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PTSD Sufferers Have Options

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Experts urged people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to seek help for their condition, and friends of a man shot and killed by police said they wished he had sought more of that kind of help.

Sunday, 52-year-old Stephen McMilon fired a shotgun at a police officer, and officers returned fire, killing him. Friends and neighbors said McMilon was a Gulf War veteran who suffered from PTSD, and who would go into a paranoid, “code red” mode when he was off his medication.

Jackson County Mental Health said PTSD is one of the most common conditions they treat, and said it can affect people from all walks of life. People with PTSD can suffer from flashbacks to a traumatic event, can become paranoid, and can cause physical agitation as well.

“We’re really looking at stress responses that are continuing months after a traumatic event has occurred,” said Rick Rawlins with Jackson County Mental Health.

The most important thing for people with PTSD is to seek help. Rawlins said medication and therapy are some of the options available. Jackson County also has a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline at 541-774-8201.