Living with PTSD



How to get help

Most medical services are accessed via your GP. If you haven't signed up with one, click here and then enter 'GP' and your postcode in the search boxes.

There are some organisations that can help you to get help by contacting your GP for you.

Please remember some basics:
If you are a disabled Veteran, you are supposed to receive priority care (apart from, clinically speaking, cases that are of a more urgent nature than yours).
Your prescriptions for your recognised conditions (if you're getting a War disablement Pension) should be free.

It can be extremely difficult to go and talk to a stranger about the cause of your problems where mental health problems are concerned (it can be the same for physical problems - who wants to get their piles examined?). If you have a friend that you trust, talk to them first and take them with you for some support.

Opening up your inner most pain is difficult ... but it's something that you need to do to take your first steps towards recovery (or being able to live with the condition). If you're a Veteran, chances are that you're used to being the dependable one. Your self expectations are higher than the average civvy. You need to go easy on yourself and realise something important ... we all need help from time-to-time ... and it's okay not to be strong all the time. So let someone help you.

If you're accessing or trying to access services that require you to wait in uncomfortable surroundings that just make you want to go home and lock the rest of the world out - phone them up first and explain to them how going out makes you feel and tell them that you're a Veteran. They should try to make allowances for you in some way.

If you don't have a GP that is empathetic towards your issues, find another one! Your relationship with your GP will affect which support services you will be referred to.

Not all GPs are clued up about Veterans issues, mental health in general or PTSD. You may meet a GP with the bedside manner of an inebriated warthog. Walk away and find someone else - you can ask to be seen by a different GP at the same practice or go to a different health centre.

When you start unscrewing that tight lid that's been keeping your memories and feelings of service hidden, be prepared in case the symptoms worsen temporarily. It's part of the process ... so please hang in there and don't give up.



NHS Resources:

The NHS are using three main forms of treatment: Medication, CBT and EMDR. These therapies do not work for everyone ... BUT they may work for you. The medication can leave you feeling like a zombie - tread carefully. What works for me? Staying away from people, CBT, creativity and talking with a therapist. You have to find what works for you - so please don't be put off by other people's opinionions - we're all different!