair amount of collateral damage.

Personally, I don’t find that there is a whole lot of discussion around the damage our mental-health conditions have. The damage it wreaks on our spouses and other loved ones can be and often is very devastating.

Speaking for myself, I know that I have been actively seeking solutions to minimize PTSD’s powers and depression’s ability to keep me captive. In doing so, I have been almost exclusively focused on myself.

Self-care, I believe, is absolutely essential for us to keep going. A recharge isn’t really optional when one has mental illness.

Collateral damage

But what of those who matter most? Who’s helping them? From my point of view, our symptoms radiate from within and spill out of us, infecting those around us.

A great example of this is PTSD’s startle response; To watch my partner walk around on eggshells, because everything scares the life out of me, is heartbreaking.

While my reaction is a by-product of the PTSD, it doesn’t change the very real fact that she is impacted by it and by the multitude of other symptoms.

Partner have PTSD? Need help coping? Click here.

I work hard to try to acknowledge her feelings but a lot of the time the collateral damage is done. The pain is real and long-lasting, and I don’t know what to do.

What I do recommend however, is that those who love someone with post-traumatic stress disorder find professional help for themselves. You are just as worthy and important as the person going through it, therefore self-care is vital. There is help, likewise, there is hope. It’s true that living with someone with mental illness can still be worth the fight, as long as you understand that you can’t absorb that flak without help. Go to our Mental health resources page for help.

I want to thank all the family, friends and especially spouses who stand by their partners and fight the good fight with them……… Much love to my own partner… I am eternally grateful for you.

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You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD

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Proud to be one of the contributing authors of this book! 20 authors, 20 stories of people with PTSD. Available for pre-order today

Josh Rivedal
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About the Book

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre,  Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of  20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, If you are from the military or emergency services, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently come with  post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that their are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and/or get the help you need. The intention of  this book is to help with that….You’re not alone.

Also,  Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness – and best of all, it attempts to give all who served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!


Lemonade Stand Vol. III on The Road To Mental Wellness.

Categories: Mental Health, PTSD

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