The PTSD Thread

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by spider, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    There was some very interesting information on this former thread, and for those who took the time to digest it they would have been well informed, which the thread was originally about.
    I 'm on the committee of a charity that works with post traumatic stress (PTSD) . We have published a book that explains how it feels and what people can do about it .
    The book , "THE SKY BEFORE THE STORM" , has been distributed to every GP's surgery in Northern Ireland and the feedback has been very positive .

    This book is available online to download for free .

    I became involved with this work because I was very aware of my father's experiences throughout his life (he had been a Japanese POW) . And now , a lot of people are looking at the "trans - generational" effects of trauma .

    Interestingly , my closest friend at university was the daughter of concentration camp survivors . Years later we realised that this similar background was part of our friendship .

    Would members on this forum like to have the details and the link ?
    I welcome your opinions .

    I see no point in re-opening the thread and if other relevant information or experiences are forthcoming put them in the appropriate subject area.

    Capt Bill likes this.
  2. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Further, the thread has nothing to do with "veterans accounts" and was an information topic.

  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Trans/generational PTSD. You are joking my old sausage? Are you suggesting that a trauma can be handed down from father to son, or Daughter????
    Seriously? Really?
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    it says "trans - generational" effects

    A child of a sufferer may not have too happy an upbringing - if their parent cannot interact with them as other parents would.
  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Stone me !
  6. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    if, like mine, youre wife doesnt like spiders (little hariy creepy crawly things and not an Aussie website member) isnt it strange how the children react the same even if they havent come into contact with spiders or any other phobia for that matter

    children trust their parents to teach them the basics in survival - and passing on such habbits as phobias is part of the learning process
  7. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    I see no point in re-opening the thread and if other relevant information or experiences are forthcoming put them in the appropriate subject area.


    My original statement is still the same, apart from medical and historical facts, and a few WW2 era experiences, nothing can be gained..........shut it off to further replies to the thread and leave it at that.

  8. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  9. Auditman

    Auditman Senior Member

    Good article - not enough publicity for such a horrible condition
  10. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    At last the Military are becoming more aware of PTSD, in particular its delayed effects and the damage it can do when ex-servicemen are no longer in the protective cocoon of their unit. I know that the MOD is running a specialist PTSD unit within the NHS for ex British Servicemen - lets hope it doesn't be come a victim of the cuts.
  11. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Tue 01 Mar 2011, 12:54pm by Halina Baczkowski 6.12AM ABC Brisbane
    Paula is an army wife her husband Glenn went to TImor, and then Afghanistan with the Australian Army. When he came home he was a person she doesn't recognise. How many of our soliders are coming back with PTSD and what are we doing about it. Robyn Walker is the Acting Commander of the Joint Health Command.

    Are our soliders suffering from PTSD? - ABC Queensland - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

    Well worth reading the transcript of listening to the audio replay for those interested (no knockers).
  12. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I think the question of PTSD is often ignored by those in command as well as the politicians - it is a condition that can take a very long time to manifest itself and is one that requires more research and nore funding as well as support for the often ex-servicemen
  13. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    [FONT=&quot]Joseph Catanzaro, The West Australian July 16, 2011, 2:48 am [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]A decade ago, David Cirulis reckoned he was invincible. A member of Australia's most elite and secretive fighting force, the Special Air Service Regiment, he was in his own words, "a rock star" on the battlefield.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In East Timor in 1999, he fought the pro-Indonesian militia while suffering from an almost fatal bout of dengue fever. On his second tour in the dark and dangerous jungles, a busted knee and a back injury barely slowed him down.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]When other soldier's bodies or minds began to buckle under the strain, like the other boys still standing on top of the mountain he looked down on them with scorn. A terse "toughen up sunshine" was the closest thing to comfort he would offer. Weakness was failure and was not tolerated in the SAS.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]As soon as he arrived back in Australia from a deployment, he would hit the pub with his warrior brothers. The nightmares he had begun to suffer, and the pain of his injuries, were drowned out on four-day benders.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]At home, a young daughter and a wife waited. She eventually left him, but he barely blinked - he was married to the regiment.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he was among the first wave of Australian SAS soldiers to hit the ground in Afghanistan.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Operating behind enemy lines, in hostile territory, he did and saw things that changed him. By day, he was still a rock, operating to the regiment's relentless standards. At night, the cracks in his stony exterior began to tell.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Deep in hostile country, his life and his comrades' dependent on stealth and secrecy, he would cry out in his sleep. It got so bad that the man on lookout would need to sit close whenever he lay down to rest to shut him up.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Sgt Cirulis was embarrassed, he was ashamed, he was in denial. His body was failing him - knees and neck and back and shoulder refusing to function after countless injuries sustained on the job. The scars on the inside, the open wounds in his mind, were something he never talked about.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In 2004, after years of service, they told him he was a liability.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]When he left he was given a psychological evaluation, a "tick and flick" session. When he was asked why he was shaking, he blamed the fan cooling the room. It was the middle of summer, but his explanation was accepted.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It was after leaving the regiment that Sgt Cirulis went to war again. His enemies this time were not wiry men from a land of mountains and desert, but depression and anxiety. His daily battle was finding the will to keep living, to try to wrest assistance from a Government he felt had turned its back on him. They were conflicts he came close to losing.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Every time the headlines screamed of another Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan, Sgt Cirulis grieved for them. But he also grieved for the nameless but growing number of wounded, injured and broken men.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Their homecoming goes unmarked. The nature of their wounds remains hidden from the public eye. The ghosts of warriors, they nurse their maladies and undeserved shame in silence.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In the absence of a leg or two, in the disfigurement of severe burns or bullets or shrapnel still lodged in flesh, in the broken minds lies the hidden toll of a decade of war in Afghanistan. In plain sight, on the streets of Perth, all around the country, they remain invisible.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Yesterday, Sgt Cirulis broke the military's code of silence, telling his story in an effort to draw attention to the plight of those that have been crushed and chewed and spat out by the gears of the Australian war machine.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Sitting in a Fremantle hotel, his once steady trigger finger nervously tapping on a coffee cup, Sgt Cirulis, 41, said he bore scars inside and out.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]He has been under the surgeon's knife about 10 times for different injuries caused by "wear and tear" - a legacy of 14 years of service.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Sgt Cirulis said others were worse off. While the Defence Department acknowledges more than 180 soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan, the confronting nature of those wounds is something that has rarely revealed.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"I've had mates that have lost their legs and have been horribly burned," Sgt Cirulis said.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"A really good mate of mine was doing a reconnaissance mission, and went over to have a look at a particular arc (of fire), he stood on what we call a toe popper (mine) and lost his foot."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]An infantry soldier in the regulars who he knew, barely in his 20s, came back to Australia injured and destined for a discharge. Too ashamed to go home, too stoic to ask for help from Veterans' Affairs, he squatted in the barracks until they kicked him out.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]While gruelling training and the stress of being constantly vigilant for enemy and friendly fire in the field played a role, Sgt Cirulis said more than anything witnessing the plight of Afghan families was the final shot that pierced his mental armour and broke him.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The look in the eyes of those maimed by roadside bombs, the memory of terrified faces as his team burst into homes on raids, will haunt him forever.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"For a lot of years (during training) it was just targets, paper targets.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"When it is a real person, when you see their kids cowering in the corner, when you see their wives, it's just mayhem. I'll never forget the faces of those kids cowering in the corner as you came in.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"You see some horrific injuries from the roadside bombs on children. It's hard to deal with."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]After he "got out", Sgt Cirulis spent two years working as a consultant, still refusing to deal with his issues, the mental and physical pain setting him on a collision course with rock bottom.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"I was drinking, and having incidents while I was drinking. A person came up and struck me at a night club, I just went berserk. I was putting my fist through doors at home, I put my fist through the windscreen of the car, I'd just lose it. It was just mounting and mounting and mounting. Then I just snapped."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]His long-term family, the guys in the regiment, couldn't understand his situation or talk to him about what they were doing because of security issues.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]His second wife and four children couldn't comprehend what he was going through.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"I was in an abyss," he said. "Once you're out, you're out."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In 2006, unable to work any more, he approached Veterans' Affairs for help.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Like many of the broken soldiers, he didn't know what to do with himself.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"In WA, there's heaps of us. It's sad. You've got guys working making kid's toys basically in sheltered workshops, so they can try and feel like they are doing something."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]While they paid for his operations, DVA assessed him as only suffering from a low state of depression. He was put on an incapacity payment that equalled half his soldier's pay.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]This was later reduced by 25 per cent, as an incentive to get him back to work.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]When the physical pain and mental anguish became too much, his thoughts turned to suicide.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"It was just a matter of when I was going to top myself. It was just seeing my children and having those moments of clarity, I didn't want them or anyone to have to find my body. But it was on my mind all the time."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Locked in a battle with his own personal demons, his family became collateral damage.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"It cripples everybody. To have your husband say 'I don't feel like living any more and that nothing is enjoyable', your wife ends up getting depression. You have four beautiful kids, and you can't give them any time."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Fighting his demons and the DVA for more money, he was battling on two fronts.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"The kind of conversations I had with them was 'you were in a dangerous job, you knew you were going to get injured, you knew you were going to be sore. You knew the risks and that's what we paid you for'. I was made to feel like a scab."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]While this was happening, he went away for a stretch in Hollywood Hospital. It was there that he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression; and met others who were in the same boat.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]During this difficult period, he was propped up by the support of a Vietnam veteran who had been through a similar ordeal.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]With this man's help, he initiated legal action against DVA. The day before they were due to go to court last year, they compromised and gave him most of what he was entitled to.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]His payments are classed as "temporary", which he is OK with, because he hopes to work again.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Once he was in the system, Sgt Cirulis said the treatment was "red carpet".[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It was the initial application process post service, and the lack of care he received while serving, that he believes needs to be improved.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]"There needs to be a system in the military to identify people in trouble, a solid approach, training for the people who see these soldiers every day so they can see changes in behaviour. Do it all in a way so that not everyone knows about it, and it doesn't affect their record."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Since January this year, Sgt Cirulis has been seeing a doctor that has helped him find out who he is, post SAS.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]After months of rehabilitation, he this year started training at the The Mill, a Fremantle gym run by ex- SAS and commando soldiers.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]While he still suffers from nightmares and is still on painkillers and anti-depressants, he feels like he is finally on the road to recovery.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It's been a tough learning curve, but he said he was now a better man because of everything he'd endured.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]He harboured no ill will towards Defence, saying it gave him many of the core values that shaped him. At the same time, he said it had impeded his ability to live a normal life.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Sgt. Cirulis said it was time Australia's wounded and injured soldiers got the support they deserved; and there should be greater pre-emptive care and a commitment from DVA to streamline the application process for help.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]He knows his own personal road back to normalcy will be a long one and that there are battles yet to be fought.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]But for the first time in a long time, he's heading in the right direction. This is his personal war, and he's winning it, one day at a time.[/FONT]
    SAS veteran's very private war after front-line career - The West Australian
    wtid45 and Jedburgh22 like this.
  14. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for posting this - it is often forgotten that some war casualties don't show on the statistics as the symptoms don't show till perhaps years later, especially in cases of PTSD. For many before diagnosis there has been a descent into a social hell of drinking, divorce, often homelessness and brushes with the legal system. Things are slowly improving in some areas of care for ex-servicemen but often they are thrust into a civilian system they do not understand and who has no understanding of them or sadly may have a bias against the military.
  15. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Injured Diggers expose flaws

    Jospeh Catanzaro, The West Australian July 23, 2011, 2:37 am

    Another five soldiers who served with the Special Air Service Regiment have broken the elite force's code of silence in a bid to draw attention to flaws in the Veteran's Affairs system that is putting Diggers at risk.
    They say they are speaking out in the hope of making it better for the new wave of younger veteran's coming home battered and broken from Afghanistan.
    All six former troopers received compensation for physical injuries and, all bar one, had been diagnosed with mental trauma including post traumatic stress disorder.
    While all six men acknowledged Defence and Veteran's Affairs were fundamentally good organisations, they said further improvements were urgently needed to stop diggers falling through the cracks.
    They said poor advice from both departments had led to two of them receiving a fraction of the money they were entitled to and saw another have his pension cut by $30,000 a year.
    Mark, 41, who discharged from the military with multiple injuries and PTSD, said he had been shocked by the callous and uniformed nature of Veteran's Affairs staff.
    Larry, 53, spent 20 years in the SAS and discharged in 2006 with multiple wounds and PTSD.
    He said he had received "poor advice" that saw him receive less than he was entitled to. "I went from a six figure income to $26,000 a year," he said. "It caused a lot of stress."
    Gavin, 46, a 21-year-veteran of the SAS who discharged in 2007 with multiple injuries and PTSD, said he received the wrong advice from veteran's Affairs and they ended up reducing his payment erroneously by $30,000 a year. Former SAS Sgt John, 40, said adjusting to civilian life was difficult after "running through houses, shooting people and spying."
    Without the help of the Special Air Service Association, and volunteer pension officer Peter Larter, none of the men believe they would have been able to cope with the bureaucracy of Veteran's Affairs.
    Cpl Larter, himself a former SAS soldier and Afghanistan veteran, said problems in the transition between Defence and Veteran's Affairs urgently needed to be addressed.
    He said he and other advocates had called on the Government to set up an independent body to offer expert advice.

    Injured Diggers expose flaws - The West Australian
  16. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek

    Thanks for posting. Very hard for those that have seen and been through so much.
  17. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  18. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Defence 'fails' soldiers over injury list

    JOSEPH CATANZARO, The West Australian July 22, 2011, 5:45 am
    The Defence Department has come under fire for endangering the safety of Diggers after admitting yesterday it did not centrally collect and analyse injuries that soldiers suffered on deployment.
    The revelation came as veterans and advocates from the elite Special Air Service Regiment yesterday urged the Federal Government to set up a new independent body to help wounded and injured soldiers switch from Defence to the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
    Veterans' advocates yesterday questioned how Defence could improve safety for serving soldiers and avoid past mistakes if the department was not centrally collating and analysing information on injured soldiers.
    The department's admission about the perceived flaw in its reporting system, which is expected to take another two years to fix, came after _The Weekend West _revealed that Veterans' Affairs has been hit with 3400 compensation claims from Diggers wounded or injured in Afghanistan.
    A Defence spokesman said ADF members injured on deployment had their health outcomes recorded in their medical files, "rather than on a central database".
    "Defence's e-health systems cannot easily be interrogated for reporting purposes. However a new system is being developed," he said.
    Veterans' Affairs shared information on injuries, but not all the data would be collected centrally with Defence until late 2013.
    SAS Association pension officer John Burrows said Defence committed to collating injury information in 2004 to identify "areas of danger which could be improved".
    "I am surprised, particularly with regard to the various requirements in the civil and industrial communities for reporting these things, that from a compensation, health and safety and duty of care perspective they are not collating this information," he said.
    Former SAS sergeant and Afghanistan veteran Peter Larter, who was medically discharged in 2005, said Defence and Veterans' Affairs were good organisations but soldiers were "falling through the cracks" during the transition between the departments.
    Defence 'fails' soldiers over injury list - The West Australian
  19. Assam

    Assam Senior Member

    Thanks for posting that, & to the comments that followed.

    There was a comment made by a Defense Association spokesman some time ago in response to a recent death when he referred to the "burn out Factor". He went on to state that we have not spead the work load accross the ADF, but rather relied upon our special forces to go in first & every time & to take the brunt of it all on every occassion.

    For someone to be say 24 & to have done 2 tours of Iraq & 3 of Afghanistan + 1 somewhwere else, it goes very much to the heart of the matter. I have no understanding of the degree of pressure that these guys are under, only those that have been there done that can fully comprehend what it takes & what they have gone through to reach that break point.

    Let us hope that the measure of devotion displayed by these brave souls can at the end of the day not only be recognised, but that the level of social responsibility displayed by those that send them out there, surpasses anything that has been done for them & there comrades in the past & truly reflects the service that they have given.


  20. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    "He was held in Hong Kong for four years and subjected to all kinds of torture but he was never diagnosed until he saw me and he was 90. He already had 100 per cent compensation for being a PoW but it was the first time diagnosed with PTSD. He was 60 years suffering."

    Aging veterans battle PTSD and dementia to this day
    bamboo43 likes this.

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