Last Modified: Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 5:55 p.m.
Sarah Paterson, Piner High Class of 2000, served with the Army in Iraq and suffered internal torments she didn’t talk much about before now.
Sarah, barely 30, has begun to tell the world about the dark days of her struggle with post-traumatic stress. She’s doing it because she can’t bear to hear about all the fellow soldiers and veterans who are
Only days ago, Sarah and a fellow vet she served with in Iraq posted their personal stories of mental distress on a website they call Shedding the Stigma (sheddingthestigma.com).
Sarah said it’s their hope that if
active GIs and vets will begin to speak more freely about stress, depression and thoughts of self-destruction, “perhaps we can slowly strip away the stigma surrounding mental health issues, people will get the help they need and we will see a decline in suicide.”
Today, Sarah is the civilian executive officer to an Army intelligence program at the Pentagon. She
recounts in her online story that her rage showed itself one day in a chow hall when she discovered there were no more Honey Nut Cheerios:
A fire burned inside me unlike anything I had ever felt. I wanted to scream, punch something or someone, to push over the bin of cereals. It was an anger that I had never felt. It took everything inside of me not go crazy right then and there. It was my breaking point.
She told how she came to learn that the problem was not the unavailability of her favorite breakfast cereal.