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Brian McKenna

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Brian is a retired Warrant Officer with the Canadian Armed Forces: four tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan.  Brian is a survivor of Complex PTSD and a Veteran Advocate.  Many questions come his way from other Vets and this collection of blogs deal with those questions drawing from Brian’s own experiences and life, but also leaning on experts and those who have a lived experience.  Kate comments on his posts to give a spouses perspective and encourage a healthy conversation within families on these issues.  We don’t answer every question we get but we do focus our minds hard when we see the question repeated across a spectrum of forums.  Comments and contact are welcome, Brian is hoping that he is a conversation starter providing a framework for moving forward.  If you have a  burning issue contact us and we will do our best to talk about it, pulling it apart and providing two disparate perspectives on the issue: Vet and Wife of Vet.

PTSD Triggered: First Hand Experience of BOTH SIDES

“You were born into this.  There are guys out there at 40 who are trying to figure this out for the first time.  Some think that they have to “snap” you out of this.  Shove a coke in your hand or a coffee.” Sitting at the counter of our kitchen whilst he preps supper we are talking about how to tackle this subject effectively.  I am shocked.  Who’d be so ignorant as to try to “snap” a person in a full PTSD episode back to the here and now?  Oh. Right then. Quite a lot of people apparently.  My bad. So don’t do that.  Like, seriously, DON’T.  The most that you can do if you witness another person in a full PTSD episode is to protect them as best you can from hurting themselves, be patient, kind and non-reactive.  By your presence, gentle and calm, try to reassure them…

Top TEN Cheatsheet to Make a PTSD Brain Feel Better

A top ten cheatsheet to make the PTSD brain feel 2% better; maybe. For me anyhow. I’ve heard most of the claims.  Not all I’m sure, as someone will probably have a PTSD drink on the market soon.  I can just see it now.  It will be the shamwow guy telling you that with “simply taking 3 of these pills today and a shake made of kale and beetle piss, we can cure your PTSD!”. But I’ve pretty much heard it all, including the low of the low being a doctor walking around a veteran fundraiser handing out business cards claiming that he can completely cure everybody of PTSD with 5 sessions of EMDR with him. Only him though.  I’ve heard that equine (horse) therapy is dogshit and doesn’t work, from a guy peddling a dog program.  Likewise I’ve heard that its the best thing ever from a guy running…

Sex and PTSD

So, I’ve made a promise to do a piece on SEX and PTSD.  How about those Canucks? How about those bears, cubs, yankees, bluejays, arsenal gunners, Geelong cats, or anything else other than this topic right? But lets scour the internet hoping someone finally takes a swing at it.  So, I’m here.  And I’m in a swinging mood.  But not that kind of swinging mood. Note from Kate: I asked, nay, begged Brian to write this for all those who over the years have asked me about sex and PTSD.  Intimacy and PTSD.  “Am I pervert?  That’s what she said. Why do I need it this much?” and on, and on.  I wrote a couple of years ago on Sex being the Number One Addiction in Policing.  It did the rounds.   Chaplains contacted me, Chiefs of Police, all agreed.  But NOBODY from the psychological world followed up.  Where are…

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Welcome to my first blog on mental health / OSI/ PTSD / whatever the hell new way I’m supposed to look at what I’m dealing with.  The above statement was said to me by a friend, believe it or not. Still a friend too, yet this moment isn’t forgotten.  I still remember his good will. I remember the fact he’d bought me a beer (only fair after I’d given him a cigar).  I even remember the ole attaboy shoulder tap after he gave me his wisdom that I guess was supposed to help me out that day.  Funny thing was, I was actually having a good day and not thinking at all about the hot day on the dusty road of Kabul where five of my poker mates from my tent lines died in a flaming vehicle exploded by the average…