Minnesota veteran urges PTSD help in holiday seasonby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Minnesota combat veteran is urging other veterans with PTSD to seek the help they need this holiday season.
Patrick Nelson, of Dawson, started the website realcombatlife.com to give veterans a forum for discussing PTSD and other mental health issues.
Nelson is a recipient of the first Pat Tillman-NFL Military Scholar Award for his work on behalf of veterans.
Nelson said the holidays can be a stressful trigger for PTSD symptoms. He said his website offers veterans a chance to work through their experiences.
"It used to be called shellshock, it used to be called hysteria, but now with the two conflicts that we've had the awareness of PTSD has gone up tremendously, which is great," he said, "but it also makes me reflect back on our veterans from past conflicts who werent able to get the help that they deserved."
Nelson said he started the website because writing can often help veterans work through mental health issues.
"It gives us, the veteran, the opportunity to share the story without having to read between the lines," he said. "This is a first-hand perspective of what it is and I want to get my voice out there and I want my voice to be heard to tell you the truth. If I can help just one veteran it makes all the work that i'm doing worth it."
- All Things Considered, 12/23/2010, 5:20 p.m.