Jun 2, 2019 - Politics & Policy

2020 candidate Seth Moulton opens up about living with PTSD

In a CNN interview on Sunday, 2020 candidate Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) went into a detailed discussion on living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after he served four tours in the Iraq War.

What he's saying: Moulton said his PTSD involves experiencing survivor's guilt and the fallout from taking a life. He described living with the guilt of leaving a wounded 5-year-old Iraqi boy in the road after his family was killed in a strike on what were assessed to be enemy troops by other U.S. Marines. "I'll remember his face until the day that I die," Moulton said.

Why it matters: Moulton said he hadn't previously discussed details of his PTSD out of fear of "the political consequences" as a 2020 presidential candidate. He has released a military mental health plan as part of his campaign.

Highlights from the interview:

"My story is one of success because I got help for it. I decided to talk to someone, to see a therapist. And now those issues are under control, now I control when I want to think about these things. They're still very emotional, they'll stay with me for the rest of my life, but I have a handle on them."
"There was a time when I got back from the war when I couldn't get through a day without thinking about that 5-year-old boy, and leaving him in the middle of the road. And that's why I decided to talk to someone and get help. And I'll remember his face until the day that I die. But at least I can control when I think about it, when I think about him."

Go deeper: Seth Moulton on the issues, in under 500 words

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