Today On Dr Oz Officer Frank Chiafari speaks out about the horror he witnessed during the February 2009 chimpanzee attack that left its victim mangled and disfigured. Chiafari struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, after being face to face with the 200 pound chimpanzee and having to shoot him, and the nightmares afterwards of fangs coming after him - an anxiety disorder marked by intrusive thoughts and periods of sadness, anger or depression that people can develop after experiencing a life-threatening experience.
Officer Chiafari said he was sitting at the coffee shop when the call came in that a monkey was attacking someone. The 911 dispatcher told him to get there as soon as possible something wasn't right. When Officer Frank Chiafari drives up the long driveway he see's the chimp in a frenzy, and he saw something but didn't know it was a human being. The Chimp Travis was then bashing at the vehicle window trying to get at Officer Chiafari and once he the chimp got the car door open Officer Frank Chiafari shot him several times, and as he is shooting him the chimp is still coming at him, then screams and runs off.
As Dr oz shows us this video of Officer Chiafari arriving on the scene, he stayed backstage and couldn't watch it and said he doesn't feel the need to ever see it again.
Dr Oz Officer Frank Chiafari Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSDOfficer Frank Chiafari told Dr Oz he feels he has got to a point that he is healed, and by telling his story he can help someone else going through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).
He thought he was fine and everything was ok but in the next few days he started feeling weird he said and then he crashed. Over the next few months is when the bad dreams began of woman without a face running around and then the face of the chimp coming at him and couldn't get the image of giant fangs coming at him.
Officer Frank Chiafari went through periods of depression, not wanting to get out of bed, go through periods of sadness, anger.
Officer Chifari said you need to care of yourself - YOU WILL HEAL! Do what it takes to get there. Frank focused on family and hobbies to get him through and therapy.
Listen to the call 911 received about Travis the Chimp who ripped his owners friends face off. Her lifeless body left unrecognizable, face and hands shredded by the chimpanzee. When Officer Chiafari arrived he thought for sure Nash would be dead, until he heard a cry and seen what was left of her arm reach out to him. The chimp then turned on Chiafari opening the car to his squad car attacking him. With out any options Chiafari open fire on the chimpanzee.
9 months later a severely disfigured Charla Nash made a courageous appearance on Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah asks Charla "when you cam to fully understand what had happened to you were you able to comprehend it at all." Carla responded with "I don't know when I really understood all of that because I don't ask a lot about my injuries. I am the same person I've always been I just look different. There are things that happen life that you can't change.
DR OZ HOW TO RECOGNIZE POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Dr Oz Post-traumatic stress; PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs after someone experiences or witnesses a trauma, usually involving injury or death, with the event causing an initial reaction of fear, helplessness or horror. Later on, the person dwells on the scary occurrence to the point where they can’t get it out of their mind, resulting in symptoms of numbness, avoidance and hyperawareness.
Dr. Sue Varma, a psychiatrist and director of the World Trade Center Mental Health Program says “A lot of people with PTSD say, ‘I feel like a shell of a person, numb, distant, cut off and detached, not only from my own emotions, but from the world around me.”
Dr Oz And Dr. Sue Varma Symptoms Of PTSD
The development of PTSD symptoms varies; signs can appear within as little as a few days after the experience, or not until months, even years, later. PTSD causes the person to re-experience the trauma in a variety of possible ways, such as flashbacks, bad dreams or hallucinations. Additionally the person usually feels detached or numb and avoids thoughts and situations associated with the event.
1. Flashbacks or bad dreams
2. Emotional numbness, detachment
3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Outbursts of anger or irritability
7. Intense guilt or worry
8. Feelings of helplessness or worthlessness
9. Sense of a foreshortened future/not long to live
Dr. Sue Varma says to be diagnosed with PTSD, symptoms must be present for at least one month.
PTSD Treatment Options
Psychotherapy and/or medications such as antidepressants are used to treat PTSD. The right combination of treatment, along with the support of family and friends, creates the most optimal chance for recovery from PTSD. Contact your doctor or a mental health care provider, if you think you or someone you love could have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Watch the Charla Nash Oprah Interview, Chimpanzee Attack Exclusive: First responder Frank Chiafari on Dr Oz Today!