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PTSD

Picture of Trangdai Glassey-Tranguyen

For months, Thuy Thanh Nguyen could not sleep. The refugee from the Vietnam War and a communist gulag would cry for hours, snap at her husband and children, and throw things at them.

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Having people open up about atrocities that would make a normal person blanch can be difficult under any circumstance. Hearing the stories in translation underscores the complexities of understanding the effects of trauma on people from utterly different cultures. 

Picture of Greg Mellen

As Cambodian-Americans and children of refugees, Sin and Em carry a difficult legacy. Their families display many classic symptoms of PTSD.

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Day or night Sam Keo would be visited by his late mother and dead baby brother. Problem is, it was more than 15 years since Keo's brother had died at the age of 3 from malnutrition and eight years since his mom had died of ovarian cancer. 
Picture of Greg Mellen

Arun Va was a young man at the time and recruited by a Khmer Rouge cadre leader to accompany him and four women to travel to the lake. Today he almost shudders when he realized how narrowly he escaped becoming a killer.

Picture of Greg Mellen

Sath Om is the lone survivor. But each night she says they come to her: the spirits of her family asking for her help asking for justice.

Picture of Greg Mellen

For many refugees of the Cambodian genocide, the horrors didn't end when the shooting stopped. Nor did they end when the immigrants came to the United States in search of new lives.

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Nearly 40 years later, Cambodian refugees who can bear telling their stories recall atrocities in vivid detail, with an immediacy that is palpable.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Fracking's health dangers, a Supreme Court health reform video primer, cancer prevention and daily aspirin, and more from our Top 5 Today.

Picture of Lindsey McCormack

Developmental trauma disorder is based on the theory that early childhood experiences literally shape the brain—and therefore the mind, behavior and personality of children into adulthood. Will the field of psychiatry recognize developmental trauma as a legitimate diagnosis?

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