Sunday, November 11, 2018

"Then I am still and wait here in the silence"

Dawn of Veterans Day

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 11, 2108

Before dawn yesterday, I went out to Apopka to walk along the path of the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall. I wanted to see the darkness turn to the light of day.

Much like when you drive surrounded by darkness, you can light your way by turning on your headlights, you can do that with your life as well.

The darkness can feel overwhelming at times and it can be hard to see what is around you.

Just like when you were in combat, you had your brothers and sisters with you and they are still around you now. Every experience you had with them remains in your soul. Lean on the memories when you saw kindness, compassion, shared laughter and secrets.

Now what is around you are people who love you and want you to be happy. You have people waiting to help you believe you are not sitting in darkness by yourself and they want to show you how to get back into the light of day.
When dawn breaks darkness, it does not just happen to begin a day. It happens to begin a chance to start with a different way to go. Just like turning on the lights of your vehicle to see better, you have a chance to see your life better. #CombatPTSD and #TakeBackYourLife

This is Veterans Day, so here is a little history lesson on who all of us should thank for what is available today for us after surviving traumatic events.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

UCF fighting PTSD right by your side!

UCF Restores Hope

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 8, 2018

With the news today about a shooting involving a veteran, people started to talk about it, and veterans, started to withdraw.

While it is rare for a veteran to be involved in something like this, the fact it was a veteran this time, has managed to be in almost every headline.

I felt there was a sense of urgency to put this up today instead of waiting for Sunday.

Yesterday I went out to UCF and interviewed Deborah C. Beidel of UCF Restores. They are doing fantastic work on helping veterans and first responders heal. Heal? Yes! 

PTSD is not something to be afraid of and it is not worth gaining power over your life.

If you understand what it is, why you have it, then you take away power from it. When you fight back, you take away more power from it and gain it for yourself.

Listen do what Dr. Beidel has to say and then, start to #CombatPTSD so you can #TakeBackYourLife.

"And one day, she discovered that she was fierce, ad strong, and full of fire. And that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears."

From UCF Restores

Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D, ABPP

Dr. Beidel is Trustee Chair and Pegasus Professor of Psychology and Medical Education and the Executive Director of UCF RESTORES. Dr. Beidel received her Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her internship and post-doctoral clinical research fellowship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh.

She was a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Maryland, and Penn State College of Medicine.

She was the 1990 recipient of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy’s New Researcher Award, the 1995 recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Medical School Psychologists, and the 2007 recipient of the APA Division 12 Samuel M. Turner Clinical Research Award.

Dr. Beidel holds the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Psychology and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a past-president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology.

She is a past Chair of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Accreditation. She serves on the editorial board of a number of scientific journals. Her academic, research and clinical interests focus on child and adult trauma and anxiety disorders, including their etiology, psychopathology, and behavioral treatment. Her research is characterized by a developmental focus and includes high risk and longitudinal designs, psychophysiological assessment, treatment outcome and treatment development. She has been the recipient of grants from the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Mental Health addressing the development and efficacy of behavioral interventions for adults and children with PTSD as well as other anxiety disorders.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

First responders with PTSD navigate a complicated path to get help

Here is an article that sums up what we all need to be doing on getting those who respond to what the rest of us need help with.

‘It didn’t make any difference’: First responders with PTSD navigate a complicated path to get help
“If we do this right in the beginning, it really eliminates a lot of that down the road. People tend to get a whole lot better if it’s done well, and it’s done correctly and effectively; that’s the key.” Dr. Nancy Wesselink
Matthew Jones, a former Forsyth County firefighter, tried to handle his emotions on his own after a traumatic experience on the job, but when he turned to alcohol to cope his life began to unravel. Jones was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. - photo by Brian Paglia
read the article here 

Orlando Vets Center Hope'n House

Orlando Vets Center Open House

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 4, 2018

You know when there is something going on with your vehicle. It just doesn't seem to be running right. As you drive down streets, you hope it does not breakdown in traffic or on some isolated road.

Oh, sure you have a cellphone to call for help, but while you are waiting, you never know what is going to happen, or how long you'll be stuck there. 

While waiting for a tow truck you start to think about what the mechanics will find wrong with it. Most of the time, it is an easy fix. Sometimes it takes a lot more work than you thought it would.

When the vehicle you live in is not running right, it works the same way. When you are not running right, you may breakdown and feel stuck. If you call for help, and get to a mechanic for what you need, then, sometimes it is an easy fix, but other times, it takes a lot more work.

Yesterday we went out to the Orlando Vets Center for their open house. Actually it should have been called hope'n house, because that is what they are dedicated to doing.

Vets Centers started in 1979.

Who We Are 
We are the people in VA who welcome home war veterans with honor by providing quality readjustment counseling in a caring manner. Vet Centers understand and appreciate Veterans’ war experiences while assisting them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their community.
The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems.

Vet Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  In April 1991, in response to the Persian Gulf War, Congress extended the eligibility to veterans who served during other periods of armed hostilities after the Vietnam era.

Those other periods are identified as Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Kosovo/Bosnia.  In October 1996, Congress extended the eligibility to include WWII and Korean Combat Veterans. The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life.

On April 1, 2003 the Secretary of Veterans Affairs extended eligibility for Vet Center services to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and on June 25, 2003 Vet Center eligibility was extended to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and subsequent operations within the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

The family members of all veterans listed above are eligible for Vet Center services as well. On August 5, 2003 VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi authorized Vet Centers to furnish bereavement counseling services to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service members who die of any cause while on active duty, to include federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel.

We understand, and most of all, we care.
Vet Centers have group sessions, therapists, all the usual things you have come to know. They also have yoga, Tai Chi, art, music, and a lot more. Just like with the vehicle you drive, you are not the same as others on the road.

For some, one thing works great, but may not be what you need. What you need may not be what your buddy needs. That is what the mechanics at the Vet Centers are there for. They will find what will work best for you to have a better ride the rest of your life!

You can support what is vital to helping them the work being done at the Vets Center, or you could keep supporting the demon and share the topic that could kill them.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

PTSD Patrol Changing Your Purpose

Types of vehicles have different purposes

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
October 28, 2018

We choose vehicles based on what we like and what we need to do. If you need to clear snow, then you would want to have a snow plow. While a plow will clear snow, it would not be good to put one on a race track. That is, unless you plan on clearing other cars by shoving them out of the way.

On the other hand, a race car is meant for speed, and could clear snow very fast with a plow attached to it. The trouble is, it would not be able to do it very long.

When I was young, I wanted to be a writer. I always thought that I would be writing horror novels, instead of surviving horrors. Now I write about horrors in a much different way.

I could look at my life and think that it went off track, because while I wrote three books, I have not finished one of the several horror books I started. I am not sure what to even find the manuscripts now. I did not choose this work. My life did.

Most of us think we are supposed to do something and it sucks when we cannot do them, for one reason or another. You may think that because your job caused you to be invaded by PTSD, you cannot save anyone anymore.

That is because you are not looking at how many you can still save by letting them know there is hope for their lives too. 

Think about the group of veterans in TEAM RUBICON. They are no longer in the military, but used their training and desire to help by responding to disasters. They put their lives on the line all the time because they put others first, just like they did in the military.

Find what you do best and then find a different way to do it. Being of service to others comes in many different ways. You can still be true to the core of who you are, even though how you do it changed. #TakeBackYourLife

Sunday, October 21, 2018

PTSD Patrol #TakeBackYourLife and beat the demon

PTSD Patrol Beat the Demon

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
October 21, 2018

Spreading "suicides awareness" has met a dead end. It makes no sense to keep going down the road you do not belong on! 

Whenever someone reminds you there are veterans taking their own lives, start thinking about how to #TakeBackYourLife.
You already survived what caused PTSD and the demon to come into your life. Do it again! Only this time, give him the finger and tell him he cannot defeat you now!

More pictures from this video!

This is the video that inspired the battle with the demon! This is a battle you can win if you #CombatPTSD and #TakeBackYourLife

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Bonus PTSD Patrol Post

I stopped by Rock and Brews in Oviedo today to thank them for having the POW-MIA Table with the Point Man Veterans Bible on it. You have no idea how touching it was to see it there after discovering my buddy Sgt. Dave added it to the table.

Sure enough, there was another car show, so I figured I'd just do a bonus post today. Good food as always but what makes this place even better is how much they love those who put their lives on the line, as First Responders, current military and veterans.

They are so patriotic that 15 minutes before they open, every day, the entire staff meets for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.
Sgt. Dave of Never Forgotten Memorials installed this at Rock and Brews a few years ago. He is also the one who supplied the POW-MIA Table.

Consider this one as the Heaven sent air filter!

PTSD Patrol: Owners Manual and Your Air Filter
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
October 14, 2018

The owner's manual frustrates me! I was looking up how to check the air filter. Sure enough, I found the page to tell me what to do with it, but it DID NOT TELL ME WHERE THE HECK TO FIND IT!

CARS.COM — The cabin air filter, a feature found on most late-model vehicles, cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. It catches dust, pollen and other airborne material that can make riding in a car unpleasant, particularly if you have allergies or other respiratory problems.

Some signs that you need a new cabin air filter are reduced air flow through your climate control system, such as when you crank up the fan too high and get more noise than results. Another is persistent bad odors. Even if you don't have these warnings, however, you should have the air filter checked at least once a year, and you may be able to do that yourself.
How can you fix anything if you do not know where it is? You cannot do it until you find it. Then again, how can you know fixing something is even possible unless someone figured out how to do it?

Have problems with your vehicle that you cannot fix yourself, you turn to a mechanic with more training and tools than you have. New cars go to owners with owners' manuals, so we can figure some things out on your own.

People are not born with owners' manuals. Well, that does not mean we cannot get our hands on one.
BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

Some people survive something horrible and end up thinking God did it to them. Other people think that they survived for a reason and they make sure they use the rest of their lives to make a difference in the world.

So, how do you change the rest of your life if you think that God is punishing you? How do you ask God for help to heal your soul, if you think He sent the misery to you?

The answer is in the Bible itself. No, this is not to get you to go to church, or convert you into something you are not. The vast majority of veterans I talk with are Christians but left the church a long time ago. They believe in God and Jesus, but not in people who are supposed to be representing what Jesus was sent to teach.

There are different air filters. Consider this one as the Heaven sent air filter!

There is love, and there is power in the Bible. The knowledge that you are loved no matter what you did and can be forgiven and keys to use the power you have within you, to not just heal, but spread the healing out!

While you may be thinking that all the negative thoughts getting into your brain belong there, they do not. They just snuck in because your filter was clogged. Time to clean it out and let the positive thoughts in. Yep, and then you can #TakeBackYourLife

Burn the Ships
King and Country
[Verse 1: Luke Smallbone]
How did we get here?
We're cast away on a lonely shore
I can see in your eyes, dear
It's hard to take for a moment more
We've got to

[Pre-Chorus: Joel Smallbone]
Burn the ships, cut the ties
Send a flare into the night
Say a prayer, turn the tide
Dry your tears and wave goodbye

[Chorus: Joel and Luke Smallbone]
Step into a new day
We can rise up from the dust and walk away
We can dance upon the heartache, yeah
So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships
And don't you look back

[Verse 2: Luke Smallbone]
Don't let it arrest you
This fear, this fear of fallin' again
And if you need a refuge
I will be right here until the end
Oh, it's time to

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Getting help on the road with a push of a button

Flash for a healing chance
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
October 7, 2018

When your vehicle is having trouble, there is a simple button you push to let others know you need help. It turns on your hazard lights.

Everyone behind you sees those lights. They will either pass you by with caution, or they may try to help you.

This is from WheelZine
When to Use Hazard Lights
Though most people use hazard lights for mundane and unimportant things like speaking on the cell-phone while in traffic (which is illegal, mind you) or lighting a cigarette or adjusting the music system, the actual purpose behind the installation of these lights is to communicate a possible danger to the oncoming or passing traffic. Given below are some of the occasions when you can and should use hazard lights.

  • When you are experiencing a sudden car problem in the middle of traffic, switch on the lights and slowly pull over. Keep the lights flashing till the problem is solved.
  • In case of dense fog, you can switch on the hazard lights to warn traffic on both the sides of the road.
  • When traffic on a usually traffic-free road is slow or stalled for some reason, you can turn on the hazard lights to indicate to the traffic behind you that traffic ahead of you is stalled.
  • Another situation in which you can turn on hazard lights is when you are moving up a steep slope, which has caused your vehicle to slow down considerably. The blinkers will tell the vehicles behind you to proceed with caution.

In the 70's we had Mood Rings that were supposed to let other people know how we were feeling.
Chart of Mood Ring Colors and Meanings This chart shows the colors and meaning of the usual 1970s style of mood ring.
This chart shows the colors of the typical 1970s mood ring and the meanings associated with the mood ring colors:
Amber: Nervous, unhappy, cool
Green: Average, calm
Blue: Emotions are charged, active, relaxed
Violet: Passionate, excited, very happy
Black: Tense, nervous (or broken crystal)
Gray: Strained, anxious
The color of the warmest temperature is violet or purple. The color of the coolest temperature is black or gray.
Wouldn't it be great if all you had to do was push a button or show a ring to let people know you needed help? It would make life easier. The thing is, in reality, no one will come to help you if they do not know you need it!

You do have to do something to let them know you need help to get up that steep slope to #TakeBackYourLife. 

The first step is finally accepting the fact that you are not a victim. You are a survivor. You survived the event that set PTSD off in the first place. 

Second step is understanding that while about 7 million Americans have PTSD, and most of the time, from one event in their lives, you faced multiple times on your job, plus what could have happened just living as a simple citizen.

Thirdly, possibly the most important thing to accept is, that while you would have sacrificed your life to save others, the others you were with decided to dedicate their lives to saving as well. How much you want to bet they would do the same for you? After all, you'd do it for them. Wouldn't you?

The only risk you are taking is trusting them enough to let them know you need help. If you trust them with your life, then trust them all the way!

Friday, October 5, 2018

PTSD Patrol and Wounded Times in Top PTSD Sites

Top 75 PTSD Blogs and Websites in 2018 

(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

PTSD Patrol has only been up about a year. Already it is in the Top 75 PTSD Sites from Feedspot!

And for Combat PTSD Wounded Times, it is number 10!!!!
Considering this has all been accomplished by hard work and LOYAL READERS LIKE YOU SHARING THAT WORK, 


"Then I am still and wait here in the silence"

Dawn of Veterans Day PTSD Patrol Kathie Costos November 11, 2108 Before dawn yesterday, I went out to Apopka to walk along the p...