RAAF veteran talks about getting help for PTSD, anxiety and depression

My name is Alexandra Redlich. I was a Corporal in the Air Force. I always knew I wanted to join, but I didn’t know what I wanted to join as. Medic training was absolutely awesome. I got out of training in September ’09 and then I was deployed in August 2010 to Pakistan for Pakistan Assist II. There, we were seeing a variety of patients ranging from the elderly right down to brand new babies. When I came back to Australia, I found that I was very angry, but I was still serving and very young at that stage. So, you just sort of kept your mouth shut and drank and talked a
lot with your friends. Talking to friends and
to other military members, it’s good to voice things
that are on your chest and to get things out of your
head, and stuff like that but it’s not necessarily dealing with something for the long term. I started to have cracks and
the lid coming off the box back in, after I got back
from Operation Slipper in 2013. Doing clinics that hopped
into Afghanistan, did bring back a lot of
memories from Pakistan, which did re-trigger a lot of my social anxieties and that sort of thing. Finally, it sort of all
came to a peak when I got to the point that I couldn’t
hold a conversation. I couldn’t think. Walking through a room
was like radio static. I did then have a rather
profuse relapse in December 2016 when I tried to take my life. Luckily, I was found by a Defence member and an ambulance was called and they managed to
resuscitate me in Emergency. When I started asking for help and people started helping me, which blew my mind, I guess I felt like I actually mattered. Especially during my treatment,
when I’d tell them, you know, plans I’d
like to have for the future. They’d actually turn around and go, “Yeah, you know what? You can do that.” When you start feeling low, get help. It is so much easier to
get help when you’ve only fallen down one step, than
when you’ve fallen down the whole flight. There’s nothing
wrong with asking for help. There are people out there
that want to support you and want to help you. There’s so much
information out there and so much research, just go
ask and people will help you, they’ll lead you and start to
guide you back to the light.

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