Post Traumatic Stress

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

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    FormerJughead

    For several years I did not drink responsibly and my drinking habits consisted of binge drinking which resulted in either a great night's sleep or a 200lb weeping mess that wanted to fight everyone.

    Currently I am on an alcohol regimen where I consume 4 pints of beer in the evening or 2 Rum & Cokes (served in a pint glass) and the world is good. I am in bed by 9PM and up by 6 AM with no night terrors or episodes of melancholy.
    Many thanks for that, I think I can now better understand many of your previous postings :)

    By contrast, I am in bed by 12:15 a.m and up by 5 a.m and my evening cup of tea seems very tame compared with your regime.

    Fraternal greetings from the UK

    Ron
     
  2. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    I spoke with my dad earlier this evening at dinner about his nightmares caused by his experiences in the Korean War. He said that since his stroke this past January, he no longer has any nightmares nor can he remember any dream once he awakens. Although he does not recommend this method of rehab to anyone who suffers from terrible combat induced nightmares, he said that can finally sleep now and feels refreshed in the morning, and even from his afternoon naps. And now he doesn't dread going to sleep either. Ain't that something.
     
  3. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Regarding reserch: CMVH - Centre for Military and Veterans' Health

    The Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health (CMVH) is an internationally-unique academic, community and military partnership dedicated to innovatively seeking solutions to military and veterans’ health issues.
     
  4. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  5. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  6. Nevil

    Nevil WW2 Veteran/Royal Signals WW2 Veteran

    I am not an expert on PTSD but a recent article in Canada's largest circulation newspaper caught my eye. The Toronto Star published an interesting supplement to a recent edition describing in some detail the recipients of the Star of Military Valour, which is Canada's second highest such award after the Victoria Cross.


    The awards all resulted from their service in Afghanistan. One of the recipients, a warrant officer, mentioned that he had been concerned that at the debriefing, on return to Canada, the staff at the centre, psychologists and such like, had concentrated on telling returning troops that it was OK to feel anger, alienation, distress, and so on, but nobody said it was also OK to feel OK! He thought this should be changed. I would have to agree with him.


    Nevil.
     
  7. leccy

    leccy Senior Member

    Sometimes worrys about PTSD seem very strange. I came under an artillery bombardment in 1993 (2 seperate incidents in 12 hours and at the time it was reported to have been the heaviest British Troops had come under since the Korean War).

    Because I argued with My SSM and refused to go to the dubious shelter of one of our little APC's and carried on playing cards with 2 of my mates it was deemed that the three of us needed to go for psychiatric evaluation as we must be suffering from something.

    The general background was we were in a concrete building with (unknown to us at the time) 152mm rounds being thrown at us. Three guns were firing (we could hear them fire waited a few seconds then 3 rounds would land) and the SSM was telling the blokes to run for the shelter of the APC's (we had 4 in location for 50 blokes) when he heard the guns fire (so we knew the rounds would be landing soon as opposed to telling them to go once they landed).
    Being slightly intelligent I did try to inform him that his timing was wrong but was brushed aside, so I refused to go, me and two others sat under a 6ft table in this 6 inch thick concrete walled and roofed building and played cards while turning the music up a bit. We fortunately only had one personnel casualty and quite a bit of replaceable or repairable kit damage.

    The three of us were deemed to have something wrong as we did not seem to be worried about the incoming (did not seem to be any point panicking at the time or worrying afterwards about it).

    I will say I did lose my rag later on that day over the shelling though, quite out of character for me. It was because my SQMS wished to bill me for my sleeping bag which had quite a few shrapnel holes in after the roof near my bedspace was hit and part of a round penetrated (I still have the pieces from the round that holed my kit).

    The psychiatrist thought it was a waste of time after interviewing us as we had no sign of anything wrong, what made it worse was those that were twitchy (including the SSM who panicked and dived for cover at any loud noise) did not go see anyone and two of them did break down in theatre.
     
  8. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    I am not an expert on PTSD but a recent article in Canada's largest circulation newspaper caught my eye. The Toronto Star published an interesting supplement to a recent edition describing in some detail the recipients of the Star of Military Valour, which is Canada's second highest such award after the Victoria Cross.


    The awards all resulted from their service in Afghanistan. One of the recipients, a warrant officer, mentioned that he had been concerned that at the debriefing, on return to Canada, the staff at the centre, psychologists and such like, had concentrated on telling returning troops that it was OK to feel anger, alienation, distress, and so on, but nobody said it was also OK to feel OK! He thought this should be changed. I would have to agree with him.


    Nevil.

    Nevil,

    An interesting observation and a refreshing bit of common sense.

    Be it the military, school system, government agencies, etc., there is now an army of psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, social workers and the like. Someoone who feels OK is simply not very good for their job security!
     
  9. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    Canuck & Leccy:

    I hope I do not come off like a jerk, as that is not my intention; but, we have discussed perceptions (ad nauseum) of PTSD and how it affects some and not others. Some people it takes very little trauma while others can absorb a great deal. In either case, or to whatever group you subscribe, please be considerate of others who may not be as fortunate as you seem to be.

    If you can not or are unwilling to afford this courtesy please feel free to excuse yourself from participation in this discussion.

    I have very little tolerance for degredation, self enfranchisement or deprecation in this matter. I beseech you to tread lightly.
     
  10. leccy

    leccy Senior Member

    Formerjughead

    My intention was to portray how they dealt with PTSD, I was sent for evaluation because I did not worry at the time, they believed there must be something wrong with the three of us. Others panicked or were scared etc we just got on with playing cards.

    Unfortunately they missed those in my unit who did need care, who did break down (one running around with a weapon and ammo another person who it was assumed would be ok despite showing extreme agitation). It took 2 days to evacuate one person who had concussion from an round that exploded next to him and was in extreme shock, I was sent away before him.

    Why the three of us were singled out in theatre but others with symptoms were not seemed very strange to us.
     
  11. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    Formerjughead

    My intention was to portray how they dealt with PTSD, I was sent for evaluation because I did not worry at the time, they believed there must be something wrong with the three of us. Others panicked or were scared etc we just got on with playing cards.

    Unfortunately they missed those in my unit who did need care, who did break down (one running around with a weapon and ammo another person who it was assumed would be ok despite showing extreme agitation). It took 2 days to evacuate one person who had concussion from an round that exploded next to him and was in extreme shock, I was sent away before him.

    Why the three of us were singled out in theatre but others with symptoms were not seemed very strange to us.

    In the light of day and in re-reading your post I must apologise for my response. Clearly I did not accept it in the spirit it was intended.

    What that does is illustrate how little is actually known about PTSD. We covered earlier in the thread the differences between PTSD and "Combat Shock" or "Traumatic Shock".

    Your evacuation was obviously a knee jerk reaction from your chain of command; I see nothing wrong with your response to the shelling and your actions (playing cards) seems appropriate.
     
  12. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Canuck & Leccy:

    I hope I do not come off like a jerk, as that is not my intention; but, we have discussed perceptions (ad nauseum) of PTSD and how it affects some and not others. Some people it takes very little trauma while others can absorb a great deal. In either case, or to whatever group you subscribe, please be considerate of others who may not be as fortunate as you seem to be.

    If you can not or are unwilling to afford this courtesy please feel free to excuse yourself from participation in this discussion.

    I have very little tolerance for degredation, self enfranchisement or deprecation in this matter. I beseech you to tread lightly.


    Jug,

    I believe that you misread my intentions as well. From my earlier posts I think it is evident that I accept PTSD as legitimate and I have seen the effects first hand.
    My most recent comments were directed solely at bureaucracies who don't often serve anyone very well. The victims or anyone else. The act of classifying everyone as a victim does a grave disservice to genuine PTSD sufferers and ultimately weakens their position in receiving necessary treatment and benefits.
    That said, I will acknowledge an innate distrust of many of these institutions who seem to exist primarily to benefit those who run them.
     
  13. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    Jug,

    I believe that you misread my intentions as well. From my earlier posts I think it is evident that I accept PTSD as legitimate and I have seen the effects first hand.
    My most recent comments were directed solely at bureaucracies who don't often serve anyone very well. The victims or anyone else. The act of classifying everyone as a victim does a grave disservice to genuine PTSD sufferers and ultimately weakens their position in receiving necessary treatment and benefits.
    That said, I will acknowledge an innate distrust of many of these institutions who seem to exist primarily to benefit those who run them.

    Sorry I blew up......that'll teach me to post before I start drinking.
     
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just heard about this on the radio.

    Hero soldier hanged himself after returning from Afghanistan because of guilt over friends being killed | Mail Online

    An Afghanistan veteran who saw his two best friends die on the frontline killed himself 'because he felt guilty that he had survived'.
    Lance Sergeant Dan Collins, 29, could have died several times but survived being shot in the back, his leg being grazed by a bullet and being caught in two bomb blasts.

    However, two of his closest friends, Dane Elson, 22, and Tobie Fasfous, 29, were killed during fighting in Helmand province.
     
  15. peaceful

    peaceful Senior Member

    Owen, I read this young man's story through tears in my eyes. There could be no worse tragedy than this. To think that survivors' guilt on top of mental health issues could be so painful as to drive this soldier to his death.

    I wish to offer my condolences to his family, his girl friend and mates.

    May you rest in peace.

    Peaceful (Chrissie) Registered Nurse
    Canada
     
  16. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Owen, I read this young man's story through tears in my eyes. There could be no worse tragedy than this. To think that survivors' guilt on top of mental health issues could be so painful as to drive this soldier to his death.

    I wish to offer my condolences to his family, his girl friend and mates.

    May you rest in peace.

    Peaceful (Chrissie) Registered Nurse
    Canada

    unfortunately he isn't the first and unfortunately wont be the last
    a very sad loss - i've seen too many of these in the past years
     
  17. peaceful

    peaceful Senior Member

    I wonder how persons who don't believe in the diagnosis of PTSD, but rather feel military vets are "soft" reconcile a death at your own hand?

    Not meant to be critical or insulting, just an innocent querry.

    peaceful / Chrissie R.N.
    many years experience in mental health nursing
     
  18. beaufort

    beaufort Junior Member

    Apologies for coming to this thread so late in the day but just a few comments...

    PTSD is by no means a new phenomenon, and has had various names over the years. We should be clear that although not everyone is affected, it has nothing to do with being cowardly or ‘soft’, rather it is a natural consequence of intolerable experiences which the mind finds difficult to process. It isn’t something that can be overcome by ‘guts’ or strength of will – sufferers are truly victims. A friend of mine is a Vietnam Veteran, one of those strong characters who led men into battle, guns ablazing. No shortage of courage or moral fibre there! After the war, all was well at first but gradually he developed nightmares, began drinking, and becoming very difficult. Instead of getting better over the years it got worse, until finally, 40 years down the track, has he been recognised as suffering from PTSD and has been able to get help.
    I think it’s probably a healthy sign that young men today find war, even in a good cause, traumatic and that they react accordingly. Fortunately, the support available to young men returning from active service is improving – in Australia at least – and the Returned Servicemen’s League has no qualms about acknowledging the damage done by traumatic experiences and offering help.
    By the way, the use of the word “shock” in relation to PTSD was abandoned many years agobecause it implies a reaction to some sudden traumatic event, whereas PTSD can arise – as became very clear during WW1's trench warfare - because of prolonged trauma.
     
  19. peaceful

    peaceful Senior Member

    I do appreciate all view points expressed because you can teach an old doggie new tricks.

    I have only read about the Tx of PTSD in Britain because my nursing practice, much in mental health, has all been in Canada where I live.

    I must say that I cringe when I see the label "victim" used. I have never seen this terminology used in any mental health or physical health issue.
    I would never call any patient victim or treat them as if they were. These military persons have been brave warriors on the battlefield, and when they return home are reduced to victims?
    They are not victims, they are victors. Victim implies powerlessness and a person to be pitied. No wonder there is a stigma attached that is tripping up a lot of folks.

    To share some very personal experience, I was involved in an incident when I was nursing in a federal prison and will make a miserable story short. I was threatened by an inmate that they had a knife in their pocket and were going to slit my throat for the narcotics I had in my possession. It went on from there. Why is this relevant? Well, never in a million years would I have thought I would experience PTSD, after all, I was strong I thought, and I am. I'm doing well now. If anyone were to call me a victim, they would be on the receiving end of my famous right hook and I am

    peaceful
    Chrissie
     
  20. Ednamay

    Ednamay wanderer

    1943 or 44 my brother (aged 20, on a Fleet escort carrier) came home on leave after an arctic convoy; my mother and I did not know what was wrong with him, he could not sit still, he lit cigarettes and forgot them, or put them out and lit another, he had difficulty sitting long enough to eat a meal, he had terrible nightmares (his bedroom was next to mine) ....... we did not know if he would be able to go back.
    When my father came home for a long weekend, after my brother had gone back, he explained that this was a reaction to prolonged stress; that the aircraft maintenance crew had little or no sleep for days at a time because the aircraft had to be serviced as soon as landed, ready to take off again, and accepting the deaths of pilots of missing aircraft.
    Would this now be accepted as PTSD? He had to cope, and did, but I am sure it impacted on the rest of his life.

    Edna
     

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