PTSD

Parkland Anniversary
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Friday marks two years since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

For survivors of trauma this time of year, stories on the news, images and sounds can trigger painful feelings and sometimes symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.  

Healing is an ongoing process. To understand how this is affecting the MSD community, WLRN spoke with Dr. Jessica J. Ruiz, the Chief Psychologist and Director for Behavioral Health Associates of Broward, the Counseling Centers of Goodman Jewish Family Services.

As legislative session looms on the horizon, lawmakers are trying to squeeze in their personal projects into next years’ budget. However, not all of those proposals will make it.

About 57 Tons Of Smokable Medical Marijuana Ordered For Florida Patients In A Span Of 6 Months

Nov 21, 2019
Emily MICHOT / Miami Herald

More than 1.82 million ounces of smokable medical marijuana were ordered for 128,040 patients over a six-month period, a new state report shows. That translates to 113,922 pounds, or 57 tons, of flower marijuana.

The report, compiled on behalf of the state Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine, shows that 44 percent of 291,865 patients certified to use medical marijuana as of Sept. 30 are smoking it.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

A celebration of veterans’ contributions and sacrifices outside Greenacres City Hall for Veterans Day hit repeatedly on the psychological, as well as the physical, wounds that soldiers bring home.

Tucked away in the northwest corner of Wyoming is one of the largest gun collections in the world: The Cody Firearms Museum. But it's recently gotten a makeover, moving away away from being a monument to guns and toward being an educational space on gun safety, history and culture.

The museum is located at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West alongside four other museums and near the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. So often, people just happen upon it. That was the case for Kim Cato and her family, visiting from Idaho.

There are times when retired Staff Sgt. Matt Lammers doesn't look like he needs anyone's help — like when he was competing, and winning, races at the Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Fla., this summer.

"We don't like to say the word 'can't' in our family," says Matt, who lost both his legs above the knee and his left arm to an explosion during his second deployment to Iraq in 2007.

fireworks
Patience Haggin / WLRN

The City of Parkland has been asking people in email blasts and on social media not to explode personal fireworks during their Fourth of July celebrations on Thursday out of respect for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD can be triggered by unexpected loud noises, including fireworks.

As a child, Molly Easterlin loved playing sports. She started soccer at age 4, and then in high school, she played tennis and ran track. Sports, Easterlin believes, underlie most of her greatest successes. They taught her discipline and teamwork, helped her make friends and enabled her to navigate the many challenges of growing up.

Madeline Fox / WLRN News

Post-traumatic stress throws up roadblocks for people trying to go about their days normally.

Enjoyable pastimes for others, like Fourth of July fireworks, could trigger a fight-or-flight response from a veteran for whom the popping sounds or sulfur smell bring up combat memories.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

The U.S. Army issued a tweet ahead of Memorial Day weekend with a question for service members and veterans: "How has serving impacted you?"

Among the thousands of responses: harrowing tales of trauma, depression and sexual assault.

In a thread, an Army tweet that preceded the question featured a video by Pfc. Nathan Spencer, a scout with the Army's First Infantry Division.

Lauren Walls had lived with panic attacks, nightmares and flashbacks for years. The 26-year-old San Antonio teacher sought help from a variety of mental health professionals — including spending five years and at least $20,000 with one therapist who used a Christian-faith-based approach, viewing her condition as part of a spiritual weakness that could be conquered — but her symptoms worsened. She hit a breaking point two years ago, when she contemplated suicide.

The University of Central Florida is using virtual reality to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. It's worked well enough that the Pentagon will fund similar programs elsewhere.


Fresh waves of grief have hit the communities of Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., after recent news of more deaths.

On Monday, the father of a girl who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting died by apparent suicide, and last week, two students who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting took their own lives.

Eagles' Haven
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The Eagles' Haven Wellness Center is just over a mile away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Coral Springs. The center was scheduled to open at the end of April but decided to start offering services this week after two survivors of last year's shooting died by apparent suicide. 

Since then, more than 100 people have come through the center's doors, seeking connection to therapies or just a place to have a cup of coffee and talk to someone.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

When lawmakers gave more than $69 million in mental health to school districts after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, many cast the funding as a way to help prevent future mass shootings and identify troubled students who needed help.

But there was little discussion while crafting the bill — and no mention in the final 105 pages of legislation — that specifically directed schools to consider suicide prevention efforts, the most pressing mental health challenge facing a generation and the second leading cause of death for young people under 35.

Pages