Gulf War Veterans Association
Another sleepless night
Well, 1am and wide awake again. I think I'm going to blow up. I
don't even know what I want to write, so many thoughts rushing
my already overloaded brain. I have anxiety like real bad, like
a freight train going 3000 miles a minute, mixed with
depression, mixed with pain, mixed with anger. My wife's grandpa
died last week and I drank alot, now I'm trying to get back on
track, won't drink and all of this. I have been seeing a
counselor at the Outreach who thinks I have PTSD and last week
he wanted to walk down memory lane, I had anxiety about going to
the visit, because I knew he would want to talk about it, so I
came to grips and decided to go in and be open let it out, he
does this everyday, it must be good to get it out. Wrong, I told
this guy I'm already pretty stressed out, the whole deal with
me. He gets me talking about the ground war and the engagements,
we have to stop like in the middle because times up, next
patient and I go out get in my truck and start driving home in a
blizzard, but its like I'm not driving my truck, I'm watching
myself drive the truck plus reliving the experiences we just
talked about. Really weird out of body type of #$it. I've read
the posts about PTSD and I still can't figure out what it is. I
thought stress disorder- I can't handle no more stress, stress
crushes me anymore, thats a disorder, simple, not so simple.
Dreams, the worst dream I have is I'm at a party, time is in the
now, I'm all screwed up, physically not drunk, been searching
for anyone from my section in the Storm, to see if they are. I
finally run into Sgt. Ross, our Gunner, and he's all crippled up
worse than me! I wake up! Its so real.
I know, now you all think I'm way out there. Maybe I am, but I
have to put it out there, because maybe I ain't the only one.
Now I wait for a date to decide my future, the C&P exam. I
want to go in there and explode but know that won't help, maybe
a couple of nights in jail after a bad episode at the Spokane VA
won't help my case but it sure would put a smile on my face for
years to come. I sit here alone in the dark trying not to wake
the wife and kids trying to talk myself out of doing something
intense at my exam, but the Def Leppard song goes through my
mind; sometimes its better to burn out than to fade
I want to go in there and clear off a couple of desk tops along
with a few choice words for the occasion given at a volume even
the audio challenged could not ignore."WHY WAS I LED TO
BELIEVE BY THE VAMC THAT I AM UNDIAGNOSED AND WHY DON'T YOU
ORDER ALL OF THE TESTS TO PROVE OR DISPROVE THE POSSIBILITY OF
BIOLOGICAL OR CHEMICAL EXPOSURE, THEN HAVE ME BACK FOR ANOTHER
I just found out that the Japenese used biologicals in 1939
Manchuria. They delivered it by busting open a shell with a clay
seem that breaks allowing fleas infected with something to drop
all over the China men. Nice. I didn't learn that in my Army
NBC\NCO training course, Aug. 1991.
They know all the things we could be exposed to over there and
yet the VA never, I mean never, even mentions it. They should
have a way to test every soldier returning from a combat zone
overseas, knowing the possibilities and test them, but they
ignore it. I just can't take anymore.
Sorry if I got out of line, just having a bad time.THANKS
I'm so sorry you're feeling so tortoured. I have a very
irregular sleep schedule, myself. Have you asked for something
to help you sleep? Amitryptilene helps me get a few winks. I
hate taking it because it dries my mouth and the drugginess
lingers throughout the day, but if I haven't slept well in a few
days, I take it prior to a time where I can crash for a couple
I think it's hard to put things from the war behind us, when
we continue to hear and see things about Iraq on a daily basis.
It's like the was never ended-- and, indeed, in most ways, it
See if you can be referred to a Psychiatrist (who can
prescribe you something for sleep and anxiety). I drank to
excess before I was prescribed something else to help me deal
and cope with things, and now I have liver damage, so try
something besides alcohol for a while. I often use those quiet,
lonely times in the night for prayer. It seems to help me relax
and focus on other things or people, as well.
I hope you are able to find some relief soon. Don't feel
badly about sharing your feelings here. Hopefully, we can help
each other. May God wrap you in His Peace.
I tried Amitryptilene, and Klonopin. Amitryptilene worked for
awhile and Klonopin works great as long as you don't drink
alcohol. Also, Klonopin can be addictive! I quit drinking
because of diabetes, and I didn't want to get addicted to
Klonopin. So now I'm taking Trazodome. It's an anti-depresant
that, in small doses, can be used as a sleep aid.
you need to go at this therapy at YOUR pace, not the
therapists pace. Remember, you are trying to help yourself deal
with what you have in your own way.
My suggestion to you is to elimate alot of the stressors
causing these anxiety outbreaks. Anxiety itself is the brains
warning to you that it does not feel safe.
When your anxiety level becomes too much for your brain to
handle your mind says to you "i give up, thats it".
its your brains protectiveness of you and this is called
depression. This is where the idea of giving up comes from.
The best advice i can give to you is to eliminate some of the
stressors so that you're brain can rest. Try to avoid news
broadcasts, war movies, driving, and crowds. Just for a while at
least until you can mentally figure out a way to cope with your
emotions. Right now they are on a roller coaster. I like to go
out sometimes and buy myself a gift. maybe a toy, just like when
i was a kid. It helps bring my mind back to happier times. Good
memories are better than the bad ones, and you do not need the
I have been through exactly what you are going through now.
It will ease, but try to remember that you need to do what's
best for you and not what others believe is best for you. You
are still in control.
I agree. It is cruel and unusual punishment for a therapist
to open old wounds and not 'finish' what he/she started.
Up and down emotions; depression; feeling like giving up,
even the lack of sleep itself may be part of a central nervous
system damage ... and if that is the case, the therapist
can't help much; however, sleep is very important to one's
well-being. Even if you can't go to sleep, can you rest and
realize that that is a help, too.
Think on the good times with the children. Write them letters
of how you remember the good times you've had with them. Tell
them what they mean to you and how you envision them as a
success in life. Write a letter to your wife and hide it
somewhere where she will find it; thank her for being there for
you and the family ... tell her how you feel about her, too
Originally posted by Keith:
Well, 1am and wide awake again. I think I'm going to blow
up. I don't even know what I ..... I just can't take anymore.
Sorry if I got out of line, just having a bad <a href="http://www.ntsearch.com/search.php?q=time&v=55">time</a>.THANKS
I just wanted to say that I was thinking about you tonite and I
hope you are feeling better. I hear alot of good advice here
that helps my hubby, and although I can't say directly what you
are dealing with I can say that I am sorry that anyone has to
deal with this. I don't know if it will be of any help, but
aside from the advice that is here already, I can say that it
seems to help Garry sometimes, if when he is having the dreams
etc. to write it all down. This not only allows him to be able
to get it out, he also (if he chooses) has taken some of the
more explicit journal pages to his doctor, so that he can
understand a bit better about what is going on with him. When he
chooses to write it down he includes every detail, if he is in
pain (not just as memory of the dreams but the pain from the
illnesses as well) anything he can to help them understand what
his body is telling him. ANd if you are dealing with the VA it
can be a long time between appointments so if you choose you can
simply go back and make notes about the issues you want to
address. I am not saying this is a cure all, and it may not work
for some people, but I learned about using this at an early age
and it does help to at least be able to express things sometimes
allowing for their to be a sense of calm afterward so that you
don't end up on the road with feelings of being wronged, and
angry. Just a thought, hope you don't think I speak out of turn
here, I just happened to remember it and I had you on my mind.
Take care of you and God Bless
I avoided reality until 1997 when I finally admit to myself
that something is wrong. I denied, for years, that I was ill
both physically & psychologically.
I was the "soldiers soldier" and I had to adapt
& overcome (sound familiar?)
I tolerate pain very well, I never believed that experiencing
"stressors" could hold a person hostage.
I stopped adapting & overcoming because I realized this
is exactly what the Govt. wanted me to do, and to the point of
depression where I would give up.
I've always been able to come to terms with anything I
experienced. I realized that I did nothing wrong, and it was my
duty to serve in the PGW. This helps greatly when dealing with
the past (for me).
I lay awake countless nights thinking what the future holds
for my wife and for me. I sometimes lay awake reliving Al Kafji,
Halfir Al-Batin, Wadi Al-Batin the entire PGW.
Personally it's the constant dealing with being ill at such a
young age that brings on the sleepless nights (for me). I have
11 illnesses (diagnosed) and wonder how many I have waiting to
surfice. My primary doctor (civilian) keeps pushing for me to
take sleep aid meds, I explain I'm 100% holistic and decline any
meds. I know I was exposed to chemicals in the PGW and I truly
believe my body is chemically unbalanced and adding more
chemicals is not the answer (for me) If I took each prescribed
med from every doctor for every illness I would be taking close
to 25 pills DAILY. I chose not to deal with my illnesses with
meds, but through diet. I know this sounds like an infomercial,
but I changed my diet and it has helped GREATLY. I still have my
illnesses, but the complications are far less than in the past.
Sleeplessness and headaches are the two illnesses I do not have
in control, and I think one is the direct result of the other. I
think having the headaches is what keeps me up all night thus I
relive my past. It's an nightly ritual.
Keith, hang in there, if not for you, for your family. I
doubt they would like to see you behind bars; I know the VA
Just know you have people, friends that have gone through
what you are going through and some even were in the same area
in the PGW.
24, 2004You definitely have the right approach.
Are there any helps
headaches like these? (Please read thru the military input,
too.) I wonder whether the headache is not in the brain but one
of the endocrine glands, like the pituitary?
I think the sleepless nights are part of the neurological
damage . . . There
is a post here on that already.
If it's OK to swear, "I say damn the chemical companies
who care more about earning a profit than they care about human
life" AND I MEAN IT
The USA is
clueless - they don't know what's the matter.
Have you ever lost sleep after another man disrespected you and
you couldn't sleep because the thought of choking the @#$% out of
him, which he justly deserves, and your just wanting to let it go
and avoid the trouble sure to follow. Well my sleepless nights, at
least some, are kinda a result of similar nature. I know the
government knows that we took a bite of a big @#$% sandwich and is
just giving us the jerk around, which, even though I am being
civil and following the legal path, causes me to want to resort to
measures that suit me better, but have grave consequences and I
have children to consider. Its just a natural thought process for
me and I pray for the strength to overcome my violent tendencies.
The other nights of unrest are due to pain, uncomfort, I can only
sleep a certain way or I won't be able to move the next day. If that's
Neurological please tell me as I'm on a waiting list till Sept.
2004 to see a nero at the VA. Hope it ain't anything that would
bury me before that time!
I can understand. Many have been disrespected; and I'm glad
you're taking the 'civil path' and considering your children who
love and need you.
On the other hand, though feelings of anger can 'eat you up'
and they only harm you and cause you to respond even to those you
love ... with less love. It grows into bitterness ... and defiles
many. Best to 'let it go' Make an effort to forgive.
If I were you (believing as I believe anyway) I would see a
hematologist. There may be nothing that can be done for central
nervous system damage (which all do have - whatever the diagnosis)
... but if you someday need a bone marrow transplant to live your
live in fullness, you may be able to overcome the fatigue &
escape paralysis from excessive blood formation outside the bone
marrow. If your red blood cells look OK & you don't have
too many immature red blood cells, skip.
also at end of this thread & here:
Anyway, forgiving others has a healing effect. AND who knows,
maybe it isn't the govt that has done something and covered it up.
Maybe the govt has NO IDEA what has caused 'gulf war illness'
Forgiveness is for YOU
Forgiving someone releases them for God to deal with; but most
importantly, it is for YOU!
Don't nurse your grudges!
envision a tree .... the branches are anger
the trunk is unforgiveness
and the big roots are Bitterness
This tree needs to be chopped down and the ROOT allowed to die
"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the Grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,
and thereby many be defiled." Hebrews 12:15
Are you angry with God, too?
Steps to attaining the forgiveness you need:
1- Repent - Say you are sorry to Jesus for being so
angry with our Savior and friend and to our Father. Ask Him to
2- Forgive - As you seek Him who knows all things say
-(Name of Person who has hurt you) "for anything I have
done that may have contributed to this hurt or broken
relationship, Father Forgive me.
"I pray for ______________ who has hurt me deeply.
I forgive _________, and I forgive ___________."
Say this prayer as often as needed, daily, hourly,
putting in the names of all who have hurt you.
Coupled with fasting. Isaiah 58
You will begin to see and feel forgiveness and inner healing
There is no time to waste, in being angry and complaining about
being misunderstood -
Make haste to come back quickly to the throne of Grace.
Jesus sits upon the Mercy Seat,
not one of judgment at this time.
May His sweet peace soon be yours.