Former Royal Marine, Jamie Sanderson, is the founder Director of Rock 2 Recovery, a charity set to connect distressed servicemen, veterans and their families to appropriate mental health professionals, as well as inspiring and motivating suffers to a better future through creativity. He recently published an excellent guide online called STAR Signposting for Military Veterans. This is designed to clearly outline the steps suffers of PTSD need to go through to start on the road to recovery.
STAR Signposting for Military Veterans
Watch out for any out-of-character changes in yourself and others such as:
- Changes in thinking – Ceasing to care, hopelessness, personal loathing, excessive negativity or suicidal thoughts.
- Changes of mood – Downbeat, terror and sleeplessness, irritability, jumpiness and hypersensitivity, anger or rage, experience flash backs and recollections.
- Changes in behaviour – Becoming isolated or withdrawn, changes in personal hygiene, increased drinking or substance abuse, confusion.
If you recognise some or all of the symptoms above in yourself or in family members and friends, it is time to STOP, reduce stress and accept that there could be a problem.
A problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Talking with fellow Servicemen, Veterans and friends or family about your experiences, feelings and emotions will allow you to begin to come to terms with what has happened in your experiences. All too often the talk will allow you to realise that you are not alone in how you are feeling. Talking will also allow others to be more aware and be best prepared to keep an eye out for you. So TALK about how you feel.
You’re not alone! It is OK to not feel OK!!
If talking about your Military experiences has helped you and your loved ones accept that you may need some assistance in overcoming how you feel, then it is time to ACT. It is time to make the call to your Doctor and then other organisations that can provide you with the coaching you may need. Do not let it get worse with time. ACT sooner rather than later. Help may also be required for those people around you so ask for, and accept help because change is always possible. The best indicator may come from those around you!
Stand tall and make the call!!
You will find that with professional help and with time that the real you remains beneath your Injury. The strength of mind that you had at the start of your Military career, still burns within. You must first ensure that you are receiving treatment that works for you! Then with time and small steps you must RE-FOCUS. Inspire yourself and others with creative and adventurous challenge. Re awaken the positive, driven, ambitious and courageous YOU that LIVES within.
Inspire yourself and others with new, creative and adventurous challenges, set goals and join in with life. A brain injury does not mean you give up, a brain injury means you train the brain to conquer.
Thank you for your service, thank you for your commitment and sacrifices. Thank you for taking care of one another. Also congratulations!! You don’t get here by not giving it your all. So well done have pride and be kind to yourself. You deserve it.
About Jamie Sanderson
Born in Yorkshire into a North Sea Trawler fishing family in 1975, Jamie Sanderson joined the Royal Marines in the early 1990’s with the aspiration of representing my country both as a Marine and Amateur boxer. Jamie was a Kings-badgeman as a recruit and then served in 45 Commando as a sniper throughout his service and during his time deployed to Afghanistan twice as well as Northern Ireland and the Balkans, Central Americas and exercised globally. Having been injured and returned home to the UK, Jamie later became ill and started his own battle with the effects of combat stress and a mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Having beaten suicide, Jamie learnt a valuable lesson in his rehabilitation in that recovery requires a state of mind just as his career focus had done also. Jamie learnt to play the guitar and began song writing and found the power of CREATIVITY and music to be a lifesaver. Married for 22 years with two teenage children Jamie is the founder Director of Rock 2 Recovery CIC along with two other former Royal Marines and SBS partner Directors.