NBC News: Former Democratic rising star and Afghanistan War veteran speaks out for first time about PTSD treatment
June 13, 2019
By Corky Siemaszko, NBC News
When night fell and everybody else in the house was asleep, Jason Kander went on patrol.
Tormented by nightmares about intruders breaking in and kidnapping his wife and his son, the Afghanistan War veteran and one-time rising Democratic Party star would rise from his bed and keep watch over his home.
“I went almost 12 years without a good night’s sleep,” Kander said in an exclusive interview Wednesday with NBC News’ Lester Holt. “I’d get up in the middle of the night and I’d sort of patrol my house, ‘cause I was convinced someone was trying to break in.”
In his first interview since he shocked the country last October by suddenly pulling out of the race for Kansas City mayor and revealing that he was being treated for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, Kander called PTSD a “monster” that sabotages sufferers into torturing themselves.
“One of the things about the monster is the monster convinces you that you haven’t earned the right to have it,” he said, referring to PTSD. “So, I spent about 12 years explaining away all the reasons why this all must be attributable to something else — and then feeling shame because I was just that way.”
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