The silent enemy: How PTSD damages our soldiers
Note: The following blog post has been contributed by a guest blogger.
It’s sometimes hard to believe that people still refer to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as ‘shell shock’, and dismiss it as something and nothing.
For those living with the condition on a daily basis this attitude is understandably hurtful, and if you come across anyone who doubts that PTSD is a real thing, the infographic at the end of this post should give them an idea of how devastating it can be…
Do you know, for example, that 40 soldiers died serving in Afghanistan in 2012, but during the same year 50 soldiers and veterans committed suicide? Although not all of these suicides can necessarily be attributed to PTSD it is known to be one of the possible consequences of the condition if left untreated.
Or that under 18s are the most likely to suffer from PTSD when they leave the forces?
Looking at the graphic it’s not hard to see why PTSD has mainly been associated with ex-servicemen since the First World War. In fact 65,000 WW1 veterans were still being treated for the condition ten years after the war ended.
This could be because of the feelings of embarrassment that many sufferers experience, (over 93 per cent of veterans admitting to being ashamed about mental health problems).
As we know, PTSD continues to affect military personnel, as well as the general population today, according to an article in the Telegraph (17th March 2013) Ministry of Defence figures reported 273 cases in 2012. But what’s truly shocking is that, according to one charity, a 12 per cent rise in cases is predicted every year until at least 2018.
Despite the association with the armed forces, one in three people will develop PTSD following a traumatic event. The reason it’s so important to raise awareness is that it can affect anyone.
If you care for someone suffering from PTSD then help is available for you and for them. With the right help the symptoms of the condition can be relieved, and sufferers might even be entitled to compensation.
Three out of four veterans resolve their symptoms by going to counselling. If you’re living with this condition, either as a sufferer or a carer, please know that you’re not alone and there is help out there from the NHS and counsellors as well as charitable organisations.
Email our online support team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further advice as a carer.
- An infographic by the team at Johnson Law