LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The brother of Brad Hettinger, the man police said killed his family before setting their home on fire and taking his own life, released a statement on Wednesday saying he was dealing with complications from PTSD.
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According to Dr. Monnica Williams, Director at the University of Louisville's Center for Mental Health Disparities, the illness is complicated. Dr. Williams said for those who are suffering, there could be a range of signs and symptoms.
"Things that used to easy for them may become difficult," Dr. Williams said. "They may start to isolate themselves socially. Often you see a lot of depressive symptoms. In very severe cases people may have flashbacks, they may disassociate meaning they zone out, or they may even become psychotic, they may lose touch with what's real and what's fake."
Dr. Williams said the illness could affect anyone who has suffered a traumatic event, even something like a car accident could trigger the disease.
"Often we associate it with someone who was in combat, for example, in this case that's true or people who may have been raped, but you can get PTSD from a lot of things people don't normally think about," Dr. Williams said.
Dr. Williams said getting professional help is critical. It may mean confronting traumatic experiences, but it can also allow for better management of the illness.
"It's not the kind of thing where you can just tell people to get over it. A person with PTSD, they really want to get over it. The symptoms that they're having, they can't get over it," Dr. Williams said.
She explained, though each case is different, if a person is not seeing improvement after five or 10 sessions of therapy, it might be time to try a different doctor or treatment.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 or check out the following resources: