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  • Writer's pictureRyan Skimmons

Happy Veteran's Day

Today, I'm thinking a lot about my dad. My father is a veteran of the Vietnam War and within the past few years has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He's struggled all of his adult life with the symptoms of PTSD but only recently has found out what it's called. Growing up, my dad experienced the mood swings, intrusive thoughts, problem-drinking and nightmares that are hallmarks of a PTSD diagnosis. My mom and I never knew what he was going through because he didn't talk about it, I'm not even sure he knew what he was going through. He didn't know much about mental health or how the war affected him, not completely at least. He knew it was hard and he knew that it messed him up but never had an understanding of the lasting effects. I suspect in a lot of ways this is one of the things that led me to a career in mental health, even though I didn't realize it at the time. I knew that I wanted harmony and I didn't want anybody to suffer.