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About PTSD Symptoms: “I felt like I was always under a sniper’s scope.” Veteran Ron Whitcomb


Back in the days
when I was going through what I call my
Chernobyl period, I slept one or two hours every other
day and I never slept without a loaded gun and
a survival knife near me. I also had a 140
pound Rottweiler who wouldn’t have allowed
anything to happen with me and I trained him as
well as any military dog but I still felt vulnerable. I still felt I was
the only one on guard and my adrenaline would
get so high just thinking about being there and
the only person armed that I slept very little. That didn’t last for long
because nobody can go two days with an hour or two of sleep
and that just made me worse. I found out how to take naps. I found out how to, I slept
in a chair rather than a bed because that made me
feel less vulnerable. I slept in clothing
rather than undressing because then I was ready. I never felt like there were
Viet Cong in the tree line because intellectually,
because I knew I was home and that was a safe place. But in my spirit, in my
anxiety felt like I was always under a sniper’s scope. And my adrenaline rush
was so high I could go for a long period of
time without sleeping but that didn’t do
me any good at all. I had to learn sleeping. I was offered sleeping classes. I was offered meditation,
relaxation. I was offered a lot of things. Some things I did,
some things I didn’t but certainly everything I did
helped in one way or another.

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