ANZAC Day – 100 year anniversary
The human cost of war is staggering and World War I was by far Australia’s most costly war. From a population of less than five million, more than 320,000 Australians served overseas during the conflict. Around 155,000 were wounded; 60,000 died. Many who returned from this and later wars had terrible physical injuries but many more had unseen and unrecognised psychological wounds. These wounds are the often unseen costs of war and can be experienced through the generations that follow a great war. Many people experience fear, anxiety, bereavement, shock and other forms of psychological trauma that do not end when they return home. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a diagnosable and treatable condition.
Ian Kilpatrick, Principal Psychologist at Axiom Psychological & Coaching Services said “ANZAC Day can be a difficult time for many people as they talk about and remember those who have made the supreme sacrifice or those people who have been injured.” According to Beyond Blue in any one year about 1 million Australians experience PTSD and some 12% will experience it in their lifetime. Mr Kilpatrick said “Whilst Returning Service men and women have a high risk of developing PTSD other active service people such as police, fire officers and paramedics also have a high risk of becoming symptomatic. Other known causes are natural disasters such as bush fires and floods as well as serious accidents or incidents.” Common symptoms include a feeling of intense fear or hopelessness, flashbacks, being overly alert or wound up. Avoiding reminders of the event such as not watching certain television shows, or not visiting certain locations are other non-productive strategies people with PTSD use to avoid painful memories.
If you or someone you know does experience painful emotions and struggle to cope around this time of remembrance you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. Beyond Blue (www.beyondblue.org.au) has helpful information.
For more information please contact Axiom Psychological Services on 4324 5400.