Plymouth and Southwest Veterans PTSD Support Group.
"Having an understanding ear can be important for someone
suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)". These are
the words of just one sufferer from the Plymouth area.
Paul (name changed for anonimity), a serving member of the 1st
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Battalion The Rifles and PTSD patient said he uses a three-pronged
approach to help deal with his illness - formal therapy with a
psychologist, peer-led group therapy and informal therapy through the
Plymouth & Southwest Veterans PTSD Support Group.
"We have our trusted peers that we can open up and tell our
problems to where we can talk back and forth and interact with one
another," Paul continued. "We all have our good days and we
all have our bad days and they're never in tune with each other. When
we're having a high day, we're looking for that low guy we can help
out, because later on down the road somewhere, you're going to be the
low guy and they're going to be the high guy and they help bring you
Paul added, "Having the Plymouth & Southwest Veterans PTSD
Support Group and its associated Facebook page, both created by
ex-Servicemen and women from Devon, is a great resource because it
allows military PTSD suffers and Veterans to communicate with each
other on their own terms".
"It's grassroots is to enable Veterans and serving personnel
to get together with other sufferers," Paul said. "It
allows guys like me to relate with whats happening to us, we can
speak in our own language and with our own acronyms, that only
Military Personnel understand"
A spokesperson for the Plymouth & Southwest Veterans PTSD
Support Group, Pip Morgan who himself served over 20 years in the
Royal Air Force and has suffered from PTSD since 2008, explained he
has received great feedback from both serving and ex-Serving
personnel who have been helped by having a forum to talk openly. Pip
trained to become a Psychologist after receiving help and support
from Combat Stress, and in 2009 he specialised in Posttraumatic
Stress Disorder issues, in 2010 he decided to launch the Veterans
Support Group in his home town. His on story is soon to be published
in his autobiography 'Secrets and Lies:- The Enemy Within', when
asked about the book he shys away and only states that he was
inspired to write it by a close female friend, for who's support he
can never be thankful enough.
He said "more awareness about PTSD
is needed among the rank-and-file so more Veterans and serving
personnel will be willing to open up about the struggles they're
dealing with" he added, "Facing your fear head on and saying
'hey look at me' that in itself is a healing mechanism, and we've got
hundreds of people who will attest to the same thing."
The Plymouth & Southwest Veterans PTSD Support Group has even
helped a Serving Royal Marine who was contemplating suicide, because
he couldn't understand why he was feeling so depressed all the time
after returning from Active Duty in Afghanistan. Plymouth Veterans
encourages people to contact each other via Facebook and other Social
Network Sites as they believe the distraction of receiving a host of
supportive messages distracts the sufferer long enough for
professional help to work its magic.
around the world, including one where he served in the morgue at Camp
Bastion in Afghanistan, admits his job scarred him for life, though
he has no regrets about pursuing a career in the armed forces. He
believes that such Groups such as Plymouth & Southwest Veterans
should be formed in every city. He added, "I love the Army and
British Armed Forces in general and I love everything it stands for,"
Paul continued to add, "it's disheartening for myself to know
that I couldn't go back into that type of situation again just for
the pure risk of digressing back to my old, dark days where I was
struggling to keep my marriage together and control my anger and my
Plymouth & Southwest Veterans PTSD Support is open to
veterans, serving personnel and their families and are happy to help
anyone who believes they may suffer from Posttraumatic Stress. They
have a wide network of support from other national groups such as
Combat Stress, Help 4 Heroes, VIPA, SSAFFA, RBLI and Veterans UK but
to name a few......