Heroes in Pain

August 9, 2012
Explosions, gunfire, violent death — these horrific images and sounds are the reality for soldiers on the front lines, fighting for our freedom. But what happens when that horror follows them home, making them feel like a stranger in the life they left behind, and often unrecognizable to family and friends? Dr. Phil delves into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how it can destroy families, dismantle marriages and leave its victims reliving a nightmare. You don’t have to be a soldier at war to suffer from PTSD — if you’ve survived a traumatic event, tune in!

Soldiers and PTSD: Recognizing the Need for Help. Read Dr. Phil's thoughts and join the discussion!




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BethMattMatt, with his girlfriend, Katie, and 3-year-old daughterMattJoaniDr. Frank LawlisMeganMarkHeather

"Our Own Private War"

Beth says since her son, Matt, returned from Iraq, he is no longer the fun-loving and respectful son she knew, but is instead a man with a faraway, dark look on his face, a short fuse and a temper that scares everyone around him. Matt says he’s haunted by the things he saw and had to do while at war but says he wishes he could go back, because struggling to cope with his rage in civilian life is far worse. He admits he’s turned to prescription pills to numb his pain and illegal activities to feel an adrenaline rush. Can Dr. Phil help Matt reclaim his place as a loving partner to his girlfriend and father to his 3-year-old daughter?

Beth says she doesn’t recognize the person her son, Matt, has become since he's returned from active duty. 

Matt says to fully grasp the day-to-day torture he currently lives with, you must understand the evil he’s had to endure.


Matt describes how hard it is to get a grasp on civilian life.

Dr. Phil addresses Matt’s feelings of being a burden to his family and offers him help.

Survivor's Guilt

Mark says his life has been destroyed by his PTSD, and if he can’t get it under control, he’s afraid of what he may do to himself and the people he loves most.

Megan says since her husband, Mark, returned from war, he has violent rages that make her fear for her life.

Learn why Mark has survivor’s guilt and believes he’s the reason why his friend died.




"I Was Sure That This Was the Day I Was Going to Die"

Heather made national headlines when her Army Sergeant husband, Duane, beat her and set her on fire. Was PTSD to blame? In a Dr. Phil exclusive, Heather shares why her nightmare is far from over. And, Dr. Frank Lawlis, chairman of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board and author of The PTSD Breakthrough, shares new treatment options for PTSD recovery.

Did Heather see any signs beforehand of what her husband was going to do?

Dr. Phil offers help to his guests and hope to PTSD sufferers and their families.


For a free MP3 download of Dr. Lawlis' PTSD Program Retraining Your Thoughts, click here!