New Therapies Helping Our Veterans Work Through PTSD

New Therapies Helping Our Veterans Work Through PTSD

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Today we celebrate the millions of men and women who have served to preserve our freedoms. But for many, the conflict they faced during their years of military service continues long after they come home.

For many of the veterans who come home after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war will continue long after they've transitioned back into civilian life. I'm not a veteran but many of my family and friends are. They have often told me, unless you are a veteran, particularly those who have seen combat, it's impossible to fully understand how severe and damaging the effects can be.

It's easier to comprehend with those classified as "wounded warriors" who have sacrificed parts of their bodies in service to their country. But many other soldiers come home damaged in ways that are not so obvious in the form of post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse issues, suicidal tendencies and more. Getting those vets to admit they need help and seeking it is often very difficult since the military teaches them, among other things, to be strong and self sufficient.

As a result of the myriad challenges many veterans face trying to reintegrate into civilian life, thousands end up succumbing to the demons that haunt them during and after their deployments. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about eight thousand veterans commit suicide every year. And tens of thousands of them end up homeless for a variety of reasons that range from PTSD to simply not being able to find self-sustaining employment.

I could go on and on about the issue but I think the story I did that is attached here does a much better job of connecting a face to the statistics. And perhaps just as importantly, it highlights an innovative approach by the University of Southern California to help the growing number of service men and women who come home only to discover they no longer fit in.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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