A Veterans Success Story
When Gage called Disability Network Lakeshore, he was unemployed and was struggling to cope with PTSD. He had no idea how the skills he learned in the Navy could transfer to working as a civilian. His PTSD made it difficult for him to interact with other people, and he recognized his strong desire to isolate himself was unhealthy. He asked for assistance in finding volunteer work so he could learn if it would be possible for him to hold down a job, and he hoped he could learn ways to better manage his PTSD.
The DNL staff member who was working with Gage told him about the changes that occur in the chemical structure of the brain with PTSD, and he shared this information with his family. They began to develop a better understanding of why he would fly off the handle so easily, and how they could help him manage his anger and frustration in more effective ways. They also began encouraging him to interact with others, so he was not isolating himself so much.
With encouragement from the DNL staff member, Gage found a volunteer job doing the work he loved. As an Assistant Coach for a Little League Team, he found the children he worked with held him in high esteem. This, in turn, resulted in his feeling better about himself and his ability to reintegrate into civilian society.
With information from DNL, Gage began to investigate different styles of meditation. This helped him maintain a sense of peace in his life, and his relationships with his family improved.
Gage’s volunteer work taught him he could hold down a job, and soon he found part-time work at a local retail store. Although it was challenging for him to manage his PTSD while he worked, he found that with planning and effort, he could be successful. The money he made came in very handy in meeting the family’s monthly bills, and his feelings of self-esteem increased with helping provide for his family.
Gage is now working full time and doing so successfully. He is considering returning to college and hopes to be able someday to help others who are struggling with PTSD.