What it feels like to have combat PTSD and depression

What it feels like to have combat PTSD and depression

What it feels like to have combat PTSD and depression


Hey everyone,

combat PTSD and depression

Winter is pretty much here, and I am already starting to feel the claws of depression resting on my shoulders.

I do not do well during the winter months and I am feeling the need to distract.

I am dreading not being able to go for walks in the forests, and feel the warmth of summer around me.

That isn’t true, I COULD go for walks, I just hate being cold ever I had to go diving in 36 degree water for a few weeks.

In this article I am going to try to describe what having combat related PTSD and depression is like.


When I think of PTSD I think of someone who is incredibly angry. Someone who is no longer in a warzone, but continues to lash out similar to the symptoms described in this blog post about the definition of combat related PTSD.

  • Carrying a weapon when not necessary

  • Seeing threats where none exist (for example, when a deliveryman answers the door)

  • Expressing rage for no reason

  • Physical violence against loved ones

For the most part, I have had none of these standard symptoms.

I do however experience symptoms other symptoms as described by the definition of combat PTSD.

Combat related PTSD

My PTSD diagnosis

I have been diagnosed through the VA with moderate combat related PTSD.

Down and dirty on PTSD requirements

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), in component one, a person must have:

  • Directly experienced a traumatic event ( CHECK )

  • Witnessed a traumatic event happening to another ( CHECK )

  • Learned that a traumatic event has happened to a loved one

  • Experienced repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event (this does not apply to exposure through media) ( CHECK )


Being in a warzone was one of the most amazing and terrifying experience of my life. I saw and experience things that cannot be unseen. In order to do my job as an explosive ordnance disposal technician , I had to accept the fact that I may die.

Not dying and coming home is something that I am apparently still struggling with, and I will try to explain it with my combat ptsd and depression analogies.

A life without color

combat ptsd and depression analogy #1

The color has been drained out of my life. The excitement of the war zone is unmatched. You try to pump the color back in, but your pump barely works, and when you do get color back in, it is constantly draining out again.
— Adam Coleman

Loot based video game

Combat PTSD and depression analogy #2

Having combat PTSD and depression is like being given the best loot in the game when you first start. Having the best loot right off the bat ruins the game
— Adam Coleman


  • Suicidal ideation

  • Extreme personality changes without warning

  • Addictive personality

  • Insomnia or Hypersomnia

  • Disregard for personal hygiene, health and safety

  • Difficulty maintaining relationship and making friends

  • Self destructive habits

  • Abusive inner voice

  • Negative attitue

  • Lack of motivation

  • Extreme boredom

  • Numbness

  • Extreme boredom


A quick note on PTSD

Just because I have combat related PTSD article doesn’t change the fact that it is PTSD. Just because my PTSD is combat related doesn’t mean that I have trauma worse than anyone else’s trauma.

When you get down to the core, it is a physiological response, and is something that you and I share a common bond over.

Where does the PTSD, and the depression start?

It is nearly impossible to determine where the PTSD stops, and the depression starts.

I suffered with depression long before the military

I have struggled with depression for most of my life. I believe the survival techniques I learned in the military plus my combat PTSD greatly exacerbated my depression symptoms.

I am not the only military bomb tech struggling with PTSD


I discovered this 2016 article stating that suicide rate of military bomb technicians are at crisis levels.

This is not in the least bit surprising to me.

Who knows what being hit by shockwave after explosive shockwave on a daily basis has done to our brains.

Add in the fact that in order to do our job as a military bomb tech, you have to accept your death, and then when you don’t die your life is boring as fuck, completely numb, have access to alcohol, and probably own multiple fire arms.

How I cope with my combat PTSD and depression

combat ptsd and depression conclusion

  • Living with PTSD and depression is incredibly difficult.

  • TRAUMA is TRAUMA. No one’s trauma is worse that someone else’s.

  • It is a constant battle of highs and lows.

  • Having contestant positive distractions can help make things easier.

  • Even though my life feels like all the color has drained out of it, I am constantly trying to put the color back in, and repair the leak.

  • I don’ t think the PTSD and depression will ever go away, but I feel like

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