Contributed anonymously from one of our supporting visitors….
For the longest time, my brother's actions never bothered me or raised a flag. He seemed to be distant, always wanting to be alone, and posting weird things on Facebook. My family would say something at gatherings about one thing or another he did that seemed a little odd. I chalked up his weird behavior to him being himself. He is a Combat Veteran having served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and I am very proud of him. There wasn't a problem until this past summer when he moved to Arizona to attend Gun-Smithing School.
The family hadn't heard from him until one day he went to my Mom for money. This seemed very odd as he should have had lots of money from his time in service. He was wanting money to give to a friend he had met online. This friend had been making this request a lot. She claimed to have cancer and needed money for treatments. She also promised to pay back twice what he gave her as soon as her bank account opened up because it was frozen. I think you can tell where this is going, he was getting scammed. Someone had the gall to get into my brother’s life while he was extremely vulnerable from being isolated and exploit him for money.
The negative effects PTSD have on our soldiers' well-being can leave them vulnerable and set them up for failure. In my brothers case, it led him to being so isolated that he was an easy target for an online scam. PTSD may show itself in many other forms, some more subtle than others. Here are just a few of the signs that someone you know may have PTSD:
- Sleeping difficulties – Insomnia, etc.
- Restlessness, jitters, fidgeting, nervousness.
- Overly watchful, worried about things around them affecting their safety to an unhealthy degree.
- Social Withdrawal, avoiding family, friends, and always wanting to be alone.
My brother actually demonstrates some of all of these symptoms, although your Combat Veteran may only show one or two of them. Perhaps the worst thing is that Combat Veterans are very averse to treatment, they will avoid it seemingly at all costs.
What are some other things you may have observed in a friend or family member who is struggling with PTSD that you think will help others who can relate?