(Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 8, 2017) - Experiencing psychological stress as part of military life can be common. Studies show that approximately 10 to 14 percent of active duty service members and 40 percent of veterans are diagnosed with PTSD. Since 2010, PTSD Awareness Month has been observed in June as an opportunity to bring about greater awareness of PTSD, to offer support, and to promote increased access to care and treatment. Early intervention for invisible wounds plays a critical role in successful care, recovery and reintegration for returning service members.
Retired U.S. Army Major Ed Pulido served in Iraq where he was severely injured by an improvised explosive device. He spent nearly eight months undergoing 17 surgeries. Eventually, after struggling with a severe infection in his left leg, Maj. Pulido and his family made the decision to amputate. During his time at the hospital, Maj. Pulido experienced depression and other psychological health concerns, and began to have thoughts of suicide. The turning point in Maj. Pulidoâ€™s psychological recovery occurred when he began to talk about his experiences in Iraq and his concerns about living without a leg.
Major Pulido discovered the benefits of reaching out for help, and encourages others to get the help they need.
WHILE SERVING IN IRAQ, I WAS WOUNDED BY AN I-E-D BLAST AND LOST MY LEFT LEG. THIS PHYSICAL WOUND CAUSED ME TO FACE CHALLENGES WHEN I RETURNED HOME. WHAT WASNâ€™T SO APPARENT IS THAT I ALSO FACED PSYCHOLOGICAL CHALLENGES, LIKE P-T-S-D aND THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE. IT WAS DIFFICULT AT FIRST, BUT WHEN I REACHED OUT FOR HELP AND ACCEPTED SUPPORT FROM OTHERS, THINGS STARTED GETTING BETTER. P-T-S-D CAN BE TREATED. IT IS TRULY IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM, BECAUSE YOU CAN TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND WHEN YOU REACH OUT FOR HELP TOO. I ENCOURAGE OTHER WARRIORS TO START TODAY BY ACCESSING THE TOOLS AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE FROM THE REAL WARRIORS CAMPAIGN.
If you or a loved one is coping with an invisible wound, resources are available, and treatment works. Visit realwarriors.net or confidentially call 866-966-1020.