Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

by Elizabeth
(New Zealand)

My father was a World War 1 veteran, he was at Gallipolli and later on in France. For four terrible years he saw a lot and experienced a lot that he should have had to. So many men went to that war, expecting it would only last so many months but it went on for four years. Although he did not have any injury, he did have hepatitis which affected his liver, he could never drink any alcohol and he suffered from ulcers for years. These men from both world wars were expected to come home if they survived and take up life again from when they left over to go to war. There was no understanding of what they had gone through or any real help and I wonder to this day how he ever functioned. For years he had nightmares. It did fade in the end somewhat but it affected not only his life but ours as well.

When Anzac day services are held, mention is made of those who died, maybe they were more fortunate as they were spared the misery of bad memories and guilt over having to kill another person when they had been taught from childhood it was wrong. This was never mentioned at the services which I felt it should be. Some ex soldiers committed suicide.
It is only in latter years that I had realised what he had gone through particularly as he was farming during the following depression, we never went without but it was something he could have done without.
It was very upsetting for families whose loved ones were shot because they were suffering from shellshock and had run off from the frontline. Happily some of these family members have now been pardoned.
Post Traumatic stress syndrome also happens to victims of abuse and to those who have suffered a terrible shock due to a tragedy. People in Christchurch are still going through unsettlement and upheaval. People who suffer from this condition need help, support and understanding to make their way back to health.
People who have gone through childhood abuse, may for some years be able to ignore what has happened but considerably a number who have never had help or who have suppressed their memories, often have mood swings and lash out at other family members. In doing so they sabotage family and friend relationships.
Even if you have suffered the loss of a job through something that has happened to you, you can suffer from PTSS, You may need some help or counselling to get yourself back on track before you apply for another position.

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