Post Traumatic Stress

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

  1. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    The link to PTSD joint US/British/Canadian and Australian papers - 'QSTAG PTSD' . My internet connection has slowed down - local repairs apparently - I cannot show the listings. Headings include combat stress standardization papers.

    Quadripartite Standardization Agreement

    Defense Standardization Program (DSP) Portal
  2. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Looking out for the veterans who can't celebrate Anzac Day

    April 27, 2010 Category Opinion

    While we marvel at the veterans – from all wars – who walked, were driven, pushed and assisted along Anzac marches across Australia, we should also remember those for whom the day brought back memories they would have been happier to forget. Those for whom the day was spent behind closed doors, away from the celebrations and the memories.
    For many, Anzac Day triggers not only feelings of pride and camaraderie but also feelings of grief, loss, depression and anger. And for many this would have been exacerbated by the accident at Melbourne’s Anzac Day parade that sent some of the veterans to hospital.
    Humans have known about the psychological impact of war for thousands of years. Literature as far back as the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans is full of descriptions of what we now know as posttraumatic stress.

    While, on this day we acknowledge the great sacrifices made by those who served this country in the past, we should also acknowledge the enormous sacrifices we ask even now of our current serving members and their families as the men and women of the Australian Defence Forces serve in Iraq or Afghanistan, or in peacekeeping missions in the Solomon Islands or Timor.
    The adversities faced by our defence personnel include not only threats to their own lives but also exposure to the almost unimaginable horrors that accompany war and conflict. Given what they face, the resilience of members of our present and past defence forces in confronting this adversity is remarkable.
    However, while we readily acknowledge the loss of life and the physical injuries, the psychological and emotional injuries of military conflict such as anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder are often less visible. These invisible emotional injuries are often harder for the person themselves to accept and for others around them to understand. But they can be just as debilitating as the loss of a limb, or even more so.
    Humans have known about the psychological impact of war for thousands of years. Literature as far back as the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans is full of descriptions of what we now know as post-traumatic stress. The term “shell shock” was coined during the First World War to describe the devastating mental health conditions that developed in so many young men after the horrors of battle.
    Unfortunately, these psychological injuries have often been the target of criticism and ridicule, with sufferers being labelled as weak, feeble-minded, and lacking in moral fibre. Those who developed these conditions not only had to suffer the painful symptoms, but also the associated feelings of isolation and shame.
    In recent decades enormous strides have been taken by the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs in addressing mental health in veterans and serving members, and reducing associated stigma. There are now strategies in place to build psychological resilience in the young men and women of our ADF, to screen for mental health issues after deployment, and to ensure access to care for those who need it.
    However, there is still a long march ahead of us. We need to remain vigilant to the emotional effects of military deployment in conflict zones and ensure best practice care and support for our past and present serving members to minimise the mental health consequences of war. The cost, both in terms of human suffering and economic impact, is too large to ignore.
    ANZAC Day will always be an emotional time. Looking after oneself and looking out for mates and loved ones becomes increasingly important. For those veterans who did find that ANZAC Day has triggered a spiral of emotional distress and withdrawal this can last for days or even weeks. You must look after yourself in the coming days and we – as a community – must look out for our neighbours and family who are veterans and may have not be travelling well in the coming days.
    Spend time with people you care about – if you want to talk about how you’re feeling, that’s fine but don’t feel you have to. Just being with other people will help. And remember, if things get too difficult ask for some professional help.
    Associate Professor David Forbes is deputy director of the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health.
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Fewer Falklands War suicides than feared, study suggests

    The claim that more Falklands veterans have killed themselves since the war ended than died in action is not borne out by statistics, a study says.

    Some 255 UK personnel died in action, but a veterans group has said the suicide toll since 1982 exceeds that.

    However, the Ministry of Defence has found 95 deaths were recorded as suicides or open verdicts.

    The MoD said every suicide was a tragedy and urged veterans of any conflict needing support to seek help.

    In 2002, The South Atlantic Medal Association, which represents veterans, said it was "almost certain" the number of suicides exceeded the conflict death toll.

    It placed the blame predominantly on a lack of care for those suffering post traumatic stress disorder.


    But the MoD has now investigated the circumstances of 21,432 Falklands veterans three decades after the end of the conflict, and found that as of 31 December 2012, some 1,335 had died.

    That compares with an estimated 2,079 deaths that would have been expected among men of a similar age and background who did not serve in the forces, according to the MoD.

    Of those Falklands veterans, 7% of deaths - or 95 individuals - were due to "intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent (suicides and open verdict deaths)".

    That finding means that on average across the whole 30-year period, veterans were actually 35% less likely to kill themselves than the equivalent group of British men with no military background.

    An MoD spokesman said: "Every suicide is a tragedy and our thoughts remain with the families and relatives of all those lost who bravely served in the Falklands conflict."

    He said the government had committed £7.2m to improving mental health support for military personnel, including creating a 24-hour helpline in conjunction with charity Combat Stress.

    The spokesman added: "We would encourage any Falklands veterans or serving personnel who need help to come forward to access the wide range of support available."

    The study also found:

    78% of veterans' deaths (1,046) were the result of disease, while 19% (247 deaths) were the result of external causes of injury
    Cancer was the primary cause of disease-related deaths, with 455 cases recorded
    But veterans were 30% less likely to die from cancer and 40% less likely to die from disease in general than men with no military background over the period since 1982
    Of the 1,335 Falklands deaths, 140 occurred while the individual was still in service - the rest died after leaving the Armed Forces
    The MoD said military personnel were likely to have higher levels of fitness and lower levels of ill health than the general UK population, which could account for the lower incidence of death from disease observed by the study.

    The death toll of 255 from the Falklands War includes 237 UK servicemen, along with four personnel from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, six from the Merchant Navy and eight Hong Kong sailors.
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Falklands war: new study debunks claims of high suicide rates

    • Suicide rate of veterans similar to that of general population
    • Vets more healthy than population as a whole
    • Health care and protecting soldiers increase cost of conflict
    • Questions over role of army in future conflicts

    The claim, often repeated in the media and by veterans' groups, that more Falklands vets had killed themselves than died fighting in the actual conflict, has been roundly rejected by a study especially commissioned by the Ministry of Defence.
    For years there have been reports that the suicide toll of Falklands vets exceeded the 255 who were killed in action during the conflict thirty years ago.
    The MoD statistical study, released on Tuesday, concludes that the risk of dying as a result of suicide for the Falklands vets was no different from the general population of the UK.
    Vets were actually 36% less likely to die than the general population over the same period of time, it says.
    The MoD investigated the circumstances of 21,432 Falklands veterans. It found that as of 31 December 2012, some 1,335 had died.
    That figure compares with an estimated 2,079 deaths that would have been expected among veterans if they had experienced the same mortality rate as the UK population as a whole.
    Of the Falklands veterans, 7% — 95 deaths — were due to "intentional self-harm and events of undetermined intent (suicides and open verdict deaths)", says the MoD study.
    "For each year over the entire period [between 1982 and 2012] the risk of dying as a result of suicide for the Falklands veterans was no different to the UK general population", the study emphasised.
    It also found that veterans were 40% less likely to die from disease than the rest of the UK population over the period since 1982.
    The MoD points the finger at the Daily Mail and BBC in particular for reporting claims that more Falklands vets had committed suicide than were killed in the war.
    Why did those reports seem to strike chords and gain currency?
    The short answer is that veterans' groups, including the South Atlantic Medal Association, accused the government, and the MoD in particular, of not doing enough to help vets, for being too slow to acknowledge mental, as opposed to physical, illness.
    The MoD still seems to be on the defensive. Responding to the study of Falklands vets it insisted that the mental health of our personnel and veterans were a "top priority".
    It added that it had committed £7.2m on mental health support projects, including "tailored" NHS mental health services and a 24-hour helpline with the charity, Combat Stress.
    Proper health care for vets now demanded by public opinion — even more so because of the unpopularity of the Iraq and Afghan conflicts when compared to the Falklands — is a growing factor in the legacy of conflict, contributing to its increasing cost.
    That is already increasing signficantly because of the cost of protecting troops on the battlefield itself. The cost of equipping a US infantry soldier is estimated to have increased from just $175 in 1944 to up to $10,000 now.
    The figures were cited recently by Ben Barry, a retired brigadier and now senior fellow for land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He was speaking on the subjectof "Hard fighting, hard times, hard choices: Strategic challenges facing modern armies".
    He spoke about a "prevailing gloom" over "the utility of force" after the experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    All recent wars had been "amongst the people" and that was likely to continue, he said. He added: "Together with the global megatrend of urbanisation it is likely that most land combat will increasingly take place not just around, but also in villages, towns, and cities. Urban operations will become less exceptional- more the new normal".
    As if to counter a growing view that the time of large numbers of western boots on the ground had gone for ever, Barry stressed that "numbers count" in counter insurgency operations.
    "Not only having large numbers of security boots on the ground, but also growing, training, and mentoring indigenous forces".
    The question is will there be political appetite in western capitals even for these kind of operations, especially given the growing cost of minimising risks and protecting troops and an increasingly wary and sceptical public opinion.
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    ... and ...
    Forces' suicide figures: BBC probe

    Short interview also on R5Live's Phil Williams programme, possibly available later in podcast.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Just home in time to catch the last 20 minutes - Funny how it seems that all the 'retired' Generals are now saying there is a problem but there never was one on their watch when it might effect their career path.

    Only thing I found myself disagreeing with (from what little I saw) on the programme is ex-servicemen should get preferential treatment on the NHS.

    Anyone else watch it?
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  8. Hesmond

    Hesmond Well-Known Member

    It now seems Marshal Ney may have been showing signs of PTSD when repeatdly trying to get himself killed in the final hours at Waterloo in 1815 , not suprising when you look at his 20 year service record ?
    Many years ago on BBC2 in late 1970s a historical documentry programe had a section on a English Civil War Royalist officer who had a fair bit of service ,on being told that there were troops in waiting behind a hedge ,purposfully took his horse on through to harrang the enemy he just stood there whilst he was shot down , it was a year to the day his father had been killed in battle , shows nothing new? witness said it was though he was waiting to be killed .
    A few of the defenders from Rokes Drift are also noted to have later taken there own lives .
  9. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD
  11. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    My Legion Branch provides a room (free of charge) for a monthly Combat Stress meeting.

    There are about 8 regular attendees, mostly from recent conflicts but including a couple of NI veterans.

    Obviously what goes on behind the closed door remains there but there is often a good deal of raucous laughter heard. No doubt some dark squaddie humour that strikes a chord.
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Video experience headlines - BBC News
    [Video in link]
    Is there a suicide crisis for British veterans?

    Military charities say they are not coping with the increased demand for mental health support.

    Campaigners estimate that last year, at least 58 veterans took their own lives.

    The Ministry of Defence spends £22 million pounds a year on mental health for veterans, while the NHS has dedicated around £6m annually since 2016.

    Reporter: Jonathan Beale, Production, filming, editing: Claire Read.

    If you're affected by emotional distress, click here for help and support, or wider information is available via the BBC Action Line.
    bamboo43 and canuck like this.
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  14. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Great article. It seems that few combat veterans escaped unscathed, either in mind or body.
    I knew a number of school friends who, if you knew them well, would whisper about the psychological issues with their veteran fathers. Nightmares being the most common symptom described and I suspect because they were most terrifying for children. Heavy drinking was the second most discussed issue.

    Another perspective here:

    Why some soldiers develop PTSD while others don't
  15. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Came across this thread today and have skimmed some of the posts. Reading reminded me about talking to two veterans of the war / insurgency in Rhodesia and a police officer who attended the Birmingham Pub Bombings in 1974.

    The Rhodesia veterans were both experienced, professional soldiers and argued that PTSD was not a significant factor at the time (till 1979) or years later. A significant factor was the use of "six weeks in the bush and two out", so patrolling and operations in the bush, followed by two weeks R&R invariably in the unaffected cities (alcohol, fighting, women and more). I may have the ratio wrong.

    The B'ham Pub Bombings officer was in a team (the West Midlands Police's mobile reserve, the Special patrol Group) and they were directed to attend the scene, helping to move the injured from the bombed pubs for hours. Remarkably he claimed his team had not suffered ever from PTSD, why? They had returned to base and adjourned across the road to an Irish-owned pub, had a few beers and gone home.

    For a US Army perspective on how to prepare for combat and reduce PTSD see this 2015 article: Think Like a Green Beret: Don't Stress | The Loadout Room
  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY,_M.D.

    The film is based on the 1961 novel by Leo Rosten. It was loosely based on the World War II experiences of Rosten's close friend Ralph Greenson, M.D., while Greenson was a captain in the Army Medical Corps supporting the U.S. Army Air Forces and stationed at Yuma Army Airfield in Yuma, Arizona. Greenson is well known for his work on "empathy" and was one of the first in his field to seriously associate posttraumatic stress disorder (years before that terminology was developed) with wartime experiences. He was a director of the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute and was a practicing Freudian. Greenson is perhaps best known for his patients, who included Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Vivien Leigh.

    Captain Newman, M.D. (1963) - IMDb

    On UK TV soon
    All times are in United Kingdom Time
    On Today ITV4 +1 13:30
    ITV4 12:30
  17. EmpireUmpire

    EmpireUmpire Well-Known Member

    I remember a comical conversation I had with work after a "critical incident". It went something like this:-

    - them: How are you feeling since xyz happened?
    - me: I feel fine.
    - them: are you sleeping well, not feeling anxious or irritable?
    - me: no, I'm all good.
    - them: you know, symptoms often take time to manifest.
    - me: no really, I feel fine.
    - them: did you know the denial of symptoms can itself be a symptom of PTSD.
    - me: *sighs and mentally checks out*

    It seems to me that in todays day and age, its fashionable to be a victim.
    TTH likes this.

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