Six years after Jimmy Dye left Iraq, he still struggles with the images and sounds of war. The Hattiesburg native served with the Mississippi National Guard 155th Heavy Brigade Combat Team. Dye says it's hard to describe combat to those that have never experienced it...life and death given and taken away in a matter of seconds.
"You can have some of the greatest times of your life and the worst times of your life all within a matter of moments, and it's a very conflicting place for anyone."
Dye says after he returned from Iraq he was angry and depressed, as he tried to keep his memories suppressed. Eventually, Dye realized he couldn't treat the problem on his own, so he sought help at the Jackson V. A.'s Trauma Recovery Program.
"I was always at conflict with myself. The person that come back from the war and the person that was before the war, and I was trying to get those two souls to reconcile."
Dr. Judith Lyons, team leader of the Trauma Recovery Program, says P.T.S.D. is a serious, treatable injury.
P.T.S.D. is sometimes compounded with the misuse of prescription medication and alcohol, which can lead to suicide or suicidal thoughts.
An according to new numbers released from the Pentagon just last month, 154 active-duty troops took their own lives during the first 155 days of the year.
The Army had the most suicides with 76. Those numbers do not include veterans who returned to civilian life after Iraq and Afghanistan or National Guard and Reserve members.
Lyons says one of the first steps is helping a veteran feel safe and comfortable talking about their issues because the natural urge is silence.
"They may be a little more depressed, a little more anxious initially, but that's a hump in the early phases of therapy that if they can push through that they will see a lot of benefit."
Lyons says even those operating drones, away from a traditional combat zone are suffering from P.T.S.D.
She believes oftentimes P.T.S.D. sufferers avoid public places where they feel threatened. Sometimes leaving family members feeling rejected.
"Family and friends may want to talk about it at first; What was it like? What did you do? Tell me all about it. And they're just not ready. They need time to settle down and so they push everybody away, and then by the time they're ready to talk about it, everybody else has learned to kind of stay away and not ask about that or even discouraged talking about that if the subject comes up," explains Lyons.
The Jackson V. A. has more than 1,900 P.T.S.D. patients and was one of the first facilities in the country to offer P.T.S.D. treatment. They are adding more than two dozen additional mental health employees to handle the rising load. The Jackson V. A. has four programs to help P.T.S.D. patients, from residential to outpatient treatments.
Dye says he lives with the traumatic experience each day, but it doesn't control his life.
"The doctors up here helped me put those memories in a box for me, and I can take them out and when they come up I think about them. I don't avoid them. I think about them. I think about how they've affected me and I'm able to go on with my day now."
Troops have suffered from P.T.S.D. in every war and conflict our country has faced. Yet, many who have served are still reluctant to get help.
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:21:00 GMT
Jackson Police are investigating a homicide in west Jackson Monday after a body was discovered inside a residence on Arbor Vista Boulevard. According to Officer Colendula Green with JPD, officers haveMore >>
Jackson police have released the identity of the man found dead in a west Jackson house Monday morning.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:36:49 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
Dozens of people have died after a second day of tornadoes twisted through Oklahoma, this time taking aim at the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:08 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:08:29 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
A medical examiner's office spokeswoman said 24 deceased victims from the Moore, OK, tornado had been transported to their Oklahoma City office. Seven of the dead were children.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:37:07 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears a disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Monday, May 20 2013 2:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:26:49 GMT
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation. Sheriff's office officials say the northeast Jackson investigation isMore >>
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation.More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-20 16:10:06 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president. "It's more than just me representingMore >>
Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president.
So when the school started planning for the commencement, Flake said she was shocked to find out that she was not among those chosen to speak.More >>
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