Every day, some 22 American heroes take their own lives because of stresses they have experienced on front-lines, and in combat zones. U.S. military and healthcare officials say far too few veterans seek treatment and remain at an increased risk of suicide.
In a recent interview with Larry King, famed war reporter, Michael Ware, opened up about his own experiences with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and shed light on why he thinks so many veterans struggle to manage it.
Ware, who spent seven years covering the war in Iraq, recently completed a documentary chronicling his work in combat zones and his treks inside the insurgent groups who targeted U.S. and multi-national forces in Iraq. Ware was one of the few western journalist to witness and chronicle the birth of the militant extremists now known as ISIS. The film provides a blunt portrait of jihadists and the inescapable cruelty of war. Named after the old adage, “Only the Dead See the End of War,” the documentary airs on HBO beginning this month, and will also be available On-Demand.
Writings and historical records show PTSD and its symptoms have been experienced by combatants for thousands of years, but did not become part of our contemporary language until the American Psychiatric Association added it to their manual for mental disorders in 1980. It was a somewhat controversial move as triggers were considered to be something outside of the patient's psyche.
Congress later established the National Center for PTSD as part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and in 2008 a RAND Corporation study discovered more than 1 in 6 veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered from PTSD or depression. The study also revealed the grim reality that not nearly enough soldiers were getting significant help.
If you need help, or know someone who does, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, or you can text at 838255 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There's also information online at ptsd.va.gov.
Click below to hear Michael Ware talk on PTSD, or visit ora.tv/politicking for the full episode:
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