Reach Out…Even If It Is Just A Pinky

A few years back I was taking care of a service member with significant PTSD from an ambush in the mountains of Afghanistan. One team member was killed, several, including Mike (name changed for protection), were seriously injured. I was Mike’s clinical case manager. Over the couple years I worked with him, we developed a trusting and collaborative patient — case manager relationship.

He would often call when he felt anxious. This one particular day we were talking about the ups and downs of PTSD. I was saying it is okay to have peaks and troughs, as long as one did not unpack their bags in the trough. Ray was quiet for a moment and then said, “Ma’am, I agree. But sometimes when you are all balled up at a low point, you do not even have the energy to raise a pinky; even when you know there are 50 hands reaching out.”

That had to be about the best description of someone in the throws of their struggle. Yes, we were talking about PTSD, but as I thought about it, it really could apply to anyone in a low point in their life. (Continue reading here...)

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