Medications and Support
This story may be edited for strong language. This story belongs to the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Matthew Patton Foundation.
This Soldier knew he was suffering from mental health problems as a result of his experiences during his deployments. The symptoms became severe enough that he sought relief by going to behavioral health. This in and of itself was a brave act because of the stigma that exists within the military. After a quick assessment, he was put on 10 different medications and he was not told what they were, what they were for, what they did, how they worked, and the side effects he could have. Whenever someone asked what he was taking he would say, a blue pill, a green pill, a white pill, etc. You get the picture. When he complained they were not working the doctors took him off some meds and put him on others saying let’s see if these work. He was never offered counseling, which he would have accepted had the offer been made. Finally, since the medications were not working, and instead were making him more miserable than anything, he went off of them on his own.
When he left the Army, he had no classes to help him reintegrate to civilian life, so he did not have financial resources or health care, especially for his mental health problems. He found that his family did not understand him and his behavior and thought he was nuts. They all said they were there for him and wanted to help him, but when it came time to help, such as attending a counseling session with him, this Veteran said, “they didn’t want to get their hands dirty.” Just two years out of the Army this Veteran’s support system consists of two people.
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