The nature of trauma

There are a number of ways to consider psychological trauma, and perhaps the most common one is that the individual is overwhelmed by an event which they struggle to come to terms with.  This may either be an event in their early childhood, for example being sexually and/or physically abused; …

Trauma and ‘normality’

One of the enduring legacies of the London bombings, whose tenth anniversary falls this July, is psychological.  According to a recent BBC news story, ‘hundreds may have been traumatised’1 The key point about this story is that it is referring to people who may have just been ‘passing by’ when …

Why PTSD?

Research by the mental health charity Mind has shown that people working in the emergency (”blue light’) services are more likely to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than the rest of the population.1 Perhaps this is hardly surprising bearing in mind the types of situations and sights that …

Memories of the Holocaust

This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp by the Soviet Red Army and also many other camps, including Belsen and Dachau.  Although many of those who survived the horrors of their ordeal were able to rebuild their lives, which often included emigrating to …

Can you let go of the past?

The past is always in the news.  At the time of writing (May 2014) old wounds have been reopened regarding The Troubles in Northern Ireland in the wake the arrest and subsequent release of Gerry Adams in relation to the abduction and murder of Jean McConville.  Connected to this is …

Mental health and the military

Although most people probably associate psychological problems amongst the military with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those serving in the forces can suffer from a whole range of problems including anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, psychotic illnesses, and relationship problems.  And it is not only about currently serving personnel, …

Trauma, PTSD and military veterans

On Monday night the BBC broadcast a Panorama special programme which looked at the growing problem of suicide amongst serving soldiers and ex-soldiers (veterans) in the British military.1 Through its own research the Panorama team established that in 2012 a total of 50 soldiers – 29 of them veterans – …