Today is World Mental Health Day

A small, but significant, number of Veterans leave the Armed Forces with a severe psychological wound such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  A symptom of PTSD is the frequent tendency to recall life-threatening incidents, which can lead to day and night terrors, mood swings, panic attacks and phobias. Other debilitating conditions that Veterans may suffer from include depression and/or anxiety disorders. 

We wanted to take this opportunity to pull together some information that our members might find useful about mental health issues.

If you want to find out more about World Mental Health Day then please go to this page: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/world-mental-health-day/

 

PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a natural emotional reaction to a deeply shocking and disturbing experience. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.

For a doctor or medical professional to be able to make a diagnosis, he has strict diagnostic criteria, which has to be met. He will do this by asking you a series of questions or listening to talk about an event or events in your life in which you feel significantly changed your behaviour. One recognized standard for assessing PTSD is the World Health Organization’s ICD-10.

It was thought that PTSD could not be a result of “normal” events such as bereavement, business failure, interpersonal conflict, marital disharmony, working for the emergency services, etc, and most of the research on PTSD had been undertaken with people who had suffered a threat to life (e.g. combat veterans, especially from Vietnam, victims of accident, disaster, and acts of violence). It is now recognized that PTSD can result from many types of shocking experience.

Find out more about PTSD at http://www.ptsd.org.uk or on the BBC website at  http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/emotional_health/mental_health/disorders_ptsd.shtml

 

Combat Stress

For over 90 years Combat Stress, the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society, has been providing bespoke mental health support to Veterans whose difficulties stem from their Naval or Military Service.

They deliver dedicated treatment and support to ex-Service men and women with conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorders.  Our services are free of charge to the Veteran.

Find out more about what Combat Stress does at http://www.combatstress.org.uk/

You can also call the Combat Stress 24 hour helpline free on 0800 138 1619 

 

The Big White Wall

The Big White Wall is an online support cokmunity monitored by mental health professionals 24/7. You can talk annonymously about your problems and speak to other community members who have had similar issues. It's free for NHS members, Armed Forces members and veterans.

Visit the Big White Wall here http://www.bigwhitewall.com

 

Living through the guilt of surviving

When an improvised explosive device killed one of his comrades and wounded two others, Guardsman Jordan Pearson thought his own physical injuries would be his only lasting problem.

A rifle muzzle protruded from his chest, piercing just millimetres above the main artery going into his heart, his radio had gone through his arm, and the explosion had fired shrapnel, gravel and metal the length of his back to the soles of his feet.

His legs burned from the fierce heat of the metal fragments piercing his skin, his trousers were all but gone - shredded in the blast.

Despite his own injuries, he tried to help carry the other wounded from the ensuing fire fight, instinctively pulling the rifle muzzle from his chest.

Three years on and Guardsman Pearson's body remains scarred, with shrapnel still coming out of his skin every day. The hidden mental scars, however, have damaged him more than any physical injury.

Read more about Jordan's story here

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