Recognition of Problem

You know the biggest enemy of anyone who has these conditions is recognising yourself that you have something going on in your head that needs to be sorted out. For years I had friends telling me that there was something going on and I should go and speak to someone. But, of course, I didn’t need to do that – I was a strong dominant male, it was my job to protect my friends and family, it was my job to be in control, it was my job to mask my feelings and only let people see the strong side of me.

Identifying and accepting that a problem exists is exceptionally difficult and usually only seems to occur after an incident or outburst that affects others around you – suddenly you then realise that maybe you do over-react a bit or fly off at what really are minor things. It seems a fact of life that those of us with military backgrounds are trained to block or delay emotional responses due to the nature and danger of what we do – we then keep those emotions deep inside us until we release the pressure which is usually in an angry outburst at someone near us. A fellow military person subconsciously knows this and when his/her mate has an outburst he/she knows it is a short term release of pressure and no personal offence is taken and both parties move on with their lives with no effect on their friendship. 

When these outbursts occur in front of other people, those not trained (brainwashed) in the military style, these outbursts can be seen as personal attacks and uncontrolled rage rather than the pressure release they are. This causes rifts in relationships and friendships that can be very difficult to repair. By recognising this difference and understanding the reason for the outbursts, maybe the high percentage of relationship failures in military/police/paramedic families could be reduced.

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