Recognizing and managing anxiety

Uploaded by VeteransMTC on 24.08.2012


My name's Kenneth.
I served the United States Army as a
field artillery officer.
Served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, and 2007 to 2008.
I suffered really bad from migraines and actually had to
be medicated for that.
Developed really bad hypertension just because of
the anxiety and everything like that, I
just couldn't relax.
I couldn't calm down.
Anything new or any uncertainty was just
exacerbated by my anxiety.
Just little things that shouldn't bother me would
really bother me, would really get to me.

And it affected me through relationships, work,
It touched many different parts of my life.
When you sign your contract for the military, they may say
you're only serving three years, but they actually have
you for eight.
So that's why after over two years, they were able to call
me back for that remaining time.
Second deployment, I actually went back to Iraq and was put
with a National Guard unit.
We were doing combatives, learning Brazilian jujitsu,
and I had an incredible anxiety attack.
I'd never had an anxiety attack before, to the point
where I was just sweating profusely.
I couldn't control any thoughts within my head, so I
just had to go outside, get away.
And I pretty much broke down.
You just don't know what do.
You're not sure how you're reacting on the outside, while
you're trying to control all your emotions on the inside.
When I was sleeping, I would have vivid dreams.
We would be getting attacked, whether I was in Baghdad for a
couple weeks of training or one of the outposts I was in
at southern Iraq.
When we would get attacked on a couple occasions, I couldn't
distinguish between what was going on in my head and what
was actually happening.
The second time, I came back and left my job.
The job that I was working at the ice cream factory, they
kept my job.
And when I came back, things were kind of a struggle
between management and myself.
Something would happen, and I would overreact, to them.
To me, I thought I was reacting fine.
But to them, for whatever small incident that it would
be, I was blowing it way out of proportion.
So I just decided one day that I was going to leave.
I finally admitted to it.
That was the big thing.
I admitted that I had a problem which
was the hardest thing.
And from then on, I just went to the VA and started talking
to a counselor.
He could read my body language as far as how I was feeling,
the fact I was so anxious.
And he just got me to talk about what was going on, how I
was feeling.
I'm learning how to deal with my actions to deal with my
issues, as far as how to deal with anxiety, how
to reduce my anxiety.
He understood where things were coming from, and so far,
it's probably one of the best things I've ever done.