Our partner

Veteran Father with PTSD, not sure how to help

Open Discussions about Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Veteran Father with PTSD, not sure how to help

Postby Cat_Lady » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:22 pm

I guess it's story time. I'm a young adult finishing up college at the moment. My father served in the Special Forces in Nicaragua back in the 80s before he met my mother. For years my father never wanted to talk about his military service.

Fast forward and I'm off to college. Suddenly my father is having issues with PTSD that he hadn't suffered from in a very long time accompanied with bad depression. He feels like our family doesn't respect him and that we don't appreciate his military service (which is honestly rubbish because we are all insanely proud of him, we just never said anything because it made him uncomfortable and he expressed a desire never to talk about his service). We've been trying to tell and show him that we still really care about him, but he keeps pushing us away and convincing himself that we don't like him anymore. On top of that, he doesn't believe anything is wrong with him outside of seasonal depression that he claims is handled holistically. If anything goes wrong in the family, he blames everyone around him.

I'm honestly scared, he gets really angry a lot over seemingly trivial things (like all of the bread is gone and we didn't save him a piece for toast or my mother has to go to work and can't help him on the home improvement project) and on occasions has expressed having suicidal thoughts.
We don't know how to help him and our family is beginning to fall apart. I'm hoping somewhere out there is advice for a family dealing with the aftermath of military service and the mental health issues that entails.
Cat_Lady
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:11 pm
Local time: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:31 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Veteran Father with PTSD, not sure how to help

Postby seabreezeblue » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:26 am

I'm wondering if your father is suffering right now because the fact that you're going off to college has triggered him into realising that he's getting older and getting there rapidly..

He sounds like he's having a bit of an identity crisis - combined with the ptsd and the fact that men are generally told that they're not allowed to have emotions.. this could easily explain his behaviour right now.
He probably feels lost and insecure and he's pushing you all away.. not because he doesn't care and not really because he thinks that you don't care but more because he's trying to process everything and he needs to withdraw to work things out.

I think the best thing you can do for him right now is to step back a bit and give him some space and time.. don't tell him that you think there's anything wrong with him because having those messages drummed into you of ''men don't cry or show their emotions'' - if you point out his weaknesses, he'll really struggle to accept that he has them.
He's projecting rather than accepting atm.. when he feels weak, he throws it away and finds the nearest logical target to pin it on.

Instead.. make this about you and your feelings..
explain to him that you need him right now and really want to spend some time with him..
he needs a purpose to latch on to.. he also needs people to join him in what he chooses as his purpose.. his goal.. his reason for continuing.
Please help him whenever you can with the home improvement project and ask others to do the same.. by your mother being unable to help him with the improvements.. he's likely seeing this as a personal rejection rather than what it really is (a lack of time)..
same with the toast- he sees that as people saying he isn't important and this will trigger his own insecurities about his immortality and place in this world.

TL/DR.. he needs a purpose and to be needed.
If you want to drag him along to therapy - you'll find it a lot easier if you book yourself in and ask for his support and for him to go with you.
xx
Shine me a light up
and i'll run round the moon..



forum-rules.php
User avatar
seabreezeblue
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5662
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:07 pm
Local time: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:31 pm
Blog: View Blog (26)

Re: Veteran Father with PTSD, not sure how to help

Postby Lionel2100 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:33 am

seabreezeblue wrote:
TL/DR.. he needs a purpose and to be needed.
If you want to drag him along to therapy - you'll find it a lot easier if you book yourself in and ask for his support and for him to go with you.
xx


This is wisdom. Older vets are not just going to go join a group and talk about their feelings. I second this advice.
Lionel2100
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:11 am
Local time: Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:31 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest