Metrofocus: April 7, 2022

Encore: June 10, 2022

Tonight, a conversation on mental health and overcoming PTSD. From military veterans to civilians- we delve into the disorder now impacting millions of Americans, in a new documentary, “HERE. IS. BETTER.” that explores how the human mind responds to trauma, what PTSD is, and how the disorder can impact the daily lives of those afflicted and those around them. Director Jack Youngelson, Dr. Kathleen Chard, the director of the Cincinnati VA Trauma Recovery Center, and Teresa Aldridge, a veteran featured in the film, join us.

To see “HERE. IS. BETTER.” at the ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York click here.

For more information and resources if you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues please visit https://hereisbetter.org/resources/

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, A CONVERSATION ON MENTAL HEALTH AND PTSD.

FROM MILITARY VETERANS TO CIVILIANS, WE DELVE INTO THE DISORDER NOW IMPACTS MILLIONS OF AMERICANS.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

TONIGHT, WE'RE TAKING A LOOK AT MENTAL HEALTH, WHICH, WHEN OVERLOOKED, CAN HAVE DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON OUR EMOTIONAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING.

THAT'S THE FOCUS OF OUR NEW SERIES OF CONVERSATIONS THAT BEGINS THIS EVENING WITH A LOOK AT PTSD.

PTSD, OR POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, HAS LONG BEEN AN ISSUE EFFECTING OUR VETERANS, HOWEVER, THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY ARE FAR FROM THE ONLY ONES SUFFERS FROM THIS TERRIBLE CONDITION.

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ABOUT 8 MILLION AMERICAN ADULTS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCE SIMILAR TOPPLES OF PTSD AND THAT NUMBER IS LIKELY TO INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY AS WE BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND THE EXTRAORDINARY EFFECTS THAT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS HAVING ON OUR MENTAL HEALTH.

A NEW DOCUMENTARY TITLED 'HERE IS BETTER' EXPLORES HOW THE HUMAN MIND RESPONDS TO TRAUMA, WHAT PTSD IS, AND HOW THE DISORDER CAN IMPACT THE LIVES OF THOSE SUFFERING FROM IT AND THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND THEM.

HERE'S A QUICK PREVIEW OF THE DOCUMENTARY WHICH IS AIRING AS PART OF THE REEL ABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL HERE IN NEW YORK.

WHEN WE TRY AND TALK TO YOU, YOU FLIP OUT AND START SCREAMING.

SHE NEEDED TO GET HELP OR I WAS LEAVING.

HE WOULD GET REALLY UPSET ABOUT SOMETHING.

A LOT OF THE TIMES IT WAS A VERY CONFUSING FIGHT.

I HAVE SOME GUILT.

I FELT LIKE A BURDEN.

YOUR FRIENDS ARE LIKE, NO, YOU HAVE TO FACE THIS.

YOU CAN GET REALLY CREATIVE EXPLAINING AWAY EVERYTHING, BUT THERE WAS A MUCH SIMPLER EXPLANATION.

WHAT IS PTSD?

A LOT OF IT IS ABOUT THE MISCONCEPTIONS.

THERE IS A CHANGE IN THE BRAIN THAT OCCURS WHEN SOMEONE GOES THROUGH A TRAUMA LIKE COME BAT, LIKE AN ASSAULT, LIKE A SEVERE NATURAL DISASTER.

LET US DISPEL SOME OF THE MYTH.

♪♪

WHEN YOU THINK OF PTSD, YOU THINK OF A GUY THAT SNAPS AND SHOOTS HIS WIFE IN THE FACE AND THAT IS NOT HOW IT PRESENTS MOST OF THE TIME.

IT LOOKS LIKE DEPRESSION, IT LOOKS LIKE ISOLATION, IT LOOKS LIKE ANXIETY, BUT REALLY, IT'S ALL OF THOSE THINGS WRAPPED UP INTO PTSD.

IT WAS A VIETNAMESE GROUND ATTACK.

THE CARNAGE, WHAT I SAW, WHAT I DID, IT STILL PLAYS ON MY HEAD.

THE TRAINING TEACHES YOU THAT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO YOUR FEAR.

THIS IS JUST SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME.

I JUST MUST BE MESSED UP.

WHAT'S THE WORST TRAUMA THAT YOU'VE EXPERIENCED?

SEEING MY HUSBAND GET BLOWN UP IN FRONT OF ME.

WHEN I FIRST ANNOUNCED THAT I WAS STEPPING BACK FROM PUBLIC LIFE AND GET TREATMENT, I REALIZED HOW MANY PEOPLE REALLY WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THIS.

THIS IS THE THING THAT HAPPENED.

THIS IS WHERE YOUR BRAIN BROKE AND THIS IS WHERE WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO FIX IT.

I DON'T WANT TO TAKE AWAY YOUR MEMORY, I WANT TO TAKE AWAY THE CONTROL THE MEMORY HAS HAD OVER YOUR LIFE.

TRAUMA IS TRAUMA IS TRAUMA.

IT DOES NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE OF WHAT SHAPE, FORM THAT IT TAKES, CHILDHOOD, ADULT.

WHATEVER IT IS, IT'S TRAUMA.

I CAN'T DRIVE MY CAR BECAUSE I'M PARANOID THAT SOMEBODY IS FOLLOWING ME.

YOU GET THAT SICK FEELING IN YOUR STOMACH, YOU START SWEATING.

THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL FOR PTSD.

IF WE CAN GET THAT RIGHT FIT OF THEY ARY TO AN INDIVIDUAL, WE CAN MAKE DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENTS.

WE'RE GOING TO FALL.

ARE YOU GOING TO FALL DOWN, ARE YOU GOING TO FALL UP?

IF WE WORK FOR IT, WE CAN BE IN TOTAL EMISSION FROM OUR PTSD.

TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK.

DEFINITELY WASN'T A STRAIGHT LINE.

I DON'T THINK IT'S EVER TOO LATE TO GET YOUR LIFE BACK.

IT'S GIVEN ME HOPE.

YOU DIDN'T GIVE UP ON ME.

HERE IS BETTER.

HERE IS BETTER.

HERE IS BETTER.

AND JOINING US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE FILM AND PTSD ARE JACK YOUNGELSON, THE DIRECTOR OF 'HERE IS BETTER.'

DR. KATHLEEN CHARD, THE DIRECTOR OF THE CINCINNATI V.A. TRAUMA RECOVERY CENTER.

AND TERESA ALDRIDGE, A VETERAN FROM THE DOCUMENTARY.

THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

DOCTOR, WE JUST SAW THE CLIP, SO, OR VIEWERS KNOW THAT YOU, TOO, WERE PROMINENTLY FEATURED IN THIS FILM.

IT WAS A WONDERFUL FILM.

LET ME JUST START WITH YOU, JACK.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO MAKE THIS FILM AND WHY NOW?

WELL, I THINK THAT PTSD HAS BEEN A FOCUS OF OTHER DOCUMENTARIES AND OTHER CONVERSATIONS, BUT TOO OFTEN IT'S NOT FRAMED IN A WAY THAT SUGGESTS THAT THERE'S HOPE.

IT'S MORE POTENTIALLY A SCARLET LETTER OR SOMEBODY THAT YOU LIVE WITH AND THAT CAN'T BE TREATED AND I THINK THE GOAL OF THIS FILM AND THE GOAL OF PEOPLE WHO PARTICIPATED WAS TO KIND OF SHINE A LIGHT AND NOT BE POLLY ANNAISH ABOUT THE APPROACH, BUT SAY THERE ARE TREATMENTS AND THERE ARE POTENTIAL PATHS FORWARD AND THAT WAS THE REAL MOTIVATOR FOR ALL OF US.

YOU KNOW, JACK, I'M ALWAYS STRUCK BY THE FACT THAT WHEN A DOCUMENTARY IS SUCCESSFUL, IT DEPENDS SO MUCH ON THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN IT, YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE FEATURED IN IT, AND THE VETERANS THAT YOU SELECTED ARE JUST AMAZING.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THOSE VETERANS?

WHAT WAS THE SELECTION PROCESS?

WELL, I'M EXTREMELY GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE VETERANS WHO PARTICIPATED AND THE VETERANS WHO WE FILMED WITH AND WERE NOT ABLE TO INCLUDE.

AND MAKING ANY FILM, ANY DOCUMENTARY, IS BASED ON TRUST AND FAITH IN THE PROCESS AND THAT TRUST WORKS IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, BUT IT CERTAINLY -- IT'S CERTAINLY THE INDIVIDUALS FEATURED IN THE FILM WHO CARRY THAT THE HEAVIEST.

AND I'M GRATEFUL, ESPECIALLY FOR TERESA, WHO IS HERE TO TALK WITH US TODAY, AND OTHERS, WHO PUT THAT FAITH IN ME AS THE FILMMAKING PARTNER AND THE REST OF THE FILMMAKING TEAM, AND IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT TREATMENTS AND MODALITIES THAT WERE PROVEN TO BE EFFECTIVE, BUT ALSO TO TELL THESE STORIES FROM INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCES.

AND NOT GET TOO CAUGHT UP IN THE 30,000-FOOT VIEW OF TALKING HEADS AND OTHERS WHO COULD SPEAK TO IT, BUT REALLY BE IN IT AND TO UNDERSTAND WHAT TREATMENT LOOKS LIKE AND TO BE ALONG THAT PATH.

AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE DID WITH TERESA AND JOHN AND, YOU KNOW, OTHERS WHO ARE FEATURED IN THE FILM, AS WELL, INCLUDING JASON CANDOR.

SO, THAT WAS THE GOAL, TO REALLY TELL IT FROM THE GROUND.

AND BE THERE ALONG THE PATH.

YEAH.

SO, DR. CHARD, I THINK MOST OF US NOW UNDERSTAND, HAVE A SENSE OF WHAT PTSD IS, BUT I WONDER, COULD YOU PLEASE GIVE US A MORE PRECISE DEFINITION OF WHAT PTSD IS.

ABSOLUTELY.

SO, POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER IS A MENTAL HEALTH DISORDER WHERE SOMEONE DOES NOT NATURALLY RECOVER AFTER A TRAUMATIC EVENT.

WHEN MOST OF US HAVE A TRAUMATIC EVENT, WE'RE ABLE TO PROCESS IT, PUT IT IN ITS PLACE IN OUR LIFE AND MOVE FORWARD.

AND FOR PEOPLE WITH PTSD, THAT PROCESS GETS INHIBITED, IT MAY BE BECAUSE THEY'RE STILL IN MILITARY COMBAT, LIKE TERESA.

IT MAY BE BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE IN AN ABUSIVE HOME.

AND THEY'RE NOT ABLE TO MAKE THE SAME SENSE OF IT.

AND WHAT HAPPENS IS THEN THEY START HAVING ISSUES WITH HOW THEY'RE TRYING TO CONCEPTUALIZE HAVING GONE THROUGH THIS HORRIBLE TRAUMA AND THE REST OF THEIR LIFE.

SO, WE SEE THINGS LIKE AVOIDING PEOPLE AND PLACES AND HAVING NIGHTMARES AND FLASHBACKS AND THOUGHTS OF -- IS IT MY FAULT, WHY DID THIS HAPPEN, THAT JUST WON'T GO AWAY OVER TIME.

AND, YOU KNOW, I -- SOME OF US REMEMBER THE FILM 'PATTON.'

PARTICULARLY THE SCENE WITHIN IT WHERE GENERAL -- A SCENE THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN REAL LIFE, WHERE THE GENERAL IS VISITING A FIELD HOSPITAL AND HE SLAPS A SOLDIER ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD, BECAUSE THE SOLDIER IS SUFFERING FROM SHELL SHOCK, ONE OF THE EARLIER TERMS FOR PTSD, WHICH HE BELIEVED WASN'T A REAL WOUND OR A REAL -- YEAH, A REAL WOUND.

WHEN DID THE MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT PTSD WAS, INDEED, AN UNFORTUNATE AND TERRIBLE CONDITION, AND WHAT DID THE GENERAL POPULATION COME TO BELIEVE THAT AND KNOW ABOUT THAT?

YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE TO THANK THE VIETNAM VETERANS, BECAUSE WE REALLY DID NOT GET TRACTION IN OUR COMMUNITY UNTIL MIDWAY THROUGH THE VIETNAM WAR, WHEN THE VETERANS SAID, WE'RE NOT RECOVERING, AND THERE IS SOMETHING SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT ABOUT US NOW THAT WE'VE COME BACK.

AND IT WAS ONLY AFTER THE VIETNAM WAR OF, WE BEGAN EMBRACING THE DIAGNOSIS, WE BEGAN LOOKING AT IT IN NATIONAL DISASTERS, INTERPERSONAL TRAUMAS.

OUR THANKS GOES TO THEM, BECAUSE THE CIVILIAN PART OF SOCIETY DIDN'T REALLY HAVE THAT SAME AWARENESS UNTIL AFTER THE VETERANS MADE IT SOMETHING THAT WAS OKAY TO TALK ABOUT.

AND IT STILL TOOK YEARS, THOUGH, BEFORE WE HAD THINGS LIKE OUR CURRENT WARS, WHERE WE HAD YELLOW RIBBON PARTIES AND THINGS LIKE THAT, WHEN THEY CAME HOME AND THANKING THEM, BECAUSE IT WAS STILL CONSIDERED SUCH A STIGMA TO TALK ABOUT THAT TIME IN SERVICE AS HAVING A MENTAL IMPACT.

SO, TERESA, DR. CHARD TOUCHED ON SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF PTSD.

WHAT WERE THE SYMPTOMS THAT YOU WERE EXPERIENCING?

OH, OF COURSE, NIGHTMARES, AND THAT NEVER STOPS, IT'S A CONSTANT, IT'S LIKE WATCHING A CONSTANT FILM THAT YOU DON'T LIKE, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

AND THEN WITH THE SLEEPLESSNESS AND I JUST -- I COULD GO TWO, THREE DAYS WITHOUT SLEEPING.

AND STILL BE READY TO GO FOR WHATEVER.

WOW.

AND THEN ONCE MY BODY WOULD JUST, OKAY, YOU'RE GOING TO SLEEP, THAT WAS IT.

I'D SLEEP FOR THE WHOLE DAY, BUT I'D STILL HAVE TO BE ABLE TO BE A MOM AND BE A WIFE AND BE AN EMPLOYEE, YOU KNOW, YOU STILL HAVE TO WALK THROUGH THOSE STEPS TO STILL BE -- FORCE YOURSELF TO BE PART OF LIFE, BECAUSE LIFE NEVER STOPS, EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE ALL THESE SYMPTOMS.

THE FEAR OF PEOPLE, THAT WAS MY HARDEST ONE, EVEN MY OWN CHILDREN.

ESPECIALLY AS A MOM, YOU HAVE TO BE THERE, BECAUSE, I MEAN, THOSE ARE YOUR CHILDREN.

AND THE THINGS THAT I ENCOUNTERED WAS A LOT WITH KIDS, SO, IT'S HARD TO -- IT WAS HARD TO HEAR KIDS CRY OR SCREAM OR JUST START ARGUING AND FIGHTING AND IT WOULD TURN INTO SOMETHING ELSE, IT WOULD JUST BE SO TERRIFYING THAT I COULDN'T BE A MOM.

I WAS STILL STUCK IN THAT PLACE TO WHERE IT WAS VERY TRAUMATIZING.

IT WAS DRAMAIC AND TRAUMATIC.

BECAUSE YOU NEVER WANT TO SEE ANYBODY ELSE'S KIDS YET ALONE YOUR OWN SUFFER THE WAY THOSE CHILDREN DID.

SO, IT'S EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

AND THEN THE FEAR OF, LIKE, NOT BEING TOUCHED AND DRIVING, YOU KNOW, DRIVING WAS REALLY DIFFICULT FOR ME, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT, BECAUSE WE DID A LOT OF NIGHT MISSIONS, SO, IT'S LIKE, YOU GET HYPERSENSITIVE TO YOUR AWARENESS AND THINGS AND NOISES AND EVERYTHING AROUND YOU, SO, IT'S LIKE -- IT'S MORE DIFFICULT TO DRIVE AT NIGHT.

OR WHATEVER -- WHENEVER IT HAPPENED TO YOU, THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL OF, BECAUSE YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO FUNCTION OR OVERFUNCTIONING OR SHYING AWAY FROM PEOPLE.

EVEN YOUR OWN SPOUSE.

MY SPOUSE -- IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME TO HAVE A REGULAR MARRIAGE WITH HIM.

YOU KNOW, TO HAVE THOSE INTIMATE CONVERSATIONS OR JUST TO BE TOGETHER ALONE.

AND HE IS ALSO A VETERAN, ALSO, AND HE HAS -- HE'S ON THE FURTHER SCALE OF THE SEVERE PTSD, SO, MINE AND HIS -- IT WAS LIKE -- IT STILL IS, IT'S A BATTLE EVERY DAY, BUT IT'S EASIER NOW THAN IT WAS BEFORE.

BEFORE IT WAS SO -- IT WAS JUST HORRIBLE.

SO, TO THE DEGREE THAT YOU'RE COMFORTABLE, COULD YOU TELL US WHAT YOU BELIEVE THE SPECIFIC TRAUMA THAT LED TO YOUR PTSD WAS?

IT'S KIND OF TOUCHED ON IN THE CLIP, BUT I WONDER IF YOU REMEMBER IT.

OH, I REMEMBER IT LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY, EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE.

IT WAS THE DAY -- ME AND MY HUSBAND, WELL, WE WEREN'T MARRIED YET, WE WERE JUST -- WE WERE KIND OF SEEING EACH OTHER AND THE THING WAS -- WE WERE OUT ON A CONVOY, WE WERE OUT ON A CONVOY AND WE WERE ROLLING DOWN AND IT WAS EARLY IN THE MORNING, I REMEMBER, BECAUSE IT RAINED, AND WE WERE GOING DOWN AND WE WERE GOING AND, YOU KNOW, LIKE EVERY DAY, SAME ROUTE THAT WE TOOK EVERY DAY, EVERY MISSION AND THEN I TURNED AROUND AND I LOOKED UP AND HE GOT HIT WITH AN IED.

IT WAS HIS TRUCK, THE WRECKER, WHICH IS THE RECOVERY TRUCK, AND THEN MY TRUCK.

AND WE HAD CIVILIAN TRUCKS BEHIND ME, SO WHEN THAT HAPPENED, I LOOKED AND, YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES WHEN YOU SEE THE -- LIKE IN BOOKS IN STUFF, THE SOUND WAVE, I ACTUALLY SAW THE SOUND WAVE, THAT'S HOW BAD IT WAS.

DIRT WENT UP AND IT WAS BLACK, IT WAS LIKE IT WAS RAINING BLACK.

AND I DIDN'T SEE HIM, IT FELT LIKE FOR 30 MINUTES, I DIDN'T SEE HIM.

BUT IT WAS ONLY MINUTES, YOU KNOW, AND THEN THE BATTLE ENSUED, OF COURSE, AND -- IT'S BEEN STUCK THERE, WHERE YOU COULDN'T DO ANYTHING AND THEN AT THE LAST MINUTE, THEY -- I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HIS DRIVER AND THEY CHANGED THAT AT THE LAST MINUTE AND THEY FORCED ME TO BE IN ANOTHER TRUCK, SO I WASN'T DRIVING THAT DAY, SO, I WAS THE ONE CALLING EVERYTHING UP, RELAYING EVERYTHING TO THE FRONT, RELAYING TO MY PLATOON SERGEANT WHAT WAS GOING ON AND WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND IF HE WAS OKAY AND ALL THE DAMAGE AND WHERE I SAW, YOU KNOW, THE MUZZLE FLASH AND EVERYTHING.

IT WAS ALL ON ME, SO -- AND THEN MARRYING HIM, IT WAS -- IT WAS GOOD, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, IT WAS BAD, BECAUSE HE'S GOT PTSD AND I HAVE PTSD AND THE CAUSE FOR MY PTSD WAS SEEING SOMETHING HAPPEN TO HIM.

SO, IT'S LIKE BEING MARRIED TO YOUR PTSD.

AND IT -- SEEING EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO HIM, THE STRUGGLES HE GOES THROUGH, AND KNOWING EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM, IT'S DIFFICULT AS A WIFE.

DR. CHARD, IN TERESA'S CASE, BOTH SHE AND HER HUSBAND HAD IS PTSD AS A RESULT OF THE WAR, BUT AS WE SEE CLEARLY IN THE FILM, SECONDARY PTSD, PTSD THAT DEVELOPS AMONG THE FAMILY MEMBERS, IS PRETTY COMMON.

IS IT COMMON?

DESCRIBE WHAT SECONDARY PTSD IS.

WE OFTEN THINK OF IT AS BEING A SENSE OF COMPASSION FATIGUE, OF THE SECONDARY IMPACT OF EVERYONE BEING AROUND.

I THINK TERESA DID A BEAUTIFUL JOB OF DESCRIBING WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE AROUND THE KIDS AND THE MOVIE THEN DEPICTS HOW THEY SAID THAT THE KIDS WERE SCARED OF HER, THAT SHE BECAME IRRITABLE, THAT SHE BECAME -- QUICK TEMPERED, I THINK YOU SAID.

AND SO, THE KIDS WERE SCARED TO TALK TO HER, I THINK HER HUSBAND SAID AT ONE POINT TO HER, THEY'RE SCARED TO BE AROUND YOU.

AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN YOU'RE AROUND SOMEONE WITH PTSD IS, YOU KNOW, SHE'S ON HIGH ALERT.

HER BODY IS ACTING AS IF SHE COULD GET HURT ANY MINUTE OF ANY DAY AND SO ANY SOUND IS GOING TO CAUSE THAT QUICK JUMP AND THAT QUICK REACTION, AND, OF COURSE, THE DEEP BREATH AFTERWARDS AND THE CALMING DOWN BUT IT'S LIKE, AH, GEEZ, WHY DID YOU JUST CAUSE ME TO REACT THIS WAY, I DIDN'T NEED THAT AGAIN.

SO, I THINK THAT TENSION THAT'S CREATED IN THE FAMILY, ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE'S YOUNG CHILDREN, IN THIS CASE, A NEWBORN AT HOME, AND HAVING TO DEAL WITH ALL OF THAT, IS JUST VERY, VERY STRESSFUL ON THE FAMILY.

AND IT'S LIKE YOU'RE TRYING TO -- YOU'RE TRYING TO LIVE YOUR ENTIRE WORLD CONTAINING THEIR SYMPTOMS.

IT'S LIKE THE PRIMARY PTSD SUFFERER GIVES SECONDARY PTSD TO THE FAMILY MEMBERS, THAT'S WHAT IT SEEMED LIKE.

YEAH.

EXACTLY.

YEAH, AND I TONIGHT WANT TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE THEY HAVE A DIAGNOSIS THAT THEY NEED TO GO AND GET TREATMENT FOR, BUT THEY DEFINITELY HAVE THE SECONDARY IMPACT THAT REALLY STRESSES THE ENTIRE FAMILY.

RIGHT.

SO, JACK, AS YOU SAID AT THE OUTSET, YOU SPOKE TO A LOT OF VETERANS WITH PTSD, OR WHO HAD HAD PTSD BEYOND THE FORE THAT MADE IT TO THE FILM.

WHAT DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THIS SECONDARY PTSD?

WAS IT PRETTY MUCH UNIVERSAL?

WAS IT PRETTY WIDESPREAD AMONG THE VETERANS THAT YOU SPOKE WITH?

I MEAN, IT WAS IN A LOT OF THE STORIES WE FOCUSED ON.

IT WAS IN JOHN'S STORY, IN HIS RELATIONSHIP, IT WAS WITH JASON CANDOR AND HIS WIFE DIANA, DIANA SPEAKS VERYELOQUENTLY ABOUT IT.

WHAT I FOUND, TOO, IN PROFILING THE TWO MEN AND TWO WOMEN IN THE FILM, WE WANTED TO GIVE EQUAL BALANCE TO WOMEN VETERAN'S STORIES, AS WELL AS THE MALE VETERAN STORIES.

THERE WAS A UNIVERSALITY, NO MATTER WHAT GENDER, WHAT PART OF THE COUNTRY, WHAT THEIR EXPERIENCES WERE IN TERMS OF WHAT WAR THEY MAY HAVE FOUGHT IN.

SO, I THINK IT WAS A VERY GHON COMMON EXPERIENCE.

NOW, TERESA, WHEN YOU DECIDED TO SEEK TREATMENT, YOU NOT ONLY DECIDED TO OPEN YOURSELF UP TO YOUR THERAPIST AND TO THE WOMEN WHO WERE IN THE GROUP WITH YOU, YOU DECIDED TO OPEN YOURSELF UP TO A GLOBAL AUDIENCE BY AGREEING TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS FILM.

HOW DIFFICULT WAS THAT DECISION?

HOW -- WHY DID YOU MAKE THAT DECISION?

IT WASN'T DIFFICULT FOR ME, BECAUSE I HAD SEEN SO MUCH AS A FEMALE, YOU KNOW, SOLDIER, THAT YOU ALWAYS GET PUT SECOND PLACE, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THE MEN ARE UP THERE, YEAH, I UNDERSTAND THE MEN HAVE TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES, TOO, BUT WOMEN NOW -- WHEN I CAME IN, THEY HAD JUST OPENED UP CERTAIN JOBS TO WOMEN IN THE ARMY, SO I WAS KIND OF A TRAIL BLAZER THERE, BECAUSE I WAS ONE OF THE FIRST WOMEN TO BECOME A TRUCK DRIVER.

AND AT THAT TIME, WOMEN WERE ONLY SEEN TO WORK IN THE HOSPITAL OR WORK IN ADMINISTRATION.

AND NOW IT'S LIKE -- IT WASN'T REALLY DIFFICULT FOR ME, BECAUSE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT NOT JUST MEN HAVE PTSD, WOMEN ALSO.

WOMEN LIKE MYSELF, WOMEN LIKE THE WOMEN I WAS WITH IN TREATMENT, YOU KNOW?

THEY HAVE, IN DIFFERENT PERIODS OF TIME, DIFFERENT JOBS AND STUFF, BUT BEING A WOMAN IN COMBAT IS EVEN MORE DIFFICULT, BECAUSE YOU HAVE THAT MORE PRESSURE TO PERFORM AS WELL AS OR BETTER THAN A MAN.

BECAUSE THEY'RE ALWAYS SCRUTINIZING YOU, THEY ARE ALWAYS LOOKING AT YOU, CAN SHE DO IT, IS SHE ABLE TO DO IT?

IT'S ALWAYS THAT WHAT IF, WHAT IF SHE BECOMES SO EMOTIONAL SHE CAN'T DO THIS, OR WHAT IF SHE FORGETS?

IT'S A LOT TO DO THAT PEOPLE DON'T KNOW.

AND IT'S IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT.

WOMEN, WE HAVE PTSD, TOO, WE'RE NOT JUST GOING TO SIT BACK AND DO EASY JOBS.

A LOT OF US DO REALLY HEAVY JOBS.

JACK, I WONDER THAT IF AT THE BEGINNING OF THINKING OF THIS PROJECT, DID THAT GIVE YOU PAUSE, THINKING ABOUT THIS UNKNOWN VARIABLE BEING PUT INTO THE THERAPY AND THE HEALING PROCESS?

IF YOU EVER WONDERED, YOU KNOW, I WONDER IF IT'S GOING TO BE -- CONSEQUENCES THAT ARE UNFORESEEN, IF I GET INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS?

OF COURSE, AND WE ALWAYS TOOK THE CUES OF TABITHA, TERESA, ANYONE WE WERE IN THERAPY WITH.

WE DID NOT FOLLOW EVERY SINGLE THERAPY SESSION, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE SETTLED ON EARLY ON THAT WE WEREN'T -- AND WE TRIED TO BE AS UNINTRUSIVE AS POSSIBLE IN EACH OF THOSE SESSIONS.

AND IN FOLLOWING THE COHORT OF WOMEN BE DR. CHARD AND TERESA, IT WAS TERESA AND TABITHA WHO WELCOMED US INTO THE ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS AND OTHER WOMEN IN THAT GROUP SAID WE'D PREFER NOT TO.

YOU CAN FILM IN OUR GROUP SESSIONS, BUT NOT BE IN INDIVIDUAL.

SO, WE WERE ALWAYS VERY SENSITIVE TO ALLOWS THE PROCESS TO UNFOLD AS IT SHOULD AND NOT -- AND ALWAYS STEP BACK WHEN ASKED TO.

SO, DR. CHARD, WHAT ARE THE THERAPIES AND THE ACTIVITIES THAT HAVE BEEN PROVEN EFFECTIVE IN THE TREATMENT OF PTSD?

WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS I LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS MOVIE IS IT HIGHLIGHTS THE THREE THAT HAVE THE MOST EVIDENCE.

PROLONGED EXPOSURE, FOCUSING ON RETELLING THE STORY, RIGHT?

ALLOWING US TO STOP BEING SO REACTIVE TO THE MEMORY AND I THINK HIS VIDEOS REALLY HIGHLIGHT THAT SO WELL IN THE MOVIE.

AND COGNITIVE PROCESSING THERAPY, WHERE WE FOCUSED MORE ON THE MEANING, THE COGNITIVE STRUCTURES OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED.

AND THE LAST WAS EMDR, AN EYE MOVEMENT THERAPY --

FASCINATING.

A LITTLE PIECE OF BOTH, RIGHT?

AND SO, EMDR FOCUSES A LITTLE BIT ON BOTH.

A BOTH OF RETELLING IN YOUR MIND AND THEN SOME OF THE COGNITIVE WORK.

AND WHAT -- I THINK THE BIGGEST PART OF THIS MOVIE IS IT EXPRESSES THE IDEA OF HOPE AND ALSO CHOICE.

IT'S NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL, IT THAT YOU HAVE OPTIONS IN THE THERAPY YOU WANT TO WORK IN.

IF ONE DOESN'T WORK FOR YOU, PLEASE TRY ONE OF THE OTHER TWO.

AND THE FACT IS, YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO TELL YOUR STORY.

I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE FEAR THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO COME IN AND TELL IN GREAT DETAIL WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM AND WE LEAVE THAT CHOICE TO THE PATIENT AND THAT'S AN IMPORTANT CHOICE FOR SOME PEOPLE TO MAKE.

SO, LET'S TURN, IF WE CAN, LET'S TALK ABOUT PTSD AND THE CORONAVIRUS, BECAUSE I KNOW YOU GUYS WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THAT, WE DO, AS WELL.

HAS COVID RESULTED IN A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE DEVELOPING PTSD BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC?

AND WHICH GROUPS HAVE BEEN MOST IMPACTED, DOCTOR?

WELL, WE DO KNOW THAT CORONAVIRUS HAS CREATED MORE STRESS AND, OF COURSE, IF YOU'RE MORE STRESSED, THEN IF YOU'RE EXPOSED TO A TRAUMATIC EVENT, IT'S HARDER TO FIGHT IT OFF.

WHAT WE SEE IS NOT SO MUCH HAVING PTSD JUST FROM HAVING CORONAVIRUS, BUT OBVIOUSLY THE IMPACT OF HAVING A LOVED ONE BE SICK OR YOU YOURSELF BEING SICK AND THEN THE FEAR OF DEATH.

AND WE KNOW WE HAVE HUGE LOSSES OF DEATH OF PEOPLE WHO HAD COVID.

SO, I THINK THAT'S BEEN THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS THE AMOUNT OF LOSS OF LIFE AND HOW MUCH THAT HAS IMPACTED THE PEOPLE AROUND THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO TRAGICALLY DID NOT MAKE IT.

AND SO, AGAIN, YOU WOULD SAY THEN, WELL, WHERE'S OUR BIGGEST IMPACT?

ANYONE THAT HAD A LOVED ONE THAT MAY HAVE LOST THEIR LIFE OR REALLY STRUGGLED TO GET THROUGH THE VIRUS.

SO, BEING ABLE TO FIND THOSE PEOPLE AND HELP THEM AS THEY GO TWLU THEIR OWN RECOVERY HAS BEEN REALLY IMPORTANT TO US.

HOW ABOUT TEENS AND YOUNGER CHILDREN?

YOU KNOW, THAT'S SUCH A GREAT POINT, BECAUSE WE DO KNOW THAT CHILDREN DO HAVE SOME VERY DIFFERENT PRESENTATIONS WITH THE LUNG ISSUES, THE HEART ISSUES, COGNITIVE ISSUES, AND SO, HOW STRESSFUL IS THAT FOR A PARENT TO BE VERY FEARFUL THAT MY CHILD WAS JUST DIAGNOSED, ARE THEY GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE CHILDREN THAT HAVE THOSE HEART ISSUES?

AND WHAT ABOUT IF THEY DO START HAVING ISSUES.

SO, THE AMOUNT OF STRESS THAT YOU COULD HAVE AS A PARENT OR EVEN AS A CHILD WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING TO YOU, CAN BE QUITE SIGNIFICANT.

SO, WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY TO SEE WHO IS GOING TO NEED HELP IN THE YEARS GOING FORWARD.

SO, TERESA, SOMEBODY WATCHING US RIGHT NOW, SOMEBODY WHO IS GOING TO BE WATCHING THE DOCUMENTARY, THEY KNOW THEY HAVE PTSD, BUT THEY THINK -- WHETHER VETERAN OR CIVILIAN, THEY KNOW THEY HAVE THE SYMPTOMS, BUT THEY THINK THAT FOR THEM NOTHING CAN HELP, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO THEM?

I USED TO THINK THAT FOR A LONG TIME, TOO.

THAT'S WHY IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO GET HELP, SINCE I GOT OUT IN '09, I REFUSED AND I REFUSED AND I REFUSED TO COME TO GRIPS WITH ME HAVING PTSD, BECAUSE IT JUST -- I DIDN'T ASK FOR IT, IT JUST HAPPENED BECAUSE I DID MY JOB.

THAT'S JUST WHAT ANYBODY DOES.

YOU DIDN'T ASK FOR IT, IT JUST HAPPENS.

AND IF YOU KNOW THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU YOU DON'T BE ASHAMED.

I WAS ASHAMED FOR A LONG TIME, BECAUSE OF THE GUILT THAT I FELT BECAUSE I COULDN'T HELP THE WAY I THOUGHT I SHOULD.

BUT IF I -- LIKE DR. CHARD TOLD ME, IF I WASN'T WHERE I WAS AT, IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE.

I COULDN'T BE THERE BECAUSE I WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE.

BUT PEOPLE THAT HAVE THE SYMPTOMS AND THEY KNOW, OR THEY'RE THINKING, WELL, MAYBE I DO, THERE'S NO SHAME IN IT.

YOU NEED TO GET HELP, BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T HELP YOURSELF, YOU CAN'T HELP ANYBODY ELSE.

YOU CAN'T DO IT FOR NOBODY, YOU HAVE TO DO IT FOR YOURSELF.

OR IT DOESN'T WORK.

YOU CAN'T PROMISE, WELL, I'M GOING TO DO IT -- NO, YOU HAVE TO DO IT FOR YOURSELF TO MAKE YOURSELF SO MUCH BETTER, TO BE THE PERSON THAT YOU KNOW YOU ARE, BECAUSE THAT OLD PERSON, YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO SEE AGAIN.

THAT'S JUST THE TRUTH, THE FACT OF THE MATTER.

YOU NEED TO MAKE YOURSELF BETTER FOR YOU, NOBODY ELSE.

THERE'S NO SHAME IN THAT.

AND CLEARLY THE FILM SHOWS THAT YOU CAN GET HELP, THAT MANY PEOPLE DO RECOVER.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO END IT THERE, BUT THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.

IT'S A WONDERFUL DOCUMENTARY, I HOPE A LOT OF PEOPLE SEE IT.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

YOU

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

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