BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - In 2009, Matthew Bein was serving his third tour of duty as a Marine in Afghanistan. In 2005, he'd been deployed to Iraq. That's when PTSD symptoms first started showing. Bein suffered from aggression and anxiety. When he was finally officially diagnosed, he admits there was a little bit of denial.
"Several friends and comrades, some were mortally wounded and some were injured there and it began to take a whole lot of a bigger hold on everything. Being a marine, you don't want anything to make you seem weak or anything like that," said Bein.
Bein knew he needed help, and although it was hard, he reached out for it. He's not alone.
"About one in five veterans who come back from the post 9/11 era are in fact diagnosed with and treated for PTSD," said Gabrielle Metz, Psychotherapist with Birmingham VA's PTSD Therapy Team.
Metz says the signs of PTSD can range from re-experiencing traumatic events to having nightmares, avoiding family or major changes in mood.
"Help is here. Help is available and it can get better. As cliche as that is, we see that everyday here," said Metz.
Bein says he's definitely better as a result of his six years of treatment. He urges others who are struggling to reach out, and says that is being strong.
"You can't take that weight on your own. Just like over there, we weren't going to let them kills us there, so we're not going to let anyone kill us here, even ourselves," said Bein.