Hello, I’m Mike Ehrmantrout. I’m glad to be joining Paulissa Kipp in writing the Recovering From Mental Illness blog.
As a child, I suffered multiple traumas. I joined the U.S. Army when I was 17 and served as a Cannon Crewmember/Gunner in a Field Artillery unit. At 23, I was deployed to Iraq for Operation Desert Storm. Upon my return, Army doctors diagnosed me with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I left the Army in 1992. The PTSD got out of control in 1996, and I tried to commit suicide. PTSD, like all mental illness, is a battle fought each and every day. I also struggle with bipolar disorder. I’ve been hospitalized several times due to my illnesses. I don’t consider myself recovered, but I’m certainly in the process of recovery. I’ve learned some good coping mechanisms, but it’s a daily battle to keep away from substance abuse and other unhealthy coping strategies.