I have been on multiple deployments, recipient of the Purple Heart in combat. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and not on any drugs of any kind because I don’t want to be. The Army doctors are only interested in giving me drugs and since I am not suicidal there is nothing they can do for me. For the past 2 years I have felt more and more socially isolated. I spend my days at work and in my barracks room, I do not do anything besides sit in my chair and watch TV. I do not see the point of going out and doing anything because plan and simple cant find a reason to leave my room other than going to the store for essentials. Do to age and being single my social group is extremely limited in my opinion, most people that live in the barracks are 5 to 8 years younger than me and are only interested in going out and getting drunk to have a good time. I do not drink heavy and will not start, i think being drunk is pointless so actually going to bars around here is something i just don’t do. That again limited my social interaction so i just sit here without a social group and friends.
Naturally I have been single for over two years, this fact has led me to do most everything alone. I will do most everything by myself, from going out to eat to going to the movies. That got old quick so I just stopped going out. I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore, just getting to the point of not caring about much of anything.
I am not familiar with the mental health services that are available to you at your military base. I am assuming that if you are allowed to leave the barracks to go to bars and movies, then you could attend mental health services as well. Are there are psychological services outside of the barracks that you could utilize? Perhaps there are mental health facilities that offer support groups, group therapy or individualize therapy sessions.
You should also consider attending a church and becoming involved in their activities. For many people, there are significant psychological benefits to both participating in church activities and assisting others in need. For many people, it provides great meaning to their lives.
Twenty years ago, there was a lot less known about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Current, cutting-edge treatments typically involve more than medication. I would encourage you to talk to the clinicians at your base about what you have been experiencing. Inquire whether they offer group or individual therapy for individuals with PTSD. There may be other treatments for PTSD of which you’re unaware.
I also wouldn’t rule out medication. It is possible that a low-dose medication could significantly improve your symptoms. You should be open to any treatment which could improve your life.
I hope that you will consider my suggestions. You may also want to review these resources: the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans of America (IAVA) and the Womack Army Medical Center. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle