We represent a client who was involved in a very terrifying experience while operating heavy equipment. The experience profoundly changed his mental status and his life. He has what has been diagnosed as PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. As a result of his mental injury his life has been turned up side down. That's why I read with interest a Time Magazine http://www.time.com/time/magazine article at a doctor's office. It was about a psychologist Dr. Peter J.N. Linnerooth. Dr. Linnerooth spent five years in the Army
including a year in Iraq during the most fierce fighting. He was a mental health consultant to the men and women, who themselves, were often suffering mentally from the fighting.He served as the mental health officer in and around Baghdad.
The article said that he was haunted by the soldiers he consulted with at the medical clinic. He was involved enough and dedicated enough to his job that at the end of his deployment he was given a bronze Star for his exemplary service.
However,dealing with the injured and the dying took a heavy toll on him personally. When he returned he was struggling with PTSD and depression. What he found when he got home was that there were precious little resources for the kind of problems he and many other soldiers were suffering from available. His wife and friends said he came back from Iraq a far different man than when he had left.
After leaving the Army he taught psychology for a year at Minnesota State University. His mental state was such that his long marriage fell apart. He moved to California where he worked for the the VA. After that he moved to Reno where he had been hired to help vets with PTSD. But, soon after he was let go. A second marriage also ended.
In his mental state Dr. Linnerooth decided to take his own life. He became the first Army psychologist who killed himself. He left surviving a widow and three children from his first marriage. As Mark Thompson, who wrote the article, pointed out he is also survived by the hundreds he treated for the PTSD that killed him.
That's the reality of a mental injury we call PTSD.