PTSD & MENTAL HEALTH

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by stripeyretired, Apr 9, 2008.

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  1. On the matter of PTSD, my lad is diagnosed with it, receiving a war pension weekly. They've looked after him, took a while before anything was done, but we got there in the end.

    My lad and me we're being positive. We're moving forward, no pain , no gain. That's how we work. And every day we give ourselves a little reward.

    Also, he has excellent support from the Agencies and charities I'm sure you're all aware of. He reckons the best therapy is being with ex-military people, takes comfort from them, and finds these groups cathartic. Apparently, he can discuss things he wouldn't be able to, elsewhere.

    having received counselling, he's elected to move on, and not indulge inthe past. Though it must be said, he's been in bits a few times, but I reckon he's gained from one course of counselling. The more he faces up to things, the better he gets. He just doesn't want to dwell on the past and won't allow people to keep him there, being prodded and poked, which upsets him.

    Thing is: we've been out walking, he's changed his diet, he's changed his routine and he's made good, reliable friends he can trust. He eats well, fresh food, and drinks nothing but milk and fruit juice/water. he now sleeps better, less nightmares, less waking and he doesn't get up to the bog every few hours. Something changed for the better.

    he's completed education courses, gained qualifications, and has a really good support worker. Not a bossy and clueless one, but a supportive and patient support worker.

    Now then, he wants to go on Betablockers as his medication was upsetting him, or sedating him so that he couldn't function during the day. We are going to try it. I wouldn't sugggest anyone did anything without seeing their GP. I don't force my views on anyone, and I'm not a Doctor or Nurse. SDo I'm just giving you my own personal experience.

    However, my lad has come on in leaps and bounds these past few months.
     
  2. Has your lad been seen by Dr Ian Palmer at St Thomas's in London, they run a EX Military Assessment Programme (MAP), where your GO is able to send any EX military, to discuss all the issues and MAP will recomend treatments to the GP / NHS.

    I take it your lad has ben seen by Combat Stress, check the website, you can now Self Refer, all the RBL and SSAFA can do, is refer your lad onto Combat Stress anyway.

    I have been asked by the local MIND to chat with an EX soldier, as out there right now, there seems to be little or no help with ex service groups doing some Self Help Support! As ONLY ex Suaddies know what an ex suaddie has been though and the langauge he or she may use to explain it.
     

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  3. To date, there has been ZERO effective treatment. Whether Combat Stress or not, you still get NHS mentalities and the inevitable barriers, the intransigence, and the underfunding.

    I would say people are profiting from our people's PTSD epidemic. Yes, profiting. Someone should ask veterans for their honest opinions they express whilst in these "treatment centres". You'd be surprised.
     
  4. Therein lies one of the problems. There ISN'T a PTSD epidemic, certainly not in NHS terms. In three years of commissioning I have only ever been asked to fund TWO specialist care packages for people suffering from PTSD caused by military service, both of which we funded.

    The local CMHT has only received two referrals (not the two people above) in about 5 years from GPs for PTSD caused by military service.

    I certainly don't agree with CB about people profiting from it, any more than providers profit from anyone else. And again, and I say this every time, all the evidence shows that PTSD is PTSD is PTSD, it doesn't matter what the cause is, the treatment methods are exactly the same (allowing for a personal approach to these).

    It may well be true to say that ex-soldiers (not just squaddies, it affects SNCOs, WOs and Officers too) may find it helpful to talk to other ex-soldiers, but it doesn't mean that being treated by someone with no military experience will make any difference at all to your outcome, as the methods of treatment are exactly the same.
     
  5. I find that statement above is nearly always said by non military non PTSD sufferers.

    The methods of treatment may be/are the same but the way you are "treated" is different IMO. If nothing else than the fact that an ex military Doc etc will have more empathy with an ex military sufferer.
     
  6. Except in this case it isn't being said by someone non-military, it's being said by me, and I've served operationally recently as a CPN. There are other military pscyh personnel on ARRSE who've said exactly the same thing as me.

    I'll say this again, one of the best therapists I've ever seen, who works solely with military and ex-military personnel has no military experience whatsoever.
     
  7. Fair enough, but I base my opinion on my experience.
     
  8. UK attitudes to combat related related problems, still get my goat.
     
  9. Sweeping statements from "experts" are to be found everywhere these days. Mostly unqualified, nursy types, giving us their wisdom. A Nurse considers they have the expertise to make sweeping statements on PTSD. But, this attitude is typical in today's NHS.

    < So: an extract from Combat Stress:
    "PTSD is a psychological response to the experience of intense traumatic events particularly those that threaten life. Obviously servicemen engaged in combat are many times more likely to experience the traumatic triggers, which result in PTSD occurring. More recently, servicemen and women engaged in peacekeeping operations have also experienced the same problem; this is hardly surprising when you consider the events that they have witnessed and in which they have often become embroiled in the course of their duties." well, that's clear isn't it.

    There also remains the problems of endemic arrogance, and of failure to co-operate between various departments within our "services". Communication is very much, I have found, poor, (e,g: combat stress writing to a GP about a management plan for a patient, and the patient waiting in vain for someone to pick up the treatment).

    Until we change problems found within the Health Service, things are not going to get better.

    Oh, and unless you've lived with mental health problems as a direct result of service in HM Forces, as is clearly stated on War Pension Awards Certificates, don't presume to comment on how it affects the sufferers. Thank you.
     
  10. First of all I sincerely hope you get a successful outcome from your endeavours and don't get fobbed off - you don't sound like the sort who will readily allow himself to be fobbed off.

    But just to clarify something for you, most mental health services and certainly the military mental health services I work for are essentially nurse-led. In terms both of initial assessment and follow-up you are many times more likely to be treated by a nurse than a psychiatrist, in the NHS as well as the military. The reason is that a qualified and experienced nurse is usually more readily able to empathise and engage with the patient and often has a wider spread of experience and practical therapeutic expertise than a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists, being doctors, are driven by the 'medical model' and act in the literal sense as 'consultants', i.e. their input into the care of an individual is usually via case conference or clinical supervision rather than via one-to-one clinician/patient contact. That they leave to the nurses, by and large. Obviously, though, in the NHS few nurses will have any significant experience of delivering care to PTSD patients. I don't know whether you intended to infer that 'nursy types' were 'unqualified' and I am not taking offence even if you did, but it is a little unfair!

    And I think we've been around this buoy several times. I am convinced that you are absolutely right that to have mental health care delivered to ex-Service personnel by people who can genuinely empathise with and understand them is the gold standard. But if the recruitment pool for veterans' care is limited to fully-qualified mental health specialists who are themselves veterans, have been there and done that and know what it's like, then that pool is going to be very small indeed - not even a recruitment puddle! Psychobabble is right. I'm afraid if we extrapolated the logic of your argument out to all health arenas, then only biological mothers could be midwives, only people who had at some time had a broken leg/arm could work in orthopaedics, only those who had terrible teenage acne could be allowed to become dermatologists, etc, etc.

    Most people in healthcare want to help - that's why they do the job. If they are not helping in a way you find helpful(!) you need to talk to them about it.

    BTW, Ian Palmer at MAP is very switched on (for a psychiatrist) but then he should be, not long ago he was Professor of Military Psychiatry!
     
  11. One of the reasons that the NHS struggles with veterans with PTSD is that the number of them (in NHS & whole population terms) is tiny. That's not to say that they aren't important they shouldn't be treated, quite the opposite, as it's the tiny groups that tend to get ignored.

    However this is one of the reasons why the NHS doesn't have the facilities or trained staff to deal with it, the numbers are so small (in relative terms). Most of the PTSD counselling (whatever the cause) is handled by the non-statutory sector (they are far better and much less medical model than the NHS could ever be at this) and (in my case) Priory Group for the very complex cases, usually co-morbid alcohol dependence, but other issues as well.

    The NHS CMHTS are far too busy to offer in depth therapy to anyone and Psychology Services are woefully underfunded in many areas, certainly in mine. I think they should be resourced so that we can provide some of these services in house, but that isn't the way it is at the moment.

    I think the model of allowing specialist providers, like the Priory, handle these conditions is the way ahead. They have the constantly used skills in order to give high quality care to PTSD sufferers. Most of the NHS does not. As I say, I'm quite happy to commission a care package from Priory if necessary, they have the best treatment outcomes currently, if the clinical need is there, and I have done so in the past.

    Stripey, I think you'll find that the majority of therapists working in this area, including some of the posters on here are in fact nurses, and more than qualified enough to comment on PTSD!
     
  12. I'm by no means and expert. As you say the method for treating PTSD is the same no matter what the root cause, but could the fact people feel they are (or actually are) treated differently or to a lesser standard by civilian services is because they aren't comfortable talking about their experiences with civilians or are worried that they won't understand or be offended by what the ex-service person has been through.
     
  13. I do think that, from the perspective of the client at least, being able to relate to therapist is important. I know some of the courses I've looked at to applying for post grad training (to train as a psychologist) place an emphasis on the ability to relate to service users.

    Although, I also remember when I was serving, and lads would scorn the idea of uniformed psychiatrists, CPNs, GPs etc, because they felt they would take the Army "man-the-****-up" attitude. Whereas a civvie would be more understanding.
     
  14. a psychologist: a person who breaks the boundaries and worries about it.

    a psychiatrist: a person who breaks the boundaries for enjoyment.

    :D
     
  15. firstly, i'll say that i'm not an expert, but I have some 'familiarity' with the issue.

    The problem that soldiers face, is that few people outside the military can ever possible relate to the experiences they faced. I had an incident on a businees trip (i'm a civvie) which I found hard to deal with. The biggest problem I found was there was only two people i felt comfortable talking with as they would be able to relate to what i was saying. One was a former screw who did lots of riot control stuff and armed escorts and the other was my brother who served in bosnia (TA).

    What i experienced was nothing compaired to what many soldiers go through and there were no civvies who I felt could understand.

    Someone on this site posted that an ex-mil PTSD sufferer went to a NHS 'group' meeting. After talking about his issues, he was asked not to talk in the group again as it upset the other attendees.

    Ski.