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Real Story

Chronic pain + job loss (military) = depression

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Photo by: j_austin

I was a 23 year old Marine Corps veteran who transferred to the Army. Chronic lower back pain had gotten worse, and I spoke up about it. The Army did an MRI and found 2 bulging discs. For those of you unaware, this puts me in constant pain, from my lower back to my legs and it hampers day-to-day life. The decision was made to medically discharge me.

I found myself, married with a wife pregnant with twins, jobless (fortunately I was given severance to last me 6+ months). We moved back to New England, near our families, and I was unable to find fulfilling work. I knew I was better than the work I was doing, stressing about finding a job I was qualified for, and I could apply my skills to.

I found myself slipping into a deep depression. I knew that every day I would wake up in pain, and it would only get worse as the day went on. I felt like I would never find a good job, and began doubting myself. The depression got worse and worse every day.

I finally sought help through my doctor, and I started to stabilize. Not long after, I found a job that I was not only qualified for, but enjoyed (I still have that job a year plus later).

The key is to seek help as soon as you notice that things aren’t right. Try to have a strong support system, and you can make it.

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