The Ancient Greeks called it ‘trauma’. During the First World War it was known as ‘shellshock’. Only since Vietnam have we begun to understand the symptoms and causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And to realise that it threatens us all.
From victims of 9/11 and the London bombings, to soldiers and civilians in the world’s most devastating war zones and the victims and witnesses of violent crime at home, PTSD can affect anyone. Symptoms have been seen in those suffering bereavement, illness and infection, traffic accidents, house fires, and sexual assault and abuse. Thousands have become prisoners of their own devastated minds – overwhelmed by flashbacks, nightmares and a terrible feeling of isolation. But in almost every case, there is a cure.
Gordon Turnbull recognised PTSD as a serious clinical condition from the start of his career. Since then he has offered his care and counsel to hundreds of sufferers, including the mountain rescue teams at Lockerbie, soldiers Andy McNab and Johnson Beharry VC, kidnap victims John McCarthy, Terry Anderson and Terry Waite, and many more from all walks of life. Part scientific detective story, part inspirational memoir, Trauma is the story behind the headlines, a fascinating and utterly compelling account of how he and his team help to rebuild lives, and piece together the fragments of troubled minds.