Finding others with PTSD

Posted December 5th, 2014 by

Sometimes it’s nice not having to explain yourself to people who don’t really understand what it’s like for you, and to surround yourself with people who just get it. As the PatientsLikeMe post traumatic stress disorder community grows, we’ve heard from our members who are veterans about how important it is for them to connect to other vets.

Here’s a conversation with our Product Manager and former Marine, Sean Horgan and community member, David Jurado (Jrock121). They shared about their struggles returning home after war, and how they missed their rooftop cigar time with the boys.

David shared some personal details about his journey living with PTSD: after self medicating with Jack Daniels and oxycontin, David found help and peace of mind, connecting with other Veterans, communing with mother nature, and stepping up as a role model for others. He now teaches people you can “replace bad memories with good memories” by working through your bucket list.

The beginning of his transformation started with this cute pup, Willett. Named after a service buddy who died in combat, Willett helped David get out of the house and re-engage with society. David is now Executive Director of Companions for Heroes, a company that places shelter dogs with vets living with PTSD.

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11 Comments

  1. David….I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for fighting for our country! My sons are also Marines & active duty. I have such a brand-new and deep appreciation for people like you in our military. Because now that I have two sons in the military, I have learned so much of what you all have been through. At least a little glimpse of what you battled & battle now. I pray that the Lord God blesses you and all of our military! Thank you so very much and I wish I could give you a big hug from this Proud Marine mom!!

  2. I was A Marine myself also i am service connected for bipolar how you deal with bipolar i lived in ARIZONA SO WITH THAT I GOD BLESS STAY HEALTHY SEMPER FI HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU AGAIN

  3. I would like to thank David and all of the other soldiers and their families. Thank you for your service and for giving up time with your families.

    We can never know what you saw and did while you were away from home, but most of us can understand what it is like to fight a battle within yourself that others don’t understand because they haven’t been there. You might look great on the outside, but you are dealing with alot of feelings and pain on the inside.

    May God bless all of those who make sacrifices for the rest of us. I hope everyone can find peace within.

    Sharon Dennis

  4. PTSD is a horrible thing. It is something nobody should ever have to endure. I believe in my heart, though that the people who suffer from it the most were Vietnam vets, and the ones who went to this last war, but for different reasons. When we came back, we were spit at, yelled at, and told to be ashamed for going. No doubt, that caused a lot of suicides after the war. But on the good side, when we went to war, we normally went as a unit, and came back to a military base & a military community. There were a lot of folks in that base town who could see it in us, and help us. Half the town was either retired or active duty, and the local doctors, ministers, and even the bar tenders knew it when they saw it.
    Now, though, when a National Guard unit goes over from a farm town, they come back to that same farm town. The adjustment is quite different. Within a week, they are back to work at the farm or the hardware store. Nobody in that town is really familiar with it, and really, there is no place to go for help. A doctor in Keokuk, for example, may not recognize it, AND, the soldier doesn’t know where to go. Sadly, this is why so many turn to drugs or a bottle. I think we need a national effort to accomplish two things: Let everyone know this is not some sign that the guy is “Less a man”, or “weird” or whatever (—Sorry, I can’t put that into words very well) , and we have to let the soldiers know that there is help, and they should come get it. Many are afraid they will lose their job or their family or both if they admit they have a problem, so they just “Do their best”. But if they don’t get help, they will lose both, and their self-worth. If this country wants to send people off to war, this country has to take the responsibility when they come home. We all gladly help those with physical disabilities when the war ends…We have to do the same with mental disabilities. Way too many of them are now in jails, prisons, hobo camps, and soup kitchens. As a nation, we should be ashamed.

  5. I’m a Seabee, USNMCB#1 East Coast. What little I was Stateside I called Davisville, R.I. my home. Home was WV, where I was born, raised & hope to spread my ashes when it is all over. That place is an hour & half drive from here. Most of my friends there left the State or as I, signed on a Service branch. I received a “Dear John” & lost it for a while. Now I’m 75, a great granddad twice & a heart attack survivor (the “Widowmaker”). Now, not supposed to be here, I continue on. Still, as I look back over my shoulder I see those I left. I realize the above story doesn’t seem like much when compared to yours I had nothing or no one to greet me on the pier yet I live in another world than yesterdays, one I made with the help of GOD, my new friends, wife & family. You too can pick up the pieces. I still remember.

  6. Sean, I also thank you very, very much for serving our country! I pray the Lord God blesses you richly too. I deeply appreciate your service!!!

  7. David & Sean, I apoligize that I got confused which branches you served for. Doesn’t matter, I am forever grateful for your service! I still would love to give each of you a big hug from this Marine mom!

  8. Thanks for sharing your experiences so openly and honestly David. Its a long road to recovery, but facing your problems head on seems to be the Army way! Stay strong and make a difference for others like you are doing.

  9. The return home was difficult because I was not the same. I returned home in December 98 and had my first brain surgery 3 months later. It has been tough because of two things, one other people could not see my struggle and two I don’t feel I accomplished much in the service. While I was in I stayed stateside an 88m at Ft Bragg taking/returning units from the flightline during Desert Shield. I never saw combat but I was kicked out and sent home with a neurological illness attacking my nervous system. My time at Bragg seems like a dream but I know it was real. I go every day when I have to take my regiment of pills to stay siezure free and balanced thinking that I did not accomplish or complete what I intended when I enlisted. I wish I knew how how to shut that door of my life.

  10. For 25 years I have been living in hell. I have worked both ends of fire support. I have nightmares because of Rules of Engagement. I heard my friend get executed over radio. I have begged for fire support got none and lucky a handful of us made out alive. No help because of the Rules. I had 13 general court martials found not guilty. I found ways to saved marines lives working in the gray area not addressed in the rules. Example I used lasers to blind snipers. I did this because of the stupid rules. I feel extremely sorry for those serving now. I had to use 3 4 inch ring binders. You only have 30 seconds maximum to make a decision. If you make the wrong decision

  11. I think you are all so brave to have come forward with your PTS; though I have never had the same type of PTS I felt very ashamed of it when it happened. I was assaulted in my own home by someone that I knew and I blamed myself for a very long time. I finally wrote a paper on it and told everyone that I knew and I found that was very liberating. I think having a dog with you is the best, I have had one for years and this year after my old boy passed away I got a new puppy. Our friends love us unconditionally and are so calming. Thank you for serving your country and God Bless you. El

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