HBO documentary explores cost of PTSD

Wartorn 1861-2010 airs tonight on HBO. The documentary has already been shown to movie reviewers and personnel at the Pentagon. USA Today has had a chance to screen the movie. They report that it is a somber, gut-wrenching reminder — and warning — how combat related stress can lead to depression, violence, and suicide. Civil War-era doctors called it hysteria. In World War One, it was known as shell shock. By World War Two, it was termed combat fatigue. In all cases, it was left untreated. Army General Ray Odierno appears in the documentary, noting that nearly a third of those stationed in combat areas report PTSD symptoms. Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli also appears in the movie. He says the military has begun ramping up treatment of those diagnosed with PTSD. He says the movie is powerful and helps bring attention to the issue.

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