Post Traumatic Stress

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by Trincomalee, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  2. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    ;) Cheers, Adam Good to see it all brought together ~ especially having missed the original thread.

    No Way am I looking at that book though! Nice pictures or not.

    Interesting point about the body chemicals though. Trouble is, that's led them to figure they can fight / right chemicals with chemicals. Up shot it that they want ye tranquillised for the rest of ye life. So ye can't win, see? Either become, and remain, someone or something other than ye were 'before the incident'. Or ye take the tablets and .....

    Just to dare to return to this question of 'becoming a nation of softies' ? I'd suggest there's more than a small grain of truth in that (Incoming!!!) :peepwalla:

    I'll leave it there. Because I'm now locked in a cycle of waffle, delete. Waffle, from a different angle. Delete. Think I'll go for a stroll ;)
  3. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    I was speaking with a guy last week who told me this story.

    He had a relative who was a ww2 veteran however, as seems to be the case with many people, he was always reluctant to talk about his experiences.

    After his death the family were going through his belongings and found a chest containing various documents, medals etc etc but there was also a number of police summonses and documentation regarding fines for criminal damage.

    With a little bit of research the story became clearer.

    The gentleman had been captured and was held for some time in an Italian P.O.W. Camp.

    After the war he lived in the Sandy Row area of Belfast and each weekend he would enjoy a few drinks in a local pub however at the end of the night when walking home he would find himself passing a shop which was under Italian ownership.

    When thinking of the troubles he had experienced in the Italian P.O.W. camp he usually stopped at the shop to smash a window!

    It appears that this had become something of a regular occurrence and indeed his old Regiment had an Officer speaking on his behalf in court to explain his circumstances.

    P.T.S.D. is nothing new!
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Sad case, he had at least the backing of his regiment if only when having to deal with the consequences.

    I'm reminded of the book Hand2Hand wrote about his good friend Bill who was taken in 1940 and only spoke of his experiences much later ... what he had to endure as a POW and from his own side after liberation.
    New Page 2
    The Bill Balmer Story
  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Post Traumatic Stress has always been around and either simply ignored in earlier years or the person was called a coward or such like.

    During the First World War, shell shocked soldiers were actually shot as cowards with no recourse to their previous military history, which was sometimes outstanding.

    History shows how shabbily we have treated out military and civilians alike who suffered such traumas.

    It is good to see that people can now seek and receive help without being stigmatised.

    It was refreshing to read that the Regiment did not disown their own and represented his case.

  6. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    This has been called many things over the years and will manifest in any number of ways: Shell Shock, Delayed Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder etc, whatever you call it; It is more or less your brain's way of saying: "Okay, I've had enough". The key is to recognize the signs/ symptoms early and deal with them as unlike a fine wine they will not improve with time.

    We owe it to ourselves, family and friends, to be able to recognize the symptoms and encourage help.

    Here is some info to get started these are US links; but, I am sure there are similar services offered on your side of the pond. And NO Guinness will not fix it.
    NIMH · Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    NIMH · Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Easy-to-Read)
    National Center for PTSD Home
    Heimbrent and James S like this.
  7. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    It is unfortunately nothing new lots of men have dealt with stress as they did in civilian life - alcohol to massage away trauma , help you to sleep - in itself it makes you more depressed...being branded a "drinker" masks what goes on underneath.

    Our politicians I hope that they will not forget their obligations.
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I think there is one or two threads on this subject on the forum already.

    Ref WW2 stuff, I just typed up a Royal Signals citation that mentions it, all but very briefly, and shows that it was recognised during WW2.

    I believe some members have mentioned in previous threads that it was dubious during WW2.

    Signalman (LCPL) Robert Herbert Bagley MM, 201 Guards Brigade Signal Section, 8 Indian Division, The Royal Corps of Signals.

    Awarded Military Medal.

    On the night of 11-12 May 1944, during the Gari River crossing operation L/Cpl Bagley R. volunteered to remain alone with his wireless set at the Beach Signal Masters Post, after his second operator had to be withdrawn suffering from shell shock.

    Beside operating his wireless set L/Cpl Bagley as telephone orderly, and on many occasions during the night crawled out of his slit trench to repair the telephone line himself despite constant and accurate shelling, mortaring and machine-gun fire.

    By his devotion to duty and complete disregard for his personal safety, L/Cpl Bagley maintained both line and wireless comn single handed during the most critical stage of the assault.
    LG 19.12.44
  9. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    Discharges for adjustment disorder soar

    By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
    Posted : Friday Aug 13, 2010 18:45:32 EDT
    Two years ago, under congressional pressure, the military changed its policy on separating troops dealing with combat stress for pre-existing personality disorders — an administrative discharge that left those veterans without medical care or other benefits.

    Discharges for adjustment disorder soar -

    Rant On:
    PTSD is something which I have done a great deal of research on and it, for lack of a better term, is one of my passions.

    This article and policy illustrates the ignorance of the military and mental health profession and their inability to recognize and effectively treat service members suffering from PTSD.

    This is something everyone should be outraged about!

    Here is a link that describes PTSD. Please take time to read it. By recognizing the subtle changes in people's behavior you can make a difference.
    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder DSM IV Criteria

    Rant Off
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    An after action report I read stated that "shell shocked" men were lacking in moral fiber. I'm thinking the officer who wrote that had never been near the heat.
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi All,

    I have come into contact with the stresses and long term reactions to WW2 service and combat, during my research into the Burma Campaign. I have met several veterans of this campaign and without exception they have all had some adverse reaction to their time out there.

    This is a very delicate and emotive subject matter and so I obviously cannot name or even hint at their identities, but all of them have found speaking of their time in Burma very difficult.

    One man I have spent time with said that he should never have been placed in charge of men more battle hardened than him and who were generally twice his age. On his return to England after witnessing many horrific scenes as the 14th Army cleared Mandalay, he could not settle down in to any ordinary or working life. His father became angry with him and often reminded him that 'everyone' had been affected by the war and not just him.

    In later life he returned to Burma to visit again the sights and places from 1945. He was quiet and reserved, also extremely concerned that he had made a terrible mistake to return to Burma, but slowly during the trip he blossomed and slowly began to release some of those demons that had been with him for so long.

    On the Eastern banks of the Irrawaddy River and with the Ava Bridge in the foreground, his body language clearly showed that he had reached some kind of peace with his past. It was an emotional event to witness, nevermind experience for ones self.

    Another veteran I eventually got to speak with had steadfastly refused to talk about his time in Burma. He never attended reunions or services of remembrance. His friend had mentioned my interest in the campaign and asked him to consider talking to me. After a long gap of time I received a letter from him with masses of information and an account of his time in Burma. He is still very reluctant to talk face to face, but has said that it was time to "exorcise some ghosts".

    A third gentleman seemed to take his war time experiences in his stride. While re-visiting Burma he spoke fairly openly about his Army life and his WW2 service. This of course was fantastic for me and my research. I asked him if he had come back to Burma for any particular reason, he said no, he just wanted to see what the country looked like today.

    While our group were in Rangoon War Cemetery (which as some will know was an emotional moment in my life) he suddenly broke down over the grave of a former comrade. This took everyone by surprise somewhat, as it was totally unexpected and out of character. In the hotel that evening, he told me that this man had been his only true friend while they were POW's together and that he had not realised how strong that bond had been.

    Lastly, about a year ago I spoke to another former POW by telephone. He was extremely forth coming with information and his Burma experiences. We had a wonderful hour or so chatting away. At the end of the conversation he thanked me for my time and said he had enjoyed talking with me.

    He then asked if I would be interested in supporting his favourite charity? I said yes and asked what this was, his reply was Combat Stress. He told me that he had realised in later life that he was still deeply affected by his time in WW2. He had contacted the people at Combat Stress and they had asked him to join their veteran scheme for PTSD. They encouraged him to find an avenue to release his feelings and emotions. His way of reaching some kind of closure was to write a short account of his war time experience.

    What we cannot appreciate today is that these people came home in their thousands, to families and a country that could not and did not want to hear about more war time experiences. They were simply expected to neatly fit back in to their previous everyday existences and re-join civilian life.

    James S likes this.
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Merged with previous PTSD thread.
  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Anyone that has seen action will find it adverse.... I was wounded in two occasions. Both, blown up at close quarters. Violent in the extreme. I have had men killed around me and seen death in all ts guises. I never suffered PTS. Never
  14. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    Anyone that has seen action will find it adverse.... I was wounded in two occasions. Both, blown up at close quarters. Violent in the extreme. I have had men killed around me and seen death in all ts guises. I never suffered PTS. Never

    That right there is the problem; PTSD manifests it's way differently depending on the person and their reaction or ability "digest" the experience. Some have a very mild reaction and subtle personality quirks and others have more adverse and obvious indications.

    Some people will assimilate the symptoms into their daily life allowing them to "chew" their trauma repeatedly and never really put it away and digest it. These are often people who are active in veterans groups and take pride in sharing their experiences. This is a good thing and is an effective mechanism.

    On the other hand there are those who do not choose to openly share their experience and keep it bottled up inside. These are the guys that have nightmares instead of dreams about their friends. Instead of drinking a toast to their fallen friends they try to wash away the memory with booze.

    I have friends who fall into both category.
    dbf likes this.
  15. Fireman

    Fireman Discharged

    I would agree with Sapper completely in his observations on PTS, Shell shock or whatever name this condition has. Obviously men and women suffer from it and no one can deny it. But like Sapper I suspect that the condition is being used as an excuse for various behavioural problems.Of course we all react to 'shock' in various ways and obviously Sapper for whatever reason is able to shrug it off. Others can't, how you sort the wheat from the chaff I have no idea. If sympathy in any form is offered then some will abuse that offer and use it as an excuse for their own shortcomings. Very difficult to determine and obviously the work being done on the genuine cases is very important.
  16. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    A veteran of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment and one of my favourite writers, Farley Mowat, describes his personal experience with the "Worm" in his book And No Birds Sang.

    It has the best description of the causes and effects of combat fatigue that I have read to date. has some excerpts.
  17. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    But like Sapper I suspect that the condition is being used as an excuse for various behavioural problems.

    I wont even comment on this type of attitude towards mental health and PTSD.

    Drew5233 likes this.
  18. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    No one wants to upset friends here. But there has been a very big increase in PTS and that is to the detriment of genuine cases, for there is no doubt it seems to me that there are many that jump on the bandwagon of PTS. Seen on by the unscrupulous as "easy money"
    It does happen and that DOES NOT HELP the genuine cases.

    If any doubts about this, then just think of the "Hire a cripple syndrome" It does happen. To illustrate this further.take the disabled "Blue Badge" The fraudulent use of these badges are running at about 70% Source? Hampshire and Dorset County Councils.
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Brian,

    I suspect the increase maybe due to the fact troops were fighting in Iraq and still are in Afghanistan.

    Easy Money? You don't get money if you are suffering from PTSD in the UK other than in extreme cases of being unable to work and then its incapacity benefit which in most cases is less than what you would earn if you had a job anyway so where is the benefit in that. You certainly don't get any compensation that I have ever heard of.

    Brian do you have a link ref the Blue Badge holders. My Partner and Mother have one and knowing all to well how hard it is to obtain one I find that figure hard to believe.

  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Drew .It started with the British Limbless Service men. BLESMA. (I am a life member) They complained bitterly to the Government that the blue badhe scheme was so heavily frauduently used that genuine disabled could not get a parking place.

    A bill was passed, and tried out in Scotland. Where the penalty for fraud would be £1000.00 Then later, it was introduced to the rest of the UK. Trouble is, they do not enforce the penalty. I live in a seaside town where it is impossible to park on a yellow line, as no one takes the slightest notice. Why? Simple really the Council privitised the traffic wardens. They now come once or twice a week for a coupkle of hours.... So no one bothers, they park anywhere. The wardens cover a huge area. Now I have a wheel chair.But can walk a few tards with great difficulty..... If I cannot get up close, I have to go back home. No choice on the matter. Just cannot do it....

    As to getting a badge?That is up tp your Dr

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