The first step in any recovery process is realizing something is wrong. The next step is to seek help. I am proud of my husband. VERY VERY proud. He has known since shortly after coming back from Iraq this time (over a year ago) that something was wrong.
He did try and see a military doctor. He let this idiot know that although he had no problem going to sleep or staying asleep, he was having horrible night terrors. So the idiot (a psychiatrist) gave him a prescription for ambeium to “help him sleep”.
So my husband explained to him again he doesn’t have a problem going to sleep or staying asleep (he actually sleeps deeply and is/was hard to wake up). The idiot (at this point I refuse to call him a doctor) tells him that it will stop the nightmares by helping him sleep better.
Now I am a light sleeper and when Jerry has these night terrors, he trembles almost violently, sweats so badly he completely soaks through any clothing he is wearing and the sheets. So it wakes me up and I will wake him up out of it. Sometimes I catch it early enough before he actually relives the scene. Others he’s already relived it and becomes sick.
For about the first month he refused to tell me what incident he was reliving. Then one night he told me every detail. Needless to say, a sleeping pill was far from what he needed. But we tried it anyway. Just one time. He took it and I couldn’t wake him up at all for 5 hours. 5 hours of him reliving that nightmare over and over again not being able to wake up out of it. Needless to say, those pills went straight to the trash.
What happened next…
So he went back. He was given a different person this time, who he had to re-explain everything to all over again. Just to be told yep you have PTSD. Ummm ok, we have pretty much already established that doc. But no more talking, his 45 minutes was up. Needless to say by this time Jerry had given up on trying to get help. He tried and the ARMY basically told him to go screw himself.
After we PCS’d…
So we PCS’d and things got worse. The night terrors don’t come every night anymore, but the other symptoms got much much worse. He has no friends because he doesn’t “trust” anyone. He hasn’t had anything to do with his Camaro (he was building a race car before leaving for Iraq), and his mood swings are out of control.
So last night he logged onto Military One Source and was able to get 12 free sessions (all are online though since the Army won’t allow him time off to actually go see someone face to face). So the fact that he is trying again to get help, makes me very very proud of him.
I hate seeing him like this, knowing there is nothing I can do to make it all go away. But I am hoping, this time, we really will be on the road to recovery.