Long Road Home - episode: 250028

When Tony Canzonieri returned from his tour of duty in Iraq, he struggled with nightmares, flashbacks, and drug and alcohol abuse. His marriage fell apart. He lost his job and home. He contemplated suicide. Canzonieri's life only changed — and his healing began — when he acknowledged his symptoms and received a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Now, Canzonieri helps other veterans deal with the problems he once faced. A 2008 RAND Corp. study estimated that nearly 20 percent of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reported symptoms of PTSD or major depression, yet only about half sought treatment. Many fear the side effects of medication, jeopardizing their careers and the perceived stigma of asking for help. Exploring the impact of wartime PTSD, LONG ROAD HOME offers compelling stories of Pittsburgh-area military veterans of Vietnam, Korea and World War II who are still coming to terms with the emotional wounds of war. Profiles include a former marine who spent three years fighting in the South Pacific and who recently signed up for his first group counseling session — 50 years after his service. The film, produced by the same team behind the award-winning APT Exchange documentary Losing Lambert: A Journey Through Survival and Hope, explores successful therapies and documents the promising research underway at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. There, doctors study the sleep and brain patterns of PTSD sufferers and examine the reasons why women are twice as likely as men to develop the disorder. The program concludes on a hopeful note, with a visit to a weekend retreat, led by Canzonieri, for veterans dealing with PTSD and combat stress. United by their experiences, the former servicemen and women discuss their feelings, their struggles in civilian life, their need for closure and their optimism for the future.
58 minutes 46 seconds
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