Hey guys; it's Adam.
Here's an email I got from a veteran:
I've been back from Afghanistan for about 6 months.
I've gotten blown up a few times over there.
I'm having trouble sleeping.
I get bad headaches all the time, but I'm embarrassed to go to the doctor.
Is there any way that I can get help anonymously?
The answer is yes, there is, actually.
The Defense Centers of Excellence offer a 24/7 hotline
that a lot of veterans have called,
and they can definitely help out.
The number is 866-966-1020.
And there's also a series of online resources.
One of the great websites is brainlinemilitary.org.
That has a wealth of information about traumatic brain injury,
different strategies veterans are using to cope, things like that.
Another great resource is va.gov,
which will have a wealth of information on traumatic brain injuries and polytrauma.
But also what that's going to do is help you find a local VA facility.
I know--I understand how it can be daunting, or it can be--
it'll take a lot of courage to kind of self-refer to a VA facility.
But one thing that I found, personally,
when I was dealing with my own recovery after getting out of the military,
was I found it a lot more beneficial to actually go and not be anonymous
and walk into a VA facility.
You know--kind of share some of the issues that I was experiencing.
And that's really when I noticed that my recovery started to
jump up into hyperdrive.
I remember a time for me when it was embarrassing
and I kind of felt guilty for expressing concern over some of my symptoms.
I remember being in the army after I just got back from Iraq
and hanging out with the other guys in the unit after redeployment
and--you know--being embarrassed to bring up the fact that I hadn't slept last night.
You know--I've got a pounding headache seemingly regularly.
You know--that I'm having trouble with memory
and my fuse is very short--I'm just ready to snap on a dime.
And having the personal courage to identify that is really hard,
but I think it's very helpful, and it really helped me once I was able
to kind of embrace that and kind of understand those symptoms and not be so embarrassed.
Reaching out for help definitely gets easier.
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For veterans and service members with TBI, getting help anonymously is available. But Adam encourages taking the courageous step to reach out for help. When he did, his recovery started in earnest.