The PTSD Thread

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

  1. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    But there was also pain. He was diagnosed with “anxiety” upon his discharge in 1945 and suffered what is now recognized as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the rest of his life. He was officially diagnosed only a few years ago. Every night, he told his daughter, he would think about his crew mates who had died and wonder what might have been had he taken a different approach to the target.

    “He always thought, ‘Maybe if I had just gone a little to the left… He always felt responsible’.”

    Obituary: Donald Cheney – Lancaster pilot, Dambuster, diplomat
  2. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    "This is my father, Sgt. Ed Sudhues, in about 1944. He was born in Germany in 1909 and came to Canada on the “Volendam" in 1926 (age 17). He made a conscious effort to live with people who only spoke English in order to learn it properly -- and he spoke it very well, with no accent.

    In 1939, he volunteered here in Victoria, B.C., and ended up in the (I believe) 1st Field Engineers. He fought in the Sicilian campaign in 1943, up through Italy in 1944 (including Monte Casino), and finally in Holland in 1945. After VE Day, he was asked to stay on to act as an interpreter, dealing with captured German officers. He stayed on, even after VJ Day and was then asked if he would remain as an interpreter for the Nuremberg Trials. He declined and was finally de-mobbed in time to be home for Christmas 1945.

    The man who came home from the war was not the one who enlisted. The man who came home had become a violent alcoholic, quick to take offence and to hold grudges. The war, what he’d had to do, and what he’d seen in it, destroyed him. Now we’d say he had PTSD and he would have had access to some help, but back then there was none, so the damage was kept sealed up and the pain and hurt went on and on, for him and the family. He was my father, but he was never a man I could love or even like. And THAT is why I never wear a poppy for Remembrance Day."

    Ken Sudhues

    ozzy16 likes this.
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Thank you so much for your extremely frank and evocative posting about your late father.

    I think I understand your feelings and I agree completely with your analysis that his WW2 experiences were responsible for his change in character.

    For the benefit of others I give the link to the original PTSD thread:
    Post Traumatic Stress??

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  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I spoke on the phone with one ex-POW of the Japanese, Bill Troughton. He became involved with the charity Combat Stress a good few years back and as part of his therapy was encouraged to write about his experiences as a POW. Sadly, Bill has since passed away, but I know that he gained at least some comfort from his understanding of PTSD, albeit at a very late stage of his life.

    War prisoner’s survival story
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  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    BBC2 - 9pm - Monday 12th November 2018: BBC Two - WWI's Secret Shame: Shell Shock

    "Dan Snow investigates a century of war trauma from WW1 shell shock to modern PTSD.

    Historian Dan Snow breaks the silence around the devastating impact of war on the mental health of our soldiers. For 100 years, men and women who risked their lives for their country have continued to suffer on their return. In this film for BBC Two, Dan explores the challenge presented by an ongoing mental health crisis among war veterans. Dan discovers how the shell shock of WW1 has evolved into the cases of PTSD that modern soldiers suffer with today. Shockingly, lessons learnt from previous conflicts were soon forgotten. Battle trauma leads to alcoholism, broken families, violence and suicide on a shocking scale in the UK. He asks military psychiatrists and experts why we're still struggling to help the psychiatric casualties of war.

    Dan shares frank and moving conversations with veterans of World War Two, the Falklands and Afghanistan, and also with relatives of those who fought in World War One. Jimmy Smith was traumatised after fighting in many of the major battles of the Great War. He was sentenced to death by court martial at only 26 years old for misbehaviour and desertion. A few decades later, Victor Gregg's marriage collapsed after witnessing the horrific violence of WWII bombing raids as a prisoner of war in Dresden. With each subsequent war, the symptoms changed, but the story remained the same. Ex-paratrooper Dave Brown has struggled with adjusting to civilian life since his service in the Falklands. Sean Jones survived an IED attack in Afghanistan in 2008. He was sent back for a second tour, without realising that he had been diagnosed with suspected PTSD.

    Dan has many close family ties to the military campaigns of the First World War. Delving into previously unseen archives he reveals the difficult history of how Britain has reacted to the psychological consequences of warfare.
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  6. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I found it quite interesting that one of the Medal of Honor recipients on that Netflix series, Ty Carter, backs removing the D from PTSD, it being an entirely normal reaction to traumatic events rather than a disorder.
    Seemed a fair point.
    Chris C likes this.
  8. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    I think the same can be said for depression. As a shorter term response to life's challenges, seems like a normal reaction. Duration and intensity are the obvious variables.
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  10. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    It appears, although I haven't seen research findings to support my suspicion, that PTSD rates are higher today than in the past.

    "Perhaps those with limited options who expect regular doses of tragedy in life are less likely to have their world view shattered by trauma"

    Do richer countries have higher PTSD rates? | Legion Magazine
    bamboo43 likes this.
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    On the BBC news last night there was a piece on women in the Armed Services from the 1960's and 1970's, suffering with PTSD and the psychological effects of leaving the job having failed to cope with service life. Can't find it on the website right now. Will add here if I locate it.
  12. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    A senior Seaforth Highlanders of Canada NCO recorded his observations regarding a soldier, who had been repeatedly treated for combat shock, writing:

    "He is a bundle of nerves, but he never asks for a favour and gives everything he’s got until he snaps… There is deep humiliation as he goes back to join the dead… He thinks he has let his friends down. He will be back again and again, shaking like a leaf every time we see action, going on to the breaking point. He will finish the war unwounded, and carry a sense of shame for the rest of his life. He is a very brave man."
    Dave55 likes this.
  13. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    A very good friend did two tours of duty with the US Navy during the Vietnam War. One of those tours was in a Swift Boat.

    He continues to battle demons on a daily basis. The guilt of having participated in that useless conflict will never go away.
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    The charity Combat Stress is 100 years old this year:

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