9/17/2011--Orting, WA, USA..Rob Hagerman, 43, from Portland, OR, an army veteran spends a day learning fly fishing at Bill's Fly Fishing Hole in Orting. WASH., about an hour's drive from Seattle. Hagerman is currently an inpatient at the VA's hospital in Seattle suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)...Healing Waters is a national nonprofit organization, founded to help disabled active-duty personnel and veterans by helping them, at no cost, to relearn fine motor skills and connect with other veterans, simply by learning the art of fly-fishing. It's an example of the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that is going into battling the devastating psychological effects of war. Some Healing Waters participants are in wheelchairs, missing limbs or just struggling with the transition to civilian life. Some suffer from PTSD, a condition that many say is like reliving hell. ..PTSD is an anxiety disorder brought on by a traumatic, life-threatening event. It is prevalent among combat veterans, but can also be experienced by civilians, including survivors of assault, rape, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and even extreme car accidents. Experts sometimes refer to it as the "signature wound" of our current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, although statistics on the number of soldiers with PTSD remain vague. Studies report that it can occur in anywhere between 5 and 35 percent of soldiers returning from combat - or "theater" as it is referred to in the military. In 2010, 171,423 deployed Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were diagnosed with PTSD, out of 593,634 patients treated by the VA--nearly one-third of them. And it's likely that diagnoses will continue to increase due to current soldiers experiencing multiple deployments--and thus, potentially longer exposure to trauma....©2011 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.