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It has been a long time since a movie has generated the emotional response of American Sniper. This war drama picked up six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor and has set a new box office record – $90.2 million in its opening weekend. Many of these ticket buyers seem to have strong opinions about the film because it touches a raw nerve in the families and friends of military personnel who have experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).

The film tells the real-life tale of Chris Kyle (played by actor Bradley Cooper), who has been called the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.  Kyle was a Navy SEAL and served four tours in the Iraq War, received several commendations for valor and was credited with 160 confirmed kills. The action of American Sniper alternates between Kyle’s time in the field and his home life with wife Taya (played by actress Sienna Miller) and their two children. With tragic irony, Kyle was gunned down at a shooting range in his native homeland of Texas by Eddie Ray Routh, a Marine veteran allegedly suffering from PTSD.

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Controversy has become the back-story on American Sniper. Film producer Michael Moore and actor Seth Rogen have used social media to vilify the movie, the director of the movie (Clint Eastwood) and the late Chris Kyle. However, for every critic there are many Americans, including Medal of Honor winner, Dakota Meyer, who view the film as an accurate depiction and Mr. Kyle as a hero.

This real-life story and riveting movie raise many questions including: “what can be done to prevent the debilitating effects of PTSD among the men and women who protect our country from harm?’’ The specialists in hormone replacement therapy at BioTE Medical® deal with PTSD daily and have insights about how this condition can be mitigated. More on this later.

 

First, here’s a brief look at American Sniper.

 What is PTSD?

Many medical experts feel Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been around for hundreds of thousands of years. Evolution, which encourages the “survival of the fittest,” has ensured the “fight or flight” response has been hardwired in the psyche of every human being.

When traumatized or severely frightened, the human body releases adrenaline, increasing blood pressure, heart rate, and increasing glucose to the muscles. Humans run faster and fight harder when in this state. However, this stress response is supposed to shut down when this danger has ceased and this usually occurs with the release of the hormone cortisol. If there is not enough cortisol in the body, the traumatized individual will continue to feel the effects of the adrenaline rush. This leads to PTSD.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, “During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or think that you have no control over what is happening.”

The agency also notes, “Going through trauma is not rare. About 6 of every 10 (or 60%) men and 5 of every 10 (or 50%) women experience at least one traumatic event in their lives. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and sexual abuse in childhood. Men are more likely to experience accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or to witness death or injury.

  •  About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
  •  About 5.2 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have actually gone through a traumatic life event.

Can Balancing Hormones Positively Affect PTSD?

It seems logical that if hormones cause the “fight or flight” syndrome, balancing these hormones can help victims of PTSD “smooth out” this jagged psychological condition. The founder and medical director of BioTE Medical®Dr. Gary S. Donovitz agrees with this premise and has other thoughts about American Sniper and PTSD.

Click here for the medical reasons for using hormone replacement therapy for treating PTSD.

Bradley Cooper Speaks Out on American Sniper

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In an interview with The Daily Beast, Oscar-nominated star, Bradley Cooper, expressed his opinion about the movie and the effects of PTSD.

“For me, and for Clint, this movie was always a character study about what the plight is for a soldier,” said Cooper. “I can’t control how people are gonna use this movie as a tool, or what they pick and choose whatever they want. But it would be short-changing, I think.”

“If it’s not this movie, I hope to God another movie will come out where it will shed light on the fact of what servicemen and women have to go through, and that we need to pay attention to our vets. It doesn’t go any farther than that. It’s not a political discussion about war, even…It’s a discussion about the reality. And the reality is that people are coming home, and we have to take care of them.”

If you or a loved one is experiencing the terror of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, there is hope. Please contact your physician or CLICK HERE for a medical analysis of your hormone levels.