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Area veteran talks about challenges caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Quincy Kasper first signed up to serve while he was in high school, joining the Army Reserve and then enlisting full-time, eventually seeing combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. That experience took both a psychological and physical toll.

Kasper said, "I had done multiple forms of therapy, I had been under the care of doctors with multiple medications, I had a few suicide attempts."

He's not alone in his struggles. The Center for Advancing Health says between 11-23% of all combat veterans experience P.T.S.D., Kasper saying many avoid treatment because of the stigma surrounding mental health.

His search for help brought him to Aspirus Hospital, where Dr. Kris Ferguson uses a different way to treat P.T.S.D., saying that it's not just a mental disorder, because it affects veterans physically as well.

Ferguson said, "Some people will see them as just a mental illness, but there is a physical component because the mind affects the body and the body also affects the mind."

The treatment involves blocking nerves in the neck that cause an overreaction to stress, setting the fight or flight response back to a normal level. Kasper added that he's always there for his fellow veterans if they need to talk. "To the vets out there who are struggling like me, first of all, I've got your six brothers."

If you are a veteran struggling with suicidal thoughts, please do not hesitate to call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

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