Master Sergeant Aaron Tippett’s wife, a soldier herself, told her husband he needed help as he ex exhibiting the classic symptoms of PTSD – agitation, sleep issues, anger, outbursts, headaches.
He tried in 2005 but didn’t get the help he needed.
In 2008, after another deployment with cumulative effects, he did get the help he needed. Now he is taking part in the Real Warriors’ campaign of encouraging service members to get help for “invisible wounds.”
In a DoD’s Bloggers Roundtable discussion, when I asked about advice the master sergeant would give others, he said:
“Research and do not give up. I gave up [the first time]. But why give up when you don’t give up in other things? It is only going to get worse.”
The master sergeant also said, “Getting help is stronger than not getting help. It is a much stronger thing to do to reach out.”
And he added that there are service members and veterans who know him and have heard that he got help who have now gotten help themselves.
Also taking part in the roundtable was Nancy St. Claire, Chief Operating Officer of Real Warriors’ campaign partner Give an Hour, an organization founded by Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.
Thanks to Give an Hour, psych professionals donate their time to service members and their loved ones in total anonymity with no records kept. At this point there are 7,000 clinicians donating their time, and a conservative estimate is of 110,000 hours of free counseling service already provided.
At www.giveanhour.org you can search for providers near you, and if you cannot find one, email email@example.com for help.
For the stories of other service members who have gotten help for invisible wounds, go to www.realwarriors.net
And if you are exhibiting signs of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, do get help. As Master Sergeant Tippett said, he is telling his story to help break the stigma about getting help.
P.S. For more info about PTSD see my site www.SolomonsJustice.com
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Read her book-related posts at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com