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Sgt. 1st Class Michael Rodriguez (Ret.)

Twitter Chat: Why some veterans struggle with PTSD, and what they need

Late last week, the PBS NewsHour reported on the challenges associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for our series “War on the Brain.” In the series, special correspondent Soledad O’Brien sought to answer three questions:

Why are veterans and military personnel not seeking treatment if they believe they show symptoms of PTSD? In her first report, O’Brien talked to military veterans who struggled with the idea that they had PTSD. For some people, the lack of a physical injury, along with military culture and a resistance to showing weakness, contributed to feelings of stigma.

Is there a way to more accurately diagnose PTSD? We heard from Sgt. First Class Michael Rodriguez (Ret.) and Sgt. First Class Kelly Rodriguez, a husband and wife who struggled for years to get an accurate diagnosis of PTSD. “If there was a tangible test, I think it would make it easier on the patients, because it will validate” the diagnosis, Michael Rodriguez said.

Is there a connection between traumatic brain injury and PTSD? In our third story, O’Brien talked to researchers at the Defense Department’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. They are studying whether brain injuries due to exposure to explosive blasts contribute to PTSD.

On Monday, learn more about our series and hear from the people we talked to during a Twitter Chat. Join O’Brien (@soledadobrien), Michael Rodriguez (@Monsterzdad), Kelly Rodriguez (@klr68w) and Kate Hoit of the “Got Your 6” campaign (@GotYourSix), at 5 p.m. EDT to discuss our series and what more can be done. Take part in the conversation on Twitter by following @NewsHour and using the hashtag #NewsHourChats.