June is PTSD Awareness Month. I recently had a chance to talk with Pat Bondurant, who serves on the board of the Birdwell Foundation, which provides free PTSD Screening to military personnel, veterans, and first responders. Pat Bondurant has been a professional business leader in predominantly male-dominated industries most of her career life, including aerospace, architecture, engineering, television, investment portfolios, marketing and the racing industries. Pat has been a strategist, visionary, investor, risk taker and marketing forerunner by reaching over a billion impressions on social media in the past year. She is a respected and established philanthropist, serving on several non-profit charitable boards such as CHILDHELP, Treasure House and the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD. Here is my interview with Pat, and below that a series of quotes that indicate the harsh reality of PTSD and the success that those helped by the Birdwell Foundation are having.
PTSD related quotes from the Birdwell Foundation
“We don’t get to choose when Post Traumatic Stress will gut punch you. Sometimes the hardest thing for anyone suffering from this injury to do is ask for help. I know this from personal experience.
After more than 40 surgeries to repair physical damage done to my body, my wife of 26 years noticed I was slipping away mentally. The 75 micrograms of fentanyl per hour, 15 milligrams of oxycodone 8 times a day, and Zoloft for depression started to take a huge toll on me.
As a Marine veteran and a State Trooper, you can imagine my mindset when it came to asking for help. Thankfully, my wife is just as hard headed when it comes to getting help. Once I realized I could not do it on my own, we sat down and had a long conversation. The next day, we were at the VA meeting with doctors and therapists. We simply would not take no for an answer. After 18 months of intensive therapy and counseling, I am happy to say I was able to get completely off all opioids, and now take a much milder medication for PTSD.
I know this in my heart: had I not reached out for help, I would not be here. I know I will never be the same. However, helping others deal with PTSD helps me handle my own illness. You can never overcome PTSD. Any good, moral person who experiences the traumatic events our military and first responders endure WILL suffer its effects at some point. However, with help anyone can do what I have done - live with PTSD and possibly help someone else in need,” Ross Read, director of operations Arizona, Birdwell Foundation.