PTSD

Helping local vets who came home with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As many as 25 percent of the U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan returned home with traumatic brain injuries. Thirty percent came back with post traumatic stress disorder. In Wood County, it’s estimated that 60 veterans are now living with the effects of TBI or PTSD. Many of the traumatic brain injuries were caused by IEDs (improvised explosive devices) frequently used in recent wars. So when Mary Hanna, executive director of the Wood County Veterans Assistance Center, got a call offering her office a $10,000 grant to help treat those problems, she jumped at the chance. “It was very humbling. We will be the first county office to receive funds to do this,” Hanna said. The need is great, she said. “TBI and PTSD dramatically impacts their ability to get through daily functions,” at school, on the job, and with their families. Hanna contacted the Speech and Hearing Clinic at Bowling Green State University, and a partnership was formed to use the grant to help local veterans. “I’m getting ready to notify each veteran about these services,” which will be offered at no cost, Hanna said of the 12,895 veterans living in Wood County. The grant came from Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, founder of the Resurrecting Lives Foundation, who has made it her mission to get better care for veterans returning home with the often invisible injuries of TBI and PTSD. In many cases, veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan went right from school to war, Gordon said. They never had to navigate in society before – and now some…


Writer reaches beyond trauma of rape, 9/11 to confront PTSD

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Julia Torres Barden grew up as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center rose above the New York skyline. “I spent my whole childhood watching them get bigger and bigger,” she said in a recent interview. That childhood started in the projects in the South Bronx, amidst her fellow Puerto Ricans, and then later in Upper Manhattan. On the day of the 9/11 attacks she was back in Manhattan on business. She was watching the aftermath of the first plane striking on a large screen in Times Square with a group of strangers. At that moment they assumed it was an accident, then the second plane struck. “It was devastating … to see them collapse like that. Those towers were raise in glory throughout my childhood,” she said. Now there was a sense of the city being under attack. Torres Barden, now of Perrysburg, recalls in striking detail the next couple days, being trapped in her hotel room, watching far too much TV coverage. She remembers the constant bomb threats to the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, the Lincoln Tunnel, which was her exit from the city, At the time, she said, she was just concerned with making it through the day, and getting back to her husband and three sons in Virginia. It would be a few years later when she would realize the toll the attack took on her, when suddenly found herself struggling to breathe. What she and doctors thought was an allergic reaction to nuts, turned out to be the emergence of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Torres Barden has…