This article was originally published by Selco at The Organic Prepper
Editor’s Note: Something a lot of people forget when they think about survival is what happens after you’ve survived. When you get through something terrible, there’s always a price you must pay for your survival. You won’t get through it unscathed.
Oftentimes, that price is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. This is a very real condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a horrifying event or series of events. You can learn more about PTSD here on the VA website. Once called “shell shock” or “battle fatigue syndrome” it can affect more than just soldiers.
You can’t survive something awful and expect to live unscathed. PTSD isn’t a symptom weakness. It’s a sign that you have a conscience and a heart. It’s a sign that you love and you care. It’s part of being a survivor, and that’s why all of us are here – we want to survive.
In this article, Selco shares his deeply personal experience with PTSD.
The Price You Pay for Survival
I am not alone.
he’s here now.
sometimes I think he’s
in the morning or at
noon or in the
a bird no one wants.
my bird of pain.
he doesn’t sing.
swaying on the
For all people out there, who carry this ugly bird on their shoulders.
Anxiety, phobias, PTSD, depression… are just words.
For the people who have not experienced it personally, those words cannot portray feelings of being lost, alone and cornered while you are fighting for air, or simply thinking that you are going to die. Or that you are not gonna make it. Or that it is not worth to make it.
I imagine it like a big black bird, ugly bird, hovering above your head in circles, then landing on your shoulders, pinching your shoulders with claws, and with its wings covering your vision. It suffocates you, blurs your judgment, pushes you to make decisions, or more often not to make decisions…
How many times you were in a situation when you felt that you are in your own private hell, while the world around you was still turning, unaware of the darkness in you?
When I am there, I do not care for anything. That ugly bird pinches my shoulders (and my shoulders hurt for real) and blurs my vision, so I do not see reasons to push on and on.
I know that the reasons are there but I cannot see them. I just keep hoping I will be able to push on, to the moment when again I see reasons for life.
It comes, and it goes…PTSD
So this post is about all of us who carry that bird on shoulders.
Do not make a mistake: it can be anybody… war veteran, housewife, kid…father.
And do not make the mistake of telling that person “oh, it is nothing, you just imagining it” because no, it is not “nothing.” It is everything that matters for that person, and nothing else matters actually for that person.
Every one of us has our own breaking point. The important thing here is that often you will NOT recognize what and when your breaking point is.
I have been through many situations that can be described like pure horror, and I endured it without problems. (You can read more about those experiences in my PDF book or my paperback book.)
Then years later, decades later, I drive my car through the town, and I see something, like two kids playing with their mother, and I suddenly feel that black bird hovering high above my head…
And it hits me like a train, something from my violent past… maybe dead kids that I have seen 25 years ago.
I guess I broke down 25 years ago. Now it is just me “breaking down” over and over again, through repetition of memories and feelings.
I’m an expert on experiencing PTSD.
I am not really fond of the word “expert” and I do not proclaim myself to be a survival expert. But if I am an expert about anything it might be PTSD.
Long experience in that.
Often after having articles where I mentioned psychological problems and coping with them, I read comments where people call it pathetic or portray me as a weak.
It is nothing like that, and often I would love to prove that to those couch warriors by messing them… But it is pointless. It is always about people without experience talking about topics where they lack that particular experience, and acting like experts.
People who suffer PTSD are not weak. On the contrary to that, they are very strong, because it is a hell of a thing to have and carry, trust me.
Since I am writing this in one of the worst episode of it, trust me when I say some things.
You must push on and on.
There are books and programs on how to cope with it, but the only real and good start how to cope with it is to “push on and on” until that ugly bird goes away… not completely, but far and high enough so you can live something like a normal life.
My second piece of advice is: have someone close, someone that you can talk to about what you are going through, someone who will listen to you.
You need a friend.
That bird can not be killed, but it can go away for long periods, or very high above you if you ask for help.
Ask for help!
Again, this post is not about Selco the “expert.”
It is to reach out to all of you who feel the same as I do, to all of you who think it is not worth it, to all of you who are pinched by that bird claws, or who maybe had thoughts about ending everything…
I often keep my gun on the table in front of me when I feel like this, and listen to some music. I look at the gun, how nice piece of work it is, effective and definitive piece of work… and yea, it does look often like an easy solution to use it.
But you know what?
Often the easy solutions are the wrong ones.
So f*ck off that bird from your shoulders and push on and on.
Do not forget: real survival is just that -pushing on and on, day by day.
About the Author
Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months. Read more of Selco’s articles here. Buy his PDF books here. Take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge by signing up for his unrivaled online course. Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.
Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.
Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.
PTSD is bs.
Taking guns from people with phoney psychological disorders.
“P”sychology “T”o “S”ystematically “D”isarm
Written like a truly ignorant fool. Did you take lessons in how to be a insensitive, arrogant, jackass? Or are naturally that way?
… you DO know what a “honeypot” is… right?
PTSD is very real. And it very much sucks.
Selco’s SHTF School courses are worth every penny, if you have not read them. Highly recommended.
As for PTSD, the only way to survive it, is to decide that you will. You must decide that you are stronger than the damage done.
Just like that? That easy? Not for me. I guess I’m weak.
You are not weak. That you are still here proves that. That is not merely pandering pep-talk.
No one said it was easy. Sometimes all you can do is take a deep breath, and force yourself to power through it.
If you come to the brink, ask yourself if, after all you have survived, you will just say F#(k It. Sometimes it does seem easier to go that route, but it would be a colossal waste.
Besides, the parasites and their lackies want us to roll over and die. That is why I refuse to.
Maybe redeem your self by being active in telling other young people to NOT JOIN THE NWO military! Tell them the TRUTH about who you fight for! Save some peoples lives and minds by steering them away with TRUTH! That should help resolve your issues.
No matter how much you affect to be stoic you can’t hide from your nightmares. I have vomited from fear before and I have broken down into tears from fear. I wake up screaming in a cold sweat infrequently. I have periods of lowered sex drive and appetite. I am paranoid and assume the worst about people. So yeah PTSD is real and it sucks.
400 years of my ancestors fought for my right to own guns. You little motherfucking commies who hate capitalism and hate freedom need to not be in America. I won’t apologize for being a white man. Rot in hell.
Yeah I have it too and it has changed my life. I don’t trust most people anymore and they often say “get over it” but I can’t. Stay well and take care!
No point in being paranoid. Cautious will suffice.
Honeypot, the only way I’ll get disarmed is to be killed.
Combat veterans will have a distinct psychological advantage in SHTF; plus more training than most other Americans. My group has a number of experienced combat vets.
Yours should too. 🙂
there is NO help.
VA delays denies delalys denies stalls changes program requirements delays denies loop over again.
VA overworked understaffed under resourced and no one cares.
Don’t take the pills.
Don’t do drugs.
Don’t be a drunk.
GOD of Jesus Christ is only salvation.
no one else cares.
grab a 6 pack of beer and a bible.
stay away from all humans.
stay busy with projects.
live your life then die.
when you reach the top of the stairway to heaven
hopefully the message is ACCESS GRANTED.
” It’s a sign that you have a conscience and a heart. It’s a sign that you love and you care.”
Ya right, That’s why you love to go over and murder and destroy soveriegn countries to steal resources and control for your masters enrichment. Then come home and bitch about it. What about the people YOU killed? Blow the shit out of their home so they can move here as refugees. Good move stupid….
” It’s a sign that you have a conscience and a heart. It’s a sign that you love and you care.”
Ya right, That’s why you love to go over and murder and destroy soveriegn countries to steal resources and control for your masters enrichment. Then come home and beech about it. What about the people YOU killed? Blow the shit out of their home so they can move here as refugees. Good move stupid….
Imma sic my dog on you lol.
All Dogs go to Heaven 🙂
Yes dogs are superior life forms. I love my dog. The dog comforts me greatly in this world.
Sorry to disagree, Revelation 22:15 says:
“For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
So, if taken literally, there are no dogs in heaven. Enjoy your pooch now, we cant takem with us.
They are finally acknowledging PDST in not only soldiers,
But POLICE, FIRE, EMS, DOCTORS, and NURSES now.
I would like to know how many of these professional heroes take they lives whether active, or retired when they are finally out of it, or just had enough ?
The sad thing is like everything else they are just kicked to the side……….
When a person has a suspected kidney disease, then a physician who is diagnosing them considers their symptoms and based upon what they learned were telltale signs and diagnostic tests based upon known pathology effects, then they can safely conclude a variety of disorders. The diagnostic tests CONFIRM diagnosis.
There are O diagnostic tests for any mental condition. They do not exist. There is no CONSISTENT way to confirm PTSD. As such, any mental health professional can label a suspected new mental condition, and if enough do, the a group of experts will declare this new mental health condition to be valid….ALL WITHOUT PROOF!
Battle stress was noted most significantly in soldiers under heavy artillery fire in WW1 and that was labeled “shell-shock”. Yet this did not happen to everyone. There is no test for “shell-shock”. There is no definitive protocol that conclusively proves shell-shock.
That evolved to a generalization of PTSD. It totally transformed from a specific group of soldiers under a certain kind of exposure into something now that affects anyone exposed to anything stressful. Such overgeneralization is MEANINGLESS. It would be analogous to saying anyone has a “heart condition” based on symptoms but without proof.
What has happened is some people have poor coping skills during a stressful event of various intensity. Now…it is resumed everyone under a stressful event automatically has PTSD…which is medically a totally useless diagnosis.
You should know that there is a push in mental health circles to label exercising regularly ie being very fit…is a sign of mental illness. Likewise there is a oush to label being a devout Christian is a sign of a mental illness. The same is true if someone believes that homosexuality is a sign of perversion, which by the way was a medically accepted fact for over a hundred years.
Anything some mental health expert claims then becomes a mental condition which requires money, drugs, and intervention…even being involuntarily committed to an asylum. If you get committed, then unlike prison, there is no stated length of time you are there. It might be indefinitely.
The Soviet Union routinely put dissenters like Christians and capitalists and libertarians in mental asylums in history.
You really should watch this documentary and see how barbaric psychiatry is and how inconsistent the diagnosis is, and hence what drugs are used,how long they are used, etc.
Psychiatrists themselves…on camera…that there is no concrete proof.
Speaking of survival… 1 gallon ziplock mylar bags are cheap on ebay and come with oxy absorbers. Use a heat sealer for long term storage too. You can fir a normal handgun and ammo in one or the leftovers from a #10 can. Mylar is great stuff and having a ziplock to reseal it is even better. You can get a 16 inch heat sealer and 25 1 gallon mylar ziplock bags with oxy absorbers for about 40 bucks on ebay. Great way to store items long term!
You have great ideas, Man. Seriously. And yet you say the nuttiest retorts on Christian posts that I doubt you actually believe.
I do believe what I say. Based on logic, facts, evidence, personal spiritual things. Of course we were created just like our planet. Man learned how to make spirituality into a form of controlling government. Probably taught to them by aliens. I am NOT an athiest, just a critical thinker and fact observer. I guess in your world you could say “I bet my life on it”.
Good explanation, agreed.
Earth is a school to learn higher being. The vast majority fail and are irresponsible, greedy, followers, that shit in their own bed. Freewill is a test of how you perform with it. Humanity is an epic failure as 99% of them NEED government.
Hence anarchy will never work with humans.
Maranatha, psychiatry and psychology are totally false practices.
The Deplorable, just same o voodoo science
Had we followed Jung instead of Freud it would be a very different country and world today and far better to be sure !
Shrinks used to be mainly men but now they are mainly women.
They keep telling us the genders are equivalent. But. They. Aren’t.
Maranatha, I’ve always believed that ‘mental health’ is something totally false. The USSR was notorious for using asylums to deal with dissenters. The same thing happened in my wife’s home country of Cuba to some degree but for the most part they were either shot or sent to ‘re-education camps’. My wife lost half of her family to Fidel Castro’s butchers. I wouldn’t have any problem shooting anyone who came to take me to an asylum or whatever.
Oh, Honeypot. You make me laugh. It’s obvious you’ve never been in combat.
You are one of those losers who reads doom porn and plays Call of Duty and it makes you think you know what you’re talking about. If you spent one day living through what Selco did you would have put a gun in your mouth and pulled the trigger.
You’ll be easy to spot when the SHTF. You’ll be the one with the urine stain on your pants all the way down to your shoe.
What if she finds out that she likes this kind of thing.
You’re probably right. Trolls who like to demean those better than them are usually into sick sh*t
Well written . Thank you.
Denying ptsd exist because you never witnessed anything that was shocking to the core. To those people i would like to say: just wait it will come to you too.
I would think with all of the returning veteran suicides that a bigger antiwar push would be evident across this nation. Out of sight out of mind works for most. Send the warmongers to fight their own unnecessary stupid evil wars. Americans are dumbed down to the need to speak out against war.
Umerikans luv war! Eeef the tv tells them we need to blow someone up they jump in line to do it. Look how many idiots joined up after 911 without a second thought that it was ALL BULLSHIT! Many of them did multiple tours because they love killing and being Joe Badass. Some of them realized they were duped and couldn’t handle it. At any rate it is evidence of just how bad the lack of critical thinking is. Smedly Butler even said it and Hienz Kissinger too. But nevermind that I WANT AN EXCUSE TO KILL AND DESTROY! Oh poor me got my legs blown off, WHAT ABOUT THE THINGS YOU DID TO THEM for no good reason other than your stupid bloodlust?
Shut your commie mouth.
War is not Patriotic.
War is a racket. –Major General Smedly Buttler
Please look up his work. Here is some info.
“War Is a Racket”
War Is a Racket is a speech and a 1935 short book, by Smedley D. Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-time Medal of Honor recipient. Based on his career military experience, Butler frankly discusses how business interests commercially benefit from warfare. He had been appointed commanding officer of the Gendarmerie during the United States occupation of Haiti, which lasted from 1915 to 1934.More at Wikipedia
Author:Major General Smedley D Butler
Most war hawks, blinded flag waivers, have never seen combat. Most people who equate patriotism and war, will never see combat.
Been there. Seen that. Dieing is ugly. Especially when next to you, and happens to those you care for as brothers. I’ve earned right to express view. You don’t have to agree or like it. But I refuse to be labled or censored. War is insanity, foolish, degradeing. Pointless. My sons will never serve beast war system. They will learn to live in peace. Stay out of the rich man’s wars.
You like war so much. Sign up. Be a Marine. Recon is close work. Do that. Then your opinion will matter. But your viewpoint will change. War is for fools, rich man’s puppets.
Honeypot, Why do most people think they know EVERYTHING, when in fact they know absolutely nothing!!!
Honeypot, you are a sorry excuse for a human being. Try crawling away from a crashed helicopter that’s burning. With your best friend inside, screaming for help as he burns to death. And you cannot do anything about it with two broken legs. THAT’S PTSD. THAT’S REAL. THAT WILL HAUNT ANYONE TILL THE END OF THEIR DAYS. Now apologize for your ignorance.
Take a causal, utilitarian approach. Fair or unfair, it will all make perfect sense.
I have seen things, which I do not like, without being mentally damaged.
I have people, telling me that a situation is in flux, or they were at an awkward or guilty stage. Few people say they have made the best possible decision with the resources at hand, so were acting intentionally.
Is there something you can never live down? I honestly have no regrets.
There is nothing more to life than the Commandments. Don’t go looking for it.
After 5 deployments and some issues that were not “normal” (for me) I decided to use the Local VA hospital. First, I had to deal with some foreign dr who wanted to know why I was seeing her instead of my regular Doc. I told her she just got lucky and won the lottery. From there she wanted to know why I split me BP meds between an Army hospital and the VA. “Doc, I am not here to talk about my pharmacy…” Finally, I got fed up and told her we were done. When I left I made well and sure everyone knew she was a nut-job. They got me into see a shrink and after a brief discussion, “here, take these. They will make you feel better.” She was right, provided you want to feel like a zombie. I took them for a week and chucked the meds. Point being, if I have an issue, I can better deal with it in my own mind as compared to the mind you want me to have. Stay strong my friends. If it gets so bad that you ponder hurting yourself or others, seek help…
Soldiers are meant to fight soldiers. Starting in the Dark Ages, the Vikings created proto-professional soldiers and then far later the French and English created men-at-arms and seigneurs as professional soldiers. Civilians pressed into militia made halfass soldiers.
Now wars in the Middle East have turned back to largely using religious fanatics as militia and civilians hide them in their numbers. This is the same as Vietnam and Cambodia and it causes professional soldiers to have to be policemen and accidentally harm civilans. That is a horrible situation and will cause huge difficulty coping. On top of which, idiotic peaceniks are detrimental by demonizing professional soldiers. Then the Democrats really are screwed up and simultaneous act as NEOCONS and cause new conflicts while then stiring up hatred against professional soldiers.
That routine insanity is why we have patriots having major difficulties adjusting. Nobody is denying that is going on…every single day. And then worse, the Democrats the despise any returning professional soldiers who then have severe medical issues that are long lasting.
You know once Vietnam vets were given great help with job placement which is the correct human response.
Then consider the effect of IEDs on brain injuries. That has become commonplace to such a degree that one routinely sees soldiers with this condition. That is NOT normal warfare
Good decent moral brave patriotic professional soldiers see horrors when they have to fight civilian militia.
That is how war has changed since Vietnam.
Well, even though we are very different, I read every post you make and I’m not giving up on you.
Problem is everyone is bitches. People need to harden up physically and especially emotionally. Fucking bleeding heart shit is what stresses you out. Stop giving a shit. Take your beatings and move on. It’s just life man up. What are you gonna share your feelings as if anyone cares. Sick of the fuckin sniveling. This is good times plenty to eat and still pissin and moaning.
Even today,recruits are being trained to fight enemy in recognizable uniforms and situations. Then they get to the ME and find out the enemy doesn’t have uniforms and hide out in hospitals,mosques,and schools. They use children and women as shields,they use IED’s and you can’t fight back because some military lawyer is watchimg your every move,and your supposed leaders are scared to do anything that may jeapodize their next promotion. That would fuck my head up too.
I’m still wondering how much of the difficulty our son is having adjusting to civilian life is because of what he’s had to do and be in the military. He’s had do awful things to protect his men, and go places angels fear to tread. He has a Purple Heart. Made three trips to the sandbox, and there’s lots he won’t talk about to anyone except my Dad(who was also in the Navy). It aged him, he’s not yet thirty! He says he feels 60, and I believe it. Poor kid. He thought he was going to do all this great stuff like the recruiter said, and all he did was shoot people and blow things up. If it weren’t for prayer and Gods angels, he wouldn’t be here, but he has plans to finish college, and go into business. He’s working on it.
I suffered PSD all my life (over 70 now) due to the utter brutality my own mother inflicted on me when I was a child. As a soldier in VietNam, I inflicted that brutality on the Vietnamese, which has haunted me every day and night since.
I’ll carry it to my grave.
I hear you. And so does Jesus Christ. Thru His sacrifice for our sins ( whatever they are ) you are pardoned and forgiven. All you must do is ask, in his name. And anything you have down is forgiven in the sight of the living God. Do so. The upside is very great. Eternal life in the heavenly realm. Again, all you must do is ask, and it will be given to you. The book of Romans says “ All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God “ . That is everyone who ever lived. You are not alone in your unwanted transgressions. All of us are sinners. But thru Christ God forgives us.
My father fought in the Pacific in WWII He took pictures to prove what he said about the things he lived through. One photo shows two wind rows of human body parts about 50 ft apart Each windrow is three feet high and about 15 ft long. It is in a shallow stream gully with bodies every where. The impact of that is horrible to see let alone to experience. Twice men next to him were literally blown to pieces. How he managed to cope with that is beyond me except that they became very calouse to death. he still went on to marry and have kids. he survived
The forest, the lake and the river greatly reduce PTSD!
If you have PTSD, have you considered it is demonic oppression? You should consider that and have people pray for you.
That takes only a few minutes and costs nothing. Are you brave enough to ask for help from Jesus?
Many who think they are mentally ill are really under malevolent supernatural attack. That goes for a variety of things like drug/alcohol addiction, wildly out of control anger management issues, compulsions, always getting in terrible relationships, etc.
The Full Armor of God
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Demonic oppression can happen to anyone and will enter a Christian home especially if you are faithful. The Devil does not want a Christian to do their work for Jesus. Lucifer is going to put roadblocks in as much as possible.
Even Paul of Tarsus had a “thorn in the flesh” and Jesus himself was assaulted by the Devil in the wilderness. So of course human beings will be under demonic oppression.
Your right on brother !
PTSD is real. I have worked with dozens of people that have this challenge. I have it myself because of abuse as a child and seeing things that were horribly shocking.
I come here to read, but have not commented up to now. I would like to share some things that have helped me. Instead of complaining how it wrecked my life for a while, I would like to share some things.
Some of the best things besides my spirituality is gardening and getting out in nature I have found for PTSD is Emotional Freedom Techniques.
It is tapping on acupuncture/energy points to release the stored up thoughts and feelings, neutralizing them so yes they are there, *but don’t bother you anymore*.
Find someone who is proficient at it or a professional and have a few sessions with them. You can learn it yourself on the internet as well. But the professional or proficient person has experience on his/her side as to what works the best…
If you can’t get in to work with someone, start on your own. Don’t let the PTSD ruin your life. The tools are out there to help you get strong and stay strong.
That sounds like you are encouraging troubled people to mess with the occult as a solution to their troubles.
See any problems with that?
Scientology also says that troubled people have trapped emotions and that by releasing bad trapped emotions, that these ailments then disappear.
Scientology is demonic.
Sorry to hear you think it might be demonic or tied in with the occult. We will have to agree to disagree.
Instead of making a snap judgement, look into it, and then you can make an informed decision.
Chinese medicine is very old compared to much of western medicine IF you ignore the Greeks and the Romans.
Chinese herbalism affected the Japanese art of Kampo.
But the danger is the Chinese began to consider various areas of the body to be sites where manipulation with needles would the cause health benefits. That acupuncture then began being supplemented with acupressure.
Is there some validity? Most likely as it involves massage which has been an aspect of medicine all along and all around the world up to and included within osteoathic medicine.
The danger began with India and the occult practice of chakras and opening them up to achieve “serpent power”. That infected China and Japan. In India it was called prana or life energy. Then called chi in China and ki in Japan.
This affected the martial arts of Asia and so accupuncture and chi/ki/prana joined in a synthesis.
In fact certain points are stimulated in Judo especially when an opponent is hurt. Chi and Ki are regular aspects of kung fu, karate, and aikido.
This is how mere medicine became infected by the occult.
Here is a medical assessment from a Christian perspective.
Massage in all its forms is generally therapeutic due to moving blood and lymph back to general circuation and back to the cysterna chyli. The second a massage therapist starts talking about energy flow and energy balancing, what they really are discussing is the occult.
Selco it’s a crazy world don’t go crazy with it, Consider yourself hugged! I just stepped in your arms and whispered that you are forgiven. Please, do not punish you…. for a war you did not start…. for what you did to survive. Thanks for sharing your heart over the years…. it was appreciated. Sending Love!