“NOW” on PBS Topic: PTSD


About the Show

Veterans of PTSD

Video icon Video: Veterans of PTSD

Bouts of fierce anger, depression, and anxiety that previous generations of soldiers described as “shell shock” or “combat/battle fatigue” now earn a clinical diagnosis: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But the relatively new medical label doesn’t guarantee soldiers will get the care they need. NOW looks at how America’s newest crop of returning soldiers is coping with the emotional scars of war, and some new and innovative treatments for them.

In the show, we spent time with Iraq War veteran Michael Zacchea, a Marine lieutenant colonel who trained Iraqi troops and fought in the battle of Fallujah. Haunted by the violence he saw there, Zacchea and other soldiers diagnosed with PTSD now face what could be a lifelong struggle to leave the horrors of war behind and reclaim their once-peaceful lives.

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Topic Search: Iraq War, Medicine & Health Care, Both

This Week: About the Show | PTSD Facts and Figures | Coping With PTSD | Viewer Comments <!– | Transcript –>

3 Responses to ““NOW” on PBS Topic: PTSD”

  1. olotliny Says:

    Channel surfing:)–I came across this show—and I’m so glad I did. The insight and information is valuable in dealing/coping with the life long, far reaching, dynamic multi-levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

    The show also documents how our Veteran’s of past wars and conflicts have increased levels of anxiety and stress as they observe and or experience the military of today engaged in the “War on Terror”.

    One of the now new Veterans – Marine Michael Zacchea expressed the connection of/to Homer’s classic: The Odyssey. He stated that the main character: Odysseus took 10 years to get home after the 10 year Trojan War.

    In that Odysseus needed those 10 years to wrestle/deal/cope with the demons of that war before he could get home. -and- that the sirens mentioned in the Odyssey are the voices of the demons of the past (trauma, memories of the conflicts, battles, wars, engagements…)–how those voices have to be fought so that they don’t drag/drown the life out of Odysseus and his men.

    I hope the reader will take a look into the show and most importantly to the complexity of PTSD and how it controls and grips so many whose outward appearance may seem ‘normal’ until something (a poping sound, stress, fatigue, sickness….flashing light…) might trigger it and then it can not be ignored.

    The show mentions cognitive therapy and how that, some anti-anxiety medication, individual and group therapy can make a positive difference. PTSD victims and those who love them do not need to suffer and suffer alone-there is help (although unfortunately it can take valuable time to connect to it due to back logs and buracracy.)

  2. olotliny Says:

    PTSD reports up 20,000 in a year

    By Gregg Zoroya – USA Today
    Posted : Friday Oct 19, 2007 9:39:11 EDT

    WASHINGTON — The number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder from the Department of Veterans Affairs jumped by nearly 20,000 — almost 70 percent — in the 12 months ending June 30, records show.

    More than 100,000 veterans — about one out of seven of those who have served and left active duty — have sought help for mental illness since late 2001, the start of the war in Afghanistan, according to VA records collected through the end of June. Almost half of those cases were for PTSD.

    The numbers do not include thousands treated at storefront Vet Centers operated by the department across the country. Nor does it include active-duty personnel diagnosed with PTSD or former service members who have not sought treatment from the VA for their mental problems.

    About 1.5 million U.S. troops have served in Iraq or Afghanistan and 750,000 have since left the military eligible for VA health care.

    The nearly 50,000 VA-documented PTSD cases far exceeds the official Pentagon tally for all wounded from those conflicts, which stands at 30,000.

    The discrepancy underscores the view by military and civilian health officials that troops tend to ignore, hide or fail to recognize their mental health wounds until after their military service.

    The overall number of mental health cases among war veterans grew by nearly 60 percent from 63,767 on June 30, 2006, to 100,580 on June 30, 2007, VA records show. The mental health issues include PTSD, drug and alcohol dependency and depression. They involve troops who left the military and sought health care from the veterans’ department.

    Mental health is the second-largest area of illness for war veterans after orthopedic problems and is increasing at a faster rate, according to VA.

    The reality of troubled veterans is finally hitting the department, said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a former soldier and member of the Senate subcommittee that oversees VA spending.

    “They’re trying to catch up with a moving train, because before, I think they were underfunded. They weren’t getting the resources they needed,” Reed said.

    Congress has criticized the Bush administration for failing to spend enough on VA health care, including mental health services. House and Senate committees have added $1.7 billion to the administration’s $27.3 billion VA 2008 budget request.

    The VA said it began responding in 2005 to war-related needs, gradually increasing by 4,000 to nearly 11,000 the number of mental health specialists, spokeswoman Allison Aikele said.

    “We are seeing the increase [in mental health cases], and we are preparing to deal with it,” said Antonette Zeiss, a psychologist and deputy chief of the department’s mental health services.

    Treating PTSD can be complicated and expensive, said Joy Ilem, health specialist with the Disabled American Veterans Association. The challenge is making treatment available wherever veterans may live.

    “If somebody needs to get into a PTSD program … you want them to have that access immediately,” Ilem said. Delays mean “they’re at a higher risk for drug or alcohol abuse … even suicide.”

  3. VetWOW News and Event Notices » Blog Archive Says:

    […] “NOW” on PBS Topic: PTSD By olotliny NOW: Military Sexual Trauma. NOW: Maria Hinojosa Interview With Paul Rieckhoff. NOW: David Brancaccio Interview With Jeremy Lewis. Topic Search: Iraq War, Medicine & Health Care, Both … – https://olotliny.wordpress.com […]

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