As a combat photographer documenting every aspect of war, including heavy fighting during multiple Iraq deployments, Pearsall received physical injuries and experienced PTSD from the events she witnessed. With help from a friend, she found needed support through her local VA.
Experiencing a traumatic event, whether on or off the battlefield, can sometimes lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is often associated with combat, but it can also be the result of traumatic incidents like mass shootings, car accidents, sexual assaults or natural disasters.
Though everyone experiences PTSD differently, common symptoms can include trouble sleeping, flashbacks and irritability. Treatment is available, and a health care provider can help you manage your symptoms. Getting help will keep you mission ready, set you up for career success and ensure you are there for those who need you most. Use the following resource to learn more about PTSD and related concerns.
While commanding the Army's civil affairs forces in Iraq, then-Brig. Gen. Blackledge was wounded twice. Even after healing physically, he continued to experience psychological wounds that eventually led him to seek help for PTSD and share his story.
As a nurse deployed numerous times in Africa and the Middle East, Air Force Lt. Col. Blackledge saw many casualties and cared for wounded warriors and civilians alike. Her story sheds light on the important psychological health needs of warrior caregivers.