(Excerpt from The Endless Journey Home by Specialist Joe Collins)
Having a support system (family and friends) to be there for you when you are suffering from PTSD is absolutely necessary for recovery. In my own personal experience, there was a time during my illness that I was suffering so much from the symptoms of PTSD that I was no longer able to advocate for myself.
I had to move back to my mother and stepfather’s house. My mother had to fill out most of the necessary paperwork for me to receive disability from the VA. They drove me to and from all of my medical and counseling appointments because I was too ill to do it on my own. On top of that, they assisted me with ordinary tasks such as running errands or getting groceries while I focused on my recovery.
Without their assistance there is no telling where I would be or what situation I would be in today. Without strong support systems, people like me would most likely end up on the street or in a hospital somewhere or in other ways furthering our illness.
Obviously, the most severe result of this illness is suicide. In extreme cases, veterans are in so much physical and mental pain that they feel there is no hope. Thinking this pain may last forever, they often begin to believe that the only peace they can find is to end their life. If you are a veteran or you know a veteran suffering from PTSD, it is important to seek support. Whether it is family or friends or some of the resources listed in this website, there are people who care and it is important to ask for help.