Health Watch: Living with PTSD - WRBL

Health Watch: Living with PTSD

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 11 to 20 percent of soldiers who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

A Fort Benning army wife says her husband returned from Afghanistan two years ago a changed man. She says he was withdrawn, angry and had trouble sleeping because of the nightmares about losing his friends in combat. Her advice to other wives is simple.

"Encourage him to get help, let him know you're going to be there no matter what. I married you for better or for worse," said the army wife, who did not want her name disclosed.

Her husband is seeking help. Psychiatrist Dr. Kaizad Shroff says medicine, therapy and some social changes can help soldiers manage the disease.

"I get a good variety of soldiers who are coming back and they're not able to adjust to civilian life, they're constantly thinking about the war, what they saw, friends who've died," said Shroff.

Dr. Shroff says soldiers are returning from the battlefield suffering flashbacks, or reliving the trauma over and over. Spouses may notice the soldiers tend to isolate themselves, shy away from family events, and have trouble sleeping. Anxiety will also be present, but Dr. Shroff says there's a difference between anxiety and PTSD. He says the gold standard for diagnosis is a psychiatric interview to determine which. Once diagnosed, treatment can include medication, therapy and social changes. But Dr. Shroff warns the patient to be patient, because life will get better once you learn how to manage the disease.

Untreated PTSD can lead to suicide. The Department of the Army says soldier suicides outnumbered combat-related deaths last year. More than 349 soldiers died of suicide, across the four military branches, or one every 25 hours.

For more information about PTSD, you can call the Bradley Center at (706) 320-3700 or the Pastoral Institute at (706) 649-6500.

Teresa Whitaker

In addition to co-anchoring the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights, Teresa serves as the Healthwatch reporter for WRBL. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Grandmother of boy tied up in Macy's bathroom speaks

    Grandmother of boy tied up in Macy's bathroom speaks

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:26:14 GMT
    The grandmother, whose face is concealed to protect child's identityThe grandmother, whose face is concealed to protect child's identity
    The family of an 8-year-old boy, who police say was tied up and assaulted in Peachtree Mall, pleading for the public's help after nearly two weeks with no arrest.
    The family of an 8-year-old boy, who police say was tied up and assaulted in Peachtree Mall, pleading for the public's help after nearly two weeks with no arrest.
  • Photos: Storms lead to flooding across Chattahoochee Valley

    Photos: Storms lead to flooding across Chattahoochee Valley

    Monday, April 7 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-04-07 22:37:01 GMT
    After heavy rain and thunderstorms rolled through the valley this morning, we can look for improving weather conditions this afternoon.
    After heavy rain and thunderstorms rolled through the valley this morning, we can look for improving weather conditions this afternoon.
  • Principal of Double Churches Middle School passes away

    Principal of Double Churches Middle School passes away

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:46:47 GMT
    The principal of Double Churches Middle School passed away Wednesday night. Chris Cox was appointed to the job in 2012.
    The principal of Double Churches Middle School passed away Wednesday night. Chris Cox was appointed to the job in 2012.
  • Continuous News DeskMore>>

  • Auburn woman shot in leg during domestic dispute

    Auburn woman shot in leg during domestic dispute

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:18 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:18:39 GMT
    59-year-old Johnnie Forte was arrested Friday after he allegedly shot a 29-year-old woman in the leg, according to Auburn Police.Officers responded to a shots fired call at a home on Kent Drive shortly before 2 a.m. Friday. The woman was treated at East Alabama Medical Center for a non-life threatening injury.Forte now faces domestic violence charges.
    59-year-old Johnnie Forte was arrested Friday after he allegedly shot a 29-year-old woman in the leg, according to Auburn Police.Officers responded to a shots fired call at a home on Kent Drive shortly before 2 a.m. Friday. The woman was treated at East Alabama Medical Center for a non-life threatening injury.Forte now faces domestic violence charges.
  • LaGrange man shot in face while sleeping

    LaGrange man shot in face while sleeping

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:15 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:15:21 GMT
    A LaGrange man is recovering after being shot in the face while he was sleeping, according to LaGrange Police. 
    A LaGrange man is recovering after being shot in the face while he was sleeping, according to LaGrange Police. 
  • Escaped inmate struggled during capture, Lee County authorities say

    Escaped inmate struggled during capture, Lee County authorities say

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:27:58 GMT
    Grisset shows which way Adams ranGrisset shows which way Adams ran
    Darrin Adams got away from a Muscogee County prison detail last Friday. This came months after he escaped from the Lee County Detention Center in December and another Georgia prison in 1994. Lee County authorities found him late Wednesday night.
    Darrin Adams got away from a Muscogee County prison detail last Friday. This came months after he escaped from the Lee County Detention Center in December and another Georgia prison in 1994. Lee County authorities found him late Wednesday night.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.