Veterans And Their Families Talk About PTSD

Veterans and their families meet to talk about PTSD

Lexington, SC (WLTX) - At least 20 veterans commit suicide every day. That's according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The Blue Star Mothers are just one of the many groups trying to prevent that from happening. Thursday they met with military veterans and their families to discuss the many challenges they face.

"The depression, the anxiety, the fear. It affects me every day," Jessica Mattox said.

Mattox is an Air Force veteran. She served in the second Gulf War and now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  

"To get here and be amongst people who are going through the same things. It's very helpful. You don't feel so alone," she said.

With her army veteran husband by her side, she joined a group of fellow veterans, their families and the Blue Star Mothers to learn more about PTSD, how it affects you, and what can be done to manage it.

"The anger and the depression is the biggest thing," Dr. Stephen Williams said.

Williams led the discussion. He is also an Air Force veteran suffering from PTSD.

The group talked about 14 different elements of the disorder.

Those elements were: anger, flashbacks/hallucinations, fear, dread, hyper-vigilance, anxiety, intimacy issues, drug and alcohol abuse, avoidance/immersion, sleep disorders, guilt, memory loss, intrusive thoughts and depression.

 "The combat veteran with PTSD feeling like a burden to their family.  That's why I think they attempt suicide. If you can show that you care and that you support that veteran then that goes a long way," Williams said.

Mattox said she faces many of the challenges the group talked about every day.

She said she has a long road to travel, but with the support of her husband, family and rest of the group plus what she learned during the discussion she'll keep moving forward a little stronger than where she was before.

"You have to keep the hope because the veterans who aren't, there's 20 a day that lose it and are committing suicide, so that's very personal to me and keeps me fighting," she said.

(© 2016 WLTX)


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