The Mental Health Stigma is alive and well in the military


mh issue
This post graced my Facebook timeline today. It was made by a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in the Marine Corps. I know the guy, he’s the douchebag that got 2 people hurt so bad that one lost his arm and one with an extremely bad TBI. I digress.

The first comment is mine. The second comment is someone I’ve never met. If you think the military is doing a good job of erasing the stigma against mental health issues, you’re mistaken. It will take another 8 years before the NCOs and SNCOs (E-4 through E-7) have cycled out and are no longer in a position to treat Marines like this. Back in 2006 they still punished you if you had a mental health issue and couldn’t “fit in” like everyone else. Got demons and drink? NJP.

Clearly you aren’t responsible enough to take care of yourself, so fuck you, I’m going to take half of your pay, put you on restriction and extra duty. That will teach you to not have demons. I’m so sick of the zero-defect mentality; it is a delusion that kicking people out for these issues will make the Corps better in the short term or the long term. If you send the message that someone with a mental health issue, like PTSD, or TBI (TBIs do have an effect on the function of the brain, and can lead to depression, anger management problems, and cognitive errors) will be kicked out, those with the issues will no longer tell you because of the fear of being kicked out. This causes Marines to suffer for years, hiding their injury and living in shame that they are hurting and cannot confide in anyone. Their performance will degrade, and they may or may not spiral out of control. Ultimately their loyalty is not to the organization, it is to themselves-and why should it be to the organization when the organization would kick them to the curb because they were mentally injured doing what the organization asked them to do?

Have faith, however, because the 2nd commenter that I don’t know serves with the aforementioned douchebag, so there are people out there who will defend you if the shit goes down. Some people seek out the military because they get authority and they get paid to act like douchebags to people who cannot quit their job. The original poster is that guy.

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Update to the depression…


Talked to her doctor, and the doctor thinks that bRaving’s night of drinking temporarily altered her brain chemistry.

So far she’s on her way back up and as near as I can tell, it’s going well.

We talked a little bit about how her depression was affecting her, and she mentioned that she had suicidal ideations. Of course, that term may mean something different for each person, so I asked her to explain. I won’t list the explanation here, because I think that’s a bit too personal and not really my info to tell. Suffice to say, I was a little shocked, but in a good way, at least now I know.

So, she recently picked up more work with her at-home job of social media management. I’m proud of her and I hope we can deal with the stress of catching up history with her new clients. 3 of my classes are ending tomorrow, 2 more started on the 1st of August. Those 2 new classes are the last of my major, and will end on 15 October. On 1 October I will start 2 more classes, the last 2 classes of my undergrad, and will officially be done with my undergrad on 15 December.

I’ve been working at it 1 or 2 classes at a time, from scratch, for 7 years. I don’t know how I’ll feel after I get it.

On this episode of “Having a Bipolar Spouse”…


I figured it was about time I updated everybody on having a bipolar spouse, since this blog is kinda about being married to someone who is bipolar.

Well, I think that I’ve compensated for things that trigger what I’ll call negative feelings. As I think about the things I do to facilitate and comfortable environment for bRaving, I would think that good husbands do the same things; sadly I fear that many husbands do not.

So here is a list of things (off the top of my head) that I do:
-look and listen to her for indications that something is “wrong”

-provide comedic relief in the form of funny pictures from the internet and random statements that she finds humorous now, but not several years ago when we got married

-provide relief by massage

-provide relief by helping her organize thoughts and plans

-provide relief by giving her space and time to be alone, or do whatever she wants

-provide relief by loving her and not leaving

This isn’t an exhaustive list, just some of the more important ones. I’m sure she would say there is more, and I’m sure there s, but this is a good start. Most of these are generally effortless, I don’t have to think about them.

No shit, there I was…


Sitting ass-naked in a pool of freshly poured milk.  Wild party, or rough morning?

I woke up a few mornings ago, running on successively less sleep each night, (this particular morning was 4 hours of sleep), and had an interesting experience.  I was trying to put the cap back on the milk jug when I dropped it, stepped forward to pick it up, kicked it by accident causing it to fly forward and spew milk as it traveled.  As I stepped forward/kicked it at the same time, I slipped on my ass and slid 5 feet across my kitchen on my ass and back.  I sat up at the end and looked around; the only thing I could think of was “Did that really just fucking happen?”.  I was dripping wet from my shoulders to my toes, with milk.  I sleep naked, which would explain why I went 5 feet after slipping.

In other news I got to see my wife drunk for the second time in our 8.5 year marriage tonight.  I’ve talked to her over the phone when she was drunk before, but that pales in comparison to the real thing.  She took about 12 shots of Fireball whiskey, the hangover tomorrow should be pretty shitty.  Our routines are a little shaky, but I have made pretty good progress in the last 2 years from betrayed husband to a husband who is married to, and supports a bipolar wife while both of us are full-time students and we have 3 kids.  OHOHOHOH by the way, our oldest is taking his first standardized test as part of the homeschooling we’re doing with him.  Fuck yeah,

Right this second I’m eating Pizza from Little Caesars, and drinking a Blue Moon belgian white beer.  Memorial Day is not really about the veterans, and hopefully isn’t another day for you to vacation and barbecue on; remember the fallen and the deployed.  If you personally don’t know anyone who has fallen, find the names of 3 OIF or OEF warriors and pour a beer or shot of booze out on the grass for them.  

Having a bipolar wife means…


That she will have just as hard of a time dealing wth who she is and what she has done as I will.
That at the very minimum, my life will be very interesting;
That she could not have a better husband than me;
That I will have to be vigilant for us, for the rest of our lives;
That there will be many times where I will like this is impossible to do or that I cannot go any further;
That there will be episodes in the future;
That I will feel like sometimes she doesn’t love me anymore;
That I will not know if anymore affairs happen until she has come to terms with the fact that they did;
That I will spend a significant amount of time worrying about whether or not she is having an affair;
That, despite all the destruction her episodes can cause, I can say as a fact she is the most wonderful woman I will ever meet;
That, despite all the pain she can cause me, I am still blessed to love, and be loved by, her;
That eventually I may want to abandon my vows of marriage to her, even as in her episode she,broke hers to me, but I won’t, because I love her and will not abandon her in her time of need.
I am in my marriage to stay, until she no longer wants me, or no longer wants to uphold her vows when she is not in an episode.
I will be strong for you when you can’t bear the weight of your emotions
I will see for you when the world is a blur in your mind
I will hear for you when the word is a roaring tornado of sound;
I will feel for you when you become detached from the world;
I will be here for you, when all of the world has left you.
I love you.

“I am the Master of my fate; I am the Captain of my soul.”