POSTED: Monday, February 4, 2013 - 6:08pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 11:47am
Tyler, Tx (KETK) — The tragic shooting death of former Navy sniper Chris Kyle has brought home again the devastating effects of post traumatic stress. Anyone who has been through a traumatic event, can feel the effects emotionally and in many other ways. And we still don’t understand enough about PTSD.
We mainly associate post traumatic stress disorder with returning veterans.
The horrors of war leave scars, and unlike physical wounds, these don’t show, at least not immediately.
“Traumatic stress is any event that makes us feel helpless and to be in fear of our lives,” says therapist Dr. Wade French.
And as the murder of former Navy sniper Chris Kyle shows, even when you are trying to help a fellow veteran deal with his problems, you have to take care.
We don’t know all the facts around the Kyle case, other than it appears he was shot by fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh.
“These things are burned into a person’s memory system and recall system,” says French. “And anything that’s associated with it,..it can be a small, can set it off. I have seen Viet Nam vets that when they smell cordite from firing a pistol or something, it triggers them.”
Even war heroes like Audie Murphy were plagued by the hair trigger emotions and paranoia that can be part of PTSD. Because vets can’t forget what they’ve seen. But any traumatic event can be a trigger.
Things like the devastation of the 9-11 attacks or the Sandy Hook shootings can become time-release emotional issues for victims. But professionals know, for a combat veteran, shooting would not have been the best activity to deal with PTSD.
“No it’s not,” says French. “I would not suggest for a person who’s experiencing post traumatic stress, especially from a military standpoint to be involved in any activity that has to do with violence. Take them fishing.”