Military personnel are often at risk of sustaining serious personal injury. While carrying out their duties, these individuals could be exposed to a number of dangers, such as coming under enemy fire, being in close proximity to explosives, or coming into contact with a number of hazardous substances.
These could result in serious physical harm, such as lacerations and burns – and could even result in death. Yet, military personnel are also at risk of suffering psychologically. In particular, they might be in danger of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Post-traumatic stress disorder
According to the NHS, when a person experiences an extremely stressful, frightening, or distressing event, they might develop PTSD. After being involved in this type of incident, individuals might acquire this condition immediately, or it could develop weeks, months or even years after the traumatic event. Regardless of when this condition appears, victims tend to display a range of symptoms, including:
- Reliving the incident through flashbacks or nightmares
- Feeling guilty, irritable or isolated
- Being unable to sleep properly
- Trying to avoid talking about or being reminded of the event
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Mis-using substances such as alcohol and drugs
There are many situations which can result in PTSD, such as traffic accidents, natural disasters, and violent assaults, but military combat has also been linked with this condition. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) states that mental illness – including post-traumatic stress disorder – is a "serious and disabling medical condition", and offers treatment to soldiers worried about their psychological wellbeing.
However, figures published in 2013 suggest that the MOD is failing to adequately prevent servicemen from developing this condition.
PTSD rates in the military
In 2012, Combat Stress, – a military mental health charity – reportedly handled 370 PTSD cases from servicemen between the ages of 21 and 30. According to the organisation, this was the largest number of patients they had ever received and much higher than figures taken during the year 2000 – which showed they had received 160 referrals.
The BBC states that other mental health charities are recording similar results, claiming that increasing numbers of personnel under the age of 30 are seeking treatment for PTSD. Unfortunately, Combat Stress believes this trend will continue.
Claiming military compensation for PTSD
PTSD can be a devastating psychological condition. If you developed this disorder whilst working in the armed forces, you might be entitled to claim military compensation through Seth Lovis & Co.
Our team of army accident solicitors recognise that the symptoms of PTSD can severely impact an individual's quality of life – and they want to help you receive damages. Furthermore, following a successful claim, any funds awarded could reimburse treatment fees, help recoup lost earnings, and pay for rehabilitation costs.
Please call us today on 0370 218 4025 or complete an online enquiry form to find out more information.