Documentary shows how veterans fight PTSD with wrestling

Posted at 8:41 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 23:46:29-05

Three veterans are sharing their struggles with PTSD in a new documentary called "Valhalla Club-The Documentary."

The film shows how three Army veterans, Jan Ohrstrom, John Brazier and Eddie Wittern, who served in Iraq, are using wrestling to deal with their post-traumatic stress disorder.

"We saw a lot of horrible things. A lot of horrible things. and that's stuff that sticks with you. And it's not easy to go away," Ohrstrom said.

Ohrstrom served in the Army for four years. He enlisted after 9/11 and went to Iraq for 13 months. He said he will never forget his time in Iraq. When he got back, he said adjusting wasn't easy.

"I really hit a point where it seemed like nothing I was doing was panning out and I saw I was in a very toxic self-destructive cycle," Ohrstrom said.

Before he joined the Army, he was a professional wrestler. After getting out of the Army and suffering from PTSD, he turned back to wrestling for comfort and it seemed to work.

""I found it was a pretty healthy cycle. I was drinking a lot less, I was eating a lot healthier, I was using the weights as a physical exertion for these demons," Ohrstrom said.

In the film, Brazier and Wittern said wrestling helped them cope with PTSD, too.

"If it wasn't for wrestling, I wouldn't have my kids I wouldn't have my wife. I met my wife wrestling. So wrestling is life to me, you know. It's given me life," Brazier said.

The film debuted Thursday night at the Waco Hippodrome.

Nearly 100 people attended the premiere.

Ohrstrom, Brazier and Wittern said they hope others will see the film and learn there is hope and a second chance at life for those dealing with PTSD.

If you suffer from PTSD and need help, call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or click here.

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