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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."

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.