78. Soldiers and Depression

I am writing this from northern Minnesota, where two other couples and my wife and I took a week off for a golf vacation. Unfortunately, yesterday (our first day) brought a half foot of snow and there is still snow on the ground as I look out the window, with rain coming the next two days.  A couple of years back, this would have been a trigger for depression, but I have learned

to accept the universe (blogs 71 and 72) and it is what it is.

I am including the article below from a NAMI  (National Alliance on Mental Health) newsletter for two reasons.  One, it adds meat to what we all know – soldiers fight the enemy overseas and fight depression when they come back home.  The second is to introduce you to NAMI, a great source for information on depression and a place to be involved in one or more focused community groups.  Their website is www.nami.org.

“If ambushed, GET OUT OF THE KILL ZONE!” You must take action, or you will die!

The words of my Infantry instructors return after 40 years.

Many of our veterans are frozen in the “kill zone” of a psychological ambush. Eighteen a day die by suicide and another 80 are hospitalized from attempting suicide. More have now died from suicide than all those killed in Vietnam, and their families are in anguish and suffer on.

After 20 years as a soldier and almost that many as a teacher and trainer, I now volunteer with NAMI Veterans and Military Council helping veterans with psychological wounds, heal and recover.

NAMI has many education and advocacy programs that are designed to help those caught in the ambush of mental illness, and we urgently need your help to continue to expand our efforts to make sure our veterans and their families know that they are not alone.

I talked recently with a veteran who was ambushed in 1969 and almost lost his leg to an AK47 round. His leg has healed, but invisible wounds still have him and his family trapped in the ambush.

Please help us help them and others who need NAMI.

Until ALL are healed,

LTC (Ret.) Kenny Allred
U.S. Army Airborne Ranger
NAMI Veterans and Military Council Chair

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
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