New documentary on PTSD goes beyond the trauma

PTSD: Beyond Trauma will air on the public broadcaster’s documentary program on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m.

PTSD: Beyond Trauma will air on the public broadcaster’s documentary program on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

A new documentary focusing on the impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) outside of military circles will make its world broadcast premier on CBC’s The Nature of Things this week.

PTSD: Beyond Trauma will air on the public broadcaster’s documentary program on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. The film is written and directed by award-winning Patrick Reed (Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr and Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children, Triage) and produced by the independent Canadian TV and film production company White Pine Pictures.

His latest work covers such topics as the PTSD research and the search for a cure, new treatments available, patient recovery, the daily struggles of the diagnosed, and effects of PTSD-related medication.

“Most Canadians have never gone to war or lived through genocide,” said Reed. “But many know people who struggle with traumatic memories, friends and family who often suffer in silence – whether out of guilt or a belief that PTSD somehow only affects the military or humanitarians, or other ‘exceptional’ people.”

Reed admits to having a personal connection to the disease through a family member. His father was involved in a bus crash near Syracuse, N.Y., that killed four people. Both of Reed’s parents were riding in the bus, his mother recovered in time from her physical injuries, and his father was diagnosed with PTSD.  Eventually after seeking treatment his symptoms subsided.

“PTSD hits more civilians than soldiers, and more women than men,” said Reed. “It manifests itself with a dizzying range of symptoms, from flashbacks and nightmares to aggression and depression.”

One of the subjects in PTSD: Beyond Trauma is retired Canadian Armed Forces member Stephen O’Brien who did tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan and was diagnosed with PTSD. Other interview subjects include Ute Lawrence and Stan Fisher, a couple trapped in the wreckage of an 87 vehicle pile-up near Windsor, Ont., in 1999, who walked away from the accident physically unharmed but still suffers from the nightmares of a crash that killed eight and injured 33.

Those who are suffering from the memories of more recent incidents include Max Guiolet, who was caught in the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. Guiolet claims the drug Propranolol, a beta-blocker, has been his miracle cure.

The documentary also focuses on ground-breaking research and new treatments and brings together researchers and clinical psychologists from McGill University and Western University among others.

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  1. Amber says:

    This looks very intriguing to watch.

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