Has war changed you?

Discussion in 'Old & Bold' started by Rumpelstiltskin, Jan 31, 2012.

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  1. You weren't there man, you don't know.
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  2. Do an article on paramedics and stop bleating.

    All the best ten
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  3. Oh, oops. I didn't actually read your post, just this part:

    Sorry if this is a really gay question.

    There was a really a good thread earlier on 'what did you bring back from war', and some of the best answers weren't about objects.

    Didn't get to the part about you having personal troubles, sorry!
  4. Not NAAFI, serious (ish) answer with wah shield and journo alert on.

    I think that science indicates that some biochemical changes to the brain's chemistry do occur as a result of the prolonged stress on ops.


    I am not sure if this has had a perceptable effect on me but I think that it may have made my analysis of business problems clearer than colleagues.However, I do tend to default to worst case scenario a lot quicker than most people in my profession when analysisng probable outcomes of a project.

    In addition, it does take quite a bit of time to readjust when you return from a tour.

    When I got back from Afghanistan, service as a civilian but fairly dangerous, and the only tour where I seriously envisaged death,kidnap or serious injury it did take me a year or two before I was back in the swing of things.

    I remember being very jumpy,(nearly jumping under a table in a pub because of an unanticipated firework display on Sydney Harbour) and catching myself having a few wierd thought processes in a little NSW town i.e "that car looks a bit low on it's axles, wonder if it contains explosives?".

    I also felt that I had brought the sadness of the place back with me like a flu' or a cold that I could not get rid of.. Sounds wierd but that's how I felt.

    I also hit the booze heavily for a couple of years and still drink more than I probably should.

    My tolerance for idiots is also lower than it used to be, but I'm not sure if this is a product of aging or a result of my experiences.

    Have a look at the attached documents, see what you think, the first is from the Aussie DVA, (the second is from a mob called "Young Diggers" and I am not able to vouch fortheir bona fides) which should reassure you that you are not alone in feeling as you do and that you are fairly "normal":

    At Ease Mental Health - Mental Health and Wellbeing

    The fight or flight response: Our body's response to stress - Young Diggers

    In addition, give yourself a bit of time but don't, ffs indulge in too many high risk escapades to try and get your adrenalin fix.

    Good luck!
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  5. Has it changed me. Yes and No! As a person no as in my personality wise, no. However it certainly has changed my perspective of life, and made me appreciate things in life better.
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  6. My situation was similar as I was employed as an INGO manager in Afghanistan and as such, was living very much off my own wits.

    In addition, you do feel very isolated when you get back.

    If you are London based, try to get along to the Frontline club as there are some good lads who drink there.

    I often wonder if it would be a good idea to set up some kind of a mutual support society for returned journo's, UN, INGO, ICRC, Official Aid Agency, Civil contractors etc with a similar sort of purpose as the RBL or the RSL.

    I know what you mean about the fight thing and the fireworks. All I can suggest, is that knowledge and self awareness is power. I do have a tendancy to do my block at airports but have never got into a physical fight in this context.I think that it may be that you experience the same biochemical relaese that you would in a fight but the other party may perceive it as a faily minor altercation.

    We certainly have our own issues and we don't have the collective support that comes with military service.

    PS Sympathise about the fiance, similar thing happened to me with the first wife when in Aceh, then with girl friend when in Afghan, then fiance in Zimbabwe, then girlfriend the Sols, etc; bloody women.
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  7. Serious head on here,

    If you are experiencing what you described, then surely there are avenues of help through your employer, without inviting mindless Journo slagging posts on ARRSE.

    I only say that because if you are gen, then I can only imagine the usual bollocks that will follow.
  8. There are journo's and journo's.

    The ones who cover war zones are mostly,from personal experience, good blokes who can generally be relied upon to do the right thing. You tend to find that westerners in war zones tend to band together for mutual support regardless of profession.

    They are not like the domestic gutter press at home.
  9. Can you see your GP in the first instance?
  10. Who are you writing this for? Just so we can see the story for a laugh.
  11. I've seen some of his stuff it's good. Who for isn't important.
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  12. mmmm.... not sure about that, either way, as you mentioned earlier, talking with someone with similiar experiences can only be a good thing. Best of luck( seriously).
  13. I'm assuming that with 3000 posts old mate is legit'.
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