It took us two weeks and a great deal of persistence for my husband to be transferred to Balboa Naval Hospital to receive further care. Good-bye Twentynine Palms. After we arrive in San Diego, my husband’s first appointment for an evaluation was the next day. We were cautious, yet optimistic that these professionals would be able to help my husband deal with the demons in his head. At this point, my husband was constantly reliving his experiences in Iraq. I wish I could help him quiet his mind, but he said his thoughts wouldn’t go away. He was sleeping very little, yet it was a struggle to get him out of bed to eat, exercise, or take a shower. My husband kept saying that he wished he came home with a physical wound because no one understood what he was going through.
After leaving the hospital we had mixed feelings. The most discouraging part was that the next appointment wasn’t for six weeks. My husband pleaded with me for help. He couldn’t image living this way for another day. I assured him that he would get well and we’d find others that could help him. With the help of friends and family we started to find mental health care providers in the community that had experience with depression and combat stress. It was going to be expensive seeking help outside the military system, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I have since learned of an organization called Give An Hour. Providers around the country provide free counseling to troops and their families. It’s another avenue to explore if you are not satisfied with the care you are receiving at the military clinics or VA. The most important thing is it’s confidential.
Appoints with a civilian psychologist and psychiatrist were made for the following week. More help was on the way.
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