October 24th, 2008
01:20 PM ET

A vet's struggle with PTSD

Program Note: 3 out of 4 young people know someone who is currently serving or has served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Anderson helps MTV shine a light on issues facing young veterans... Check out MTV.com for how to get involved.

Iraq vet Kris Goldsmith nearly died from post-traumatic stress disorder. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.

Filed under: Back from the Battle
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Brenda

    I am a mother of a female Army soldier soldier who served in Iraq. Before my daughter went to war and saw active combat, PTSD meant little to me. I might even have considered it an excuse. Shame on me.
    My daughter received multiple awards for her service in Iraq, good soldier. Since she has been home, she has been arrested 3 times and tried to kill herself twice. She has already been through a 5 month rehab at the VA.. She was the only female in an inpatient program of 40 men for alcohol abuse, never received the PTSD treament..no space for a female in the program. As she awaited for a program to open, she went back to drinking, could not sleep, nightmares, etc, and now she is back in jail, hopefully waiting for a PTSD program to open. Two points to make, 1. Not enough VA programs for women. 2. It is very difficult to understand PTSD until you have lived with a loved one. What a mess we have. These kids gave their lives, so much more needs to be done.

    October 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  2. Harlan in Dallas Tx.

    This should have been,taken care of years ago.My hero,the late Sen.Paul Wellstone,pushed hard for all kinds of mental help,for everyone.

    October 24, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  3. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I feel for all the troops that have served in war. I cannot fathom the sights and smells they've seen much less knowing what's it's like to survive in a combat zone. I wish them all peace and to know that their efforts are appreciated and will never be forgotten.

    October 24, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  4. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    Sad, so sad. I agree with "Kent Fitzsimmons, Kewanee, IL" McCain for all his "lip service" has done nothing for Vets.

    It was Sen. Obama and Sen. Luger who sponsored and helped pass a bill that would help veterans, especially those in VA Hospitals, where the Heroes of this war were being asked to pay for such things as combs, Tylenol and toothpaste!

    If you are going to send these Heroes to war, you better support them in the field and when they get home!

    Our homeless Veterans population is a disgrace to our Nation.


    October 24, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  5. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    McCain has not been there for the Veterans. That really surprises me. But, he has forgotten them. I have seen the troops come home and when one of them killed himself not long after he returned to Illinois. It is a terrible problem. Obama and Biden will address this issue soon after they are sworn into office.

    October 24, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  6. Mary

    Just curious, Rachel, if you already forsee the future about your husband needing this type of care, wouldn't it be better (he must be showing signs now) to get him out of there and get him the must needed help?

    October 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  7. Sonali T. Sikchi

    It's a shame that Bush who sent these kids to war doesn't give a fig for their welfare when they return home. And McCain, a sufferer of PTSD, wants to continue sending more kids to their doom. These kids are our country's wealth, our future.

    October 24, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  8. jeremy harrison

    I am a combat veteran with PTSD. Getting help can be a complicated process, but it is also a commitment. I am also a therapist for combat veterans. The hard part seems to be getting through the door. Once they're in and committed, the process of healing can begin. Because of my background, I have written a book to help veterans, friends, families , and those generally concerned with the returning veterans. It looks at the psychological implications of war from the soldier's perspective. It title is "The Warrior Citizen: A Soldier's Journey to Iraq and Back." It is easy to understand and read. I hope it helps. Available online at all major bookstores. good luck to all of you. Jeremy

    October 24, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  9. susan

    PTSD is a life long struggle to overcome. There is much shame associated with seeking help. Kris can still have a productive rewarding life. But he needs to continue to honor his feelings. Many men, especially those from older generations, do not deal honestly with their emotional problems. I am very concerned about the fact that John McCain continues to suffer from PTSD. McCain is a true hero but he is NOT presidential material. Thank you for doing this story CNN. Blessings to Kris and all the Vets who are pain.

    October 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  10. Debbie

    My husband was a Vietnam veteran who suffered from PTSD. The problem is that there is no debriefing or rehabilitation for the soldiers when they come home. Prior to going into the military soldiers are trained, prepped, brainwashed and whatever else it takes for months to be able to fight in a combat zone, try to survive and help their fellow soldier survive. On coming home they are sent back to this way of life and expected to function as if nothing happened. On top of dealing with PTSD they now have to find jobs, places to live or function as a family member like they never left.

    October 24, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  11. Laura

    Part of the problem is that there is still some stigma attached to PTSD for those in the military. There is a strong ethic not to "whine" even though PTSD is a real and serious issue. Those that may even want to seek help won't because they are afraid of losing their leadership positions, their promotion opportunities or even their security clearances so they will suffer in silence. Then it escalates to the point where not only the individual soldier is suffering, but many times their family too..,

    October 24, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  12. Jane

    PTSD is such a horrible disease. It's so debhilitating to so many. I wish they would all read up on Gary Craig, and EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique, which he created, just to help vets with PTSD. The technique has helped thousands.

    October 24, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  13. Cindy

    It is sad that these soldiers are dealing with PTSD and they aren't being properly helped. You would think that after serving in a war that they would be afforded the best of everything. But that seems not to be so. Hopefully that can get changed around and these guys and girls can get the help that they deserve.


    October 24, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  14. Rachel

    People need to be aware that PTSD is a very real and very serious problem facing our service members, and just about anybody who experiences a traumatic event. My husband is currently serving his first tour of Iraq and will require the aid of counselors when he returns. He is a person who has never had any problems of this nature before, but due to the traumas of war, he will require some help. People, especially men, should never be afraid to seek professional help for problems like this, it will not make them any less of a person, but make them more of one for helping themselves.

    October 24, 2008 at 1:39 pm |