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Thursday, March 3, 2011

PTSD’s stronghold can have debilitating affect - Beacon News

PTSD’s stronghold can have debilitating affect - Beacon News

Steve built his adult life on the foundation of a childhood trauma.

He and his brother suffered through years of physical violence and emotional abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father.

“He had no emotional connection but anger,” Steve said of his dad. “He had no idea how to relate to kids.”

His father was an engineer, and was a very smart man, Steve said. So when Steve came home with bad grades, his father called him stupid. He would not hesitate to beat him for this, and other reasons.

While the abuse has long passed, the effects lingered on through his life. Steve, who lives in Geneva and asked that his name be changed for this story, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. He is 67 years old now, and while he has confronted his past through therapy, as recently as last summer he’s experienced recurring bouts of anger stemming from his PTSD.

The anger manifested itself as road rage, he said. The people in his everyday life would comment about how calm he always seemed to be, and never noticed anything — but if a car cut him off on the road, he felt himself grow unnecessarily and uncontrollably angry....

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