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Local Options To Treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may have been a factor in Wednesday’s fort hood shooting. Eyewitness News spoke with local psychologists to find out more about the disorder and what you can do to treat it.
ROCKFORD - Nearly one in three soldiers who serve in war zones experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental disorder which can be brought on by an extremely stressful situation. “Out of the Blue events, totally unexpected, and results in some intense and frightening emotions, almost to the point of fearing for your own life, kind of event.” said Dr. William Wood, an expert in PTSD.

Wednesday’s ft. hood shooting brings PTSD into the spot light, because the gunman 34 year old specialist Ivan Lopez, was being evaluated for it when he apparently snapped.

“Specifically with the Fort Hood shooting, the soldier was not in combat apparently, and so I’m not sure what may have triggered that, it is hard to know for that particular shooting, it is important not to use PTSD as an excuse, but as a way to understand.” said Dr.Wood.

According to Dr. Raymond Garcia of Rosecrans Health the disorder can be treated with psychiatric consultation, and there are many treatment options available locally. “We use specific types of psychotherapy, to address the trauma, we have a psychologist who consults with us who helps us design those programs, and then we also do medication management because there has been some meds that have been found to be helpful with treating PTSD” said Dr. Garcia

Local Veterans in Rockford also agree that treatment is the best option. Andrew Tryggestad, a Vietnam veteran who also suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder said he received treatment for combat stress. “I can understand, because i was traumatized when I came back too, but they didn’t call it PTSD back then, but I had a good therapist and was able to receive the help I needed” said Tryggestad

An ABC News security expert said better screening of military recruits for vulnerability to potential mental disorders is also important. “some people don’t want to be screened, there is sort of a built in bias in the military, that mental health issues, so that’s one thing they have to overcome, but if you get people into a mental health setting, you have to be better at assessing them”
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