April 2, 2013 in Features

Dad, vet, showing signs of PTSD

Kathy Mitchell
 

Dear Annie: My father, my brothers and I all served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Only my father and I deployed to combat areas.

Dad retired five years ago and is showing drastic symptoms of PTSD. He is stockpiling food and medical supplies and keeps trying to get my wife and me to “prepare” for when “it all hits the fan.” He spends hours a day obsessively watching the news and getting angry at the television. Our children used to spend time unsupervised with my parents, but that stopped when I found a loaded handgun in his bathroom cabinet.

My mother has broached the topic of therapy, and I’ve offered to go with him, as I’ve been wrestling with some mild PTSD issues myself. But my brothers intercede every time and say Dad’s fine and it’s no big deal, and they convince him not to go. I believe this is dangerous. I’ve been unable to find any home counseling services, and even our pastor says this is out of his realm of expertise. What other options are out there? – New York Son

Dear Son: You may have better luck getting your father to accept help if you approach this as a possible medical problem, rather than a psychiatric issue. We also suggest you ask him to join you for an exercise or yoga class, which can be useful for some PTSD sufferers. Also, please contact the VA’s National Center for PTSD ( ptsd.va.gov) or Military One Source ( militaryonesource.mil) at 1 (800) 342-9647, and ask to speak to a counselor or get a referral to local military treatment facilities.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus