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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Now And Then
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) What used to be called shell shocked or battle fatigue syndrome is referred to as PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Col. Tim Marsano, Public Affairs Officer, Idaho National Guard says, "PTSD has always been an issue. It has a name now."
Col. Tim Marsano says PTSD is all too common. Take the Iraq War for example.
"When a soldier is discharged from a period of active duty like we saw with Iraq last year, that have an opportunity to self–assess and if they feel like they have a problem with PTSD," adds Marsano.
Dr. Barbara Robison is a nursing instructor at the College of Southern Idaho and a counselor at Psychiatric Services.
She worked at the Outreach Center in Hawaii during her graduate studies and helped a lot of Vietnam veterans.
Dr. Robison adds, "then I also did some work in South Dakota with veterans then I did my thesis on PTSD with Vietnam veterans, then my discretion on women with PTSD."
As you can tell, she's no stranger to the disorder. But what might be common now, wasn't the case forty years ago.
"I think the veterans that came back from Vietnam really didn't get a good understanding from the government as to what was going on," adds Robison.
Marsano adds, "it was referred to as maybe as something with a stigma."
Dr. Robison's passion is dealing with patients with PTSD.
"I have a special place in my heart for them and what i see more here are people who've been abused with some kind of trauma."
She says some of the warning signs include sleep disorder, lack of trust and hyper–vigilance.
"It can be serious because there's been a lot of suicides with PTSD."
But for those who may think have the disorder there is help...
Col Marsano says, "treatment is available through the military, through the veterans administration or private insurance."
Dr. Robison adds, "I think with help and treatment, it can be helped."
And one more reason why mental health disorders are nothing to take lightly.
Studies show more than ten million Americans suffer from PTSD.