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Ralph LMHC
Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
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How do I overcome VietNam

Customer Question

How do I overcome VietNam?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 4 years ago.

Hello,

 

First let me personally thank you for your service and the many sacrifices that I am sure you have made. Because of the extremely acute stress, many service people under went stress reactions that eventually developed into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At first our government Poo Pooed it, until enough proof was presented and the scientific community came on board. Well enough of the history and back to your question. In all honesty I do not know if you and many others like you will ever overcome the horrors of the war in Viet Nam, the inexcusable way that you were treated by government and much of the public. That being said we know that many people are still experiencing symptoms some 45+ years later. Symptoms like depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, heightened startle response, and avoidance, etc. The best that can be done after the fact is to treat people for the disorder that they are undergoing. For some that involves psychotherapy. For other it is medication., and for others it is a combination of the two. There has been some change on the part of the government in correcting the actions of the VA. In addition, there seems to have been a change in the public's perception of what these folks went and are continuing to go through.

 

All these things have helped to address the needs of the Viet Nam Vet, but as to getting over it, to use an analogy, it is like losing a child. It is something that you survive and adapt, but never truly get over. This my opinion and firm conviction after treating a number of Viet Nam Vets over the years. I wish there was a simple directive answer, but I do not believe that there is one. I hope that this information/opinion was helpful and I wish you the best and again extend my gratitude.

 

 

Sincerely,

Ralph LMHC

If you require further clarification or more information, feel free to ask!

Please click the green "ACCEPT" button on this page if you are satisfied with my answer so that I get credit for my work. Your positive feedback is most important and bonuses are always welcomed. If this is a mental health, or medical emergency, please call emergency services (911 in the USA), or go to your nearest Emergency Room. The opinion provided does not replace an evaluation by an appropriate professional. Use of this website DOES NOT CREATE a provider-client relation and this information is for educational purposes only.

 

Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience: 20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
Ralph LMHC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ralph, have you heard of EMDR? In addition to PTSD (I still have horrific nightmares), I've developed an alcohol dependence. It all is very depressing.
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 4 years ago.

Hello,

Yes have heard of EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and it has proved effective in treating PTSD along with other cognitive techniques sch as immersion. You obviously need to address your alcohol dependence. I don't know if you are under psychiatric care, but I recommend it as well as support groups and self help such as AA. I also believe that you would benefit from ongoing therapy for thje PTSD and the depression and other symptoms and substance abuse treatment if you are not already receiving it.

 

Sincerely,

Ralph LMHC

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ralph, it's just that I feel so damned stigmatized by it all. I find that I occassionally go "off the deep end;" and it is scary for me and the wife. Is it really possible to overcome the PTSD stuff, or do I just have to live with it? It really is hampering my life and that of my family, too. The wife has had to move out of our bedroom (my sleep pattern had become so disrupted) and our daughter is noticing this. Hmm, another annoyance.
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 4 years ago.

Hello,

 

The first thing that you need to address is your possible alcohol dependence. If that is the case you will need to be evaluated for an inpatient or outpatient detox as you cannot just stop because you may have a seizure. After your alcohol problem is stabilized you will need to continue your treatment for alcoholism in addition to the PTSD. No you do not have to just suffer through it, it is possible with treatment that may include EMDR, medication and cognitive therapy that your symptoms will reduce greatly and your life can be more fufilling. You have every reason to be able to hope for a positive outcome for your alcholism and PTSD with appropriate treatment. There is no reason for shame or stigmatization as you have an illness just the same as if you had diabetes or heart disease. Best wishes and good luck.

Sincerely,

Ralph LMHC

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Seizure? That' scary. I had quit drinking for a few months. Started again 2.5 weeks ago. I'm back up to 2 pints a day. I sort of started where I left off. No build up time for the drinking. Zero to 2 pints, immediately. Do you think it possible that could have a seizure if I quite, cold? My job is such that if I try to stop, cold, I could have problems in the office. Is it possible to taper off? I really need to get off this stuff. Like, now! Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 4 years ago.

Hello,

That's why you need to be evaluated. You can if motivated detox on an outpatient basis. Seizures are always a risk, but that is a medical issue and I am not a physician .You can discuss tapering off under medical supervision which is what outpatient detox is when you have an evaluation done. There is usually medication involved to prevent seizure and make you feel more comfortable.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ralph LMHC

 

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Medication? What is normally prescribed? I understand you are not a doctor and all that, but it would be useful to have some idea of what is going on. On outpatient detox, have you heard of anyone having a seizure when quiting after a couple of weeks of a return to binge drinking? Please, again, I understand that you're not an MD and that this is not a medical evaluation. What I'm looking for is just a general, informed opinion. Nothing more than that. You have some experience in this as an observer; my experience is much more limited and unbalanced. And, I am not looking for free advice. How is it that I pay you? Tacky question, I know, but I am serious about this and more than willing to compensate you for your expertise. Thanks. Really.
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 4 years ago.

HelloThe usual protocol to prevent seizures when detoxifying is librium. I have heard of it occuring, but it is not typical> I ran a a substance abuser center.

Sincerely,

ralph LMHC

Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 4 years ago.

To have a seizure after 2.5 weeks of drinking after ceasing for a few months is not typical.

Sincerely,

Ralph LMHC

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Good. Thanks. And again, I'm not taking your suggestions as medical advice, just informed experience! [Does the M.D. profession have us all cowed, or what?] I don't think the two problems - acohol and PTSD - necessarily are linked. Either is enough in its own right, of course. It's just that I vividly recall the blood and the screams and the futility of it all. It is a bit much. 'Nough for now. Please, how do I make sure that you're compensated for your time this evening?
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 4 years ago.

First I believe they are definitely linked-the alcohol and the PTSD. I have seen it so often. Second you paid me for the qestion and gave a bonus and that is great. If you wish you can give me a positive rating when asked. Again, best wishes.

Ralph LMHC

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ralph - And a positive rating it will be! Thanks again. Steve
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for everything!

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