His father was an abuser. After Patrick Stewart found out PTSD was a factor, he made this appeal.

Sir Patrick Stewart's father, Alfred, was a World War II hero. He fought valiantly in the Battle of Dunkirk, a tactically important conflict. But when he came home, he continued to fight.

Stewart has shared his story about his father's abuse with millions, but this is a new way of thinking about it — even for him.


1. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a recently coined term but not a recently discovered condition.


Images via BBC/YouTube.

Back then they called it "shell shock," "war neurosis," or "combat stress reaction," if they called it anything at all. It wasn't until 1980 that the American Psychological Association recognized PTSD as a specific, diagnosable disorder with specific symptoms — the same year Alfred Stewart died. Patrick Stewart didn't realize that his father suffered from PTSD until 2012.

2. Though the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are considered American campaigns, more than 220,000 British troops deployed there as well.

They have similarly experienced tragic casualties, devastating physical injuries, and lasting mental injuries. King's College in London studied a group of British troops who deployed and found that 27.2% showed symptoms of mental disorders [PDF].

3. Symptoms may not surface right away.

James Saunders (featured in the video) didn't start having PTSD symptoms right after returning home. It wasn't until he had a totally unrelated personal tragedy that brought his war experiences flooding back. Knowing the warning signs can help prevent a crisis if an uneventful transition home turns for the worst.

4. 1 in 5 veterans develop PTSD or major depression. But 4 in 5 don't.

Don't assume every veteran is suffering from a mental illness. Veterans are disproportionately affected by mental health issues, but they aren't the only ones. Mental illness among college students is soaring, but no one assumes that of them.

5. A person with PTSD may not show all the classic symptoms severely or all at once.

As he said in the video, Gary Driscoll's PTSD symptoms started small and got bigger. First he experienced anxiety, then started misusing alcohol, then losing control of his anger. One at a time, not all at once.

Anyone who experiences a trauma will likely experiences some PTSD-like symptoms, but when those symptoms persist and worsen instead of go away, it's time to get help.

6. PTSD is not the only mental health issue that can come from war trauma.

PTSD is the most common, but those who have combat-related mental health issues may experience depression, substance use problems, or generalized anxiety. Traumatic brain injury — somewhat like a very severe concussion — from exposure to a bomb blast can also cause mental health issues.

7. The key to recovery for Gary and James was access to consistent, quality care.

Combat Stress, the charity Patrick Stewart spoke about, and the National Health Service are the primary ways British vets get care for war-related mental health issues. In the United States, there are many private charities that provide some mental health assistance, but private insurance and the Veterans Health Administration are the primary ways American veterans get care.

Unlike the U.K.'s NHS, V.A. hospitals have been wracked with scandal after scandal regarding its inability to provide consistent, quality care to the more than 22 million American veterans.

8. People who experience abnormal thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that could be attributed to mental health issues don't seek help because of shame.

PTSD symptoms have been stigmatized ever since the "shell shock" days. Veterans who had difficulty adjusting after war were called cowards, lacking in character, malingering, whiny, or weak. To this day, the stigma associated with mental health issues is one of the chief barriers keeping service members and veterans who need care from seeking it out — even if it is available.

If you or someone you know is struggling, don't do it alone. Find a Guinan.

GIF from "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

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Dr. David McPhee offers advice for talking to someone living in a different time in their head.

Few things are more difficult than watching a loved one's grip on reality slipping away. Dementia can be brutal for families and caregivers, and knowing how to handle the various stages can be tricky to figure out.

The Alzheimer's Association offers tips for communicating in the early, middle and late stages of the disease, as dementia manifests differently as the disease progresses. The Family Caregiver Alliance also offers advice for talking to someone with various forms and phases of dementia. Some communication tips deal with confusion, agitation and other challenging behaviors that can come along with losing one's memory, and those tips are incredibly important. But what about when the person is seemingly living in a different time, immersed in their memories of the past, unaware of what has happened since then?

Psychologist David McPhee shared some advice with a person on Quora who asked, "How do I answer my dad with dementia when he talks about his mom and dad being alive? Do I go along with it or tell him they have passed away?"

McPhee wrote:

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