Sunday, November 8, 2009

Secondary PTSD a Possible Factor for Fort Hood Shooter

Posted on Earth 2009-11-06
Author : National Veterans Foundation
News Category : PressRelease

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- "Our hearts go out to the families of the soldiers and civilians who were killed or wounded by the senseless violence that took place at Fort Hood today," said National Veterans Foundation President and Founder Shad Meshad.

Shad Meshad has 38 years of experience treating sufferers of PTSD. In his practice, he has seen counselors who treat people with traumatic stress develop Compassion Fatigue, or Secondary Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and with it the psychological symptoms of someone who has been through combat.

Said Meshad, "We do not have all the information on Nidal Malik Hasan and his motives. But if he was treating soldiers with post-traumatic stress who were returning from combat in Iraq, and then faced deployment to the very place all this trauma was being experienced by his patients, it might have been enough, combined with other stressors, to cause the kind of psychotic break that could explain such horrific violence."

Meshad is one of the nation's leading experts on PTSD and Compassion Fatigue. He provides training to DOD and VA staff, on caring for their counselors who develop secondary traumatic stress.

"Being around someone with PTSD is like being around second-hand smoke," Meshad said. "It adversely affects your health. We have to be concerned about caregivers for soldiers returning from combat, and their families. I have been talking about a potential backlash of violence for years. You cannot expect to send our soldiers into extended, multiple combat deployments, and that not affect them or the people they are connected to, back at home. All signs indicate that the incidence of violent crimes, suicide, domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse by Veterans from the current wars are on the rise."

See for the story a recent, groundbreaking court decision for Veterans with PTSD, in which Meshad was involved as a defense consultant.

Shad Meshad has been working with Veterans since 1971. He was a Medical Service Officer during the Vietnam War, where he counseled soldiers who suffered from psychological and emotional problems resulting from their experiences in combat, including what would later become known as PTSD. The NVF is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of veterans and their families.

SOURCE National Veterans Foundation

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