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You never know when tragedy will strike. What seemed like a normal Saturday afternoon for several hundred people ended in a horrific accident that made national headlines. Travis was severely injured at the recent California 200 truck race, where one driver took a jump at a high speed and plowed through the audience, killing eight people and injuring more than 40. Travis broke his neck in three places as well as five ribs. Now he’s worried that his 13-year-old son, Jakob, who witnessed the gruesome scene, is still haunted by those memories. Will a unique form of therapy help the teen open up about his pain? Then, Keith, who was also at the race, says he’s struggling with anger because his good friend, Brian, was killed, and he believes the driver acted irresponsibly. Plus, Derek says he struggles with guilt because his friend, Andrew, lost his life pushing Derek’s 7-year-old son out of the way of the oncoming truck. Dr. Phil explains how these guests, and anyone else who may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, can cope.

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: penpusher on Aug 14, 2014, 9:09AM
Each time i see it i cried for the people who were watching this.  What a horrible thing to have happened and so very unnecessary. Brett Sloppy was very irrisponsible driving so fast through that crowd.  He also posted only a vague apology on his facebook page and has pictures of nothing but these races and trucks and looks even like pictures of the truck he was driving that day.  if i had done such a thing i'd not be able to be involved in races again but he continues.  he doesnt seem like he ever really felt bad. i dont blame the people who threw rocks at him on his way out from the accident. i do hope he has to pay that nearly 6 million dollar settlement and even more.  he should be in jail for life if you ask me.
 
Replied By: czech_chic on Dec 1, 2010, 11:28AM
Is anyone even posting on this topic anymore?

I just don't know yet how to get past this, but at the end of the show, it meant so much to me that Dr. Lawlis talked about delayed-reaction PTSD. 

In 1991, I fell in an auditorium (during a live performance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Show!) while walking my then 4-year-oldson back from the restrooms in the back of the auditorium, and downhill to our seats in the 2nd row.  It was pitch dark, and there were steps and platforms from back to front, as in any auditorium.  I don't remember falling, but my son does, as I had him by the hand.  He gave me an excellent report of what happened.  I had tripped on a dark step and fell, taking him down with me, but he was not hurt.  He said a man sitting on the end of the row helped me up, I thanked him, took my son back to his seat with his older brother, and I went back to the ladies' room to clean up.  Apparently I had a bloody face, but I was knocked out during all this and had no memory of falling.  I remember coming to, just for a few seconds, seeing myself in the bathroom mirror with a wet paper towel, wiping my face, and thinking "Wow, I'm a mess!"  The next thing I remember was a nice lady trying to get me to sit down in a chair in the back of the auditorium.  Since I had only been a military wife for 5 years, this was my 1st emergency, and my husband had always told me that if I needed an ambulance for any reason, to remember to get a military one, and to tell them to take me to Brooks Army Medical Center (In San Antonio, TX) to save money from going to a civilian hospital.  In the meantime, the lady helping me was saying that it looked like I had broken my wrist.  I looked at it and said "Uh-huh," as it now had an L-shaped joint instead of a straight one (no pain - yet.)  I asked her about my boys, and she said they were watching the show until the ambulance came. (!)  I told her I needed a military ambulance, and she said I had already told her that, she had called my husband and his dad, the boys would be brought to me when the ambulance got here, and everything was fine.  * I do not remember telling her any of any of that!* 

So after getting my wrist set and going home, I really didn't give the bump on my forehead a second thought, but I wish someone had, as it still effects my life now, 19 years later.  A few months after this event, I started having trouble walking, subtly for a long time, but I remember having to think VERY hard to make my legs move to take a simple step.  Then I began falling.  And when I did, first my body would stiffen up as if I were paralyzed, I'd usually fall face-first (and that REALLY hurts, whether on carpet, gravel, or concrete), then I could move again.  It became very hard to step off a simple curb just a few inches high, or going up and down steps; then just walking across a room with nothing to hold onto, so I "cruised" around the edges of the room, holding onto the furniture to get where I was going.  All this didn't set very well with my family, as I had been diagnosed a few years earlier with clinical depression, and they clearly acted like they didn't believe what I said I was going through, so I could only talk about it with my psychiatrist.  He suggested I wear a motorcycle helmut all day.

My pshychiatrist sent me to the hospital for tests, but I had panic attacks with some of them, which was very unlike me, so I was sent home and my psychiatrist was told that "I must be just afraid to walk, or didn't want to anymore."  He had a fit!  As a colonel, he chewed those doctors out big time for sayng that about any patient, an he gave me a presciption of a very low dose of Xanax to calm my nerves enough to help me walk better; but he then retired, the clinic was changing it's policy about seeing military dependants, and I got lost in the shuffle, while losing favor with my husband's family for not wanting to participate in family events anymore.  I began dreaming, every single night, (and I hate to tell this to anyone) for several years, that I could "project" myself across a room, like a hovercraft, just inches above the floor, and no one would notice how I did it.  I took this dreaming to mean that my nerves were slowly re-routing themselves, and that my walking would eventually become normal again, but - no.  And I didn't tell any9one about my dreams.

Now, all these years later, I've been divorced since 1999, and my wonderful son has always understood, and held my arm to help me walk when we were in public.  I finally have a general practicioner who I feel I can tell anything to, and a few months ago when I told her all this, she said my dreams were consistent with PTSD.  I began doing extensive research on the internet (I know!) but I found exactly what I have - Rigid Akinetic Movement Disorder!  There's a name for it, and it's NOT "all in my head," and it isn't just me!!  While it's not common, doctors have known about it for years - why didn't any of mine?  It often follows a bad concussion, with delayed effects several months later.  But it's not easy to find if you've never heard of it.

Over my lifetime, while I've never bit hit or physically abused by anyone, but  I've had some hard blows to the head - fell and hit forehead on railroad tracks, had stitches; twice, playing baseball (forehead again); cabinet door edge to the forehead (literally saw stars!); and whapped in the forehhead with a tree ranch; plus, all the falls I took face-down first, after my concussion.  I wonder now if my next hit will be my last, and I'm extremely careful now, but I'm BITTER AS HELL!  For the past 19 years, I believed what those doctors told me, that I was just afraid to walk now, and it was "all in my head," just more "crazy" to add to my deression, and it certainly has.  If someone had just cared enough to go the extra step for a different test... if some doctor had been more of a listener than a talk-to person... if someone had just acted like they believed me in the first place - I may not have suffered all these years.  I still avoid going out in public, I feel very "damaged," inside and out, and I still take Xanax, or else I revert right back to not being able to walk without taking sideways baby-steps while holding onto something.  (I'm crying so hard now, and so ashamed, I hope someone is reading this.)  I'm allowed 3 Xanax a day (.05 MG) but only take one or 1-1/2, but I'm afraid people will think of me as a drug addict if I let them know.  I'm 57 years old, alone now (my son is 24, has his own place and a good job) and I don't think anyone will ever want to be with me again.  I think it will be me and my cat for the rest of my life.

I'm sorry this was so long, but I thank you for reading, if anyone has or will.  Maybe it will make me feel better, having told my story now in the safest public place I know to go.

~Mary Lee H.
 
Replied By: def717 on Oct 6, 2010, 6:48AM - In reply to possum2uwolf
Hey Deb-

The book was in the mail yesterday (might have been there sooner, I haven't checked my mail in a few days)...ordered it off of amazon.com, it was $15 + $3.99 shipping. I started reading it last night and didn't get far but so far, so good! It sounds like this book is really going to help. The so called conventional treatments are BS and of course they were the course that I was taking as per the advice if my therapist. Doctors seem to just want to PUMP you with RX, thinking that will "solve" or "cure" the problem. I refused anti-depressants and it's a good thing. I do take Xanax to sleep and Trazadone for anxiety, but I was not going to go on Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, etc...

Since it is another rainy day, I am going to sit in bed and read more and if I finish it, I will re-read it. I am going to bring the book to my therapist as well as loan it to my family and friends who JUST DON'T GET IT! Depression or any mental illness is so misunderstood and it is so FRUSTRATING! Anti-depressants to me, are like putting a band aid on cancer. They don't work. I have had some idiots tell me to "snap out of it" or "get a job" and my response to them is "Would you tell someone with cancer the same thing?!?" This truly is an illness but if you look remotely normal, you are judged and berated. I have been called lazy, among other things, which is the farthest thing from the truth!
Please feel free to email me at def717@yahoo.com if you want to talk privately.
Danielle
 
Replied By: possum2uwolf on Oct 5, 2010, 7:51AM - In reply to def717
Did you get the book you were waiting for? Hope you are doing well. No, ptsd never goes away. the memories are for ever. learn to look at the good things, try harder to let the bad things be what they are and let the good shine through.  truley hope you are doing well. Deb.
 
Replied By: def717 on Sep 30, 2010, 8:39PM - In reply to possum2uwolf
I don't know where people who die end up, but since Charlie's life (30 years) of being a pilot, I would imagine he is up there somewhere. Every time a plane flies over or I see someone doing aerobatics, I cannot help but think of him.
I am just hoping the PTSD goes away, but from what I have been reading about it on here as well as other sites, it doesn't ever seem to go away! I ordered the book Phil talked about, so hopefully I will have it this week and it will help me along. So far the RX helps for sleep and the dreams, but when I am awake and have to face another day, it is unbearable. There are so many triggers and flashbacks...and now that the numbness has worn off and the reality has set in, I am a mess.
Thank you again for your comment.
 
Replied By: cadescove99 on Sep 27, 2010, 1:06PM - In reply to goldilox77
You're right. Blaming everything on the driver, for going over 55, as one guest did, is ludicrous. It was a race, for crying out loud! An event known for fast driving. And, even going 55, over bumpy terrain, a driver could lose control.
 
Replied By: pmullinix on Sep 27, 2010, 8:42AM
I want to thank Dr. Phil, his staff, and the brave people who were willing to share their story for doing this show!  It's an interesting discussion, I suppose, trying to place blame, but who is at fault in this accident is secondary to these people's need to heal, including the driver.  I am saddened that he was unwilling to take part in the discussion, because I think he could have found some healing as well.  I hope he is surrounded by people who are helping him find healing.

This show struck a strong chord for me.  Over twenty years ago, my brother was in a bad accident, and left with partial paralysis.  I was only 11 yrs. old and was the first of my family on the scene.  He was still unconscious on the road when I got there.  I underestimated the impact of that image on my life for many years and didn't talk about it much.  As I have sought healing in more recent years, I've found it difficult to unlock what I had burried so deeply. 

I was so touched by Jacob's story!  Oh how I could relate to him!  (Interestingly, that's my brother's name, too.)  I am so grateful to him for being willing to share that on tv, and I'd like him to know that doing so was a deeply healing experience for me.  And I am so glad for him that he is able to get help now, and doesn't have to wait for years, like I did.

When Dr. Phil discussed PTSD, a lightbulb turned on for me.  I had heard of it before, and suspected that it may have played a part in my story, but when the families shared what they were going through, it clicked for the first time.  I understood deeply what they were describing.  It's hard to find words that help others understand what that is like, but I got it!  And I can agree with Dr. Phil that the fear and anxiety, and the haunting images do eventually fade.  I imagine more quickly with help.  The memory doesn't go away, but it's emotional weight gets lighter.

Thank you more than I can express!  The show was excellently done, and it's one I will cherish for a very long time to come!!!  And I look forward to reading "The PTSD Breakthrough."
 
Replied By: goldilox77 on Sep 26, 2010, 9:16PM - In reply to fyrdoc
I agree with the fact that the people were waaaaay to close to the track, and that it is their fault if they got hurt. My family and I have gone camping and watched races very similar to this, and we never stand that close because it is common sense that you could get hurt if something went wrong. People need to just man up and take responsibility for their stupidity.
 
Replied By: knockout1 on Sep 25, 2010, 2:27PM
First of all my prayers go out to all of those who lost a loved one in this tragic accident. But to say that Brett Sloppy was driving to fast is kind of crazy.  It's a race.  A race is about getting to the finish line first.  The ones who put these races together need to get some rules in place & make sure that spectators are not allowed to be as close as they were that horrible day. 
 
Replied By: leannabanana on Sep 25, 2010, 12:10PM
You guys are all selfish people, 1st off no one deserves to die no one, doesnt matter if its people by a track...That was  there hobby to watch offroading, and you know what who wouldnt want to die for something that they love??...Everyone in this world makes mistakes and live with it for the rest of their lives...Its like saying the idiot driving hit the motorcycle and there all pointing fingers but in the end that motorcyclist died for something they loved, To judge people and say what were these people thinking...?? when the heck do people think when something goes wrong....Guess what no one in there life can predict sh** that is going to happen and that is bottomline.....These people loved the offroading experiance...And to this day these people do not want it to become iilegal yes people were not thinking....at the moment, but no one ever does when something is about to go wrong...sorry but its true...No kids shouldnt be by the track...but then agian those kids were probably having the time of there lives...before all this went down...These people cared sooo much for there kids....And one of them proved it...You cant predict the future you never know when death is ahead...Someone lost control of a vehical just like how you would get in a car accident....stuff like this happens everyday but this tragedy just happend in a different way....People make mistakes people mess up all you can do is move forward and learn from it isnt that how cancer is being cured?? Drs. finding out what these people are dying from? My point is people really need to not think about themselves and think about these people that had no clue on what was going to happen Just watching this video gives me chills because if it was your loved one you wouldnt be saying what your saying now....I really hope this society gets better for others....And people you need to start putting people in there shoes
 
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