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Living a nightmare: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Matthew Denholm is accused of a double shooting that killed 25-year-old Zachary Flower and injured his roommate, Kevin Price. The pair was shot inside their Berea apartment on Monday Morning.

In a domestic violence petition from last May, Denholm's wife alleges her husband came home drunk and tried to choke her while she nursed their baby. It also says he threatened to break her jawbone and pushed his knee into the baby's back.

Denholm's wife asked the court that he complete a drug or alcohol treatment program through the VA. She also wanted her husband, an Army veteran, to be treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

NEWSFIRST talked to a Lexington expert on the symptoms of PTSD and the help that's available.

"It can trigger substance abuse," says Cynthia Dunn, coordinator of the Lexington VA's PTSD team. "It can trigger lots of relationship problems."

Symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, feeling numb, becoming depressed, feeling irritated and having a hard time relating or getting along with family. Those symptoms can lead to harmful acts.

Dunn says treatment starts with education. Confronting painful memories is also part of treatment.

"You don't want to avoid things that serve as reminders because when people do that, their life starts getting very narrow."

Dunn says for those suffering from PTSD it's not rehabilitation. It's recovery from traumatic events they've witnessed and lived and there's help available.

If you live in Kentucky, there's a hotline you can call to get help for PTSD. It is 1-800-273-TALK

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