Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder And Armed Forces

Published date25 March 2024
Subject MatterFood, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences
Law FirmGorvins Solicitors
AuthorMr Gary Boyd

It is no secret to many of us that we live in stressful and uncertain times but statistics reveal that an astonishing 1 in 4 of the UK population will suffer a mental health problem in any given year.

These problems can be some of the most disabling illnesses we can suffer. The more common types of mental health disorders are depression and anxiety. Less common in the population as a whole but relatively common amongst our Armed Forces personnel are severe conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder ('PTSD').

PTSD is an anxiety disorder resulting from exposure to traumatic, stressful, frightening or distressing events.

PTSD often strikes members of the Armed Forces, due to their traumatic experiences both in combat and on exercise, but it can affect anyone. The condition, however, was first recognised in war veterans and was previously known as 'shell shock'.

PTSD and other similar disorders often have very significant adverse mental and physical impacts on the sufferer, their lives and careers and those of their loved ones.

Often many years can pass after a traumatic experience, before someone starts to suffer or be diagnosed with PTSD, or other psychological or psychiatric disorders. This means that it is likely that many in the Armed Forces who have served in theatres such as Iraq or Afghanistan may yet still be diagnosed with PTSD or similar.

The symptoms and consequences of PTSD can vary, but typically include some or all of the following:

  • 'Re-experiencing' the traumatic events including flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive or distressing images and sensations
  • Avoidance and emotional numbing, leading to feelings of detachment from loved ones and friends , and isolation
  • Marital/ relationship issues/ breakdown
  • Hyper arousal (feeling 'on edge'), often leading to anger...

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