STEPHENVILLE, TX — The Eddie Routh trial has thrown post-traumatic stress into the limelight, with the American Sniper shot and killed by a soldier reportedly battling PTSD. A study by Face the Facts USA says one in five vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with the disorder.
“The statistics are probably worse than one in five. They are probably a little more devastating than that,” said Dr. Brandon Brock with Carrick Brain Center in Irving.
Dr. Brock also says the internal wars waging inside these wounded warriors are even more devastating.
“Well, there are some really alarming stats. The stats on suicide, they’re not good. They’re way too high,” Dr. Brock said.
Up to 20% of suicides in the U.S. are vets who lose the battle after coming home.
“I have a very, very close personal friend on SEAL Team 10 that suffers horrendously from PTSD, and it’s tough to see him go through it,” said Casey Gray.
Gray, who’s dealing with a traumatic brain injury, believes the stigma attached to PTSD keeps a lot of vets from seeking help.
“I believe some guys are afraid if they ask for help that they’re going labeled as ‘It’s a weakness,’” Gray said.
Gray has seen his fair share of action. “In 2011, I was in a C-H 47 helicopter crash and had multiple orthopedic surgeries, traumatic brain Injury.”
While he is on the road to recovery from his injuries, PTSD is harder to diagnose, harder to treat, and soldiers often suffer in silence.
“Know there are a lot of people who are struggling,” Dr. Brock added. “And a lot of people on the outside don’t look as if they are having a lot of problems, but deep down inside they really are.”