Constant anxiety and peaked awareness are just two symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Late at night in his home Ted compulsively checks out his back door to keep watch over his surroundings.
Ted Lawyer stays up and watches television after his wife has gone to bed. While in Iraq, Ted said he slept an average of two to three hours a day. He continues to sleep less than he did before serving in the war.
Ted Lawyer is not only struggling with mental problems after serving in Iraq, but he is also coping with daily headaches, back, leg and neck pains. Here, he receives physical therapy at Colmery-O'Neil Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Topeka.
Ted has experienced flashbacks and blackouts while driving in Lawrence since returning from Iraq in 2006. There are certain stretches of road he refuses to drive on alone. He attributes the blackouts to his experience of being hit by an improvised explosive device while in Iraq.
Part of Ted Lawyer's reaction to post traumatic stress disorder is feeling uncomfortable in crowded situations. Here, in Wal-Mart, Ted backs against a wall in a less crowded area of the shopping center to avoid crowds. He is anxious about people approaching him from behind. "Since I'm not missing an arm or a leg or any appendage, they look at me as if I'm normal and acting weird," Lawyer said.