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Local counselor talks about the link between PTSD and domestic violence

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Shane Kirk, the Duncan man accused of killing his wife and stepfather last week, is due in court in February for a preliminary hearing.

According to court records, on the day of the shooting, Kirk showed up in the emergency room saying he and his son were being poisoned. His wife, Jessica Kirk, told staff her husband had been diagnosed with PTSD. Hours later, police rushed to the family's home, where they found Jessica Kirk and her father-in-law, shot to death.

Dr. Jacklyn McNeil has more than 13 years of experience counseling people with the condition. She said preventing someone from becoming angry or violent depends on how fast you get them help.

"It's extremely vital. You've got to get people help when when it becomes that severe, when you start to see the anger. You know when you see the paranoia when you start to see the anger when you start to see the violent kinds of actions," said McNeil.

McNeil said the condition is most commonly associated with military service members. But it can also affect anyone who has experienced a life threatening event.

"It can be anything from seeing a car accident to experiencing life as a first responder. Experiencing sexual abuse and experiencing physical abuse verbal abuse. Sexual trauma. So it can be so many different things that can cause the PTSD symptom," said McNeil.

Some of the symptoms are flashbacks, nightmares or negative thoughts.

"You feel like people are watching you, if you get in a crowd you feel like everybody's just pressing in on you. So you just have a real heightened sense of a jitteriness, a sense that people are focusing in on you and so you try to get away from that," said McNeil.

When it comes to getting help, there are several options. One of them is psychotherapy.

"A therapist will take that person through the tragedy and help them to help experience that tragedy so it loses power over their lives so that experience is no longer controlling them," said McNeil.

Another option is cognitive behavioral therapy where therapists will change a persons thought patterns from negative to positive.

No matter the treatment, McNeil said it's important to get people help right away. 

"Because at that point they may no longer be responsible for their own actions because they may not be cognizant or really be able to make the decision to get it for themselves," said McNeil.

If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD it is important to seek help from your doctor or therapist. They can help you decide what treatment are best for you.

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