Coping with PTSD During the Holidays - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Coping with PTSD During the Holidays

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Bay County, Fla. -

During the holidays, soldiers returning from the war are seeking a sense of normalcy. But in many cases, being reunited means coming face to face with wounds you can't see.

It can be scary and a bit overwhelming for soldiers experiencing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder; it not only changes the way they view the world, but also the way their families see them.

"All the things that he had done and saw killed the person that left." Libby Busbee describes the way her son felt after returning from his third tour in Iraq. He suffered a traumatic brain injury overseas and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

"He would sleep walk, he would walk around with his knifes and would have stuff with his hands and I would have to wake him up." Busbee says.

In March, Busbee saw her son end his life; an act that she says could have been prevented. "You wait so long for them to get here and for them to die at their own hands its ridiculous."

Although William Busbee sought medical treatment, a new center, not available at the time, can now help victims dealing with the disorder.

"A veteran is a veteran and we will find the resources that they need." Team leader Tim Staebell says the Bay County Vet Center opened its doors in June and offers services to combat veterans and their families facing readjustment issues, which includes PTSD.

"Once they would receive a diagnosis, I would hope they would act on that. I really truly do, because there's help." Staebell says.

Through the course of his employment here, Staebell estimates about half of the veterans they serve, have PTSD. "I want people to know that we are serious about them and that we are here for them."

Initially the Vet Center ran out of the Delwood Clinic in Bay County and wasn't completely staffed as it is now. Since Staebell took his post, outreach has improved. In the last three months, they saw half the amount of veterans, the center saw over two years.