April 7, 2024

AboutFace: Veterans with PTSD

First-person stories from Vets who have suffered from PTSD, sharing their experiences to help other Vets.

Veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who are still alive, have a 30% chance of suffering PTSD in their lifetime. Women suffer PTSD at almost twice the rate of men.

Marlene Diaz felt that being Nuyorican — a Puerto Rican New Yorker — made her a target in the Navy. PTSD treatment helped her regain pride in who she is.

AboutFace is an award-winning series of first-person stories told by Veterans who have lived with PTSD. It’s focused on reaching other Vets with their message: “If you’re struggling with PTSD, you’re not alone —and you don’t have to live with your symptoms forever. Treatment can turn your life around.”

David Kendrick felt that clinicians at VA didn’t take him seriously — until he met a clinician who looked like him.

Meeting these Vets was amazing. To listen to their different PTSD experiences and see how they’ve turned their life around was one of the most life-affirming encounters I’ve had in my career.

Jeff Jones explains why he avoided PTSD treatment at VA for so long, and how changing his mind about treatment brought unexpected rewards.

I worked as the cinematographer/photographer for the stories on this page. The next best thing after meeting the vets was working with Vicky Bippart from the National Center for PTSD and Peter Frumkin, who co-produced and co-directed the videos. It was astounding to work with smart patient people who had wonderful sensitivity to light, moment and scenes, were filled with gentle suggestions and who actually scheduled enough time to be in the right place at the right time. The pieces were deftly edited by Bill Lattanzi

Born to a Buddhist family, Michael Nguyen discovered that his cultural traditions could work hand in hand with evidence-based treatments for PTSD.

AboutFace is produced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for PTSD, the world’s leading center for PTSD research and education. 

Suzanne Allen first looked to the healing practices of the Sac and Fox for help with her PTSD. But it was a combination of these traditions and the treatments at VA that helped her feel strong again.

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