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PTSD – What’s it really Like to Have It?

Updated on June 11, 2017
Dr Billy Kidd profile image

Dr. Billy Kidd was a psychotherapist and researcher for 20 years. He has also studied history, religion, and has been active in politics.

He Flipped Out Again

Jason had entered the house and was lying in wait in the bedroom for the enemy. He hadn’t be able to get to his gun—the troopers already got that. So all he had left was his fists. He knew that was enough, because this was one of the enemy gooks who didn’t know how to fight. The wimp would beg for his life as it was being punched out of him.

Inside the house where Jason lie waiting, Dr. Kidd’s car pulled into the driveway. “Hey, yeah … hey, yeah!” he sang along with the stereo.

Hearing the commotion, Jason purred like a cat. Then he heard Dr. Kidd coming through the front door of his house, singing, “Hey, yeah … hey, yeah!”

After Dr. Kidd stepped into the living room, and walked into the kitchen, Jason leaped out from the hallway. “F**ker!” he grunted, rushing towards the doctor.

In the blink of an eye, Kidd pulled his knife—just the way he’d been trained. Then, he held the cold blade up in front of his nose.

Jason stopped in his tracks. Guns didn’t scare him one iota, but knives—he had a childhood fear of them.

“Jason,” Kidd said, “we’re not in the war zone. This is Salem. Look carefully. You just think I’m the enemy. I’m your counselor, remember?” Kidd waved the knife in front of himself, trying to distract Jason.

Jason stepped forward.

“We’d have guns if the war was still going on,” Kidd said.

Like some zombie movie, Jason twitched. “F**k you,” he said.

“At ease, Jason, go back to your house,” Kidd ordered. “We’ll talk this over some other day.”

Jason’s rigid muscles unloosed a notch. “They didn’t send you to the war ‘cause you’re a f**king wimp," he said.

“Sometimes it’s OK to be a wimp,” Kidd said.

Like something out of the movie Exorcist, a huffing, screeching sound exited Jason’s mouth. Then, he turned and headed for the door, saying, “You’ll get yours.”

It didn’t occur to Dr. Kidd to call the police. They knew Jason was a nut case waiting to explode. He’d already punched out two of their finest. And that was why he was sent to the Cuckoo’s Nest instead of prison. Vets didn’t go to prison in that town until they confronted the “enemy” and killed them.


Real Life Symptoms of PTSD

Some know how life is crazier than the movies. That is why I only saw a few more Vets after this incident with Jason. My number seemed to be up. And eventually, I quit treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder altogether. It is not something that only veterans have. If you have experienced any life-threatening incident, it can come back on you in the form of flashbacks and delusions--that the game is still on and you’re still in danger. When you a have post-traumatic syndrome episode, you will have some or all of these things happen to you:

● You'll see things in a distorted fashion.

● You'll stop trusting people.

● You'll see the past as clear as day and believe whatever threatened you is after you again.

● You might see things that do not exist, like men in the bushes at night, or weapons in people’s hands, when there are none.

● You can become hyper-intense, sure of yourself, one moment, and totally anxious and fragile, the next.

● You can be delusional, believing something is true, even though it is quite impossible.

● You’re capable of killing people, again, if that is in your profile.

● You want to do stuff that normal people do but it doesn’t seem exciting enough to make it worth the bother, so you say forget it.

● You feel different from other people.

● You can literally see the distance between your world and other people’s worlds.

● You believe in things kind of like jilted lovers do--that the impossible might still come true.

● You’re either uncannily calm or you jump at the faintest sound.

● You sweat and squirm and tell yourself that it’s all not true what you’re imagining.

● You’ll be trying to mind your own business when suddenly there’s a little snap and reality looks crystal clear, like it was something from a big screen movie.

● You notice every tiny thing that moves. and hear every sound like it was amplified.

● You watch the people, wondering which one is after you, until suddenly you see the enemy.

● You’ll be prescribed antipsychotic, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety medications which sometimes help, but they can make the delusions and the hallucinations even more intense.

That is what I know from being with war veterans and other people who’ve been threatened with death. Yet, I must defer to the honored veteran Sgt. Dunson when it comes to telling the true story of PTSD. He did it in a song called PTSD. It is the best description on record of what it is like to experience this illness.

You may not want to watch Sgt. Dunson’s video if you don’t like scary stuff. But Sgt. Dunson’s video should be seen by people treating veterans for PTSD. That’s because he shows you the fight warriors go through, trying to keep their insanity as the madness creeps in and takes them over.

Sgt. Dunson--the Expert on PTSD

Click here to listen to Sgt. Dunson's song about his experience living with PTSD. It’s like being on the cusp of a full blown PTSD episode.

Click here for the directory to the U.S. Senate, if you’d like to urge your senators to see that there is better treatment for veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder:

Here is the directory to the U.S House of Representatives.

You can locate and communicate with Sgt. Dunson at his website, which is listed on Google.

Please note that several months after the above described incident, Jason attempted suicide. He recovered, but he did not seek further psychological treatment.


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      jackel 5 years ago

      Sounds like old witchcraft has problems like me but I'm a fella. I was a bit of a hypersexual (except I never had any sex due to been a mad chirstian) Seemed like everybody was coming onto me including heaps of guys (I'm not gay) Thought I was going to be raped and killed. Still distrubed by the japanese making porn movies of hypersexual woman been tied up and made to organism with sex toys, most are acted but sometimes you see one that seems to be real where the woman shakes with shock in our mainstream internet not hidden in file sharing. I think people get angry when you talk about it because they don't want to know they are just a crook of shit.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      OldWitchcraft. Yes, I've heard this story before. One women would see that man every time she looked outside at night, he'd be there in the bushes again. Vets see others as the actual enemy. The worst part of this is feeling all alone and like no one cares. And I know, when you talk to others, even close friends, they cannot feel your fear or your pain, so it feels like they just don't care. What they do not understand it the depths of the hurt. So what I tell people is keep trying not to give into your fears. Keep trying to be reasonable. Be careful, but don't let it tear you down so you become immobilized. If you become immobilized then you need to see a shrink if you can afford one. Sometimes a woman's support group helps. Take care.

    • OldWitchcraft profile image

      OldWitchcraft 5 years ago from The Atmosphere

      I'm not a veteran, but I've been subjected to a lot of random violence, so I don't leave the house anymore but about once a month. I like people, but I'm really afraid of men, especially large American ones. I have tremendous anxiety if I have to have repairmen at the house - you just don't know what somebody is going to do.

      I find the anxiety is getting better as time goes by, but it's been years since the last time I was nearly murdered by a stranger. I have flashbacks from being raped in my apartment by a uniformed cop back in the late '90s. It can be triggered by any kind of stress whatsoever. I'll be standing in my bedroom in any place I've ever lived since and see him coming down the hallway at me - it's almost like seeing a hologram. But, it is fleeting and I've gotten used to it.

      I can't talk about it to anyone - if I tell people how I feel or what is going on with me, they get really angry with me - which I can't understand. It seems like almost everyone is crazy and mean. So, I just don't interact with people much anymore. I have to work entirely from home and I've even stopped copywriting because most of my clients were men. I had a guy pose as a client last year and he was trying to figure out where I live.

      There can be no recovery when there are so many people threatening you all the time. You can't get well and be well in a world that is so full of sick people. I think it would help if we had an actual justice system to do something about all of the crime. But, if you are the victim of a crime, you don't dare call the police to report it!

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thank you for your thoughtful response. If I had not worked with veterans I would not have known that Sgt. Dunson's video shows what PTSD is really like. I believe that our emails will cause Congress to provide more treatment options for veterans.

    • Orasdaughter profile image

      Orasdaughter 5 years ago from Missouri

      Dr. Billy: Thank you for reminding us all that our veterans have seen awful things and had to do things that will be with them for the rest of their lives. With each of us contacting our government officials perhaps that will help to get our veterans the necessary and rightful help they need. The video just made me want to cry that our men and women aren't being cared for the way they should be. God Bless our men and women in uniform for their service to this ungrateful nation.