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Perspectives on PTSD

Posted on: July 20, 2016

According to a CNN post, the man who shot and killed three Baton Rouge police officers last week suffered from PTSD. A former Marine, he had reportedly told that to friends and relatives before the shootings. 

So what is PTSD and why is it so prevalent among the military? 

It's no secret that many former soldiers who have come back from combat talk about the emotional difficulties of dealing with the trauma of that experience. Memories flood back, and former members of the military (or even police and others in law enforcement) can feel jumpy or have trouble sleeping. The VA website on PTSD tells us that it's normal for many of these things to happen among this group. They may start with sleep troubles or have a hard time just getting up and going to work.

A lot of how deep the PTSD goes is related to things like:

  • how intense the trauma was
  • how close the person was to what happened
  • whether the person was hurt or lost someone close to them

and more. 

And that explains some of why it's so prevalent among the military. Deeply emotional experiences like combat can be troubling for some people, and it can take a long time to get through it. The VA groups symptoms of PTSD into four types:

  1. reliving the event in nightmares or flashbacks
  2. avoiding situations that remind them of the event
  3. negative changes in beliefs and feelings, and
  4. feeling keyed up

Treatment helps, and people can and do recover from PTSD. Medications and counseling are among the strategies that can be used to help. If you are dealing with PTSD, or you know someone who might be, help is available locally. Call the Crisis Help Line if help is needed right away, That number is 1-877-695-NEED (6333). Other places to look include our partners like Solutions Community Counseling & Recovery Centers or Talbert House.

Whatever the cause, recovery is possible. Know there is great support in the community for you or anyone who may be dealing with PTSD. It's treatable - and that's a good thing.

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