Lee has been in the armed forces for the past 20 years. Three years ago, after a couple of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he started losing his temper at home and at work; he also had a lot of nightmares and suffered form paranoia. He tried to get help from his GP, then from a military psychiatrist but ran circles with them. Anti-depressants did not have any effect on him and he stopped taking them.

PTSD: an unspeakable situation. Story 4 – Lee from Florence Royer on Vimeo.

Lee wished he could tell the military he went on a therapy course run by a charity specialized in veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress in order to get some relevant help, but if he did say that he would be “looked upon and looked down on and [he] would probably get into some form of trouble because in [the military’s] mind, [they] have got all the stuff in place.”

Over the past couple of years, the number of PTSD sufferers has risen due to the intensity of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to recent figures from King’s Centre for Military Health Research, 1 out of 40 veterans currently suffer from PTSD in the UK. Only 40% of them will seek treatment, the others “will live with it and then one day, something will just snap.” (Dave Watts, Falklands’ veteran)

PTSD is often described in the civilian world as a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, but when serving in the armed forces, PTSD is most of the time seen as an abnormal or weak reaction to a normal work situation.