For years, troops returning from combat suffering post-traumatic stress disorder went untreated until they came home. Understanding the condition’s underlying triggers might help reduce the burden of those who return psychologically wounded.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a crippling condition that can emerge after a terrifying event, like a car accident, sexual assault, terrorist attack or combat. It’s thought to affect one in five veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Two days before being shipped off to war, Marine Private First Class, Jesse Sheets, sits inside a trailer in the Mojave Desert, undergoing various stress tests.
He is part of a military experiment trying to predict who’s most at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dr. William Nash a Marine with the resilience program says sufferers experience flashbacks, nightmares, sudden outbursts and are sometimes haunted years after the trauma.
The study is also looking for ways to care for it while troops are still on the battlefield. Naval corpsmen medics like Kevin Jones are being taught how spot signs of stress.
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