“It’s just another resource, another website, another person who is just trying to act like they know what I am going through”; often these are the thoughts running through my head when reviewing over some mental health websites. It can seem like any recommendations that are given are nothing more than empty claims or poor attempts to solve what I already know is unsolvable….for the most part.
Reason for this website is not just for myself but to help fellow vets. I want to connect and provide my view, both as a patient and provider, on the world of mental health treatment. My name is RJ, I am undergoing a medical retirement because of many chronic conditions which caught up with me (or finally admitting I have), biggest being psychiatric. 18 years of service of cutting my teeth in the medical field treating injuries and dealing with loss of life. I have dedicated 8 years of my career to performing as a mid-level provider. I loved and hated every moment.
I loved the fact that I was in the position of rendering aid without all the BS that typically found at clinics and hospitals. I hated it since there are few providers such as myself that gave a damn about the service members. Not that fake sympathetic “I care” routine. I would take calls late at night, do exams whenever it was feasible, and help others regardless of what unit or service they were with. Nerveless, we all have our breaking points. Mine finally came after a stream of work and personal issues hit at once, and my mental health was faltering. I finally had to seek help. If I don’t get the right care, then I cannot continue rendering care to others.
It is never easy to accept we have a problem, a mental health problem. Well, pride is often our most dangerous yet protective foe with medical treatment. I saw service members develop serious injuries out in the field or onboard ship in which they try to downplay the serious of their condition. We don’t want to display weakness to others. Why? We don’t want to show weakness to those around us. Weakness means your unreliable, can’t carry your own weight, not strong enough to do what they need of you. However, more often, we don’t want to let our fellow brothers/sisters down.
My goal with these posts is to be honest with not only myself concerning my thoughts and feelings but with others out there who know what it is like to feel the disconnect with those who don’t/can’t understand the suffering that goes on inside, every day. The topics will range completely each week, I will also cover research articles in the mental health field to help shield some light and explain what is going on in the medical field without using confusing and often empty meaning medical terms or concepts. Please contribute to the page in whatever means possible. I will eventually offer my services after I complete some additional school to become certified in the eyes of the civilian medical field despite having actual world, relatable experience in veteran mental health. Most of you know how it goes with transfer of skills from the military to the civilian sector.
Until later, take care, push forward, and most importantly…..NEVER GIVE UP!