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.

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