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Cpl. Chad Eric Oligschlager Foundation for PTSD

Active Military
Active Military
July 22, 2019
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This hits close to home for multiple reasons. First off...I knew Chad. We weren't the best of friends but, we were both in Weapons Company and shared the occasional meal together. That's not the entirety of why it hits close to home though, see Chad died due to multiple drug toxicity. At last count, he'd been prescribed twelve different medications for sleep and anxiety. It hits close to home because even as cautious as I was about medications, I felt them have a negative effect on me when I dropped my pride and went for treatment.This piece isn't about bashing modern medicine or throwing a temper tantrum at the VA. Different things work for different people. For me, counseling turned out to be the best option, I found a solid psychologist and completely got off the medication. For some, the medication is the answer. It's ok to have and utilize different tools for PTSD treatment. What's not ok is remaining silent about how you're feeling when you take a medication.See, something many people don't know is that Chad, truly probably saved my life through his struggles. When I was prescribed a medication that made my depression worse. I stopped taking it. I'd gave it a fair shake, took it long enough to make a difference, but all it did was drop me down and make thoughts of suicide even worse. The doctor switched meds. The next one made me feel lethargic and apathetic. We switched again. Same song different verse. Additionally, I was still having nightmares, he wanted to add another medicine.All that while in the back of my head, what had happened to Chad replayed over and over and over and over again. More meds upon more seemed like this was the only answer, up until I said no.I'm not a doctor. I'm not a pharmacist or a chemist. Some of these drugs have done wonderful things for many of my brothers. Some of these drugs have had horrible effects.I hate saying this because it's not really a great piece of advice, but you don't really know how a med is going to affect you until it affects you, but when it does, please speak up.Out of the six meds, I was prescribed, none of them made me feel better, they all made it worse. Unfortunately, I had Chad's lesson to ensure that what happened to him, would not happen to me.I do want to take a moment to reiterate, if the meds you're taking are working for you and not making you feel worse, or changing your personality, great. I'm all for that. But if they're not, and the answer you keep getting is a different medication every time, it's ok to say no and to look for other legitimate forms of therapy.If you'd like to know more about the Cpl. Chad Eric Oligschlager Foundation for PTSD and you're in the San Antonio/Austin area, there is an event at the Old Main Icehouse in Cibolo this Friday from 4 PM to 11PM where you can get more information on multiple different resources for veterans.

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