Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Trauma-Related Guilt: The Perspective of a Counselling Psychologist within the Military

Frappell-Cooke, W. (2008). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Trauma-Related Guilt: The Perspective of a Counselling Psychologist within the Military. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)

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Abstract

Exposure to potentially traumatic events experienced in military combat can often lead to psychological illness such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However the stigma of suffering a mental illness prevents many within the military from seeking help. Currently operating within the Royal Marines is Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) a peer-support system embedded within the operational units, promoting recognition of psychological illness. This current research aims to evaluate the effects of TRiM on two individual units, one from the British Royal Marines and one from the Coldstream Guards, at different stages of TRiM incorporation. Levels of distress and attitudes towards suffering psychological distress have been evaluated prior to, and upon return from six months deployment to Afghanistan, by quantitative analysis using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ 12), the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version (PCL C), and an Attitude to Mental Health Questionnaire. Participants numbered 180 pre-deployment and 137 post-deployment. Findings show that in comparison the TRiM group were found to have lower psychological distress and less negative attitudes towards suffering from psychological distress. However, both groups showed concern at perceived views of others and the impact of disclosing a psychological illness. Elevated psychological distress for both the Marines and Coldstream Guards was found pre-deployment, suggesting anticipatory anxiety, as compared with reduced levels post-deployment, suggesting subsequent relief at being back from tour and that combat experiences do not necessarily lead to psychological distress.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/8714

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