‘I have no hope’: A year after leaving hospital, veteran faces the uncertain future
A veteran is struggling to make it in a world where many of the same problems she fought to overcome remain.
Lance Johnson was discharged from a psychiatric hospital in January and immediately put on medication, but has not been able to stop thinking about his mother.
It is one of the few times in his life when he feels like he can stop thinking.
She’s gone and I’m not going to be there for her,” he said.
He has been out of work since March and has been homeless for almost a year.
Johnson was diagnosed with depression in October 2013 and has a history of mental illness.
He was prescribed medication, and is trying to keep his depression at bay.
“I’m really afraid,” he told AP.
Johnson has been working for the VA for more than 10 years, and he and his wife, Jennifer, have three children.
They are expecting a baby girl soon.
Johnson said his wife works in a mental health clinic.
He said he can’t even sleep.
“The nightmares, the flashbacks, the bad dreams that I have, it hurts me to say it,” he explained.
“I can’t go to sleep at night.”
Johnson said he’s spent a lot of time trying to get his mind off of his mother, and that has not worked.
“It is just not going away.
I just feel like I can’t sleep at all,” he added.
Johnson said it is important to keep him from the public eye and that he has been using his VA benefits to keep himself from speaking out.
He is still a full-time worker in the VA but says he will be unable to take his family to the movies and concerts because of his condition.
“No one wants to see a veteran, but it’s not just about that.
I want to keep my kids, I want them to have a better life than I did.
It’s just about me being able to keep working,” Johnson said.
Veterans are the hardest-hit by the opioid crisis, with more than 8.5 million veterans dying in 2015 alone.
Many of the veterans Johnson has been dealing with are still struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.