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Understanding And Treating PTSD In The Military

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Nearly one in five veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

That’s a sobering statistic for the researchers and psychologists who are trying to understand and treat PTSD. It also means more veterans than ever are suffering from PTSD’s debilitating symptoms.

But the research is yielding new treatment strategies and veterans are finding new ways to fight the severe depression and anxiety that comes with the disorder.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Dr. Peg Harvey, psychiatrist with the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program; Army Staff Sgt. Tommy Rieman, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, received the Silver Star and Purple Heart, and was diagnosed with PTSD; and Elizabeth Heaney, a clinical psychologist who used to work as an on-site therapist at several military bases, including in North Carolina.

Staff Sgt. Rieman will be part of the first class to graduate from the Veterans Treatment Court in Harnett County on Wednesday. The court handles sentencing for local veterans with honorable discharges who are found guilty of certain misdemeanors or low-level felonies. Those who complete the program could get reduced or dismissed charges.

Heaney is writing about her experiences in a forthcoming book called, "The Honor Was Mine."

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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