Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Another good reason to be treated

There is a close association between PTSD and Heart Disease. Anew study reported in the August 2008 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine shows that having PTSD "significantly raises the risk of premature death from heart disease... [veterans with PTSD are] roughly twice as likely to die from heart disease during follow up as veterans without PTSD." The study was based on data from over 4,000 US veterans. There is a number of routes through which post-traumatic stress may be causing the damage that leads to heart attacks. The sooner trauma is successfully treated, the less damage should be caused.

Civilians get traumatic symptoms too

The stress and anxiety caused by years of living under the rocket threat have left their mark on the children of Sderot. A study presented at a recent conference in Jerusalem revealed that 45% of the town's children under the age of six suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that this is expressed through developmental regression, sleeping disorders or aggression.
The data, which has been collected since 2003, also indicated that 41% of mothers and 33% of fathers are suffering from PTSD and often experience flashbacks from difficult experiences and avoid places that remind them of rocket attacks.

Monday, 8 June 2009

PTSD and crime

This story comes from Florida Today - but it could have come from any country with an active Army. Unknown numbers of British men and women are in prison following violent incidents. It is impossible to be sure that these incidents would not have happened if these men and women had not been traumatised, but at Resolution we do know for sure that successful treatment always reduces the 'arousal' symptoms, which include anger and a 'short fuse'.

"Some 19 months since he was involved in a confrontation with police outside his home, Afghanistan war veteran Joseph Brian Odom has reached a deal with prosecutors and is expected to enter a plea in court this morning. Since the incident in November 2007, the 31-year-old Odom -- whose family claims he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder -- has been held in the Brevard County Detention Center. He's charged with aggravated assault with a firearm while discharging a firearm, aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer while discharging a firearm, shooting into a building or vehicle and unlawful wearing of a bulletproof vest. Family members said Odom suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by Odom's service in Operation Enduring Freedom. They said he was fighting frequent nightmares, daily headaches and brief flashbacks prior to events that unfolded early Thanksgiving Day 2007. Sheriff's deputies said Odom shot at his wife, who called 9-1-1. He was wearing a military-style bulletproof vest and carrying a shotgun and an AK-47 rifle when he confronted officers who arrived at the couple's home just before 2 a.m. Odom had sought medical help through Veterans Affairs for growing anxiety and headaches. He had been prescribed anti-depressants and anti-psychotic and sleep drugs."

This story confirms once again that people with post-traumatic symptoms need help straight away. The right sort of help with enable them to sleep better and be calmer and more rational, and less likely to resort to alcohol, which often causes its own problems. If you have anger, flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks or other common post-traumatic symptoms - and you have served in the UK military - please feel free to call Resolution on 0845 021 7873. We'll call you back to save your mobile charges. Advice is free, as is treatment in many cases.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Stiff Upper Lip - 2

It is a puzzle that the UK Army rate of PTSD is so low compared with other countries. Is it the sheer mental strength of the Briton when compared with those inferior foreigners? Er, no. Is it the budget limitations of the British Army - some research has suggested that the chance of getting PTSD depends on how much you exchange fire with the enemy, so being short of ammunition might be a good thing. Or is it the innovative mental healthcare scheme we were told about by a soldier who returned from a foreign assignment to be sat down in an aircraft hanger with the rest of the troops and asked 'Right, who's got PTSD"? Not wishing to be ridiculed for the rest of a short Army career he kept his hands firmly by his side. How many others were doing the same? Er, probably about the same number as report PTSD in those inferior foreign Armies, I suspect...

Stiff Upper Lip - 1

An Australian psychiatrist believes Britain’s stiff upper lip culture, its class system and the NHS means we are not supporting the mental health needs of war veterans adequately. Speaking at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Annual Meeting in Liverpool, Professor Alexander McFarlane said Britain has a “peculiarly ambivalent” relationship with its armed forces. As a result, he believes British war veterans experiencing mental health problems are not supported as well as they are in countries like the USA and Australia. Professor McFarlane, who is professor of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide and head of the Australian Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health, claims there are a significant number of British troops with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who are not being treated. He cited a study published in The Lancet in 2003 which said that deployment in Iraq had not had any effect on British soldiers - apart from a slight increase in physical symptoms. In contrast, a recent study in the United States showed that 300,000 troops returning home has symptoms of PTSD and 322,000 had mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Professor McFarlane said that soldiers tend to have a ‘stiff upper lip’ and do not readily complain – but British soldiers are just as vulnerable to PTSD as the military in other countries. Professor McFarlane pointed out that Australia has a special system of healthcare for veterans. The Australian government has recently conducted a review of veteran mental health, and released an extra AUS $80million for the welfare of veterans. But Britain has no separate government department dealing with the health of veterans, he said. Once someone leaves the armed forces, it is assumed that the NHS will treat any subsequent mental health problems. However, research has shown that veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder are often missed in the civilian health sector because staff are not adequately trained. Professor McFarlane said: “When you have a known infection like swine flu, there’s a major attempt to identify those who are at risk. I would argue that people who have served the nation have had a known toxic exposure and if we want people to volunteer for those roles we have to care for them. “There is a cost socially and morally if we don’t take care of these people.” He said: “The might of [Britain’s] empire was built on the cost of the lives and the suffering of its military, and historically it didn’t provide those veterans with healthcare and pensions. But we live in a different age now and the question is: Is the UK is trapped by its past?”

Monday, 1 June 2009

Resolution Video - About Us

Here's the latest video from Resolution.... a little ablout what we do, and how to contact us.

We hope that you enjoy it and look forward to your comments!