COMING HOME: PTSD affects veterans, family, friends in different, drastic ways

Idaho Press, by Nick Groff: HOW DOES PTSD HAPPEN? Dr. Julie Sharrette, a psychologist at the Boise VA Medical Center, said there are various factors as to why people are affected by PTSD. It starts with an incident of trauma — an experience that was life threatening or witnessing an experience that causes harm to someone else — and how it has affected that person through time. In wartime, it could be an IED explosion, a firefight or seeing a fellow soldier die in battle, among any number of other incidents. Oftentimes, Sharrette said, family or friends will notice symptoms, but they range greatly, because no two veterans are alike. They can be depression, nightmares, flashbacks, reckless behavior, hypervigilance, paranoia, etc. These symptoms can occur in battle, shortly after returning or years and decades later, she said. “In combat, they don’t have time to think about those reactions and process those events,” Sharrette said. “Their safety is dependent on that moment — they have to keep going. Some symptoms do become apparent, but mostly when they come home.” Read Full Article Here