PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

PTSD man

For over 40 years now, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been a major problem for many Vietnam veterans. It’s one of the main conditions treated by the VA. It’s said to be one of the major causes of divorce for Vietnam veterans. And, if some of the suicide statistics are true (and there’s room for argument on both sides), PTSD is a major cause of suicide among Vietnam veterans.

Click here to read all of our PTSD articles.

VietNow is very fortunate that two compassionate PTSD experts – experienced counselor Mary Tendall and her associate Jan Fishler – have shared their expertise with us in the form of a great series of articles with ideas on how to deal with PTSD.

It’s important to note that, in addition to Jan and Mary, many others have written for us about PTSD, and you will find many interesting articles here written from many interesting points of view.

In the history of the VietNow National Magazine nothing has has come close to the response to these articles. These articles have not only touched a nerve, but have also provided a healing touch.

Since it’s obvious that PTSD won’t be going away any time soon, and because it sometimes seems that the problem is getting bigger rather than smaller – and because there are differences of opinion on the topic – we have published lots of articles, stories, and poems related to this painful topic.

We hope something you’ll read here with touch you in a good way, and we hope that if you need help with your ghosts, maybe something here will point you (or someone close to you) in the direction of help.

If you have questions or comments about your PTSD-related problems, Jan and Mary have kindly made themselves available to help They assure your confidentiality and invite you to e-mail them directly at:
Jan Fishler:
Mary Tendall:

Every Vietnam veteran (and everyone else, too) has a different view of PTSD. Here are just a few:

I don’t have PTSD. (Or do I?)
As Vietnam veterans are growing older, some are beginning to realize that the things that are bothering them might actually be PTSD.

PTSD: A marriage odyssey
PTSD can take a toll on a marriage, but this story proves that the situation isn’t hopeless.

PTSD: Retirement, Rest, and Renewal
As retirement becomes a reality for many Vietnam 
veterans it’s time to reflect and make good changes.

PTSD therapy dog.Four-legged therapy for PTSD.
A veteran finds that canine companions help him get through some bad times.

PTSD linked to dementia in later life.
A new study found that veterans diagnosed with PTSD were nearly twice as likely as other veterans to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia as they age.

Writing: A pathway for healing trauma.
Words can help heal. If you’re suffering from PTSD, why not give “expressive writing” a try?

Are you sure it’s PTSD?
While someone’s problem may be caused by PTSD, there’s also the possibility that they are afflicted with a more insidious ailment.

What happened?
Those who have married Vietnam veterans, or veterans of other wars, may find that their relationships change over the years. And not always for the better. Our PTSD expert, Mary Tendall, provides some insights.

Will I go to heaven?
It’s a question many have asked when they’ve looked back on their lives, and thought about things they’ve done. But for those who have participated in a war, the question takes on a special significance.

Putting them to rest.
Therapeutic tools can bring resolution to bad memories of combat, but there’s also a lot a veteran can do for himself.

It’s 2013: Did you think you would make it?
One of our favorite writers, a licensed psychotherapist specializing in PTSD, returns to remind us of how far we’ve come, and to encourage us to keep it going.

PTSD: Realizing the slow death.
In one quick moment, after a visit to a Vietnam exhibit at an art museum, the years and the generational divide evaporated.

It never goes away does it?
In August of 1966, 108 soldiers from Australia and New Zealand fought for their lives against 2,500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers at a place called the Long Tan rubber plantation. Forty-one years on, an Australian veteran watches a YouTube video, and finds that even though he was not part of the battle, his PTSD-related feelings can return without warning.

PTSD: Guilt and shame.
Combat experiences create many unresolved memories that can lead to feelings of guilt and shame.

The effects of war.
Forty years after his Vietnam experience, the wife and children of a PTSD victim still suffer.

Power outages, blaming, and power struggles.
Cabin fever or not, disagreements can pop up at any time. Here’s how to cope.

Surrender: A new perspective for war veterans.
As veterans age, surrender isn’t always a bad idea.

PTSD and your VA claim.
A former VA Rating Specialist provides some clues. Check it out.

Alternative PTSD treatment update.
Integrative medicine techniques might help.

John and Jake: A love story.
There are many reasons why they say a dog is man’s best friend. Here’s one of them.

Who am I now?
There is a very high incidence of suicide in Vietnam veterans. Suicidal thinking is increasing.

Getting through the rough times.
There are ways to help the PTSD sufferer through the physical and emotional pain, but you also have to take care of yourself during the process.

Is it really too late for you?
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. It’s not too late. Help is available. And it really works.

When TV is not enough.
It’s not unusual for veterans with PTSD to spend a lot of time watching television. But there are lots of better ways to spend your time.

The hidden heart of the warrior.
A letter written on behalf of Vietnam veterans still suffering from PTSD.

Letters of thanks for Jan and Mary.
Just a few of the letters written by grateful veterans and their family members.

It’s never too late.
There’s still time to get your PTSD under control. It’s not too late. Believe it.

PTSD: Is it treatable?
For years there’s been a question whether or not treatment helps. Now, with new treatment techniques, the answer is becoming a definite “yes.”

Bringing closure to loss.
When the end is missing, sometimes a self-made memorial can stop the Groundhog Day Effect.

Making the darkness conscious.
The Vietnam experience becomes a part of a psychologist’s life.

PTSD flashbacks can hit at any time.

Angels in repose.
A review of an unpublished book.

Making sense of PTSD.
Post Traumatic-Stress Disorder (PTSD) has done more damage than most people (even veterans) realize. Thousands of Vietnam veterans have suffered for 30 years and more, without much help. Fighting PTSD in constructive ways isn’t easy, but it can be done.

What about me?
Mary Tendall and Jan Fishler look at what a husband’s PTSD can do to a family – and what we can do about it.

Understanding reactivity and anger.
Looking at why so many combat veterans react to everyday situations with such anger.

Coping with the holidays.
Why the so-called “happiest time of the year” often is not – and what you can do to make it better.

Reclaiming joy and pleasure.
Too often the suffering of veterans is increased by their avoidance of pleasure. Here are some ideas on how to get some of those good (and important) feelings back into your life.

Why now, after all these years?
After years of having things sort of “under control” many veterans are seeing their PTSD symptoms show up worse than ever.

Walking on eggshells.
Secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD – (Not a defined mental disorder within the DSM-IV) occurs when a person has an indirect exposure to risk or trauma, resulting in many of the same symptoms as a full-blown diagnosis of PTSD.

Note: It’s important to remember that, even though the VietNow National Magazine regularly publishes articles about veterans who suffer from PTSD, articles about how to get help for PTSD, and articles about other service-connected problems faced by veterans, VietNow believes that most veterans are living successful lives with no serious problems related to their military service. But our mission of “Veterans Helping Veterans” means we care about veterans who are having problems, thus the emphasis on articles we think are helpful to those veterans (and their families) who need some extra help.