ROCHESTER - Kathie Costos of Rochester has devoted much of her life to the study of PTSD, including its far-less diagnosed forms that follow traumatic episodes outside the battlefield.
During a ribbon cutting for her two new books on Thursday Costos explained that her first brush with PTSD occurred at the age of 5 when she was seriously hurt in an accident, but was sent home by medical professionals who told her to just "get some sleep" when she had actually suffered a fractured skull and concussion.
"A doctor later told me I should have died twice that night," she said.
But she didn't really realize the study of PTSD would be her life's avocation until she got married to a Vietnam veteran who suffered from PTSD.
She asked her dad, a Korean War veteran, for advice and he simply called it "shell shock," an earlier explanation of the condition common prior to the Vietnam era.
"That was in 1982," she said, "and I began spending as much time as I could at the library to learn more about it."
Now she maintains two websites devoted to PTSD and has recently written two books on the subject.
"I had the websites, but I was searching for a new medium dealing with PTSD, and I was praying for an answer," said Costos, a chaplain.
She said she got her answer in August and produced the two new books in time to be published by November.
She said her first book, The Lost Son, is the story of a reporter whose best friend joins the army.
After 9/11 the reporter decides he wants to go cover the battlefield where his friend serves to be near him.
Soon after the reporter arrives he is wounded in a bomb blast and returns home with devastating injuries.
"Seven years later, he's sitting in a bar contemplating suicide when his best friend comes whom he hadn't seen since the bomb blast and that begins his healing," said Costos, who added that the second book, Alive Again, is a continuation of the restorative process.
"Peer support is great for PTSD, but you also have to find inspiration," she said. "All the characters in my books had their lives destroyed, but someone comes into their life to help."
The books are available on Amazon and at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce offices on South Main Street.
Costos' PTSD websites include http://www.woundedtimes.org/ and https://ptsdpatrol.com/
She also has a youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqybY4IZKLYDfZRRW_89s4w
Here Amazon link for book purchase is https://www.amazon.com/Books-Kathie-Costos/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3AKathie+Costos