PARKVILLE, MO (KCTV) – A new blood test might help detect PTSD in veterans and first responders earlier, the test also eliminates one of the reasons PTSD often goes undetected.
At Warrior’s Ascent, a Kansas City nonprofit organization geared towards helping veterans, and first responders suffering from PTSD, there is a leap of faith, forty feet up and forty feet down. The jump is just one of many activities in a week, long mental health session.
“When they come in on Monday, you see they’re depressed, you see the anxiety, you see the guilt, the shame you see, all those burdens they’ve been caring with themselves for years," Kerry Steuart, an instructor a Warriors’ Ascent said.
Before the guys even had a chance to take the leap of faith, they first had to seek help. Which people at the VFW say doesn’t happen as much as it should.
“It’s kind of generational, the older veterans tend to kind of shy away from asking for what they call handouts, which it’s not necessarily a handout, it’s an entitlement,” Ron Cherry, supervisor at the National Veteran Service Officer said.
Meanwhile, younger veterans tend to get help more often, but many don’t, which is the reason according to a Wall Street Journal article, that medical experts are getting close to developing a blood test that will detect PTSD, this is based on studies that show the body changes on the molecular level for those exposed to trauma, such as war.
“If it’s clear cut, you have this PTSD and this blood test shows that it probably helps in the treatment,” Jeff Miner, a performance coach and counselor, said.
The test would be a part of a mandatory screening for all troops who return from combat, and if the test comes back positive, they would be sent to a clinician for an in-depth assessment.
“In my mind a lot of times, if people are willing, the sooner you can deal with PTSD the better,” Miner said.