Veteran Seth Kastle served overseas in the U.S. Army for 16 years. Like many vets, he struggled with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder when he came home. He spent years searching for ways to get help, and eventually found a therapy method that improved his life significantly. But one thing in particular was very difficult for him—talking to his young daughter about PTSD.
As Upworthy reports, “PTSD resources to help you broach the topic with kids were lacking online. So, one day, Seth came home from a bad day at work, sat down, and wrote a story about his experience with PTSD in 30 minutes.”
Kastle didn’t plan to do anything with the story, but when a friend of his published a book, he was inspired to expand on his writing, which ultimately became a children’s book titled Why Is Dad So Mad?
“There’s a section in the book,” Kastle told Upworthy, “where I describe the anger and things associated with PTSD as a fire inside my chest. After I first read the book to my daughter, I remember her saying, ‘I’m sorry you have a fire in your chest now, Dad.’ She was four at the time. That’s something I’m always going to remember.”
The book has become incredibly popular among veterans who want to teach their children about the effects of war. Kastle even wrote another version, Why Is Mom So Mad? with his wife, a fellow vet.
“There’s a stigma associated with PTSD,” he says, “and a lot of it is the warrior culture and masculinity that you need to be able to handle this. And if you can’t, it’s because you’re weak.”
Kastle hopes that families talking about PTSD more openly will lessen the taboo around the subject.
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Featured image via NBC News