Americans Who Support PTSD Veterans
U.S. Army Suicides At All Time High, Local Soldiers, Therapists Speak Out
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U.S. Army Suicides At All Time High, Local Soldiers, Therapists Speak Out

Reporter:  Stephanie Beecken  sbeecken@waaytv.com

http://www.waaytv.com/global/story.asp?s=12856472

Suicides among members of the US Army are at an all time high right now.  Licensed counselors say post traumatic stress disorder plays a large role in that increase.  One of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder is depression.  Experts say the emotional numbness and isolation is a major contributing factor in soldier suicides but counselors say help is available.

Former Sergeant Jimmy Roberts spent 4 years with the 101st Airborne Division.  He served two tours of duty in Iraq.  After Roberts' first tour, he began noticing the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

"Once I got out and things started calming down, that's when the night mares and flashbacks and all that stuff kind of affects you," said Jimmy Roberts.

Associate Licensed Counselor Terri Norwood has 2 sons in the Army.  She has studied PTSD extensively.  She says PTSD symptoms include sleep issues, aggression, agitation, flashbacks and depression.

"It's basically an anxiety type of response that they're having to the issues and to the stress," said Norwood.

"Certain smells trigger memories and stuff like that start coming back," said Roberts.

"People will literally hit the floor crawl under a desk, physically hit the floor, because in that moment they've gone back in time that's where they are," said Norwood.

Norwood says there are an increased number of troops returning with PTSD.  The reason, they are serving multiple tours, with shorter breaks between trips.  Also the disorder has always been around, but now there's an increase in awareness and education.  Norwood says the key to treatment is to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment from a counselor that can relate to what the soldier went through.

"They don't want to see military counselor per se but someone who has some understanding of military. The lifestyle is totally different and the culture's totally different than civilian life," said Norwood.

For Roberts he just hopes the vivid flashbacks eventually end. 

"Just the hope of finding a good therapy for it that is my biggest thing," said Roberts.

Norwood says PTSD symptoms, along with other factors, can lead to suicide but there are steps that can be taken to control the disorder.  She says when troops return they should exercise, lift weights, join a support group try a new athletic hobby, and search for spiritual encouragement.

Reporter:  Stephanie Beecken  sbeecken@waaytv.com

"A man good enough to shed his blood for his country, is good enough to receive a square deal afterwards . . ."
-- Theodore Roosevelt
 
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation."
 - George Washington


GOD  BLESS  OUR  VETERANS
 

For an Update on this brave, Marine's story, please press the below picture.

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~ WHY DO THESE TWO MARINES LOOK DRUNK... ~
Press the picture to link to the story.
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