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Karyn Jones
Karyn Jones, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1716
Experience:  Diploma of Counselling and Transactional Analysis Counselling, Lifeline counselling, Pastoral Care.
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I have only recently started dating a 63 year old man with

Customer Question

I have only recently started dating a 63 year old man with PTSD and he has a military disability for this condition...he is a Vietnam veteran. The first time, recently (Thu.Apr 5), he was unable to get and/or maintain an erection and was very upset over this. I have not been able to contact him either at his home/business, on his home or business phone numbers.

Could this episode of ER trigger a PTSD Episode? I called the local VA Med Ctr (Biloxi), and he is not a patient, but he used the New Orleans VA Med. Center. I was unable to get a answer to my call.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for bringing your concerns to Just Answer...and I am truly very sorry to hear of your man friend's difficult and traumatic past as a Vietnam veteran. and feel not only for him but for you both...
Yes, sadly it is true that military veterans have been found to be at high risk for a number of mental and physical health problems, including symptomatic of Ptsd and unfortuantley one problem that may not be discussed as commonly as others are sexual problems ..When I say sexual problems or sexual dysfunction this can refer to a wide range of issues, including decreased sexual desire, premature ejaculation, or erectile dysfunction. Just to help clarify further for you studies have found that people who have been exposed to very traumatic events may be more likely to experience sexual dysfunction...
This may be due to a number of a reasons. i.e, the experience of a traumatic event ( war, assault ..or injuries suffered ) may all contribute to a person not feeling comfortable in intimate settings....and injuries suffered during a traumatic event may also interfere with sexual functioning.Also the high level of anxiety (that is often associated with PTSD) results from traumatic exposure may also contribute to sexual problems...and one population that can have extensive exposure to traumatic experiences and PTSD are military veterans.
There are a number of reasons why ptsd may increase risk for sexual dysfunction. First, and as mentioned prior they have high levels of anxiety that can interfere with sexual functioning, and PTSD sufferers are constantly living in a state of anxious arousal. In addition, he may also feel disconnected and detached from others including loved ones, which sadly can greatly interfere with intimacy. Other ptsd symptoms of anger and irritiability have also been found to interfere with intimacy...

I pray that if you do manage to contact him that it will be important for him to seek out help from a medical professional...because sexual dysfunction often does not resolve itself without some form of intervention..either through the help of a sex therapist.. and or even online courses..This would truly help him in to acquire and sustain his dignity ..self respect and to have forfillment and quality of life and relationship in the future..

I truly hope that this has been of help to you and that your friend will explore excellent options that are available to him..He might well just need that little bit more support if you were to perhaps even consider going with him to see a therapist..( that is only if you would feel confortable doing this though )..
Take very good care of 'self' to now in and during this very difficult time and please 'accept' this if it has proved of help to it also contributes much by way of keeping this service up and running for you and others alike int he future..
Do accpet my sincere apologies for any delay in responding as it has much to do with world time difference I'm afraid and when someone is next avalaible to answer your email..
Kind thoughts
warmest wishes
Karyn J
Karyn Jones and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am sorry I am only now replying...but I had company come in. As I said, this is a brand new...I can't even say we are a relationship. This person had a very dysfunctional childhood who teenage mother hated him and constantly told him he was stupid, ugly and no one would ever love and would "dump" him with sitters, who molested him (teenage babysitter and adult carefivers...all women. He is a very deep man and seeks a relationship (been married to 3 people; divorced for 14 years and only 2 women in all this time. Has not seen a woman in the past anyway. He is a very loveble man but this new...just a few weeks...I don't know if I should get any further involved. Your advice and information is much appreciateed. I think he should be able in his remaining years to have a loving relationship, which he says he deeply desires. Me, background isn't great, either and I have lost 2 sons, the oldest a year ago, and I have never felt I deserved or that anyone would love me. My mother blamed me for everything...even when my children's father abused me. So, two mixed up people. And I am 11 years older, but active, keep myself involved in things...make a good appearance (haha). He said this age difference would be relevant if I were 18 and he was 10-11 years younger...but...I will help him anyway I can...if I can find him. I will go to his home (1 hour away, near Pascagoula) Wed. As I said, he may just be so embarrassed, as he stated many times. I did nothing but try to assure him. He is a good lover, thoug.


Again, thank you very much.

Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hello, thank you so much for your reply and a little more information to help paint a picture of your background..Please know that my heart goes out to you 'both' so very much.
For you have both endured such a harsh and difficult time in your own way..Far from an easy road..I am also very sorry to hear of your own great loss with your sons..This in itself is truly traumatic..I to have lost a son and know of the great pain and suffering that goes with that..
This poor man too has be trauamtised to the utmost in his life..and most likely as a military veteren he has compounded ptsd have both endured much loss and grief in different ways..
Yet, it also sounds as though you would also share in a much greater understanding in and through this to be sure...and would be of a great support and care for one another..
I pray that in and through this you would both reach much higher and happier ground if you decide to carry on with this in the future..
With time, understanding, and patience this can do much to help ...You would no doubt both be suffering the affects of your background and abuse endured and no one has greater insight into this unless experieinced themselves..
I truly wish you every' wish in this..please know that my thougths and prayers will be with you too...

Warmest wishes always..
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Karyn, what does that initial $22 and $1 entitle me to? The person I wrote
to you about has uprooted due to VA Disability being terminated and finding
a part time job "in a stable" near Wiggins MS and is lashing out at
me...saying I am criticizing him...wants nothing to do with me; we have no
relationship, etc. in a phone message...I am just leaving him alone until he
comes to get his belongings (which he stated he was doing when he goes to the
New Orleans VA for some kind of testing already scheduled on 4/30/12.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It turns out that my friend had been notified that his VA Disability was terminated when he went to the bank to draw some money out, which cut his meager income in half. While he was out of touch, he somehow within just a couple of days, found a part time job "at a stable," if you can imagine...worked a few days, rented a RV in a small RV park in that area, came home and packed up, sold some furniture, stored some and moved...(less than an hour from me). I have some of this belongings to store at my home. But he erupted when seeing me a night before leaving; left in the middle of the night;...was exhausted, needed sleep...and I had been trying to not to be "the Inquisitioner" but I had no idea of what was going on. He was totally stressed out. I went and got some more of his belongings/clothes/boxes the next day to bring home. That evening he called en route to where he was living, saying I was criticizing him and started berating me to the point I had to hang up. Then he left a message that he didn't want to be my friend and did not want any kind of relationship with me and would come get his things when he came down for his dr's appointment (in N.O. at the VA clinic on 4/20, I assume). I have just backed off, have not tried to get in touch with him...and my heart breaks for him having to do this type work...But at the same time, admire him for being able to do all this...under these or similar circumstances, I doubt I could have achieved all this. I "think" I am correct in lettinghim be the one to do any future contact, if at all. I have contacted a retired Marine officer (mayor of my community) and explained Michael's situation, saying I was told if anyone could help, he could. I am waiting for a response...but will wait until I hear from Michael to pass on any information offered.
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 5 years ago.
Thank you very much for your update..but before I continue on with my response once again I am truly very sorry about this delay ..(due to world time difference I'm afraid and when I am next online to answer)..
I am also so' very sorry that the situation between you and Michael has now arrived at this point..and I am also very sorry to hear of him bearing so much other stress and change due to having his meager benefit slashed in half..( I truly don't know how the higer state health system expects people to survive)..?
Michael will be struggling greatly and no doubt is very upset and angry about everything that has happened...not only has it affected what little pride and self respect he has but it sounds as though that this has also impacted upon his post traumatic symptoms to be sure..
He will be struggling under this pressure very much particularly psychologically..emotionally..and so has most likely determined that 'everyone' has turned against him..hence sadly terminating your own friendship ..
You see he is responding or reactive in and through him symptoms because he doesn't know how else to cope with the pressure..So he is chosing to reject those around him sadly..Why I really believe that he needs much help is so that he can learn or equip himself ( via therapy ) to respond to those who really' care and are genuine in a constructive and healthy way...What he has more than likely been doing all of his life is denying himself the right to any closeness or care or concern..because he has never' received this or experienced this even as a child unfortunatley..
He is working from the principle or thought that he is underserving of love, unworthy..and that he is better off without it..He doesn't miss what he has never had..
and so stays locked into himself and his trauma...
He has had a very difficult time in life and is lost in it rejecting anything good or loving that comes along ..Underneath it all though and through his symptoms he wants to be loved and excepted for who he is but, its getting to this via therapy that's needed..and will involve a much time and a greater need to seek it from him...
It would be 'very' challenging for any relationship ..but he really does have someone very' special ' in you..He just doesn't know it yet or has chosen to reject it sadly..
You are right in taking a step back right now .and you also need to protect yourself..he will be bitter and resentful and is very angry particularly when under any sort of pressure.
Time will tell though ...
Take very good care now at this time won't you..and know that my thoughts will be with you 'both' and his poor man..

God bless
Kind thoughts

Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hello ..just received your new email re:your email address..unfortuanately due to Just Answer regulations and code of ethics I am unable to respond to you outside of this service...Just also wanted to clarify about the $22.00 $1 payment..What happens is that if you are satisfied with my response we get paid $11 and the other $11 goes to keep this service to keep it up and running for all to use, as we are global..This payment allows you to remain in contact with me if you feel the need to or seek any further guidance in the future..Take care .
Hope this has helped ease any confusion though..
Kind thoughts
Karyn J
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Karyn...thank you for all your advice, etc. Michael drove down yesterday from where he has moved in central MS...he has an appt. with a VA related psychologist in Hammond LA today, and pre-op instructions for a colonoscopy (this is 4 this year for polyps). Possibly he can get his VA Disability (PTSD) reinstated. He was very quiet, very affectionate, nice to me...and there was a good closeness, very natural, between us. He also agreed to let me go with him for his colonoscopy in New Orleans next Monday (someone has to go with him)...will stay over the night before here at my house. I will be returning from a family/cousins reunion Sunday evening, so he will come here earlier...I just watched what and how I said as not to rile him up. So, taking it a day at a time. I am suffering wiht sciatica nerve in pain physically myself. Had epidural injections, physical therapy, acupuncture...all to no avail. And I have fibromyalgia... Turns out he is working at a place all week where they breed small dogs and goes to a flea market several miles away on the weekends to sell his "signs" and stuff he has had stored, So...who knows where this will lead. Even without his VA Disability, he could live here. By helping me do things I am unable to do (small repairs, renovations - and just being here for me) would more than make up for any financial help. Thank you so much. I will let you know in a week or so what transpires.
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hi there, thank you for your update...sounds like things are looking up for Michael and your friiendship..just hope it all comes to fruition for you both..Its a bit like treading on egg shells really and know just how tiring this would be for you..and so completely agree that its good to just take one day at a time and this would also be more favourable and not to overwhelming for him..
I am also very sorry to hear of your suffering with sciatic pain I have had this myself in the past and still get twinges very painful condition to say the very least..let alone trying to cope with a fibromyalgia condition..Please do take very good 'self care' to now no doubt an over dose of stress wouldn't help..
Will await to hear how things go for you and Michael..
Kind thoughts & best wishes
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Karyn...I have not talked to Michael since he saw the VA psychologist last Monday a week ago...He was to come to my home over the weekend (I was out of town Fri-Sun at a family reunion. He was to take his colonoscopy prep meds (had left the package at my house) at my house and I was to take him Monday (4/30) for the test. When I ret'd home late Sun. afternoon, there was a note that his son and family (whom he had not been in touch with) were in New Orleans and he was going down to spend time with them (meds were gone, so I assume this was Sat.) and "John" (son???) was to take him to the VA for the colonoscopy. Added that he would call me. I have not heard one word from him. I called at noon yesterday to inquire how the test went (I was very upbeat). No reply. I called at 9:30 last night (this is his cell phone no. I am using) and he didn't take the call. I have no idea if anything was "found" during the test; if nothing was found; if he went back to where he was living or what. He has not returned my calls. And I am leaving him alone. All his other things are here; he took the small suitcase with t-shirts, underweat, and socks with him. If he calls and says he is coming down Sunday, I will have to tell him that I will have company (true; an old friend is just stopping here on the way home from the AL beaches). I do not think he has behaved in this regard (not calling or having someone call if there was a problem) appropriately towards me, or whatever. Am I just here for when he needs something of me? A phone call (and he had my numbers at the reunion) would have made all the difference. I can understand, of course, his going to visit with his son and his family and would expect him to do this. But what am I? As the saying goes, "What am I? Chopped Liver?"
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hi there, oh dear this doesn't sound as though it is going at all well least not for you and really feel for you have to say..
Once again sadly it seems that Michael is responding and or rather inn this case 'not' from his symptomatic behaviour I'm I had mentioned that he would in my previous reply...Yes, you are right his own family would have expected him to respond and or communicate to plan around their own lives..and it seems that he has done this..
The issue here ( to him ) in your own relationship is that there are not only emotional ties but expectations and considerations that naturally go with that relationship ..( as it would with any ) is these expectations and commitments that he will always have trouble answering and or responding to I'm afraid..
You see in his mind he doesn't want anyone caring or worrying about him..( though it sounds like an acception is with his family)..though who knows how close he wants them to get to him?
It is this that he will drive away and try to ignore and these are by way of his symptomatic behaviour and thinking ...He feels unworthy of your love, care and attention you see..and so there will be times when it just gets all too much for him and he will pull back when you least expect it...Hence, my previously saying that he really need therapy for 'any' relationship to survive or to obtain some quality of life...Until he seeks this and gets the help that he so needs then this will always become the same old same old pattern and way of being I'm afraid..
I know that this is extremely hard on you and painful not easy for anybody to take..but he will always be consistent in this until he decided to do something about it ..and it doesn't sound like he is there yet..He may never get there as many don't sadly.
This is why I mentioned that it will be a very difficult relationship if you decide to take him on..
Its fine if the other person he become involved with don't have any expectations and don't want any commitments themselves and are happy to have their partner waltz in and out where and when they feel like it without knowing whats happening and not caring..but there aren't many around like that..People care care !! about him but he is most liklely either feeling overwhelmed again and or has decided to back off again..Leaving you feeling high, and dry...
I wish that there was more that I could say to ease your hurt but sadly not..
This is something that only you can think through and decide on and I can't take that away from you...

Kindest thoughts
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, Karyn. I am just stuck until such time Michael makes a move, whenever. I still have his things here (out of season clothes, suits, dress pants & shirts, books, etc.) that he doesn't need or have room for in his current living situation...But I am going on with my life...what choice do I really have. Also, I have no idea what the VA psychologist had to say, advise, etc. Monday as Michael has not talked to me since then. I have to try and not let this rule my life and my actions...and pray for God's guidance and to give me the strength to be firm. I will not be able to tolerate a continued "drop in when he feels like it" situation. Like I said, a telephone call or two would smooth so much of this over. He actions have already affected my self esteem and that is not good for me, as you know it would. I could have "that" type of relationship with someone else that I am acquainted with. And I don't want it. Nothing is better. Again, thank you. You do not have to respond to this. I will keep you updated. Wouldn't you think he would want to reassure me that he is alright; that the test went as expected; or polyps were or were not found again; if further treatment was needed or not, etc?
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hi there, yes it seems as you say it will just have to wait until next you see him to come for his belongings...To be very honest with you I truly recommend that life carry on in the same instance and capacity that it has always done for you..and can only imagine just how much of an impact this must be having on your own self image/esteem to say the very least...You really must protect yourself I can't advice this more highly..
Expectations from Michael, to him denotes signing a marriage certificate a bind, and a fear if you like that just ends up all too overwhelming for him..He cannot even reassure himself sad to say..let alone any one else..This is but one area of his lfe that he needs to learn apart from many others because he doesn't know how to even 'be' in relationship you see..Not one that is benefical to both parties anyway..
He will need to learn good communication skills that encourage positive ways of thinking being and behaving in relationship with others...This will take a lot of time as he suffers 'severe' ptsd symptoms..
Please do take very good 'self' care this will be very important for your own well being and sanity...
I'm sorry I will be away from Just Answer for a time as not certain when I will be on as need to see to other commitments..But, please listen to your 'inner wisdom' on this..your 'gut' feelings and what it is saying to you because its 'never' wrong can trust in that...and you will get through this..
Kind thoughts
Warmest wishes