Some replies on PTSD taken from my Facebook page – very interesting and informative. Please pass on

PTSD – The following are comments form my Facebook page on my piece on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The comments are all from friends, who are – Military, Army, RAF, Navy, Police, Coastguards,para – medics, Mountain Rescue and other Agencies  well worth a read. These are mainly hardened veterans in the Emergency Services not just Mountain Rescue – I thanks them all for their honesty and for the those who may need help, it is out there but you may have to fight for it.

Comments ;

I would advise all Emergency Service to read this book.

I would advise all Emergency Service to read this book.

I am sure it has got better but even in ’97 I came across a lot of resistance prior to finally getting a short pamphlet published and issued to all SAR & MRS personnel. And that was just to make the guys aware of what PTSD is and the signs and symptoms.

 

Thanks for this, its something I am concerned about both in my role in mrt and in my new job. I will get the book too and have a read but thanks for putting the subject out there too and in such a positive light

I,m surrounded by it heavy. Its a huge taboo, even yet and obscenely not recognized by the nhs . . .terrified of having to pay out. The amount of broken paramedics not making retirement because their ” heads gone” is disgusting I know of no one who has been compensated by the nhs for having their careers destroyed by this. They have been diagnosed and left on a paltry invalidity allowance. The problem  is that road staff know this and try to cope, as i,m sure you know, with the usual crutch. . .alcohol. . .which inevitably accelerates the downward spiral. .”psychologically unstable” = loss of registration. Whether the help and genuine support are available or not, it is not corporately endorsed, in my experience. Indeed. .

in the mold of David Whalley, i delivered training to paramedic colleagues for a couple of years. . The collapse of the walls of resistance to even discussing it was palpable when i muted “we arent abnormal or immune folks. .i,m unashamed to say i,ve had counselling, can we cut the bull**** and talk freely?”. .but yep, it still exists. .i find the most defensive ones are often the worst affected.

  •  I work with PTSD on a daily basis and is recognised by mental health teams in the NHS. Many people don’t come forward for help until symptoms get too severe, which has had lots of social environmental consequences. I know in my trust veterans go to the top of the list for psychological input.  I have to say there is still a stigma associated with seeking support for psychological distress. It takes open discussion to break that barrier. XxGreat post. Heavy you have done do much in raising this issue. It’s important to fight the stigma of ptsd and mental health. Sadly people find it difficult to be open about these issues because they are scared of showing weakness. But it is through people talking openly about mental health and ptsd the stigma will be challenged. I for one would like to see mountain rescue consider how they deal with issues like this and support members who wish to seek help and support. however society often views mental health as something that is not urgent or can be dealt with later. But by talking about it we can challenge such stigma

The support has to be based on trust mate. But as i,ve said the sword of Damoclese hangs over us as part of the conditions of hcpc relates to being psychologically healthy and the suits use that as a weapon in case they face industrial injury claims. .its all a bit obscene.

I sought help in the early 90s in my RAFMR days, and for all there was excellent will and superb confidentiality, i had the impression they weren’t sure how to cope with me.

Of course Heavy, i,ll be recommending Gordons book to all my colleagues.

  • ‘ll be quite honest dougie, ive hidden a few things whilst ive been at work, and occasionaly it creeps out, but I worked a way of clearing my head, and ive took time to get to that point, I have used my own counsellors, but I think its a massive massive understatement with the uni side of things, and one I think I shall be championing more and more.
     
  • Good man  and dont listen to the “we didnt need that in our day” brigade. .i,ve seen how they coped. .alcoholics, drugs, living in hostels. . .its a normal reaction to very abnormal situations. .a bigger man or woman acknowledges it.I hve been there twice and my local GP at the time was great and refered me on to good help from within the NHS. As I work for the mod and was in mrt I have to say the response was variable depending on line managment, varying from pull yourself together to indifference. It was the effect on 3 young children and a patient wife that made me seek help. While the first time was an incident, the second was just cummulative from years of tragedy. I thought I was bad until years later on an ALS course they started talking about breaking bad news and many of the experienced nurses started sobbing their hearts out. Very raw and just under the surface. My take is that it shows we are human and have compassion. I am more distrusting of folk who say it doesnt affect them. Sorry for the long post…
     

  • To be honest, took me a bit, and I do mean a while. But its something we should do more of, and I would like that one day it becomes an opt out option for us, because you don’t have a medical for the job anymore. and id rather spend an hour every 6 months talking to someone and not need them really, than feel you cant access the help.
  • Great post. Heavy you have done do much in raising this issue. It’s important to fight the stigma of ptsd and mental health. Sadly people find it difficult to be open about these issues because they are scared of showing weakness. But it is through peo…See  
  •  The support has to be based on trust mate. But as i,ve said the sword of Damoclese hangs over us as part of the conditions of hcpc relates to being psychologically healthy and the suits use that as a weapon in case they face industrial injury claims. .its all a bit obscene.
     
  • Great comments: I usually cope by lots of running to clear my head. In the spirit of openness I’ve identified that ‘my bucket is full’ again and will be seeing a TRIM counsellor at lunchtime after a particularly bad couple of weeks to unload some of it. I believe the stigma is being eroded but we all need to be seen as human…and fallible.
  • I have just sent for it I retired in 2007 due to PTSD and bullying by my managers.
    It’s so sad to here people feeling uncomfortable in discussing this twith peers and employers
  • It has taken me 8 years To get to the point where I could go out for a pint with friends alone. By that I mean my wife’s support, recently I have been having weekly Reiki sessions this has given me the confidence to start living again. I know this has given me the confidence to start living again. I know I will never be cured and even minor stress can bring on very strong emotional feelings. I still burst into tears and literally vomit when confronted by the unexpected, fortunately I can mostly recognize the signs and I use EFT to control myself. Tonight I am taking my largest step, I am going to a former colleagues retirement party, so I will see lots of people I worked with something that I have avoided like the plague.   

    I would advise all Emergency Service to read this book.

    I would advise all Emergency Service to read this book.

  • You have come a long way terry, it really is good to see mate, enjoy your night out, there will be a lot of people chuffed to see you.
  • Yes a far cry from coming around after a fugue state to find myself on top of Dinting Arches at 2 in the morning.With no idea on how I had got there or what I had done.
     
  • All past mate. .your moving on every day.
     
  • Great post heavy and great comments. Been round the loop a couple of times – not nice. Needs to be out there and de-  stigmatized. Too many good people loose years to it.
  • I went through this after 3 years in various jobs as a soldier in NI. I was posted back to Germany in 1973.I was posted back to Germany and as problems started to occur I was sent to visit the RC padre.The conversation lasted about 30 seconds after which I was threatend with disciplinary action.Fortunately a very young army doctor realized and I was referred to the RAF hospital in Wegberg near JHQ Mönchengladbach where along with others who had been in NI we received excellent treatment .The army did not want to accept that this was all due to active service as a lot of my work was classified and I couldnt talk about it and it took another year before so many people coming back had problems that a programm was started. Thank god for the RAF medical Services.
    I met a guy at Faslane, young matelot outboard motor mechanic. He had a horrendous time attached to a Canadian unit in Afghanistan. Because of his quals he was a medic and went out in the field solid for 6 months. Came back in a shit state. As a lot of guys have when they get punted out in a non formed unit post. Straight back in to work along side civvies from Babcock  and was desperate to speak to someone in the military and I was the guy. I listened for ages about his story. He’d tried to speak to his medical officer but didn’t want to get downgraded, this was the trade off! Poor lad was at his wits end. Anyway he unloaded all this on me and I then of course had to pass it on. Got word to his boss when I got back to Lossiemouth. With the benefit of the old grey hairs I can now appreciate why a lot of guys are the way they (we?) are.
    So much truth – I know 90% of these people all are good people many who work in the medical and Rescue Services – There is still a huge stigma about PTSD – and very little is still done and many careers cam be cut short still when you ask for help. I feel this was well worth bringing up again.  As I said I have definitely come out of the dark after last year, from mainly support of family and friends and being open. I still get upset every year near Christmas on the Anniversary of Lockerbie and the Chinnok Crash at the Mull Of Kintyre but things are far better. Also many mountain incidents took there toll on me and others I care and love. It took 25 years of pain for those I love who had little clue then of what was wrong. We are getting there now but lots still to do.
  •  Any views are welcome – For the Military and ex Military contact Combat Stress! For others contact your doctor please speak to someone.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
This entry was posted in Books, Family, Friends, Lockerbie, medical. Bookmark the permalink.

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