Counselors weigh in on how PTSD in veterans is triggered

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RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) Post traumatic stress disorder counselors describe it as "a normal reaction to an abnormal event." It can affect anyone, but counselors say it's mostly seen in children who have been abused and in veterans.


"Depending on how many deployments they've done or what they've seen, what they have been exposed to," says Pam Cannon, community mental health collaborator.

They say it affects each person differently, but now we know more about what triggers those with PTSD to react in certain ways.

"I think a lot of it has to do with our society now and we are so social, social media. There are so many things that we are exposed to and sometimes I think that is a trigger," says Cannon.

The director of the Family Counseling Center says most families are not even aware of PTSD and the symptoms associated with it.

"They don't understand that there is a change in the person, due to experiences that they had overseas and just maybe the transition of being away from home for a year. Many times they just expect them to come back being the same person they were," says Sharon Kilcoyne, director of family counseling center.

But, there are several signs friends and family should look out for that can cause PTSD to lead to suicide or violence.

"Isolation turning to alcohol substance abuse, something just to able to hide the feeling or if they are beginning to have feelings or triggers," says Kilcoyne.

They say there is not one fix for all to help veterans dealing with it, but counselors encourage families and friends to reach out to them; and encourage veterans to get help when dealing with symptoms.

There is also a link in the Related Links section on this page with more information to help veterans.