Archived Messages 2007

January – December 2007

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Date: 3 January 2007
Time:   20:54

Comments

I have got so much admiration for Your very Good Self, with regards to this Web site. I am a veteran of 10yrs service in British Army, and like many other Fine Veterans am suffering from PTSD. I am currently awaiting an admission to 1 of Combat Stress’s centres in uk.

I am currently residing in Guernsey (CI), what inspires me in life and Fight for JUSTICE is knowing that I am not alone in my suffering.

Much commendation for your SUPREME EFFORTS in providing such a FINE Website.

Best and Kindest Wishes

Graham R Culton

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Date: 19 January 2007
Time:   14:52

Comments

It is a lonely path we PTSD Sufferers follow particularly when friends and family desert you. We cannot help what we are, we are what the military made us, but when your loved ones desert you that hurts.

I have been marred for 35 years and my wife left me some 20 days ago after all that time. It is not funny for us who suffer. We need a relationship to survive, we need reassurance and above all else, friendship to keep us going. I have my dog that I talk to but get little sense from him as one would appreciate.

Now with my astringed wife departed I am alone and it is very difficult for me to cope, three children and not one is in contact. I have brought these people up, nurtured them and helped them in so many ways but not one is there when I need them most like now. I have paid for three marriages for the boy and 3 marriages for the two girls and I feel it rather selfish that not one of them can be bothered to even get in touch when I need them most

For me, my PTSD has almost got the better of me. It comes and goes and if it continues I don’t think I can take much more

KK

Hi KK, I agree life is not easy for us and indeed it seems to share more than its fair share of misery and loneliness. You are not alone in this as there are many, many of other vets who have fell into the same difficulties you are experiencing. Have you contacted Combat Stress? You can phone them at any time for a chat and support 01372 841600. Alternatively SSAFA Forces Help and a confidential support line you can call 0800 731 4880

Hope this helps. Andy

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Date: 28 January 2007
Time:   03:20

Comments

Hello friends.

As a result of the sights and incidents which I was exposed to during my 22 year career as a Royal Army Medical Corps Combat Med Tech, I too now suffer with PTSD, the main triggers being anything involving cruelty to children. Having witnessed the carnage of the effects of artillery strikes on a school near Gornji Vakuf.

Being a medic, I knew that I was ill long before I admitted it to anyone (including myself ). As a result i now have a double life.

There is the life at work, n my civilian job, where I am the life and soul of the party, the man who CAN and WILL do any task to a high standard, then there is the man at home, who is tired of being ill, tired of taking tablets, tired of snapping at his children and his wife, who have stood by him. This is the man that I hate, the man who I want to kill, the man who I want to make suffer, like all the people in my nightmares suffered. BUT I CAN’T DO IT.

I have researched PTSD and realise that I now have two battles to fight, one battle for each of my personalities, With the help of this web site I can now see more clearly the two people in my life. With the support of my family, all the staff at Audley Court and my NHS Psychologist I WILL BEAT IT.

In an ideal world I would like to organize a coach trip to some the current British Army

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Date: 28 January 2007
Time:   06:46

Comments

I have just listened to something about Gulf War Syndrome on the BBC 6 am News this morning, missed most what was being said because I was having a flashback and I am at last so glad that it has been recognised by the Government because I suffer from it. I don’t sleep and when I do I have so terrible nightmares and flashbacks through the day but I was told whilst being examined at St Thomas’s that GWS did not exist and I am living proof that it does. I suffer from PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks and nervous all the time I fell very ill in Iraq but the MOD Doctor said I never served in Iraq. If that is the case, why was I given a Bar stating “Iraq” to add to my GSMKK

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Date: 7 February 2007
Time:   02:22

Comments

Hi all this is my first post as I have just found the website, reading through the comments has been a great help already it shows that I am not alone.

One particular comment got me thinking, it was from the wife of an ex Royal marine, does leaving the forces bring it to the surface. I served in Africa, NI and Iraq, also as part of the foot and mouth crisis team. I was in the infantry for 8 years.

It started for me after a year of leaving, I was out with friends it wasn’t a particular heavy session, just met a nice girl had a good job. I was just sitting there and then I knocked over my drink, it was like a switch in my head was activated and I just got up and walked off, I went into a deep depression for a few days crying and not knowing why. My family were excellent, but just didn’t understand. I have found that when you talk about it( to family) it doesn’t seam real the emotions that you go through, I still find it hard to open up to people and talk about things, I have seen plenty of things in my career, I never shot any one, been shot at.

I left the army in 2004, and seem to have these episodes once maybe twice a year, and little ones when I drink. my question is, is it ptsd or just me feeling sorry for myself. what do I do?

I once read in a book

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Date: 10 February 2007
Time:   00:57

Comments

Hi Andy, cheers for a great site that seems to have started me on some sort of recovery. Worst bit of PTSD seems to be that you think that you’re alone and just going mad. Reading the comments here lets me know that I’m not either of those. Trying to hide it and appear ‘normal’ just makes it worse cos you can’t keep it up and then you feel guilty about letting people down. I haven’t read anything in all your guestbook comments that doesn’t give me the impression that we are all just people who want to get our lives back for the good of the loved ones around us. We didn’t ask for what happened to us and we don’t expect people to understand what we went through but we want to be better than we are.

DON’T give up trying, take whatever help you can and for ***** sake don’t worry about ‘bending someone’s ear’. Talking about things is the best way to deal with them, and if someone doesn’t understand, don’t worry and don’t stop, the next person you talk to might and they are going to be people who will be the new friends you make that will replace the ones you have lost. Look at the page on this site : http://www.ptsd.org.uk/important_things_in_life.htm work out your ‘rocks’ and remember that EVERYTHING else is just ‘sand’.

It really helped me get my perspective back and although too late to save my second relationship lost through PTSD, I don’t think I’ll lose the next one (if it happens!). Best wishes to everyone who finds this site, the light at the end of the tunnel has NOT gone out, you’ve just turned around in the dark.

Look after yourselves.

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Date: 22 February 2007
Time:   19:01

Comments

hi Andy I’m a fellow suffer and am going to combat stress soon. I am finally getting the help I need after 19 Years. I also have found someone who can help with a technique called rewind. It does work. I would be interested in other people who would like to try this . regards Martyn

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Date: 27 February 2007
Time: 16:22

Comments

I read a lot of the comments here, and its so sad, my late husband was in the services for 18 yrs, first as a Welsh Guard (Falklands) and then RAMC, Gulf, also N. Ireland, Bosnia. He came out and never adjusted to civvy street. He tried for while, but I realised he was hiding his demons with drink, prescription drugs etc. He did open up but after trying for help everywhere I think he eventually gave up. He took his own life in 2000.

We were actually separated for 3 wks before that, but only because he got out of control and was getting threatening and violent, as most families will know, its affects all the family. Just another victim, where a man serves his country and when he leaves army, is totally forgotten. Yes, he did go to Combat Stress and it made him worse, one, being away from family and two, because someone at the retreat he stayed, threw money at him if he would stab this person. He came back more confused.

I hope there is more help now, nearly 7 years later.

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Date: 27 February 2007
Time: 16:42

Comments

1st Gulf war veteran, I take each day as it comes, hit the bottle to sleep at night until the nightmares wake me again. Some days are better than others, I cope but only just…

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Date: 28 February 2007
Time: 07:38

Comments

Hi Andy,

I found the site yesterday and had a quick scan through. It clears up a lot for me, the anger, the mood swings, periods of normality and then the depths of despair. I sleep intermittently and then wake in the middle of the dream unable to sort reality from the dream world of memories. I drink until I can sleep, this gets me some hours anyway. I was in the first Gulf. My marriage broke up in ’93, we limped on until ’96, with neither of us speaking much until I walked out into nowhere. I drifted along eventually working back in Kuwait and on to Saudi, buried a lot of demons by going back I suppose? I have picked my life back up in many ways, rejoined civilisation but I hate crowds and tend to lock myself away at nights. They tried to get me to talk to someone once, he was more interested in the fact that he had a PTSD case and gleaning info about it than my problems, how the heck I could explain to someone that has only read about things in a book was a joke so I walked out in disgust and anger, platitudes P*** me off.

Good site, thanks for letting me ramble and rant…strangely it helps?

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Date: 03 March 2007
Time: 15:35

Comments

I have been suffering the effects of PTSD for 26 years but am now getting the appropriate treatment I need. Combat Stress have been instrumental in my recovery to date. I am still suffering and will probably never work again but I am feeling better than I did. I hope it stays this way!

Tony Donkin

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Date: 04 March 2007
Time: 14:30

Comments

Hi,

I’m ex RAF, and I’ve had PTSD undiagnosed for almost 20 years… Went to Combat Stress in Dec 05. It was pretty good for me to understand what’s been going on.

I just wish I could get my wife to understand. Sometimes I think she does, other times, I just get the

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Date: 06 March 2007
Time: 09:59

Comments

You have a good site, I had been diagnosed with P.T.S.D. 11years ago, but was referred for Bereavement Counselling, this did help but I still experience a lot of the symptoms you describe.

After looking at this site I will be going back to my G.P. tomorrow. THANK YOU!!

Incidently, I served in S.Armagh, N.Ireland (2)Londonderry, N.Ireland(1).

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Date: 06 March 2007
Time: 13:01

Comments

I was in the first gulf war at aged 17, I then went AWOL and bacame an

If you want to talk, please email me direct on Andy@ptsd.org.uk and we can talk confidentially. Everything is always private and never divulged to anyone, trust is always hard to give but I never break that trust.

Andy

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Date: 11 March 2007
Time: 05:50

Comments

Hi Andy just found this web site and at last I see that it is not only me that suffers from this illness. I was in the army back in 1987 when my mate was murdered in Northern Ireland. All I will say about that is the 2 Royal Corp of Signals pulled from a car and killed. Ever since that time I have suffered flash backs and if it is really bad I can not remember what I have done if I have a flash back. Once I was found about a mile away from where I live but could I remember how I got there NO. Scared the living daylights out of me. To anybody who reads this please believe it does get better, but you have to give it time and seek help as soon as you can. I did but only after 13 years of trying to hide the fact that I was ill. Now I am a very proud Granddad and still married to a very special person. the person who stood by me through all the harm and hurt I caused.

Good luck to you all and try to stay strong. Mac

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Date: 12 March 2007
Time: 20:45

Comments

Hello – My husband is in the army but has been off sick since November

2005 when he was diagnosed with PTSD. He gets a lot of help as the RAF stepped in to look after him because the army were conveniently ignoring his symptoms. I however, am really struggling – I can’t imagine what he is going through – I can not believe we are still together. I don’t want PTSD to destroy the only structured thing he has left in his life (us). Why can’t the army take responsibility – not for the fact that he has PTSD but for the way they have discarded him and other effected soldiers – people who offer their lives to the job. Its cruel.

There will be no-one who reads your comments who will not totally agree with you. Perhaps if some of our politicians were to read these guest book entries, then they would see the enormity of the situation and the grief and pain that they put our service men, women and families through by constantly spouting rhetoric and never delivering on promises and equality for fair health care? Andy

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Date: 13 March 2007
Time: 09:28

Comments

This is a message for Mac.

Mac, must be a tough time of year for you. I got PTSD from a series of occurences around that time, but strangely, the one that affects me most is one that I only saw on the news. I really cant describe what I mean by that very well, so please don’t think I’m belittleing what happened. I think the fact that I was so screwed up by the other things that happened to me both “at work” in the RAF and off duty, that at the time that I was left very vulnerable to shocking events. I’ve had nightmares about your friends since they were murdered. Last year I tried a treatment that proved very effective in helping me cope with many difficult images and feelings, but those in particular. Now I no longer have the nightmares about that, but they are never far from my thoughts. It’s coming up to the anniversary of their deaths very shortly, so I’ll be spending a little alone time to think of them and hoping that they are at rest wherever they are.I’m really glad to hear you’re making positive progress. I feel like it’s sometimes 2 steps forwards and one step backwards. Sometimes it’s 3 steps back ;-)

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Date: 13 March 2007
Time: 09:28

Comments

Ex RAF 31 years. Anxiety state wef 1952/4. Invalided 1976. Now 80 and physically disabled but mentally fine. Resolved problem self by avoiding

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Date: 20 March 2007
Time: 17:03

Comments

Hi Andy, found your site very informative. I am a mental health worker, had no idea how neglected the treatment of PTSD was until recent articles in the paper.

Have read that the government is finally going to do something, and are setting up pilot sites this year for treatment of veterans within the NHS.

I am an EMDR therapist, and would be only too proud to work with vets if my area were picked as one of these pilot sites

This is very nice to hear and I hope that you are allowed to do this but you have to bear in mind that behind all the government spin and rhetoric the reality is that service personnel are seemed as complex and difficult cases and do not fit into the lovely square pegs used by the NHS to triage patients. It took me 13 years to get referred to a psychologist by the NHS so I can only hope that things do change and change quickly?

Andy

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Date: 20 March 2007
Time: 23:06

Comments

I think my partner is suffering with PTSD. He is having nightmares, personal i dont want to discuss, but definitely war/battle related. His is irritabe, low, depressed, no outlook on life, but to get him to admit it is difficult.He has been in the Army for years since he was 16, he is now 45. Just to say thanks for your site xx I have an uphill battle but i will be with him all the time x

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Date: 21 March 2007
Time: 13:33

Comments

Dear Friends

A Big thank you for a brilliant website—feel such support when PTSD makes you feel so alone .

I am a woman who lives with complex trauma and find that your ideas really do help—find good music food and Nature put me in touch with the goodness of life. I used to work as a nurse and I know that kindness and gentleness go such a long way—this is so healing for trauma. To block unwanted noise I use ear plugs and this calms my nervous system. take care

Melony xx

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Date: 24 March 2007
Time: 16:12

Comments

Thanks Andy

A really helpful site.

I’m an ex serviceman, 27 years operational and now pass on my experiences to serving members on workshops and one day training sessions. I also teach stress management on a wider circuit as it affects us all.

Well done for all the hard work. best wishes Dave

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Date: 25 March 2007
Time: 00:20

Comments

Hi Mac here again. Special thanks to the person who left the message for me dated 13th march 2007. As you are well aware it has only just passed on the 19th of march and as you said you had a little bit of you time to yourself. Well so did I and Mr Brandy bottle came to visit so had a drink or 2 just to remember them both. Don’t worry stayed home so I would not do anything stupid and regret it afterwards. Been there and done that, ended up in trouble with the police a few times, a few years now since it happened. Defiantly the lowest time I have felt. Tried to end it twice but thank god I did not succeed. Well I’ll sign off for know keep strong everybody and remember there is light at the end of the tunnel. See you Mac

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Date: 26 March 2007
Time: 21:58

Comments

id just like to say as a ex servicewoman 1995 to 2001. I always denied I had PTSD until I finally realised that hey I did do active service, Northern Ireland and Kosovo, I was bullied/sexually harassed (mainly by insecure high ranking males) and I do have a heavy drug problem ( iv been smoking weed since I left) and right now I am thinking about all those lads and lassies in Iraq doing everything including taking drugs to get out of there and my heart bleeds for them. your website helped me to realise that I have been suffering from PTSD for quite a few years now, I always looked back on my army career and thought it was never that bad. not as bad as I imagine those lads and lassies out there in Iraq are going through right now but it iv realised I seen enough to scar me that’s for sure. if I really think about it I’m only now after all these years learning to live a normal life and deal with my experiences. I feel spurned on to help my fellow ex servicemen and woman in some way but I think first I’m going to get some help. many thanks. Lisa

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Date: 3 April 2007
Time: 17:08

Comments

Hi!

I was told by my husband about this site. He was in the army as a medic and has served in the Gulf war, Bosnia and N.I. He has been diagnosed with ptsd, but is struggling to get proper help. He has been on so many different medications that we have lost the count, and none of them has worked. We have two little children who is 4 yrs and the other one is 5 months. We are also newlywed.

It is really hard living with a person with ptsd, especially when you have no one to talk to about it cause there is no/one who understands anyways.

We also live in a foreign country, and ptsd is never heard of here. I really need someone to talk to who is in the same situation with a loved one who has ptsd. I think it would help a lot. Email me on janhaugo@online.no

Thank you so much for this site, it really helps reading all the comments.

Also if anyone could give me some advice on how to help my husband please email me

Thank you so much!!

Jenny

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Date: 4 April 2007
Time: 00:58

Comments

Hi, I am like most veterans one of the many who are suffering from PTSD, which occurred back in 1994. Then not a great deal as of thousand of other people who suffered. Little was known of our illness. What happened in my case was I was coming to the end of my long service career spanning 32 years. My whole life was military oriented I knew of only the forces. Then in a twinkle of an eye. I was a civilian. Forced on me by the large cuts in military manpower. No thought was given to how to cope with life in civy street. In other words I was never deprogrammed to this new life, I will not bore you with how I coped enough to say I now visit and I am grateful of that Audley Court six weeks a year. I believe with a bit of forethought my case and many like me could have been avoided?

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Date: 9 April 2007
Time: 07:42

Comments

Hello, I spent 5 months in intensive care with my baby son and saw lots of very sick babies, a few of which died whilst I was there, I saw my son suffer hugely and he died of cardiac failure in front of me, I thought I was fine, but a month later just fell to bits, I was angry with the world, couldn’t go anywhere and suffered from intrusive thoughts, I am recovered now thanks to lots of CBT and therapy, my advice is if you need help, don’t be shy – ASK FOR IT.

GREAT WEBSITE BY THE WAY

Jon McInerney

London SE21

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Date: 13 April 2007
Time: 13:44

Comments

Hi

Just to let you know that there was a good clinical review of PTSD in today’s British Medical Journal. It mentions this website. It is good to know that GPs are being exposed to up to date educational literature. It also reviews a book ‘afterwards’ by Rachel Seiffert. The book looks fascinating.

Many thanks for a great website- it helped me greatly to realising what was really wrong when healthcare professionals were labelling me as depressed. Yes, I am currently serving and developed ptsd after 2 unrelated service incidents occurred in quick succession. A.

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Date: 2 May 2007
Time: 13:04

Comments

Hi again Andy,

Over the last few days I’ve been reading through the entire guestbook archive. I’m awestruck by what you’ve managed to achieve with this site. I really hope that knowing how many people you’ve helped helps offset some of the pain you suffer as a result of PTSD.Mac, it was me that left the message for you. Glad to hear you got through such a diffiulct time of year.

I love to read the comments on here, as like so many others have said, it helps get over the feeling of isolation. I sincerely hope everyone is doing as well as possible.

If anyone wants to talk further via emails, then feel free to send me one at samwem@yahoo.com

Be well everyone.

Mark.

Thanks Mark, you know there are many a day when I really struggle with life and keeping things going and even picking up emails seems so hard at times but it is the kind words and comments from yourself and others through my website that make me know that I am needed and need to keep going.

Many thanks again and take care

Andy

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Date: 3 May 2007
Time: 20:59

Comments

I have had ptsd for 15 yrs,but only had treatment for the last 5.I go to T House 3 times a year and it has been a great help. But as the webmaster says it takes the first 2 years to get used to the House,but for those who resist the temptation to leave early or not return,the time will come when you will be counting the days down till your next visit.

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Date: 6 May 2007
Time: 13:35

Comments

Great site. I have suffered with PTSD and OCD for 10 years but didn’t want to seek help from a doctor, but read up about the conditions which helped to an extent. I started going for weekly acupuncture sessions with a Chinese doctor 7 months ago, I have also been prescribed herbal medicine and I have really noticed a difference, especially with my ability to cope with/control stressful feelings. I would recommend it, I believe the cost for acupuncture treatment can be paid for by the NHS in the UK.

Best of luck to everyone trying to get better.

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Date: 15 May 2007
Time: 16:48

Comments

Just thought I’d share some thoughts.

My partner walked out on me last year, totally out of the blue and following back to back tours in Iraq / A’stan and with 20 years service in Army.

I witnessed an unprecedented change in his behaviour. He was a caring, loving man who suddenly and with no warning just ran away from us all. He couldn’t admit to needing help, he was a senior officer and things like this didn’t happen to men like him ! He detached himself from me, the kids, life in general. His reason was that he couldn’t bear to put us through the shit he was going through so it was easier to run away than have to confront it all.

12 months later he has finally been diagnosed with PTSD and is finally getting the help he needs to deal with this.

I was pushed away but never detached myself from him because I guessed that it was PTSD and could see things he couldn’t. We are now starting to see him re-emerge. Not sure if we can make a new start together but regardless he is getting himself back together which is great to see.

PTSD impacts in a huge way on family and friends as well as the sufferer and can ruin lives. Help is available, take it if you can !

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Date: 15 May 2007
Time: 23:09

Comments

Hi

having served my community for over 10 years as a Constable I’ve just been diagnosed with PTSD. I knew things were wrong with me as my appetite to serve my community began to fail. I put this down to various experience such as Fatal Road Traffic Accidents, threaten with guns, knives, violence and whistle blowing on corrupt practice and then being isolated. Then my worse experience of all and the most freighting incident I’ve ever faced my attempt to commit suicide off a bridge one night after late turn. My children that night saved my life whilst they slept in their beds, but myself, I wished I had jumped as I felt I could regain control of my life once again, but I failed. Now I am still going through this nightmare and I dislike what the public have done to me and my failed marriages. But I am still here. I raise my hat to all you brave people who have served Queen and Country and a faceless Public. With you all I know it just time before I beat this I don’t know what price I will pay on this journey but Good must conquer evil. I’ve seen a Counsellor for 12 weeks and she is great and we talk and many times cry

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Date: 21 May 2007
Time: 23:24

Comments

I would just like to say well done to you for doing a web site for ptsd which my father has due to serving in the army at least you put the time in for servicemen/women unlike others.

best wishes Sarah

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Date: 25 May 2007
Time: 13:35

Comments

Andy,

Just found your website and l find it very informative also very well presented. I am a sufferer of PTSD and lived with it for 36 years. I did not start getting proper treatment for it until 2 years ago when l found COMBAT STRESS, l attend Hollybush House which is just outside Ayr in Scotland. The treatment l receive is both EMDR and CBT, and with this treatment l am now starting to understand my problems. These people are experts in the field of dealing with PTSD, and any ex-servicemen or women should get in touch with COMBAT STRESS.

Hi Chris, please could you email me Andy@ptsd.org.uk so we can discus the other issues you raised?

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Date: 01 June 2007
Time: 11:07

Comments

Dear Editor

After what I have gone through in life, I have coined the following phrase:

You wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t react in an abnormal way

Robert D Dangoor (Robert@1liners.com)

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Date: 05 June 2007
Time: 01:31

Comments

hi Andy

saw your site a few months ago and it was a god send to my understanding my partners problems became so clear since then he has seen 2 therapists neither of witch seem to have helped they just seem to twist everything and tell him he is progressing but things have got no better and he is still not allow on duty what more can we do

This is something that needs time, I know that is perhaps not what you want to hear right now but you need to try and trust these people if they are the only way forward in getting your partner back on duty. I cannot comment on them but if you would like to talk more please email me and we can talk in confidence?

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Date: 12 June 2007
Time: 08:32

Comments

My story is probably like most I suffered a near death experience whilst on a training exercise and from that day I never been the same. After the accident I went awol and then went to Colchester when I came out I went back to my unit and felt I couldn’t handle being there and went awol again resulting in being back in Colchester. I went through the same process once more after this and this was all in a year and at no time did anyone in the army think that there might be something wrong. So the last time I came out of Colchester I decided I’m not going back to my unit so I lived on the streets for 18 months in central London where I began to use drink and drugs…I ended up in rehab and the army found out I was in rehab and decided to discharge me only when I admitted to using class A drugs, I was discharged with snlr.

Since then I have battled through everyday life for seven years until last year I got in touch with combat stress where I went in March and was diagnosed with ptsd and feel after my journey there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Yes I have bad days but knowing what’s wrong with me has helped and speaking to other sufferers has been one of my main helps and reading comments on this site. There is help out there and really good help from my experience of combat stress so if you haven’t got in touch with them then you should think about it

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Date: 12 June 2007
Time: 21:21

Comments

Hi

I found your web site last night, after having a very bad day and once again asking for help and none was given, the doc just told me I was suffering from the depression, here have some anti depressants. It makes me so angry that you don’t get listened to.

I have had PTSD for 12 years now, so I know what it is all about, I know what my trigger points are but it’s not really having anyone to talk to about it, who really understands how you are feeling that gets to me.

I am so pleased to have found this site.

cathi

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Date: 14 June 2007
Time: 21:42

Comments

Hi Andy, Like many others just found your website, have been a vet 12 yrs now after serving 20 yrs. Married and living abroad learnt new language and job quite quickly few yrs later couple of children, and then BANG!!! A lot of symptoms you describe are now common in my lovely new character have seen local doctor am on medication. Luckily for me the Doc was a former vet himself helped, but still feel very isolated outside U.K. Think the site first rate keep up the good work, am thinking of the others out there, if people can think together we can understand together!! I shall think of glass jar every day!!

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Date: 15 June 2007
Time: 14:10

Comments

Hi there I was in the army from 1989 to 1997 I joined an infantry regiment and done four tours of Ireland. On one of the tours our base was morterd. I also did special forces operation it was after I came back home I could not rest and had problems sleeping it was at this point I used cannabis to help to relieve my tension. I was drug tested and thrown out the army within 2 weeks with out a court marshal all kept Quite. I have had many job since the army and feel I don’t fit in with others. It is only now I am beginning to understand what PTSD is. Thank you for this web site

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Date: 17 June 2007
Time: 00:56

Comments

Found your site one night late – Ex Royal Sigs + extra bits! many tours of N.I, lost several mates and got out in the end back to my home (N.I!) took me many years to get it all out of my head and not the sort of thing you can discuss here. I despair for our young men and women who risk their lives each day in the forces with little or no support. Prayer helped me greatly and I pray that all who come to your site can leave afterwards knowing that people exist who care deeply for them. God keep you all safe!

Skyjack

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Date: 25 June 2007
Time: 16:51

Comments

Thanks Andy for the advice, I’ve taken the first step which i suppose is the hardest, got a G.P appt Friday. Cheers, Patrick.

Patrick, if I can be of any further help please do not hesitate to contact me again. I wish you well for the future my friend, Andy

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Date: 6 July 2007
Time: 16:44

Comments

Hi,

I am an ex naval service woman, who was in a terrible RTA whilst on active duty in 2005. I suffered a server nervous breakdown due to the accident and the bullying I received from senior rates during the investigation. I have always maintained my innocence in the accident and still do. However I ended up in the priory hospital for 7 months nearly which was the darkest and hardest part of my life ever. I would like to thank the staff at the priory in Bristol for their constant support and Dr McGowan at Royal Hospital Hasler for her EMDR treatment and always believing in me. I am fighting for better care for PTSD suffers in the armed forces as I believe there is nowhere near enough help and support available, the MOD has to wake up and do something about this terrible illness

Hannah Walker

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Date: 13 July 2007
Time: 15:55

Comments

I am researching a book in which the main character suffers from PTSD and have found your site extremely helpful. I wish everyone reading and posting here a better tomorrow

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Date: 16 July 2007
Time: 10:26

Comments

your page is just ace

thank you from Robin James

new holland north lincs

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Date: 16 July 2007
Time: 16:53

Comments

I am living with my partner now for about 5 years, he is a veteran, NI, Falklands, Iraq and god knows what else. I cant take it any longer, he goes into terrible rages, my life has been reduced to nil, no contact from family members, no social life, even my own children don’t want to come home to visit, I don’t even what to return from work in the evening, it causes me to dread it. My family all avoid this distressing situation and why not, this is my fault, he just gets drunk and starts on the abuse and thankfully not physical, it could be about anything, it is destroying me mentally and spiritually and I cant take it any more. I know he is suffering but he wont seek help, he says how can anyone take away what is in his head, he said that he is destroyed in himself. Yet he can hold down a job and is doing very well, but his employers or his colleagues don’t know about this, I shudder to think what they would say if the knew what was going on. Moreover I wonder what other partners do in situations like this. I know that deep down he is a lovely person, but is this victim mentality in me hoping for the best? because every time he rages I just want to finish with him. He can erupt any day and the weekends without fail, those days are the worst. In any case I have decided enough is enough, I have to save myself for my own children and for myself because there will be 2 people who will become ill if I don’t make this decision.

there are so many of you who are suffering and something needs to be done about it as it is destroying relationships and families all across the country. I am sorry that I cant be steadfast, don’t know any way to deal with it.

I do not usually publish entries like this because I feel that they are too personal, however I think that this provides such a strong message that I just had to publish it. The first is that people should never put themselves or there families at risk in any situation and secondly life is hard for us but also incredibly hard for our partners and PTSD can destroy even the strongest marriages or relationships.

I just wish that the government and MOD would stop fooling themselves that things are getting better. I have had more hits on my website so far this year than I did in the whole of last year.

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Date: 23 July 2007
Time: 22:41

Comments

This is for Mark Sammy. Please get in touch again. Worried that i have not spoke to you for ages. Are you ok.You know my e-mail address so please contact me.

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Date: 25 July 2007
Time: 16:17

Comments

Hello Andy My name is Mike and I served for eight years I never went to the gulf only NI. I have mood swings I carnt sleep and I am detached from family and so called friends. I looked at your site and some of my probs are listed. Only my wife knows that I suffer in me head. I keep quite they wouldn’t believe me my problems are trivial. so I crack on thank you for letting write this.

Mike your GP will believe you and you should go to him/her to get the help that you desperately need. No matter how trivial you feel you may be your health and life is far more important than pride or questioning others without giving them an opportunity to help you first. Take care my friend, Andy

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Date: 3 August 2007
Time: 14:55

Comments

I am in shock at the number of people who are here. I served for 8 years in the military and was in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Germany and UK. Life was really good to start with then I don’t know where it went wrong. I attempted suicide in Northern Ireland and then again in Germany, before being discharged from HM Forces. I had experience in the Psychiatric units in NHS hospitals, Catterick and Wegburg, Germany. Before it happened to me, I used to be one of those guys who riduiculed people and slated them. If only I knew then the desperation, lack of control and how they were feeling. Now I am 5 years out and 6 since the last suicide attempt. I have bad days, but now have a full management career earning decent money. I feel let down by the Military and the ridicule and patronising, but have to thank the social worker from SSAFA in NI who identified the issues with me and persuaded me to get help, unfortunately it was too late and 3 weeks later I attempted to kill myself but at least she tried. Until the taboo about mental health issues are banished this will continue. Have all voices unite as one and stand up in public and be counted.

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Date: 13 August 2007
Time: 18:11

Comments

Hi Andy

We haven’t exchanged emails for a very long time now…I found your site way back. I think you are doing great work here and your site has improved even more each time I visit and even upon my first visit I found it helpful and informative!

Take care

Pam P

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Date: 14 August 2007
Time: 13:04

Comments

Hello all, gulf war at 17 man here (6 march). I sought help soon after I posted that message and with the help of a sympathetic doctor and a fantastic counsellor I’ve come out the other side. Its not easy but help is out there, the only thing we can do is talk to people who have been through the same experiences- it wont make it all go away but at least you know that you’re not alone.

If anyone wants to talk at anytime email me: hjn960@aol.com

Andy- if you ever need help feel free to contact me, I know your busy and with guys coming back from Iraq now, you’re probably going to get busier!

Thanks for the site

Simon.

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Date: 22 August 2007
Time: 20:03

Comments

Andy I am sitting here in tears, I think I now understand why I have reacted so irrationally to my own relationship problems. in April 2003 I was with my closest friend when her ex partner poured acid on my car, she begged me not to get out but I did. I UNLOCKED THE DOORS. he then jumped in my car and brutally stabbed her, she died. I think I may have ptsd. I was being treated for depression but then they wanted to change to post natal depression counselling instead all they have ever done is mess me about. I recently went back to my doctor and he advised me to self refer myself to mind. but I think I will go back and suggest looking into ptsd.

many thanks Louise

Louise, MIND is a very good place to start. They will be able to give you solid advice and have access to counsellors who may be able to help. If they also agree with PTSD then this would be very good advice to go back to your GP and ask for a referral to your local Community Mental Health team.

I really hope you get the help and support you need. If you want to email me direct please do Andy@ptsd.org.uk

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Date: 30 August 2007
Time: 10:16

Comments

Great site, great help, but after 25 years I still struggle sometimes, seems like yesterday Andy ex 5 airborne brigade

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Date: 03 September 2007
Time: 23:16

Comments

I think anyone can be a victim of this horrible feeling. Soldiers, Nurses, Coppers, the list goes on. Lets hope that people in charge will recognise that a bad experience can really bugger up your life. I don’t fall into any of the afore mentioned groups although I can feel what people are going through. Love from Scotland

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Date: 12 September 2007
Time: 22:47

Comments

I’m only 16, I am suffering from ptsd really badly and had it for the last few months because something really really disturbing happened to me, I always look things up on the internet and I came across this site, I found it very reassuring when I looked at the stuff, I am only young and people must go through worst but its not a nice thing to go through, I’ve also become very depressive about everything, I just want to say that my heart does go out to all you people out there that are suffering from ptsd I know exactly what your going through. I came back from the doctors today and have been referred to cognitive behaviour therapy which is supposed to be good.

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Date: 18 September 2007
Time: 09:59

Comments

Hi Andy. Thanks for taking the time to do what you do, your site rocks Dude!!! I just wish I’d found it earlier!!

Like many of you, I’ve served my Queen and Country (40 Commando RM) and been involved in operations all across the globe trying to do the best I could and make a difference. In return I’ve taken human lives, been spat on by schoolchildren in NI, shot at, shelled, despised, ridiculed and rejected. All bad?? Not really: it goes with the job, so I’m told……..

but I’m lucky, it never really affected me badly. My heart goes out to each and every one of you who’ve been Unlucky.

However, I’ve suffered with PTSD now for nearly 3 years, not as a result of my Service but whilst attending a fatal RTA for a civilian employer.

Since then I became an alcoholic, became obsessed with suicide, walked away from my friends and family and finally had my contract of employment terminated because I’d taken 3 months off work in 2 years!!!! I HAD NO HELP WHATSOEVER FROM THEM. EVER!!! I lost everything I ever had. I lost my life and I lost myself. I’ve woken every day (when I could sleep) into a living Hell. Sound familiar?? I thought so.

BUT…… I chanced on a GP who actually cared about ME in a system that doesn’t. She saved me from me!! I’ve treated the woman who loves me in the most disgusting way for two years, I even tried to kill her, but she never let go and always kept the faith. She saved my life and as a result I’m slowly clawing my life back inch by precious inch. It’ll NEVER be the same, I’ve hurt everyone who cares about me. But at least I’m alive and I pray I can have a future.

For all of you parents, partners, friends or children of someone with PTSD I promise you there’s hope and I beg you all not to give up on us. When we can’t feel any more, when we can’t fight any more and when we can’t shout for help any more please, please don’t give up on us. Hate what we’ve become, but love the person still trapped inside. We’re still in there, and we need you. Always. Anyone wanting to e-mail can get in touch on Tiger181268@aol.com Yours in hope, every day. Gordon.

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Date: 19 September 2007
Time: 21:31

Comments

Hi Andy,

I was in the RAF for 15 years. I broke up with my partner after our son was born and for the last 5 years of my service I was a single parent. In January 03 I was sent on a short notice detachment and whilst there I was subject to intense bullying, sexual harassment and victimisation for the whole 4 months. I became anxious and very depressed, I was constantly on my guard and afraid and these feelings have never left me. I feel worthless and no-one has ever said sorry, which was all that I wanted.

I successfully sued the MOD and was awarded compensation. I was medically discharged from the RAF (without a pension) in Oct 06. Since then I have suffered anxiety and depression and have been referred to a mental health centre. I have taken anti-depressants for the last 2 years. I have a mental health counsellor there and he says it is a lack of confidence and inability to be assertive that is my problem. I have been going there for over a year and don’t feel any better. I don’t feel that he understands me and what I have been through and how I feel now. When I read you site I cried, it was as if a light had been turned on and I thought

Hi, unfortunately not all your guestbook entry came through! If you would like to send in the rest of the submission I will of course add it to the above to complete it for you. I hope that you can use the information and tools within my website to help you in the coming months and in turn help you get through this difficult period in your life. If you wish to talk confidentially please email me

Andy

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Date: 20 September 2007
Time: 14:46

Comments

Andy,

Keep at it mate! 25 years on from the Falklands and suffering. Lost my ship down there and starting to realise lost a big chunk of myself as well!

First visit from Combat Stress next week has blown my usual strategy of putting her to bed every year.

This year has been a nightmare actually facing up to a problem and asking for help.

Without your website might not have admitted the problem!

Once again Keep up the Good work!

Cheers

Another Andy

Andy, Combat Stress are excellent people and help thousands of service men and women from all 3 services, you are in good hands with them please do not get too worried. If you get the chance of a visit to one of there treatment centres, give it a go.

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Date: 20 September 2007
Time: 23:25

Comments

Hi Andy, you sent me another message through the guestbook but I have not published it as I thought that maybe you wanted a confidential reply? If you email me Andy@ptsd.org.uk we can chat about things personally and confidentially. I cannot reply directly as I do not have your email address. Look forward to hearing from you soon and please remember you are not alone and help is there. Andy

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Date: 21 September 2007
Time: 10:04

Comments

This site really helps, not only for service men, but there partners as well. PTSD is a real struggle, not just for those who suffered in any conflict, but for the families that they came home too no matter how long ago the conflict was.

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Date: 28 September 2007
Time: 22:39

Comments

Hi Tash, you left me a message via the guestbook tonight (Friday 28th Sept) which I have not published.

This is not because you are not an ex-service veteran (although I did set up this website for ex-service men and women, many many people contact me who are not ex-service veterans and get help from the info within the website), but instead I felt that the message was very personal and that maybe it would be better that if you need to talk you can email me direct at Andy@ptsd.org.uk for information and a chat?

Please get in touch, I may not have all the answers but I will try and help and advise you as best I can and at least having someone to talk to may be a real help? Speak soon, Andy

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Date: 9 October 2007
Time: 21:40

Comments

I am currently under referral to the DCMH, I don’t know if I have PTSD, but having read your site I see my all of my symptoms. I have been serving with the RAF for nearly five years. I suffered an spinal/neck and back injury during an overseas exercise. I remember coming round after being unconscious to hear medics talking about C-spine injuries, something that still plays on my mind to this day. shortly after my accident I received notice of a tour to Iraq, later that same year. My tour in Iraq was hard going, we were rocketed on a regular basis, with one or two of the larger rockets landing close, one landed close enough to move the whole roof on our building, I thought that was the end of my days to be fair.

I guess my sleep problems started that night. I still don’t sleep more than a few hours a night and the slightest noise wakes me, however come the safety of the day light hours and I am able to sleep, not conducive for a serviceman at all. Towards the end of my tour I was notified I was being posted, to a job and a base I didn’t particularly want to go to and to be fair still don’t want to be at. I returned to my wife in the November of 2006, we were posting on December the 23rd of all days. My wife had been suffering with depression, before, during and after I was deployed so I was worrying about her too. I have always bottled up my feelings, Its just what I do.

Then recently I ruptured a tendon in my hand and went to see a Doctor, that’s when it all came out. I sometimes feel like just getting in my car and driving, to nowhere in particular, just to get away. your site has helped me immensely I know now that there is help out there for me and I don’t always have to feel the way I do Thank you Ash

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Date: 14 October 2007
Time: 03:06

Comments

I just want to congratulate you on the effort put into your internet site, on stress/anxiety. Many people can benefit from it, and its really a great thing that you are out there talking about it.

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Date: 14 October 2007
Time: 19:58

Comments

hi. I’m a wife who has just reached the end of her tether after 20 years of being married to someone with ptsd. How did it happen? very suddenly – I was distracted and tired after another weekend of his drinking and yelling and I reversed into a blokes car. He leapt out and called me the same things my husband did. Was he another ex-vet I didn’t know or care- I exploded.20 years came out at the poor sod and I couldn’t stop. security was called and my boss, who sent me to the OT. By now I was crying and couldn’t stop so I was sent home which is the last place in the world I wanted to be. I would have burnt it down to escape. I had nowhere to go- all my friends have left me because they couldn’t cope with his outbursts and I felt like ending everything. I have never felt so trapped. He was never physically violent but the abuse and aggression seemed endless and how many times can you explain to the kids that daddy is ill. Weekends and holidays became a war zone and I used to get more stressed as the week went on. yes I admit I probably didn’t help the situation because as soon as the first beer can opened it was like a call to battle. When he came home I told him I was filing for divorce. The look on his face was something I will never forget – the final betrayal- and I felt like a total traitor. A lot more yelling followed but them we started to talk and we probably understand each other a lot more now. He has finally agreed to try to control the drinking and after my complete hissy fit I feel a lot better. we’ve now decided to try again.

its just to say we know its not aimed at us on purpose and perhaps those of us that do leave are not as strong as others so please don’t judge us too harshly. After all we are human too. Please get help and talk to us more about how you feel more rather than just attacking us verbally or god forbid physically. And if you are the guy I reversed into, I really am sorry…

lei

P.s the site is really good thank you

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Date: 22 October 2007
Time: 15:20

Comments

I have found this site very moving. My story has a lot of parallels with most of the other writers but the cause of my problems, what I think is PTSD, is very different to those described here and does not feature on this web-site at all. I had a traumatic childbirth experience. My experience is even more the remarkable because… I am a midwife, who deals with women in labour every day. I know that PTSD has been described in women suffering traumatic births in the professional literature, but I never thought it would happen to me.

What I was not prepared for was the total lack of understanding by health professionals and the ignorance of the symptoms and possible diagnosis. I have seen several GP’s, a psychiatrist and been referred to a sleep clinic (at my request because I thought it may give me access to a counsellor) for the inability to sleep. Everyone told me I had post-natal depression, when I was depressed because I couldn’t sleep, not the other way round! I suffered flashbacks and nightmares afterwards, Two years on I still can’t sleep, feel dreadful and certainly can’t deal with stress. But where is the help? How do I access a counsellor? I’ve worked in the health service for 25 years but it has let me down when I needed it. I had to return to work (which I had to delay as I couldn’t go back) to a system which caused me to feel so traumatised.

PTSD CAN occur after traumatic childbirth and I feel so sad when I see what can happen to women following a difficult labour and birth. I would not wish this on anyone.

I would welcome any suggestions on your site as to how to access a counsellor and what is the best form of counselling for trauma symptoms. I would give anything to be able to sleep again.

Your story is sadly not a unique one and you are very right in saying that women CAN suffer PTSD after a traumatic childbirth. I was part of the NICE Guidelines development group for the development of the NICE Guidelines for PTSD. During that process it was proved and accepted that this does happen and your GP should refer you to a specialist psychologist for you to get treatment. If this is being denied then if you go to the NICE Guideline page http://www.ptsd.org.uk/NICE.htm read the guidelines and then go and quote these to your GP and demand a referral, this is your right.

The problem is in the main there are not enough quality trained psychologists and experts which is hampering help but with new GP’s coming through and better education and training PTSD is being taken seriously now all be it a slow change. Let me know how you get on via email Andy@ptsd.org.uk rather than the guestbook then I can reply to you directly.

Andy

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Date: 24 October 2007
Time: 21:12

Comments

As a health professional I would like to salute you on the information and support that is offered through this web site.

Having professional contact with individuals from civvi street and some who are ex-military who are in distress and diagnosed with PTSD, I am ashamed of the discrimination that appears to exist. In my experience there are very few health professionals who have the experience and skill to work with PTSD and with the recent health cuts and redesigns these professionals are being cut. I am also disgusted at how the governments legislation discriminates against war veterans.

I know there is little faith in the health service but some of us who come into contact with individuals with PTSD do our best to offer support, education and treatment to help the individual and family go on a journey for a better tomorrow.

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Date: 4 November 2007
Time: 19:28

Comments

I am sorry for you and others who suffer PTSD, I have to say your website is inspirational, and I have enjoyed reading information given which I hope to use with vulnerable children in my care. Thanks Danny

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Date: 17 November 2007
Time: 01:23

Comments

I served for 22 years in the infantry, in NI many times, Kosovo and the Falklands, until Op Telic 4. It was a busy time for us, resulting in many Op awards, a few KIA and 25% casualties, and even though it is 3 years down the line I think about that tour every day ! is there something wrong with me or is this normal ? I have very strong desires to return to combat, as I now serve in the TA ! Does anyone else feel this way ? I would be interested if anyone feels the same way as I do ! leave me a message here for me, for Andy 9952 ! thanks

Hi Andy, what you are experiencing is a natural emotional reaction to a deeply shocking and disturbing experience. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. War changes us all and it is a difficult thing to just switch off at the drop of a hat and then just be a “normal” person. This does not make anything wrong with you but just shows that you are in fact a normal human being.

The only other thing I need to say is that this is not a chat room nor a forum where people can just vent views without control. I have seen some of these and without careful monitoring they get out of control and can in some situations detract from what the website set out to achieve. Can I ask that if you want people to reply to you direct you put an email address here for them to contact you direct?

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Date: 25 November 2007
Time: 21:17

Comments

This site is an excellent resource for people, both suffering from PTSD and those of us who work with people that are struggling with it.

Veterans have been getting a raw deal in lots of ways…but hopefully things are slowly starting to change…there’s been a lot in the press in recent weeks and the plight of Veterans is becoming more high profile.

I have written here before about the Community Veterans Mental Health Therapist posts, which are being set up in pilot sites around the country, London, Stafford, Newcastle, Cornwall, Cardiff and Scotland. I would urge any Vets out there who have had difficulties getting treatment, or understanding from the NHS to look out for this new service if you live in one of these areas……..it is specifically to help Veterans who are having serious mental health difficulties and who are not able to get help, or who have given up trying to find someone who understands.

If you want to find out any more info on this new service, i can point you in the right direction, email me at cvmht@therapist.net

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Date: 29 November 2007
Time: 13:23

Comments

Not a British vet – another army another war and only minor stress which I have come to realise has been caused by my experiences, thank God for my wife – an excellent site and I realise how it has helped other friends of mine.

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Date: 3 December 2007
Time: 20:03

Comments

Suffering from PTSD since Gulf War 1.

This site had done more for me in one visit, than the NHS in 12 years. So nothing new between the NHS and Gulf Veterans then!

Its tough reading being a suffer as its a bit to close to home. But I would recommend anyone to battle through their emotions and read it.

Good site, you should be a professional.

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Date: 15 December 2007
Time: 01:20

Comments

Not quite sure what to say but I feel that now I’ve seen your site there is something that I can do before my life goes down the pan I’ve tried telling my wife about the stuff I’ve seen and she says it turns her stomach, boo-hoo, I have kids and sometimes when they play up I want to tell them how much a ten year old screams when he has got no arms and to not be so selfish but even after that I’m not sure if I’ve got ptsd, if I’d rather be in the snow covered mountains of Bosnia at Christmas instead of with my family who day by day I feel are greedy and selfish, does that qualify I’m just rambling but my doctor is Portuguese and I don’t trust anybody who doesn’t have military background where can I go before I end up homeless or dead, rob

Rob, please email me via Andy@ptsd.org.uk and we can talk and I can steer you to the best places to get help from. I too was in Bosnia and there is help for you. I look forward to speaking from you soon. Andy

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Date: 15 December 2007
Time: 01:20

Comments

I’m not sure I belong on here as I am not ex services (although my parents we redcaps) I have been trying to find out more about PTSD after I was diagnosed with it. 11 years ago I was a Civi working in my normal job when a bomb was planted next to where I work and we got a bomb warning after spending nearly 45 mins running up and down a 16 story building trying to clear each room and office, I was about to leave the building when the very last person was told to run right across a bridge to the evacuation point, I remember looking out to her at the door she ran left, As I realised she was heading into the bomb I ran after her to stop her along with a fireman with me, as we got to her the Air rippled like a stone being thrown into water I never did hear the bang. 10 years I knew something was wrong with me with my temper and moods, then this year I passed my motorbike test thought id do it before I reached 40, 3 months after taking my test a 17 year old girl who only passed her driving test the day before hit me at a junction head on she was racing her boyfriend who was in the car behind. The last thing I remember was my face meeting her windscreen, oddly enough I didn’t hear that bang either. It left me in a wheelchair, For some reason the bike accident now mingles with the flashbacks and night mares from 11 years ago. I went to my GP as I couldn’t take it any more, I had to wait and have assessments by the mental health team who came back to me with PTSD. I’m now on a 6 month waiting list for CBT. I have read some of your stories and definitely don’t feel I belong here.

Excellent site

WigansBrianPotter

Brian, although the website was set-up to support ex-service veterans, I do help other people from all walks of life and many of the WebPages can be used by anyone suffering from PTSD. Hang in there my friend, CBT does really work and will help you a lot. Have a lovely Christmas, Andy

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Date: 20 December 2007
Time: 13:37

Comments

I’ve just been diagnosed as having PTSD. This stems from an incident in the Falklands in 1987, when an army driver died while I was attempting to rescue him. I was an RAF fireman and he had been in collision with a drunk driver who’d nicked a 4 tonner. For 18 years I’ve been getting progressively worse without realisation. I’ve had several failed relationships, abandoned all contact with close family including children, parents & siblings. Thoughts of suicide are very frequent visitors and a recent episode prompted me to visit a doctor for the 1st time in about 15 years. I’m now on a 6 month waiting list for CBT. I’m out of work at the moment and skint obviously but I’ve bitten the bullet and contacted the legion & SSAFA who are being a big help & turns out I may be entitled to some form of pension. I suppose I’m trying to say I know what’s wrong with me and that I’m not on my own. I want to get back to work and I’ve discovered Remploy have services I’d recommend. Thanks for the web site Andy, it is a good place to come visit.

Comments are closed.