Friday, February 03, 2006

Well-Deserved Award

"Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau has been presented with the U.S. Department of the Army's Commander's Award for Public Service for his portrayal of B.D.'s struggles. It is well deserved.

B.D. was never one of my favorite charecters, but I've been glued to his journey home for months. Especially now, that he's trying to deal with PTSD. That hits home with me.

I was diagnosed with chronic depression stemming from child abuse as a teenager. For decades I struggled with various therapies and medications, some good and some bad, but something was always missing. A few years ago I was grousing about my troubles on an e-list when a Vietnam veteran told me I had just written the best description of PTSD he'd ever seen.

My jaw hit the floor. It had never occurred to me that I might have PTSD, although in hindsight my childhood home had been a tiny "war zone". The more I looked into it the better it fit. It appears the depression is merely a sympton of the other problem. Knowing that substantially changed my attempts to deal with my chronic illness.

So even though I've never been in combat and I don't drink, I can identify with B.D.'s battles with his demons. For someone with PTSD, it's always darkest after the dawn.

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