General Article My life after post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Topic Selected: Armed Forces Book Volume: 356

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reflects on the care provided by the NHS Veterans’ Clinic in London, also known as the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS).

I left the Parachute Regiment with an injury and, unknown to me, PTSD.

By my 19th birthday I had served in combat tours, but civvy street was proving to be the toughest challenge. My spinal injury I understood and dealt with it in Military ‘P’ company fashion; get it sorted. I exercised diligently but ignored the raging mind-frag.

They had not coined the term PTSD when I left, so most of my adult life was spent tossed this way and that by what I thought was my own madness. I flitted from job to job, country to country, menial work and labouring. Urgent desire to keep travelling, keep one step ahead, running from the unrecognised effect of trauma.

Periods of hyper-alertness and mani

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