ALBANY, N.Y. -- As
information about Aaron Alexis, accused in a shooting rampage at the
Washington Navy Yard, is released to the public, some are questioning if his reported
fits of anger may be the result of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Veterans like Mike Pascal have seen firsthand the
effects of war and knows how hard it is to jump back into normal life after
such a shock.
"Pretty difficult, I think that right now with the
rotation system with young people going off to Afghanistan, going away and
coming back and then going back," he said.
Pascal is the State Commander of Veterans of Foreign
Wars for the state and a former Vietnam veteran who works daily with war
veterans. He says he has seen his share of people who suffer from PTSD.
"I see PTSD as something that would instill
fear in someone, them reliving a nightmare that took place in their life."
VA Chief of Psychology Annette Payne agrees saying PTSD
symptoms are typical depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping and hopelessness.
She says it doesn't often cause fits of anger, however, in some cases
it may develop into that.
"Lots of things can contribute to anger; PTSD
might be one, even things like depression and anxiety. I wouldn't say PTSD has
a piece to that problem but it may be part of it," she said.
The shooting was the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
Law enforcement officials say gunman Aaron Alexis
carried two weapons at the Navy Yard: a
shotgun and a handgun he took from an officer at the scene.