Blog

24
Nov
2015

Currently, everywhere we look we see posts on terrorism, bombings, stabbings, ISIS….

Our minds go to all of those suffering from the pain caused by such terrible incidents.  It’s easy to immediately think negatively on where this world is going and how we are going to survive. Today we saw a glimmer of hope with the article by David Brooks in the New York Times on post-traumatic growth and how resilient our minds can be. Read more in the link below:

Tales of the Super Survivors

30
Jul
2015

A news article came out today saying researchers are working on a very simple computer game to help veterans suffering from post traumatic stress. It sounds simple: you look at a negative word or face (ones that you associate with bad memories or stress) and neutral words and then you complete a simple task. The idea is that the association between the negative and neutral become closer together and this will reduce the effects of PTSD in daily life.

Seems basic. We hope it works. If the results are positive we would love to offer it to huddl members. The good news is the research regarding post traumatic stress is increasing and leading to more help for those suffering. In the meantime, it still feels good to connect with others going through similar things at huddl.org.

Full article here: Simple Computer Program to Help PTSD

23
May
2015

 

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Americans love any chance to celebrate, throw a party or a parade. But, on Memorial Day (and the weekend), we should take a moment to pause, remember and appreciate all of the soldiers who have fought for our freedom and aren’t here to celebrate with us.

“I have friends buried in a small corner of a rolling green field just down the road from the Pentagon. They’re permanently assigned to Section 60. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s 14 acres in the southeast corner of Arlington National Cemetery that serves as a burial ground for many military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are fresh graves there.

I spent my formative years in combat boots and all of my friends are in the military, were in the military, or married into the military. I have several friends buried at Arlington, and know of dozens more men and women interred in that hallowed ground.”

Read more here:

I’m a veteran, and I hate ‘Happy Memorial Day’. Here’s Why.

23
Dec
2014

 

Socrates quote on change

 

This quote from Socrates has me thinking about huddl.org and all of the amazing things the huddl members have accomplished this year. I’ve seen friendships forged, personal battles won and overall progress being made. When you have post-traumatic stress it may seem like things will never get better. With a community on your side, knowing the battles you are facing, the climb doesn’t seem that bad.

We forge on into the future by building the new, building relationships and by building ourselves (and others) up.

06
Oct
2014

After surviving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Daniel Rodriguez was set on accomplishing his goal and keeping his promise made to a fellow soldier who died in combat. Even while suffering from post-traumatic stress, Rodriguez shifted his focus to his goal for after war: playing for a Division I football program. See the interview here:

http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/army-sgt.-keeps-football-promise-to-late-soldier-338228291618

 

12
Aug
2014

Robin Williams

By now, unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware of the tragic passing of Robin Williams. His untimely death should serve as a reminder to everyone that no one is immune to mental health issues.  Here we had an iconic comedian, a man who by any guesstimate made millions of people laugh billions of times, a man beloved by those who knew him best as well as those who never stepped foot on the same Continent as him.  There is a lot to be said for anyone who has such wide appeal to so many, his zany personality connected with so many people, but let’s not forget his ability to take on serious roles as an actor and do so flawlessly.  Robin Williams was truly a generational artist, I cannot point to another actor/comedian who brought so much to so many.

Just like all of us, we all knew that Robin was battling his own demons, the extent of which perhaps we are just now finding out. I had heard/read some snide comments already, how people cannot ‘understand’ how someone so happy and who elicits such happy emotions can be so unhappy on the inside. Why is this bizarre? This is the norm, not an outlier, people battling depression don’t walk around all day with their hands in their pockets kicking rocks, they lead normal lives, or as close to normal as they can take. They are your colleagues, your neighbors, your family, no matter how many laughs are born by a person, don’t let the exterior tell you the full story.

How often these days do we truly, genuinely try to get to know people in & out? We get asked bottled questions and we give bottled responses, we don’t dig any deeper. I don’t know if we have always been that way, but the older I get the less interested people seem to be in other people, and this is disturbing. Perhaps we are numb to so much more now because we constantly get reminded of horror & tragedy via news, twitter etc. We hear a bit of bad news and almost instantaneously we are being buried under the next news story, no real time allowed to digest what we just learned, to empathize with people we don’t or never will know.

Robin had family, loved ones, did they know how pained he was? There is no right answer to that question, my heart  breaks at the thought of not being around for my own family, and I cannot imagine the inner turmoil a person goes thru when they make the decision that they have only one way to stop the pain. In Robin’s passing, I hope we can all look at our loved ones a bit differently, and everyone else for that matter. Depression is often times not visible, your little day to day interactions with people can have a resounding affect, don’t waste it twiddling with your phone or having someone’s words glance off of you.

At PTSD United, through huddl.org (the anonymous social support network for trauma) we strive to make connection and support as easy as possible.

As we reflect on this tragic and sad loss, please look at those around you, especially if they’ve mentioned depression before. We may think there is time to get help and that we can wait it out. This simply isn’t the case. If you know of someone around you who needs help, please reach out today. One more day living with sadness is too much. One more loss of life is too much. It’s upon all of us to save those in society who are struggling and to make real, honest connections with those close to us.

 

 

25
Jun
2014

I wrote this entry with the community at Huddl.org in mind, yet it applies to everyone.

Confidence is not an illusion, but a realization. One must understand their true beauty and importance, which isn’t always easy to do.

With the way society is today, many people are conditioned to think that they’re not important or that their unique thoughts, characteristics, and traits are not important. This leads to insecurity, timidity, and ultimately hinders one’s ability to share their beauty with the world.

Think about all of the people that our society truly lauds – these people are usually confident human beings. Why are they confident? Because they realize their true beauty and a lot of that realization comes from someone in their lives encouraging them, noticing them, appreciating them, and telling them that they are beautiful and important.

The people we appreciate and put on pedestals are no more important or beautiful than any one person in the world – the difference is that at some point they came to that realization and gained enough confidence to show themselves to the world.

Imagine if you and I took the extra second to appreciate each other and point out the good stuff.

How can you help change the world? Sounds crazy right? It’s not. In fact, it’s simple. You can encourage others and show them you appreciate them for who they are and what they think. We are all so special and if we took a bit more time appreciating, not only with the younger people in our lives, but all of the people we come across, we can change the climate of society.

We can help each other gain confidence in ourselves and ultimately be our beautiful selves.

It starts with you and me. Tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them today. Tell them why they’re important and why they’re special. You won’t regret it and neither will they.

10
Jun
2014

We’ve seen this too many times to count. Reporters, columnists, everyday people commenting on rape, rape culture and then downplaying the victims. We must remember that terrible things happen to people, trauma happens, rape happens and we need to be here to support all victims. Not belittle them.

It’s comments like these from George Will that threaten victims and hurt them even more than they’ve already been hurt.

George Will: Being a victim of sexual assault is a “coveted status that confers privileges”

 

Washington Post columnist George Will doesn’t believe the statistic that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. Instead he believes that liberals, feminists and other nefarious forces have conspired to turn being a rape survivor into a “coveted status that confers privileges.” As a result of this plot, “victims proliferate,” Will wrote in a weekend editorial that ran in the Washington Post and New York Post.

Further compounding the crisis of people coming forward about sexual assault to stay de rigueur is the fact that “capacious” definitions of sexual assault include forcible sexual penetration and nonconsensual sexual touching. Which is really very outrageous, according to Will. It is really very hard to understand why having your breasts or other parts of your body touched against your will should be frowned upon.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

 

05
Jun
2014

PTSD Blog

June is PTSD Awareness Month and the month brings a lot of ideas, thoughts and emotions into all of us at PTSD United. While we are glad that the issue is receiving awareness, we also feel there is so much more that can be done. PTSD is a massive subject, affects millions of people, and there is still an insane amount of information to learn. These thoughts can be overwhelming.

So, when it seems like we are a drop in a large bucket, we look at huddl – the anonymous and free social network that we created a year ago.  We go back to the basics and see that we are helping – by allowing people to help each other. 

A few users have expressed what huddl means to them:

Anonymous User: “I tend to fall often, sometimes many times in one day, but I’m trying to come out of a deep and bad place. huddl helps me to keep getting back up, instead of giving up.”

Anonymous Response to above : “I fall constantly, and sometimes I need a hand getting up. huddl is that hand in a way I never imagined.”

The truth is, traumatic events happen and people everywhere are struggling to come to terms with those events. We all have pasts and we all could use a helping hand. Yet, too often people with “scary pasts”, “problems” or trauma are dismissed by others. Instead of dismissing, what if we all reached out? What if we all listened for a few minutes instead of not having enough time? What if we stopped talking about people that don’t seem to have their life completely in order?

The simplest notion of connecting with other people is how we are dealing with traumatic events. We created huddl to take on trauma from the ground up, to show everyone that they aren’t alone in their thoughts and bad days. And we made it easier to connect by having everyone be anonymous. Tragedy and trauma are not simple issues – but let’s go back to the basics: we all have the power to help those around us, it’s simple – connect

If you would like to be inspired, or need a helping hand, please join us at www.huddl.org.