After Thousand Oaks shooting, VA doctor says rare for PTSD sufferers to be violent


    DAYTON -- The Thousand Oaks shooter who killed 12 people was a former Marine who may have been suffering from PTSD or posttraumatic stress disorder.'

    It is a condition we hear a lot about but that doesn't mean everyone who suffers from it will become violent.

    In fact, doctors said it is rare.

    Eight out of every 100 veterans has PTSD.

    We talked to a doctor at the Veterans Administration who treats veterans with that disorder.

    He would not comment on any aspect of the Thousand Oaks shooting but said anyone out there suffering should know there is help.

    "I've never suffered from it but I know people that have and it's a terrible thing to go through," said former Marine Katie Burns.

    Katie Burns was talking about post traumatic stress disorder.

    She's a former Marine just like the man accused of killing 12 people in Thousand Oaks, California .

    "It's very sad, not only for him but his family and the families that have lost somebody now," said Burns.

    Police said Ian David Long may have suffered from PTSD.

    "Maybe he never sought the help that he needed but it could have been prevented," said Burns.

    "PTSD affects people very differently it really is dependent on on what your specific experiences were," said Dr. David Baum.

    Doctors David Baum is a clinical psychologist at the Dayton V.A.

    He said the main symptom of PTSD is avoidance

    "The thing that keeps that fear, anxiety and that PTSD process going essentially is avoiding certain aspects of living," said Baum.

    Baum said people with PTSD become isolated, are afraid to leave their home become cut off.

    "What ends up happening it makes their illness worse over time," said Baum.

    He said it's rare someone with PTSD will become violent.

    "Most people have the disorder and don't leave their homes, it's fairly rare they'll go out and do things or be harmful to others," said Baum.

    Baum said the V.A. is able to help veterans with PTSD.

    "We are extraordinarily well equipped to help people who have problems or having thoughts about harming themselves or harming somebody else to help them

    manage their symptoms so that they can live a successful, productive life," said Baum.

    The V.A. clinic offers psychotherapy for veterans with PTSD plus medication management with psychiatry.

    Baum believes very few veterans are a danger to society.

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