Together we will serve those who have served
Everyone leaves the Armed Forces at some point and there is talk of the ‘3 Stages of Change’. Stage 1 – Facing up to the inevitability of change, Stage 2 – Breaking with the old life (mental and emotional adjustment), and Stage 3 – Building and committing to a new life.
I am here to help you transition through Stage 2 – the mental and emotional adjustment from military life to your new civilian life. You may experience a feeling of disconnect and isolation from your unit team colleagues. Isolation can lead to feelings of despair and these consequences can be significant. Whether you are experiencing PTSD symptoms through to just worrying about life outside of the military – I can help you.
Veterans’ mental health problems may be made worse or caused by post-service factors, such as the difficulty in making the transition to civilian life, marital problems, and loss of family and familiar social support networks. Younger veterans are at high risk of suicide in the first two years after leaving service. Ex-service personnel are also vulnerable to social exclusion and homelessness, both of which are risk factors for mental ill-health. Alcohol misuse is also high and nearly 3000 leavers per year find themselves in the justice system.
You may experience anxiety and a sense of urgency to find a new job which may have as much to do with an emotional sense of belonging as well as the need to secure a steady income. The civil-military cultural gap is so wide that returning to the civilian world is like traveling to a foreign country. People don’t speak your ‘language’. The traditions and social structure are different.
All this can lead to emotional and mental issues such as lack of self-confidence, low levels of self-belief and worthlessness, anxiety, and depression – generally feeling lost with no sense of purpose. This can impact on sleep quality, being irritable with loved ones with a possible temptation to turn to alcohol for comfort.
An event happened in my life which spiralled me into a deep and dark depression. After being an extrovert, self assured and confident in my abilities my whole life, I found my self very introverted and questioning everything as nothing seemed real anymore. Prior to attending a breakthrough day I really didn’t think there was any clear way forward, I was at the lowest point in my life. I had been through a lot of forced and difficult changes in a relatively short time and subsequently diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Even after an initial phone call with Helen it felt like a weight had started to lift, and that there was someone who understood when I explained how I felt. Well meaning friends can only offer so much, but with Helen it was different.
After my initial consultation I decided on the breakthrough day as I believed it was the best option for my circumstances, I had felt low for so long I was afraid of what I might do. The breakthrough day was the best decision I had made. After discussing everything in depth with Helen and learning to use the tools she taught me to tackle a recurring theme in my head, I felt so much better. Initially I was unsure, but after a nights rest, subconsciously something had shifted in my mind and I felt so much more relaxed and able to cope. This then enabled me to start moving forward and accepting things.
I am now in so much more of a better place. I have made certain changes in my life which are the result of talking things through with Helen. I am now much more of the person I used to be. Before the breakthrough day I had lost 2 stone in weight and could not sleep. I am now back to my normal weight and back into a fitness regime. Prior to seeing Helen I would have probably been very sceptical about all of this, but when you are at rock bottom you will try anything. It certainly worked for me and has given me a new found respect for the power of the mind. I cannot recommend Helen enough for all that she has done for me.