Veterans and PTSD

by Veteran Knowsley

When a veteran first goes to his Doctor with what he thinks is depression. He get ask a number of questions. He gives the Doctor the answers. Most times it is long hours at work or another problem that is talked about. The veteran does raise his ex service problems from a combat zones he had served in that was years ago. Some months later things have not change. Work is fine but the still a under problem.  Up goes the strength of the medication.  This may go on for some time.



The veteran may attend a reunion. He speaks to a few people he knows.  Some of guys talk about PTSD. He asks questions. This may be the 1st time he has heard of PTSD. He smiles he think not me I never left camp.  The seed has been planted.

His problems mount up he gets into trouble at work. His wife is getting feed with the lack of sleep with him scream fighting with someone.  He starts drinking more.  He goes to his Doctor he talks for the first time about PTSD. The Doctor is not sure so sends a letter to the local Prime Care Trust.  If the veteran lucky he gets an appointment with a psychiatrist very quickly.
Again ask a lot of questions. He feels like he has been capture and been speaking to the KGB. He gets another an appointment. More questions the psychiatrist informs him that he has PTSD.  They put him on a course of CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) for 26 weeks.
This is a
talking therapy that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions. This goes over the Vet’s head.  He is also put on a course of new Tablets at first a low dose. 

He attends the therapy it comes out that while in Forces he seen a number of traumatic events.  Due to the fact that many mental health workers have not met a former soldier. They look at what the problem is but not all of the problems.
I said problems as a service man in his service life could see between 1 to even as high as 20 traumatic events. This could be spread over his service life.  I was in the Army for 23 years.  Some could be inter linked others part of his problems but separate. This will cause problems when trying to get to the bottom of his mental issues.

 What do I mean by that this PTSD is PTSD? Well yes but with a number traumatic events. That may be linked like a chain. They maybe also could be a number of lose links as well. So the team may treat one or may be some of the issues but due to not seeing many service personnel they may miss a number of clues.

The answer to that is to have a link veteran to each CMHT not a Doctor as that might add to the problems. A lay person who as Soldiers says Talks the talk and also walks the walk. He understands because he carry’s the scars as well. He could be that link to helping the veteran as he understands. If that person is allowed to spend time with the veteran he could find out more that could lead to helping that veteran. This could give a insight to the team that was not available before.

 Some facts and figs which I hope give you some insight to this ticking time bomb.
 In the UK the average number of Veteran and serving personnel in a City or Town is about 6%. That means in a town of 100,000 that equals to 6,000. Then if we say 4to 6% could have PTSD. Then we are looking at 240 to 360. This figure will grow.

Combat Stress the UK's leading military charity specialising in the care of Veterans' mental health Last year received over 1,400 new referrals. They have a current caseload of more than 4,600 individuals – including 168 Afghanistan and 533 Iraq Veterans.
 In May 2010 a study into personnel who'd served in Iraq and Afghanistan showed a 4% prevalence of probable PTSD. An estimated 180,000 troops have served in these two operations: if 4% develop PTSD, this equates to 7,200 more sufferers.  The study also highlighted a prevalence of 19.7% for common mental disorders. Plus 13% for alcohol misuse.  The alcohol misuse could be masking other problems. The use of alcohol could be a person self medicating. This may lead to other problems.  



If information were soccer, this would be a gooooaol!
As a long as it is not an own goal. Then I made an input into what people think about PTSD.

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