Urgent Help for my brother with severe PTSD and still servin

Discussion in 'Charities and Welfare' started by deafasabat, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. Hi

    I’m new to this forum and I’m in a state of desperation trying to help my brother who is suffering big time with PTSD and is still in the Army.

    He’s finally admitting it’s a possibility even though he’s attempted suicide, has depression, abuses alcohol, is aggressive, is going through a divorce etc etc. and all this going unnoticed (ignored) by what I consider as a laughable welfare system.

    So the problem we face together is this.
    He is not willing to jeopardise his pension by asking for treatment or face the stigma of being a classified “nut job”.
    He’s 4 years away from his 22 so being so close is too much too risk and too an extent I agree although how he’s behaved over the past couple of years isn’t really an option either.

    I’ve contacted the “confidential help line”, what a laugh, “aaarrrhh it must be tough for you but we can’t really do anything”

    I’ve contacted the charity “combat stress” who sound great but as he’s STILL serving he can’t get the help from them.

    Other than that, I’m not sure what to do.

    I saw a post on here by a guy who was “dispatched” from service on medical grounds (PTSD) and made a claim, which maybe an option but he’ll still loose his pension I guess. (as in get it when he’s 65)

    Any help would be great.

    What’s mental is if he was a copper he could lift a heavy box, hurt his back and be off on full pay for the trauma of having to do some work, whereas he’s spent a total of 2 and a half years in operational theatres and can’t even turn to get some help without ridicule.

    God I love this country!!
    (not bitter)
  2. Please explain how he is still serving yet not serving, and still 4 years away from his 22?
  3. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    I think they mean as he is still serving and so combat stress can't help.....

    Not my area but hopefully someone can point you in the right direction...
  4. yep, goofed that bit.....................
  5. Deafas,

    Tell him to get to the medical centre and have a chat with his Medical Officer. Although alarming, the dramas that he's going through at the moment don't seem to be enough for him to be discharged before his run-out date.

    The doc can refer him off to the local community psychiactric nurse, who can start to treat his problem. Like any other medical problem (broken leg, crabs etc) if he leaves it, it's only going to get worse; and if he doesn't address the problem before he gets out, the pension that he's hanging on for will probably get poured down his neck in the form of buckfast or cheap whisky.

    He knows this already, I suspect, but just has to bite the bullet and make the first move.
  6. Hey Phillip

    That's what I think he should do, it's worth a shot but he's as stubborn as a pig (not sure if pigs are stubborn).

    I also agree with what the future hold for him if he tries to keep it under wraps.
    He’s staying at mine for a couple of weekends to get away from it, so I’ll see what I can get him to do.

    I’ve come up with the idea that he visits a councillor “out of hours” to at least have it documented as soon as possible and addressed etc.

    Cheers for you reply
  7. Medical consultations are "In confidence" and will be kept that way unless absolutely neccesary and then only to those that are required to know

    His MO will not regard this as a case for discharge without trying to fix it probably with a referal

    Having said that if he's tried to top himself already I'd say he needs some help yesterday

    Be a little wary of seeing a councellor without a specific knowledge/experience of PTSD

    Good luck
  8. A couple of years back I was involved in writing the 'Overarching Review of Stress Management' (OROSM). The principles from this (agreed by the medical community and Service PPOs such as AG) were extracted into single Service publications and orders that are used to direct normalisation and decompression from operations.

    One of the key areas that is still being addressed is how to de stigmatise those who wish to 'self present'. The medics and chain of command want to encourage it; being the sort of people we are we try to face up to it and work through it because it doesn't fit well with the general culture we live in.

    Worst case if he doesn't report himself, it will get worse and someone will notice and he will have to be treated - potentially it could be too late.

    The medics regard this sort of thing like any other illness. If you break your leg they fix it. Most PTSD type cases can be fixed, very rarely (as with other illnesses) it will result in a medical discharge.

    My advice is for him to seek an appointment with his MO. Other posters are correct to point out the confidential nature of such an appointment.
  9. Get him to read what happened to Ken Masters.
  10. Convince him that this is not a pride issue and get him to speak to his MO. He sounds like a man who knows that he needs help but who is too embarrassed to ask for it. His feelings about this are quite understandible, he grew up in an Army where stigma was seen as a pain worse than death, but there's no excuses for it now. Nobody will judge him. They don't need to know about it. He must make the first step though and it takes balls to do that. He needn't die (literally) of embarrassment, when the help is there.
  11. He needs to get his MO on board with this ASAP. The benefit of this will be entries in his F/Med/4 which can be reviewed and used to his benefit post discharge. It makes applying for a War Pension that much easier. It's in his best interest to start getting help now through the military system (admittedly this is a problem but needs must) so he might even be able to start claiming the War pension immediately on discharge. The divorce might be part of the PTSD, we tend to have massive problems handling relationships

    This will effect his performance on duty if not treated. If he goes back out to a hot spot he is not just putting himself at risk.

    Good luck.
  12. Many veterans suffering from PTSD have waited years (average 12yrs) before turning for help from Combat Stress. During this time many experience relationship and family break ups, turn to alcoholism, drugs etc, become homeless, behave violently and experience suicidal urges. It is also deeply ingrained and much, much harder to treat. The earlier they can seek help the better.

    You cannot erase memories, but you can learn how to cope with them.

    A good website for your brother may be www.ptsd.org.uk. It gives a guide to the symtoms of PTSD and some great advice.

    Good luck
  13. Top book available, easily sourced through your MO, WHSmiths etc:

    Understanding your reactions to trauma by Dr. Claudia Herbert. ISBN: 1-904127-02-9.

    Sound reading for sufferes and families, will guide and enlighten.

    Check also the US PTSD Site and UK NICE for additional information. It is a shame that the NHS is still a little behind on this, so pre warned is pre-armed.

    Not all scars are visible...PTSD, a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. We are human after all...aren't we
  14. Deafasa, take a look at my post on the other thread.

    There is no stigma about going "sick" with what your brother is suffering. I know another 3 soldiers in our trade who have suffered the same and it never meant they were kicked out or held back.