From suicidal to advocate: A veteran's story

Posted at 9:30 AM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-27 09:30:18-05

Vietnam veteran Jack Michel, from Elma, battled PTSD for over two decades before he sought help.

Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that a soldier can develop after being exposed to the violence of war.  Its most common signs are flashbacks, night terrors, hyper-vigilance, and triggers that can cause a veteran to experience an escalation of anxiety. 

Veterans suffering from PTSD also feel severe depression and can turn to drugs and alcohol to try and escape the pain they are feeling inside.

Some research shows there is a connection between PTSD and higher rates of suicide among veterans.

However, there is treatment available for those who seek it. The problem is, many combat veterans don't realize they may be suffering from PTSD.

Michel sat down with 7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Reilly to share his personal story of struggle as a way of offering encouragement to other veterans to seek help.