4-Star General Confesses to Post-Traumatic Stress

4-star general seeks PTS treatment, speaks out about it
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 25, 2008 10:45 AM CST
Chart shows number of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder who served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003.   (AP)
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(Newser) – The trauma associated with combat is a hushed topic among troops returned from Iraq—but a four-star general’s fight off the battlefield could help usher in a new attitude, USA Today reports. After witnessing the scene of a suicide bomb in an American mess hall at a base near Mosul, Carter Ham came home a different man, his wife said. But a psychological screening and talks with a chaplain put him on the road to recovery.

Some 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have suffered from post-traumatic combat stress, which can lead to PTSD. Ham had trouble sleeping, was disturbed by loud noises, and experienced wild mood swings. But “there clearly is a part of Army culture that says, ‘Tough it out,’” said Ham, who got a wake-up call at a session organized by a fellow general. “I didn't think I needed anybody to help me.”