BROOKSVILLE — It's not just battle-worn soldiers who come home with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Just ask Michele Rosenthal. She suffered an allergic reaction to a medication at age 13 that left her entire body blistered like a burn victim. But it was the damage to her psyche that took the longest to heal.
"Fear is an emotion all of us have," said Rosenthal, 43. "It's hard to get over it. You've got to unravel it."
Now, she is taking that message on the road as a PTSD survivor and author. Speaking last week at a symposium at Pasco-Hernando Community College, she said PTSD awareness is critical to helping both individuals and their families recover from traumatic experiences.
"Nobody heals in isolation," Rosenthal said. "We heal in a community."
Studies estimate that up to 70 percent of adults in the United States will go through a traumatic event in their lifetime, and up to 20 percent will struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, up to 40 percent of the military returning from Afghanistan or Iraq suffer from PTSD, Rosenthal said....