A Murrieta resident reminds those struggling with PTSD that they are not alone

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Ray Lopez, Murrieta resident, business owner and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, creates lamps out of recycled glass bottles for his business, PTSD Bottles. The name stands for “Post Traumatic Smooth Designs in recognition of how the work helped him battle his own post-traumatic stress disorder and to raise awareness about the mental health issue. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
Murrieta resident Raymond Lopez Jr. created a home business out of his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. After serving in the Marines from August 1994 until January 2001, he was medically discharged. “From 2008 until 2018, I was in and out of the hospital,” Lopez said. “I have had three massive back surgeries, (and) survived two horrific car crashes. “(I) spent eight months in the hospital for a rare spine infection and broke my back. All this contributed to my PTSD.” Although the PTSD is not combat related, “I can relate to everything else: the nightmares, the cold sweats, not feeling like a man, feeling like you’re just a nobody, isolation, depression, anxiety. I can relate to all that,” he said. Lopez said he needed an outlet to help him cope, an
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