PTSD - Calling the bluffs

#81
I have no real wish to get into a debate about the ‘deservedness’ of suffering from PTSD.

However of those professions you have mentioned - how many of them have realistically gone through the trauma that an infanteer when through on an average Herrick. People (mostly very young uneducated people) were being asked to go out and kill on a daily basis. During the course of that they were operating in a totally hostile environment - thousands of miles from home, poor diet, poor sleep, physical degradation. They were involved in traumatic acts - friends, not strangers, killed in front of them in horrific ways (have you ever seen your best mate blown in two and had to barma to his torso to have to try and save him? Had him bleed to death all over you as you wait for casevac whilst a contact rages around you?) - enemy fighters ripped apart by your bullets, or 30mm. Worse - seeing CIVCAS caused by you either directly or indirectly.

And then after the traumatic episode it’s likely the rest of your day involved cleaning your weapon, stagging on and interrupted sleep until the next day when you did it all again day after day for six months.

Plenty of firefighters, police, social workers etc face traumatic episodes - but I struggle to believe that the sustained level of it is comparable.
A 30 year career of mangled bodies in RTCs, cutting down hanging bodies, cot deaths, delivering death messages, being abused on a regular basis, recording harrowing accounts from victims, seeing wounded and GBH’d victims, assisting sexually assaulted people in the aftermath of those attacks and tripping over dying junkies etc on a weekly basis is a different type of trauma. It’s a constant drip, drip of human misery.

No mess to support you, no regimental structure, very little variety in the work and no operational downtime takes its toll on many people. Every working day has its opportunity for exposure to unpleasant trauma.

Police officers pay £12 per month for the equivalent of Headley Court by the way.
 
#83
This is a very good question.

I’d also ask whether all levels of pain (both mental and physical) apply equally to different people?

I feel a bit down sometimes. Does that feel like a pit of despair to someone else? Alternatively do people think ‘that widow11 drips on a lot.

Do people have to much faith in medicine? Do people think that every slight ill can be fixed? Can Doctors fix memories?
Functionality is measurable, if your MH is failing you in basic life support activities, washing, eating, leaving the house, that's not "relative"
 
#84
A 30 year career of mangled bodies in RTCs, cutting down hanging bodies, cot deaths, delivering death messages, being abused on a regular basis, recording harrowing accounts from victims, seeing wounded and GBH’d victims, assisting sexually assaulted people in the aftermath of those attacks and tripping over dying junkies etc on a weekly basis is a different type of trauma. It’s a constant drip, drip of human misery.

No mess to support you, no regimental structure, very little variety in the work and no operational downtime takes its toll on many people. Every working day has its opportunity for exposure to unpleasant trauma.

Police officers pay £12 per month for the equivalent of Headley Court by the way.
Wouldn’t take the job for a gold pig.
Underfunded, underestimated and unloved.
Their management also seem to dislike them.
 
#85
There’s also an element of greed for some, there are many opportunities to do nice things provided for by charity and some are on it like a tramp on chips.

Some people on the H4H Band of Brothers Facebook page whine if they don’t get selected for some of the jollies provided, claiming it’s some great conspiracy only open to a select few.
 
#86
A 30 year career of mangled bodies in RTCs, cutting down hanging bodies, cot deaths, delivering death messages, being abused on a regular basis, recording harrowing accounts from victims, seeing wounded and GBH’d victims, assisting sexually assaulted people in the aftermath of those attacks and tripping over dying junkies etc on a weekly basis is a different type of trauma. It’s a constant drip, drip of human misery.

No mess to support you, no regimental structure, very little variety in the work and no operational downtime takes its toll on many people. Every working day has its opportunity for exposure to unpleasant trauma.

Police officers pay £12 per month for the equivalent of Headley Court by the way.
Exactly right - it’s a different type of trauma.
 

smeg-head

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#88
The only buffers are the ones that say they don't have post trauma, every squaddie that's been on ops, has post trauma, the few that can't cope, then have the disorder, which is pretty severe, but the vast majority cope.
intelligence - 1.jpg
 
#89
A 30 year career of mangled bodies in RTCs, cutting down hanging bodies, cot deaths, delivering death messages, being abused on a regular basis, recording harrowing accounts from victims, seeing wounded and GBH’d victims, assisting sexually assaulted people in the aftermath of those attacks and tripping over dying junkies etc on a weekly basis is a different type of trauma. It’s a constant drip, drip of human misery.

No mess to support you, no regimental structure, very little variety in the work and no operational downtime takes its toll on many people. Every working day has its opportunity for exposure to unpleasant trauma.

Police officers pay £12 per month for the equivalent of Headley Court by the way.
Firemen, ambulance staff, high risk child protection social,workers etc.

Is it all PTSD or is it stress/burn out, anxiety and or depression. Most non military history coppers I know (family and friends) seem to have been broken by the systems. The squaddie experience seems to inure/innocuoate against some of the experiences of non mil service life. May be the military has got some stuff right accidentally

Caveat. I'm just throwing ideas out there, nowt with any substance/evidence
Too much Chardonnay
 
#90
A 30 year career of mangled bodies in RTCs, cutting down hanging bodies, cot deaths, delivering death messages, being abused on a regular basis, recording harrowing accounts from victims, seeing wounded and GBH’d victims, assisting sexually assaulted people in the aftermath of those attacks and tripping over dying junkies etc on a weekly basis is a different type of trauma. It’s a constant drip, drip of human misery.

No mess to support you, no regimental structure, very little variety in the work and no operational downtime takes its toll on many people. Every working day has its opportunity for exposure to unpleasant trauma.

Police officers pay £12 per month for the equivalent of Headley Court by the way.
Are you able to cope? What helps you get through?

Are there any bluffers in the Police?
 
#91
Wouldn’t take the job for a gold pig.
Underfunded, underestimated and unloved.
Their management also seem to dislike them.
Not all bad. If you have a good shift and the ability to leave it at work, it can be an amazing job.

The biggest stressor and the one that is doing for people at the moment is the shear workload due to the lack of coppers and the increase in demand. I personally do what I can and forget about it until I return.

Sickness due to various MH issues is increasing though.
 
#92
A good friend who also lost his legs in an explosion once said to me:

We probably have PTSD, but we don’t suffer from it”
Bear in mind you are in relatively early years of your experience, you could go off like a Catherine wheel in ten years time:mrgreen:

Which seques nicely into the other difficulty of PTSD, the delayed response of potentially years that seems to be prevalent (or has that been disproved)
 
#93
Functionality is measurable, if your MH is failing you in basic life support activities, washing, eating, leaving the house, that's not "relative"
Yes - but trauma affects people in different ways. I know - or knew a group of lads who went through a pretty torrid time on a Herrick. They basically saw their platoon disintegrate around them. One of the group was killed and another VSI.

Since coming back one has hung himself in his room. Another has gassed himself. Another has left and won’t even look at a uniform. Another is still in and and progressing through the ranks - he’s pretty vocal about people who are mentally weak or whose ‘heads are full of fish and chips’ as he puts it.

I’m just fascinated about how it affects people differently - even when they come from similar backgrounds and have similar experiences.
 
#95
I suffered PTSD whilst serving due to a RTA in Kenya (mates killed, i was badly injured and had no recollection of the actual accident). Back then (94) it was a newish thing in the military but have to say the Army actually treated me well. After being released from CMH Aldershot for the physical injuries, months later i was drinking heavily, throwing TV's out of the window and eventually found naked on the parade square in a bit of a state.........normal squaddie stuff you may say! It was then that my CoC did the right thing and off to the Psycho i went. Of course this is a different type of traumatic episode but shows that it can occur away from the bullets and bomb scenario and not even have a recollection or visually see the incident. What the Brigadier Psychologist told me was my underlying cause was guilt that people had died, i was driving until i handed over to the person who did die. He had also just had a newborn baby so all this "guilt" was what apparently did it to me. Roll forward after numerous appointments and im all good. Volunteered years later as a TRIM Practitioner for HERRICK tours and actually did the role after a serious incident out there.
Are there so called band-wagon-sufferers, yes definitely......i see it on Fakebook with these so called PTSD Groups that are sprouting up. But there are certainly different levels of PTSD and personally i think i got off lightly........not thrown a remote control or a TV out of the window for years now but as for running around naked...cant win them all!!!
Funny thing is i recently left a job that required me to have a exit medical involving a psychologist assessment. Now i had never told my employer i had PTSD 5 years ago when i joined them as this may of swayed them to **** me off. But i mentioned it when leaving. The look on her face was priceless...which goes to prove i was right not saying anything 5 years ago!
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#96
The one recurring theme seems to be civvie GPs quick to jump at a potential PTSD diagnosis in any bill oddie with emerging mental health symptoms

I had to disabuse my GP of that idea when I hit him up for depression treatment, he seemed almost excited about it.

The NHS plan for any mental,illness seems to be throw pills at it. Access to any alternative treatment is virtually impossible in a reasonable time frame
What alternative treatment?
 
#97
This is a very good question.

I’d also ask whether all levels of pain (both mental and physical) apply equally to different people?

I feel a bit down sometimes. Does that feel like a pit of despair to someone else? Alternatively do people think ‘that widow11 drips on a lot.

Do people have to much faith in medicine? Do people think that every slight ill can be fixed? Can Doctors fix memories?
my dad and i were talking about aging a while ago and he said that if, at 19, he felt like he does now when he wakes up in the morning he would've gone straight to the doctor because he'd assume he was dying. now there's nothing really wrong with him (kinda), part of that is just because he's in his mid-60's. his situation is normal and most people would understand and recognise this.

we dont do this with mental health.

i get my black dog days like many people and there are times i can feel myself getting tense to the point i'm going to start getting snappy and irritable. i dont think this is anything out of the ordinary or something i need medical help to manage; i can do that myself because i'm a reasonably well balanced adult.

now if i went to a health professional and started to discuss what i see as fairly normal stuff, trouble sleeping, a few nightmares (doesnt really bother me as it's been the norm on and off since i was a kid), maybe some mil service and the death of a loved one etc. etc. would i get some for of diagnosis out of it?

i might, but i'm not convinced i'd be any better off for it.

cases at the lower end of the spectrum (cant think of a better way to phrase this) will fall under the same banner/heading as more severe cases and will inevitably lead to some form of top-trumps comparisons being done. this isnt fair to anyone but is natural if we're not going to recognise that some MH cases are more severe than others.

for me though i'm more concerned about the outcomes/symptoms than the trauma.
 
#99
Are you able to cope? What helps you get through?

Are there any bluffers in the Police?
I came in to the job at 40, I’m confident in who I am and what I’m capable of. The Army made me resilient and able to rationalise things fairly well.

I stay fit, I don’t drink a tenth of what I used to and I don’t feel the need to conform with or toe the party line anymore. I’m able to leave work at work.

Of course the Police has bluffers but no more than the army to be honest. Some of the most dedicated and hard working people I know are cops. The wastage rate for Probationers is the highest I’ve known in 11 years due to the workload and pressure which by necessity is dropped on them almost immediately.
 

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