Today we have a very special Veteran’s Day episode, and we’re going to hear from two outstanding guests: Dr. William B. Lawson & De’Andre B. Wells.
Dr. Lawson, Associate Dean for Health Disparities at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, teaches us about PTSD from the standpoint of diagnoses and treatment.
De’Andre shares a powerful and personal story about his battle with post-traumatic stress after serving in the middle east, and what he’s doing today to help other veterans keep battling as President of AGX Group And Management Services. De’Andre served as a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army’s 5th Special Forces Group, where he completed three tours of combat duty during the global war on terrorism.
What is PTSD?
- Whether you know someone who personally served in the military or not, PTSD is an issue that impacts nearly 25,000,000 people in the United States, or roughly the population of the entire state of Texas.
- When a person is exposed to an extremely traumatic experience, they don’t just forget about it and walk away.
- This is more than anxiety, and the symptoms can be very disruptive. People with PTSD may see the world differently, have trouble sleeping, struggle relating to others, and experience autonomic reactivity.
- The symptoms also persist for months or years.
- PTSD isn’t specific to war trauma, but PTSD caused by warfare tends to be more treatment-resistant and persistent.
How YOU Can Help Others & Find Support
- AGX Group and Management Services – agxgroup.org – AGX is a privately held, federally certified health and wellness service provider founded by De’Andre. “Since 2009, AGX has proven its leadership and innovation as a single source provider of person-centered health care and trauma solutions that are informed by scientific evidence and use all appropriate preventative and therapeutic approaches.”
- Veterans Crisis Line – veteranscrisisline.net or 800-273-8255 – “The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
- Catch a Lift Fund – catchaliftfund.org – “The Catch A Lift Fund enables post 9/11 combat wounded veterans all over the U.S. to recover and rehabilitate both physically and mentally through physical fitness, motivation, and support.”
- Tinina Q. Cade Foundation (Cade Foundation) – cadefoundation.org – The Cade Foundation was launched to help need and infertile families overcome their infertility. They are also focused on equipping active duty and veteran service people with information about different ways to become a parent after infertility, as well as financial support through grants for fertility treatment.
- Purdue Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities – krannert.purdue.edu/military/ebv – “The EBV program represents a unique opportunity for those men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom, to take an important step toward realizing their own freedom – economic freedom – through entrepreneurship.”
- Vital Alternatives for Healthy Minds – vitalalternatives.org – “VAMP utilizes drama therapy and creative expression to foster interpersonal growth and healthy lifestyles to address social and emotional development and unproductive behaviors. … The program’s goal is not only to place participants on the path to personal growth, career development, behavioral and attitudinal change but to give participants the encouragement as well as the empowerment to believe in themselves, to discuss their hopes, fears, and dreams.”
I created this episode because, over the summer, I was asked to talk about combat veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to help raise awareness about the issue. If there’s anything you’d like to hear on the podcast in the future, reach out to me at TheDailyHelping.com/contact.
The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaways
“We need to treat the individual’s biopsychosocial needs – not dwell on what led to where the person is, although that’s important information, but deal with the person’s needs as they are, so that they can move towards a place of recovery.” – Dr. William B. Lawson
“You can’t do it alone. We are prone to human connection. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, know one thing: true belonging belongs to you first. It’s discovered within, and it’s established by your own decrees. You write the constitution of your belonging, and then you allow others in. … Open your heart, be vulnerable, and connect with other people.” – De’Andre B. Wells
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