Nobody Gets It "Living with PTSD"

(WBRE/WYOU) Despite spending billions on treating military service members for P-T-S-D-- experts say it's an uphill climb.
     And with some reports showing up to 20 percent of vets suffering from P-T-S-D from recent wars, there simply aren't enough treatment centers or mental health providers to see them all.
     But this solider's story has a happy ending.  In fact the man you're about to meet proves that for the vets who do get into a program many wind up recovering and in some cases, thriving.   Eyewitness News Anchor Nick Toma introduces us to Earl Granville.

War veteran and Scranton area native Earl Granville is used to attention lately. He was recently honored with a proclamation on the State House floor,  just the latest in a string of accolades.

If his face doesn't look familiar, his heroics should.  He was the man who carried a woman across the finish line at the Boston Marathon in April.

The video went viral. For Granville, the race and his actions seemed unthinkable seven-years ago.

  The three tour combat vet lost part of his leg when a bomb hit a vehicle in which he was riding in Afghanistan. He suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder --PTSD - never admitting the problem until close friends begged him to get help. But what really saved him was in part his military training.  He re-purposed the lessons Uncle Sam's Army taught him.

 Granvill told Eyewitness News"Find that new purpose. get a new passion and be a part of something bigger than yourself. three keys right there that we all had in the military"
   He adds " When your in that down, sadness, depressed feeling, what other choice do you have?"

  Granville found his way out of the darkness  at the Scranton V.A. on Pittston Avenue.
   He credits his resiliency to better P.T.S.D. programs in recent years-- and he's not the only one.

"If they're engaged and they work the treatment very hard, they'll see progress" Said Dr. Matthew Dooley.


  Dr. Dooley is a clinical Psychologist and PTSD specialist at the VA in Wilkes- Barre.
    He counsels hundreds of patients each year, and knows first hand  there's no cure for PTSD.  But recovery is possible-- in part-- because of new treatments.

 "Years ago before the treatments were developed, they could barely stabilize" Said Dr. Dooley, "I' m happy to work at a time in the evolution of these treatments to see patients really get better".
   Still-- the statistics are sobering.
  According to the Department of Veterans Affairs the numbers of veterans taking their own lives is growing-- thousands take their lives each year   
   Roughly 13,000 vets in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties suffer some form of PTSD-- stretching V.A. Resources to the max.
   Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who believes private care should be an option,  agrees the problem needs to be addressed.
   "I think the resources are likely to be there but I will say that the director was very candid with one of the challenges that they face is recruiting, hiring and retaining the mental health professionals to provide adequate care" .

  But there is good news! Those who do get into therapy have a much greater chance of coming out better for it.
    It's something Granville believes 100 percent. He says the key is realizing you need help. It isn't a sign of weakness, he says and is a mantra he preaches in his public speaking engagements, talking to those who have been there, because he's been there - and come through it.
"I challenge anybody to get out there and get help. Don't let that self ego of what you've done in the past override the path you may have to take to find happiness again"

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
 


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