Minn. Doctors: PTSD Also Affects Children of Soldiers

Updated: 06/21/2013 6:34 PM KSTP.com By: Josh Rosenthal

Photo: MGN Online
Photo: MGN Online

If you heard the sound of glass breaking, what would be your initial reaction?

Whatever it is, chances are your reaction would be more reserved than Carmen Gutterman's.

"I have this incredible rush of adrenaline and fear. Absolute fear," she described.

Gutterman's dad would have responded the same way. At least that's how he usually responded in the mid-1950's, when he came back from fighting in the Korean War with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

"Watching him beat my mother and also really really beat my brother, that was unbelievable punishment," reflected Gutterman. "I mean unbelievable." She is one of an unknown number of people who've developed PTSD symptoms and triggers similar to their parents'.

"I don't think we measure that," explained Dr. Deirdre Golden, the director of behavioral health at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center in Minneapolis. "In fact, there's not a lot of measurement that goes on studying PTSD in children, period."

Golden estimates that overall, PTSD affects more than seven-million American adults.
"It's a lot more cases out there than we are aware of," she said.

That's why Gutterman is speaking out. She's actually a psychologist who treats children with PTSD, and those children weren't in on the secret until now.

"I care about what happens to them," Gutterman said. "I want them to have the happy ending, and I tell them that."

June is PTSD Awareness Month. Here is more information about the disorder: