PTSD

#21
If this is going slightly off topic - sorry.
However, PTSD certainly goes back to WWI so the Army as an organisation has no excuse in anything less than first class attention to he matter. My past service, both in terms of what we did and where I did it, gave ample grounds for PTSD. Try attending the post-mortem exam of a kid battered to death by it's parent. The severe assault and rape of a young girl. We used to get involved in fire fights or ambushes where a comrade was killed alongside one. There was a lot of what I suppose we would call black humour and I always felt that it was this which dragged us off the sombre pathways. That sort of attitude would be completely out of order now. Maybe the lack of that release has something to do with the "rise" in levels of PTSD?
 
#22
Combat Stress deals soley with 'Ex Services Mental Welfare'.
Not many people know that it has been going longer than the Royal British Legion, but is never mentioned on your resettlement!
Those under the care of CS are invited to attend residential weekends at their premises where they receive the care of clinical staff, however, most people that use the service say the most effective counselling is carried out in the smoke room away from the clinical staff.
Black Humour is one of the squaddie way's of rationalising the things that we are exposed to, Coppers, Ambulancemen, Firemen all have a similar sense of humour and way of dealing with the unusual situations that they are placed in.
Diagnosis of PTSD is becoming more and more common amongst these proffessions as well as within the Military.
 
#24
Combat Stress - or the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society - was founded in 1919. They estimate to have helped 85,000 veterans from WWI to the current conflict in the Gulf. Their youngest client is 20 years old - a military career now over.

The charity's profile has grown over the last few years: most recently it was featured on Panorma in connection with Robert Ryan, a psycologically damaged veteran from the early days of Bosnia.

Combat Stress helps Ex-Servicemen and women who are suffering from mental trauma sustained during war, operational tours or other aspects of military service (dealing with RTAs for example).

They have three treatment centres in the UK with 30 beds in each to which veterans come for two weeks at a time for respite and treatment. They also run a national welfare support operation, with 12 Welfare Officers who visit and help veterans.

Funding comes from the Veterans' Agency, the Service Welfare charities (RBL, ABF, Seafarers UK, RAF Ben Fund etc) but a significant proportion of their money comes from donations.

Last year over 750 veterans were referred to Combat Stress and 481 new clients taken on-board. They have 3,500 active clients. Combat Stress is needed as much now as it was at the end of the first and second World Wars. Conflicts today tend to be of higher intensity and of quicker tempo and of course the men and women called upon to participate in them are becoming fewer in number.

It's a great cause and you never when you or one of your muckers might need their help.
 
#25
We can probably all point to an example of PTSD (in others or ourselves).

the last few years haven't been easy for any of us - Regs or TA

My own position is that no-one should be allowed to take-the-piss for fear that some people do suffer in silence.

Good mates can 'help' - Charities can 'support'.

ARRSE does both.
 
#26
Recognising the symptoms is part of the battle. From experience, our greatest collective weakness is refusing to accept that there is anything wrong with us and if there is something wrong, it cannot be anything as "weak" as PTSD. Once one accepts that there is a problem, one has to determine if its something that can be dealt with by the individual and his/her immediate family or whatever. If one either accepts - or is told - that the sympoms are beyond one's ability to deal with, there shouldn't be any reluctance in going for help nor any stigma attached in so doing.
Hmmmm.... that reads something like an extract from a very B grade psych primer. Let me try and root it in some sort of reality. My father served with RAF Bomber Command in WW2 and beyond. Some of the symptoms/characteristics he carried into later life were all classic signs of PTSD: I sort of got to recognise them as I grew up. They only started to make real sense when I had got a couple of tours under my own belt and started to see the same symptoms in myself - intolerance, short attention span, disrupted sleep pattern, sweats and shakes, violent temper tantrums, a propensity to burst into tears.... and of course, the time-honoured Army/military solution of self-medication through alcohol.
Cue the fanfare of trumpets.... Realise what you've got, see if you can deal with it, ask those about you if they think you are and tell them what you need/want in the way of support.... and if you aren't able to cut it, for heavens sake, 'fess up and get the professional help that is readily available and offered without any disparagement. Phew..... sorry about the sanctimonious note, this one sort of got to me.
 
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