Love, War & PTSD: Peter & Anna Mohan
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually a soldier’s story. This pair of broadcasts tells, instead, the story of a couple. Originally aired on WFCR (New England) in May and December, 2007.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually a soldier’s story. This pair of broadcasts tells, instead, the story of a couple. Peter and Anna Mohan were just married when Peter left to serve in the Army in Iraq. The story of how they tried to save their relationship when Peter returned suffering from PTSD is a poignant and precise depiction of war’s effects on everyday life. As reporter/producer Karen Brown wrote to the Dart Center, “My final impression was that, if all the love and understanding that was present in the Mohan marriage wasn’t enough to overcome PTSD, then this is truly a devastating condition with broad, public-health ramifications.”
Part One: Marriage Suffers Under the Strain of PTSD
Reporter Karen Brown forgoes narration to let Anna and Peter Mohan's words tell the story of how their happy marriage has struggled since Peter returned from Iraq as a different person: “morose, withdrawn and, eventually, suicidal.” As the story ends, Peter is getting help for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but his future — and therefore their future — is uncertain.
Download or listen to part one:
Part Two: Divorce is Hidden Cost of Iraq War, Couple Says
Six months later, Peter and Anna are getting a divorce: an increasingly common story among returning combat veterans. They share their story with Karen Brown to show that “love and understanding are not enough to battle a clinical condition like PTSD.”
Download or listen to part two:
2008 Dart Award Final Judges
Gaiutra Bahadur, a 2008 Nieman Fellow at Harvard, was a newspaper reporter for many years. Most recently, she was The Philadelphia Inquirer's immigration reporter, covering the debate over illegal immigration and chronicling how immigrants are changing the United States and being changed by it. Bahadur was born in Guyana and came to the United States with her family at the age of six. Her essay about growing up immigrant in Jersey City appears in "Living on the Edge of the World," a Simon & Schuster literary anthology about New Jersey that was released in June 2007.
Bettina Edelstein has spent her entire adult working life in a newsroom. Currently assistant to the editor in the News Technology department of The New York Times, she is also co-host of the NYT Tech Talk podcast at nytimes.com. Since 1996, when she joined The New York Times, Edelstein has served as an editor on the Op-Ed page, the weekly City section and the Metro desk. Before that, she was an editor at The New York Observer and managing editor of The Litchfield County Times in Connecticut. A New Yorker who grew up in Miami Beach, she is a graduate of Yale University and did graduate work in sociology at New York University.
Susan Herman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Pace University. From 1997 to 2005, she served as the Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims. With more than 25 years of leadership experience in government, criminal justice, and social services, Herman is an internationally recognized spokesperson for victims of crime and a new vision of justice for victims, parallel justice. Previously, Herman served as Director of Community Services at The Enterprise Foundation, Director of the Domestic Violence Division of Victim Services (now Safe Horizon) in New York City, Special Counsel to the Police Commissioner of New York City, Director of Mediation Services at the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, as an attorney at the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, and as an instructor at New York University’s School of Law and NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.
Jim MacMillan is the Senior Photographer, a photo-columnist and a news video producer for the Philadelphia Daily News, where he has worked since 1991. On leave from the Daily News in 2004-2005, he was a photographer and photo editor for the Associated Press in Iraq, personally covering over 200 combat missions and at times managing the AP's photo reports and staff development in Baghdad. MacMillan won the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents, was included in the Associated Press photo team awarded the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography, and is the recipient of numerous additional awards. MacMillan was a 2006-2007 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, and a 2007 Ochberg Fellow with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. He has taught at photojournalism seminars at Tufts University, his alma mater, and undergraduate courses at Temple University, including a new course in journalism and trauma this semester.
Patricia A. Resick is the Director of the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD at the VA Boston Healthcare System. She is also a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Boston University. Dr. Resick received her Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Over her career, she also served on the faculties of the University of South Dakota, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has received grants from NIH, NIJ, CDC, SAMHSA, and VA to provide services and conduct research on the effects of traumatic events, particularly on women, and to develop and test therapeutic interventions for PTSD. In particular, she developed and tested cognitive processing therapy, an effective short-term treatment for PTSD and corollary symptoms. Dr. Resick has published four books and over 150 journal articles and book chapters. She has served on the editorial boards of eight scientific journals; was on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies for six years including terms as Secretary and Vice-President and is now President-Elect. She has been a Board Member for the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT) for two terms. Dr. Resick has received numerous awards for her research, including the Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in the Field of PTSD, from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Currently she is leading a national VA initiative to disseminate cognitive processing therapy throughout VHA.
Jake Shapiro is the founding executive director of Public Radio Exchange (PRX) a nonprofit web-based service for distribution, review, and licensing of radio programs. Since its launch in 2003 PRX has been a leading innovator in public broadcasting, pioneering new digital distribution models and social media applications. Prior to PRX, Shapiro was Associate Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, where remains a Fellow. He is a frequent speaker at media and technology events and is an advisor and consultant to a variety of public media organizations, media funders, and Internet startups. Shapiro serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Association of Independents in Radio, Open Source Media, the Integrated Media Association, and the Conversations Network.