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steve roberts
19-12-2009, 10:19
A lot of our members will be aware of this condition due to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan. Did you know this form of PTSD can strike up to 30 years after the events that caused it. Mine was due to several close shaves in submarines both accidents and not to mention "brother" Ivans contributions when he found you in his waters. Anyone feeling they might suffer from this can log on to www.combatstress.org.uk and find out more about the disorder and help available. Regards Steve Roberts

nigelweysom
19-12-2009, 20:41
Steve i know some one who is suffering from PTSD as a result of a number of tours in Northern Ireland , so i am sure that this is a valuable link to post
Nigel

John Odom
19-12-2009, 20:55
The condition is very real, and may surface after years of "normal" life.

Guz rating
20-12-2009, 06:55
a lot of our members will be aware of this condition due to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan.Did you know this form of PTSD can strick up to 30 years after the events that caused it.Mine was due to several close shaves in submarines both accidentdents and not to mention "brother" Ivans contributions when he found you in his waters.Anyone felling they migy suffer from this can log on to www.combatstress.org.uk and find out more about the disorder and help available. Regards Steve Roberts

A very good post Steve and I thoroughly agree with what you are saying. My brother and I served in Vietnam, and when I look back after demob we had a bit of difficulty settling back into civvie life. But when we retired it seemed to have affected my brother more, he has since had counselling and is much better. I do not seem to be affected, but I sometimes catch myself doing what we used to call the thousand mile stare.

Alan

steve roberts
20-12-2009, 09:30
Hi Guys. A million thanks for your posts.It is ironic that PTSD following an accident etc soon fades out, but the Military version stays with you for life! My "Shrink" at Combat stress told me to face my fears and flash backs,so I started a Open University Course in Submarine History. It certainly helped but the "Beast" as I call it still appears now and then. When it does no matter what time of day or night,I get my nose into a book miles away from any Military subject.Regards to you all Steve Roberts.

Dave Hutson
20-12-2009, 11:20
Hi Steve,

Thanks for sharing your PTSD with us.

We don't know enough [we being the average guy in the street whether he be ex military or all time civilian] about the condition and more often than not the guys and girls suffering from it don't want to talk about it anyway, and I think the history of the the two WW's and other conflicts have proved this.

This generally leaves people to draw their own conclusions, and often the wrong ones, when confronted with, or told about, a sufferer.

Much more publicity and education should be produced, not on individual cases, outlining and explaining the condition so people who do not understand the problems encountered by sufferers can understand the condition and the effect it has on the sufferer and those around him/her.

To say you are one of the lucky ones is the wrong term, but as an Ex Medic you are aware of the condition, it's symptoms amd treatment.

I had an uncle who returned after the second WW and three and a half years in a Concentration Camp run by the SS - he would never speak of it but he was a broken man and never the same again. But at that time PTSD didn't exist. Sad but true.

Dave H

steve roberts
20-12-2009, 12:13
Hi Dave. Thanks for your very good post.Its true,the problem gets swept unde the carpet under the "I dont want to know" file.Even the most up to date "shrinks" have a great difficulty understanding it.Thanks to modern day conflicts it is becoming more known.I hope that more people suffering will feel encouraged to "Come out" if that is the correct term.Looking back in hind sight both my grandfather(ww1 soldier) and my father (WW2) bomber pilot showed classic syptoms of the illness during there life times,but as you say there were no facilities for help for them. Regards Steve Roberts

John Odom
20-12-2009, 13:57
I have known many men who seemed to be OK, until many years later. One cousin who fought from Anzio all the way to VE Day would never talk about the war until his final illness when he suffered from terrible flashbacks.

It affects others than military too. I always wondered why my brother had problems. Read my webpage story. When I wrote it and decided to give the flag to the USS Oklahoma survivors he said "Do what you want. I don't want to talk about Spain." Two years later, out of the blue. , he said "John you got the flag story wrong. I was there, I remember." I said "I know you were older, and could remember, but you wouldn't talk with me about it. What was wrong? I checked everything against Mother's diary." He replied "You told it the way mother did. She said 'We never saw our neighbors again.' She meant that we never saw them alive again. When we went to market the next morning, we stepped over their bodies in front of the door. There were bodies or at least puddles of blood on the sidewalk every day." Imagine how conditions like that would affect a 6-year old!

I can remember about 15 killings I saw before I was 15. I heard stories from the Japanese occupation, first hand, of many more. I know it affected me. I have found that talking about it, and my meeting Japanese veterans has helped me cope. I'm doing pretty well now.

My cousin just returned from 2 tours in Iraq as the machine gunner on patrols. He seemed OK after the first tour. He is a different man after the second. The VA is providing some therapy. I hope it helps.

Guz rating
20-12-2009, 22:19
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I have given the issue of military PTSD and civil PTSD some thought lately, in the civil form It is either an accident or an attack of some sort. Which creates a sense of venerability and can normally be corrected. Military PTSD could be caused by suppressed fear, anyone who has been under fire will most likely have witnessed this. I kept in contact with some of the men who were in my section, and only two of us did not suffer PTSD. We were good mates and talked a lot together, and supported each other maybe that was what made the difference. But this was not the general rule, most guys kept it buttoned up tight.

Alan [/SIZE

John Odom
21-12-2009, 02:03
The burden we place on our warriors is immense. I can not comprehend it, yet I think I know better than most civilians.

We must give them better support.

Our society puts more pressure on them with the "brave boys don't cry" thing.

steve roberts
21-12-2009, 11:38
Hi Guzz and Joh,two very good replies.The "Beast" lurks in all who have seen action.Pray god that it never strikes all on the forum and ship mates we have known.There is help out there in most countries,we are lucky in the UK to have "Combat Stress" though even they are getting snowed under. Regards Steve Roberts.

mik43
21-12-2009, 14:41
As has been mentioned already, the 'beast' goes back into the mists of time, it has always been there but it is only in recent times that it has been recognised for what it is - an illness - and treatment found to try and combat itl But, as Steve stated, it can come and kick you in the teeth at any time, triggered by something in some cases, and straight out of the blue in others. You just have to try and beat the demons, easy to write/say, but not so easy to carry out.

However Steve is doing well, he's talking to others about it, taming the 'beast', slowly but surely.

So, Steve, keep the faith shipmate, you're not alone, you now have the companionship of the members of the forum to draw on.

Mik

steve roberts
21-12-2009, 16:13
Hi mik43.Thanks for your post,the forum is one of my ways of coping,perhaps laying a few ghosts.What ever one has to find a way of dealing with it,its no good pretending that it will "go away" Thats not the nature of the "Beast".Regards Steve Roberts

Guz rating
21-12-2009, 23:38
Hi mik43.Thanks for your post,the forum is one of my ways of coping,perhaps laying a few ghosts.What ever one has to find a way of dealing with it,its no good pretending that it will "go away" Thats not the nature of the "Beast".Regards Steve Roberts

What an enlightened time we are lucky to live in, my mind sometimes strays back to WW1, when the men of all sides were subject to constant a bombardment, and the ever present fear of death. And the men who were shot at dawn, without doubt suffering from PTSD. When I heard the government pardoned them I was annoyed I thought they should have been exonerated. A golden opportunity went begging to correct an injustice.

Alan.

The Andrew
22-12-2009, 18:58
Hi Dave. Thanks for your very good post.Its true,the problem gets swept unde the carpet under the "I dont want to know" file.Even the most up to date "shrinks" have a great difficulty understanding it.Thanks to modern day conflicts it is becoming more known.I hope that more people suffering will feel encouraged to "Come out" if that is the correct term.Looking back in hind sight both my grandfather(ww1 soldier) and my father (WW2) bomber pilot showed classic syptoms of the illness during there life times,but as you say there were no facilities for help for them. Regards Steve Roberts

Back then the common term was 'LMF' (Lack of moral fibre) with the stigma of cowardice and shirking frequently attached to it when it was nothing of the sort and totally misunderstood. Thank goodness we live in slightly more enlightened times. Sadly with military psychiatric units being closed (DKMH) many veterans leave the forces damaged and untreated having to fend for themselves and cope with the vagaries of a hopelessly underfunded NHS.

Don Boyer
22-12-2009, 19:11
Reading the posts you gentleman have put up in this thread is like reliving my years as a single man after 1969, when so many young men I had known had a hard time coping "after" -- even some who had not been in close combat, like myself. I spent some 19 months in the "combat zone" but I was a sailor, not a grunt in a muddy hole late at night surrounded by VC or NVA regulars.

Still riverine work and such had it's perils and fatalities. I think I came out of that fairly well balanced simply because my father, a WWII vet, sat me down and told me the kinds of things I would see and hear and smell, and how they won't go away, ever. Fade, maybe, but never go away. He taught me coping strategies as well.

His wise counsel served me well.

Since those days, I have seen all sorts of disorder among veterans and even their families, and one's heart goes out to them, naturally. You help where you can. Those people deserve all we can give back to them in order for them to find some sort of peace of mind, because you can't give that to them, they have to find it.

But there is one "survivor" out there who has something far worse than PTSD, and I call them the "charlatans" of the group -- those who know the psycho-babble, and all the right words to put on the show and act as if they were victimized in order to get a free ride from society. Liars and cheats, they live off the "poor me's" and are often difficult to separate from those really needing help. They may actually have served in combat, may be walking or chair-bound wounded, but they are out for the free ride at the expense of those who really need the help. There self-centered egoism eventually gives them away in many cases.

I've run across several of these detestable beings --would that there was a test other than long-term exposure to them to show them up for what they are. Still, their example of low humanity only serves to make those with real issues and needs shine all the more. What a strange world we live in today.

As an afterword, this is NOT written with anything other than my own personal experiences in mind; it is in no way reflective of anything said or done on this forum. This forum contains, as I have learned over the past few months, nothing but those who have served faithfully and well, heroically in many cases, or those who thoroughly understand the military "mind," and my comments would not EVER be directed thusly.





Respectfully,

steve roberts
22-12-2009, 20:22
Thanks for your post Don.You are right there are those who "Pretend" to have PTSD.Over here at Combat Stress they are seen through like a shot,if not by fellow patients at the rest centres,then certainly by the "Shrinks".They are given short shrift and sent packing,Social Services are even contacted so they are unable to claim any benifits. Steve Roberts

Don Boyer
22-12-2009, 21:36
Steve: I wish our system here in America were more perceptive.

It seems that if the vets get wise, or the vet system, they can still get a ride on the state system. Hopefully it's less common that back in the 70s, but I still see it.

Best wishes...and Merry Christmas.

steve roberts
23-12-2009, 09:02
Thanks for your post Don.Perhaps there is some way of informing your VAs of these "Free Riders"? regards and Merry Christmas to you and yours. Steve Roberts