J.R. Martinez helping vets deal with PTSD
Actor and Iraq War veteran J.R. Martinez joined HLN’s Dr. Drew Monday night to discuss his part in helping vets dealing with with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
According to the Cleveland Clinic, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that a person can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event or life-threatening situation. A traumatic event can be any situation that causes stress, horror, helplessness, serious injury, or the threat of serious injury or death.
“There's a stigma out that every service member has PTSD, [as in] ‘don't hire them -- they are ticking time bombs -- you never know when something is going to happen to them’, Martinez explained.
He added, “It is not a sign of weakness to go get help … anybody in a position that would be deployed four, five times … exposed to things they have been exposed to would come back a little bit differently … and we need to teach these guys that they can go out there and talk to somebody. But there also needs to be more mental health professionals out there willing to help our service members.”
He also noted that vets who have come back home to their civilian lives can help themselves by being of service to other vets by teaching them about the recovery process.
Martinez was seriously injured in the Iraq War in 2003. The Humvee Martinez was driving hit a land mine. As a result, he suffered burns to more than 40-percent of his body, spent 34 months in recovery, and underwent 33 different surgeries.
However, he has come a long way. Martinez recently became ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” champion, served as the Grand Marshal for the 2012 Rose Parade, worked as an actor on "All My Children,” and became a father to a baby girl in May.
Dr. Drew airs Monday through Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on HLN. Ffollow the show on Twitter @DrDrewHLN.