Veteran Shows How Daily Tasks Like Opening Biscuits Can Be Impacted by PTSD

Chad Garcia, a 39-year-old army veteran, is using his social media platform to show just how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from service can impact even the simplest tasks in life.

Garcia gained over 2 million views with his clip showing how a task like opening a tube of biscuit dough can be affected.

Garcia was medically retired from his time in the army airborne infantry in 2014, but fights the after effects of it to this day. Through his TikTok account he documents his struggles with PTSD and recovering from alcohol addiction—two things often faced by veterans.

Late December 2021, Garcia shared a video of him attempting to open a tube of biscuits in his kitchen, popping it open with a spoon. Unlike most, however, it was more than just a routine task.

"These damn things are awful for dudes with post traumatic stress disorder from IEDs [improvised explosive device] and PRGs [rocket-propelled grenade]," he wrote on screen. "Especially while your kids are being wild in the background."

In the video, he used the spoon to pop open the tube, using it to break the packaging's seal. With a tense look on his face, he began to open it before stepping back for a second. After attempting a second time, and successfully opening the package, he instinctively dropped the spoon and took a complete leap away from it.

The video can also be seen in full here.

Garcia took to a follow-up video to explain his thought process during these everyday situations, saying: "Am I looking at a tube of biscuits? Yeah. Do I know it's coming? Yeah. Those [war] are abnormal situations, so reacting to it in certain ways is completely normal. It's a normal reaction to abnormal situations.

"Going downstairs and getting a little biscuit tube to 'pop' might be the one thing that sends my day into a bad direction," he said, explaining how such menial tasks can impact the life of a PTSD survivor.

On why his kids being wild in the background isn't an issue to confront for him just yet, he explained that at the ages of two, five and seven, he is yet to explain everything to them as "the two year old isn't going to know, the five year old isn't really going to know, the seven year old might grasp it but I just want them to be kids."

"They shouldn't have to conform to it, I need to learn how to cope when they're screaming and bouncing off the walls and my anxiety is up, I need to learn how to step away, it's me that needs to learn to do the coping."

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, around 11 to 20 percent of those who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in any given year, while around 12 percent of Gulf War veterans do too.

A 2018 study found 17 percent of veterans who witnessed active combat report symptoms of probable PTSD.

Now, Garcia runs a nonprofit in California that invites veterans to skydive free of charge in a bid to "help reintegrate and reinvigorate the mind and spirit of veterans"—something he aims to do online too.

"It's reality," he wrote in a comment. "The more we all share, the more we can learn from each other."