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Village Rotary hears about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

FALLBROOK – At a recent luncheon meeting, Fallbrook Village Rotary welcomed guest speaker Robin Hill, an expert on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Hill had been in the banking business for 30 years when he decided to follow his real passion - working with abused children. He received many hours of instruction on dealing with fear and anxiety prior to being allowed to work with children. He pointed out that he is not a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

At a conference one day, Hill said he heard of a need for people to work with veterans returning from combat. He investigated the possibility and then underwent numerous hours of instruction from military doctors and psychiatrists.

Hill explained to the Rotarians that returning veterans suffer from the same fear and anxiety that abused children do, but it comes to them in more sudden, traumatic, and dynamic form. At times the symptoms of PTSD develop immediately, and other

times come on over time. The symptoms never go away, he said.

He explained that there are four different types of PTSD - reliving the event, avoiding any situation which will bring back memories associated with the problem, nightmares (cannot sleep, recluse) and hyper vigilance (cannot concentrate, sleeplessness).

Hill pointed out that as a part of the military training, soldiers are taught “no compassion for the enemy,” or not “to feel.” He compared a person involved in combat to a “tea kettle with the spout plugged.” At some time it is going to “blow.”

The military has recognized the need to help PTSD patients, he said, and have taken tremendous strides in past years in developing both psychiatric and medical methods to help veterans recognize and overcome these difficulties.


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