Aftershock: The Untold Story of Surviving Peace Hardcover – 1 Oct 2015
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'Compelling, humbling and hugely inspiring accounts from the real heroes of our era. We have a duty to understand what these men have given on our behalf' -- Bear Grylls
'Matthew Green has documented the hidden cost of modern war in a way no other author has ever even attempted. Intelligent, sensitive, courageous and tenacious, he has spent two years listening to the harrowing stories of former soldiers struggling to cope with PTSD and hearing how the military and medical establishment have, for the most part, failed them. The MoD should hang their heads in shame if this book does not become required reading at every staff college. Aftershock hasn't come a moment too soon' -- James Fergusson, author of A Million Bullets
'This is a most compelling book which tells the story of those who have suffered so much in the conduct of operation to protect our security. Mental health pressures need to move centre stage in our priorities now!' -- Sir Richard Dannatt, former General Chief of Staff
'If we expect our lives and freedoms to be protected we have a duty to those who do this. As a society, as people, surely we must take responsibility for the bodies, minds, and indeed souls of those who fight for us? Aftershock makes this point again and again, powerfully and compellingly' -- Justine Hardy, author of The Wonder House and trauma therapist
'Compelling and instructive... Aftershock is a work of integrity and substance, and as so much of it touches on interdepartmental matters it ought to be read by every minister' -- Spectator
'Aftershock sharply exposes the faults in the current system and reads like an urgent manifesto for change to cope with the growing number of cases of PTSD... The stories Green has collected are so powerful, in part, because they are some of the only means we have of measuring the true scale of PTSD in Britain'
'It's a testament to Matthew Green's even-handedness that his unsentimental but horribly affecting tales of soldier's lives destroyed by their experiences in combat never descends into war is hell clichés...mixing journalistic rigour with historical investigation, he goes in search of a solution for post-traumatic stress disorder.'
Alexander Larman, The Observer --Daily Telegraph
'Matthew Green's book seeks to highlight the plight of ex-soldiers who return from Britain's wars to find themselves unable to cope...This is a thoughtful, unsensational account of a significant problem...The author does a useful service by highlighting this issue. He is right that the armed forces and NHS must do more for those who struggle to adjust to post-combat existence' -- Max Hastings, Sunday Times
'Aftershock is a thought-provoking enquiry into PTSD. It contains important insights into a problem that is rarely covered in any but the most superficial way. I highly recommend it' --Literary Review
'[Aftershock] is an intelligently written and agreeable unsensational study by Matthew Green, a seasoned journalist with experience of reporting from recent combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan...What makes Green's study so important and so timely is the fact that during his research he was given full access to the charity's [Combat Stress] ground-breaking work. At the same time he is not blind to its shortcomings and the criticisms voiced by other healthcare professionals... It's never easy to encourage people to discuss such matters [regarding PSTD] but Green has done just that. All too often the veterans have been so traumatised by the actions that triggered PSTD that revisiting the time, place and the circumstances can be damaging but Green has clearly worked at the problem. One of the many strengths of this nuanced book is the sympathy and compassion he brings to the experiences of soldiers...Only now are the military authorities taking the problem seriously and Green's revealing and thought-provoking study is a much-needed addition to a subject which is not going to go away anytime soon.' Trevor Royle, Sunday Herald
'[An] outstanding study of the psychological wounds affecting British military personnel adapting to life at home after serving in the country's most recent wars.' New Statesman --New Statesman
About the Author
MATTHEW GREEN has spent the past 14 years working as a correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters and has reported from more than 30 countries, most recently Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he investigated subjects including the money men bankrolling the Taliban and the kingpins behind Pakistan's heroin trade. After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University, he began his career with Reuters, working in east and west Africa and in Iraq, where he was embedded with US Marines during the invasion in 2003. He later joined the Financial Times, working in Nigeria and then Pakistan and Afghanistan, where he spent time with US forces deployed to Helmand and Kandahar provinces in the Obama administration's troop surge. Green is now based in London and appears regularly as a commentator on the BBC News Channel and World Service radio, and writes for publications including Monocle magazine and the Literary Review. His first book was The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Joseph Kony, which won a Jerwood Award from the Royal Society of Literature and was long-listed for the Orwell Prize.
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Top customer reviews
As am EMDR therapist, some may say I am biased, but I have witnessed how the traumatic images in the mind can disperse very quickly for some, alongside the hyperarousal and dismantling of triggers. For the case of 'AJ' in the book, who seemed to have an unsuccessful experience of EMDR, it is worth noting that the therapist who provided it may not have been fully trained or experienced to manage a client with multiple traumatic memories. Some key tenets of EMDR are to keep the client in the 'window of tolerance', and not for them to be flooded by other memories. There are standard strategies for this, so that memories can be containerised whilst others are being worked on. There is also a process of 'titration', whereby the processing of a traumatic memory is done piecemeal, again, to prevent the client becoming ‘flooded’. For the therapist to say ‘he had topped out’ is ironically correct, but a sad indictment of an inexperienced therapist, who then left AJ in a worse situation, believing even EMDR wouldn’t work for him.
I would recommend the book to anyone with an interest in the mental health and treatment of our returning soldiers. The problem is real, but a lot more can be done to help them return home in their minds.
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