Thursday, 10 September 2009
The website offers exclusive video clips and stories about the psychological traumas suffered by many soldiers as a result of their time spent in combat zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan–some of which may take years to develop.
The site covers four topics; mental health, relationships, alcohol and suicide and each has a series of clips from ex soldiers and their families about how each of these has directly affected them. In a series of moving short videos, the clips tell the stories of how families can be left devastated by the suicide of their loved ones, how lives can be wrecked by trying to battle the demons of war with drink or drugs and how marriages and relationships can falter when a returning soldier tries to adjust to life back home.
There are also research articles into the background of each topic and a chance for anyone affected by them to comment on the issues and share their experiences.
There is a section for Help and Support and links to other websites which discuss the impact of combat on the psychological health of the people who serve in our military.
Photographs taken by serving soldiers and video clips taken with their mobile phones also give a sense of what life is like fighting in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and there are a series of portraits of ex-soldiers by the film-maker David Modell of all the people he spoke to in the making of Battle Scarred.
Please visit the site at www.channel4.com/battlescarred
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
A recent court ruling has raised new concerns about PTSD by concluding that it may have helped cause multiple sclerosis. It was argued in court that stress can at least spark individual attacks or make symptoms seem more intense, and the judge ruled that PTSD actually prompted or exacerbated a veteran's MS, overturning a review-board decision refusing the man a pension. The veteran said in an interview. "I could have maybe warded off MS had I been given the proper medical treatment when I needed it."
Whatever actually happened with this veteran's Multiple Sclerosis, this case underlines the need to get better organised with PTSD care, offering rapid treatment as soon as servicemen start to feel disturbed by their experiences. Now we know how to prevent these cases growing into entrenched disabilities it makes sense to use that knowledge.