By Elizabeth Willoughby on
“PTSD does not discriminate and is not just a military condition. PTSD is a perfectly normal reaction to a screwed up situation.” So says “The Rockstar and the Warrior” page at the Raven Drum Foundation website.
The Rockstar and the Warrior program was launched last year by Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen and John Roberts of Wounded Warrior Project, the musician who lost an arm in a car crash and the marine who sustained third degree burns to 80 percent of his body in a helicopter crash. The goal of this rock star and this warrior is to destigmatize Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“The self medicating, the anger, the isolation, what we did to our families,” says Roberts, “living with this was not pleasant.”
Allen says the main issue is that warriors won’t ask for help, so the two men created Warrior Gatherings as a sort of group therapy. Before Def Leppard concerts, they are joined by soldiers and their families and Allen and Roberts talk about their experiences with PTSD, what they did wrong, what they did right, and how they came to grips with what their new “normal” is. Hearing these two men talk so openly about their journeys encourages the soldiers to come out with their own experiences that they were never able to discuss before.
“It’s a wonderful way to draw them out,” says Allen. “A shared trauma. The warriors realize that they’re not alone.”
“Were trying to educate the public that PTSD is normal,” says Roberts. “This can happen to anybody, whether you’re a warrior, a rock star or a civilian. Asking for help is not a weakness. It really takes a stronger person to ask for help than it does to sit home in silence, suffering, not moving forward with your life.”
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