Assault at Work
I thought I would start to feel better, but my own doctor started talking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He explained that my “restlessness” was all due to the attack and that I was constantly reliving the incident in my mind.
I was not sleeping, I was so jumpy it was ridiculous. I could not concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes and my memory was terrible. I started to get flashbacks about the attack.
I went back to work briefly but found I had no interest in what I was doing. I started to find excuses for finishing early. By the October I had had enough of pretending. I was placed on sick leave pending retirement and was medically retired in April.
Bullying at Work
At the age of 52, I considered myself to be at the peak of my career. In a short time however, my life was turned upside down. I became a physical and mental wreck. Why? Because those around me at work were bullying me. My newly promoted “junior” became the ringleader in a reign of tactical psychological abuse.
I wanted to fight back but I was so distressed and confused that I did not know where to begin. People started to refuse to work with me. Every conceivable tactic of psychological abuse, short of physical torture was used.
Life was hell. The day they suspended me I suffered a complete breakdown.
The final dismissal proceedings were a fiasco. I was very ill and just wanted to get out. I was ill for over a year.
I am now looking at a long and lengthy industrial tribunal. I was interviewed by a consultant psychologist from Harley Street and a psychiatrist. The conclusion was that I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Red Poppy Client Comments
All of the clients treated by the Red Poppy Company, as outlined in the case studies below, were employees working in large organisations.
The effects of the trauma had not only hit them personally but had a significant impact on their ability to work, directly affecting their employer.
Before being helped by the Red Poppy Company, all were under performing at work or were unable to work and off sick.
Without the treatment they would have been unlikely to return to work. Everyone who was treated is now back in full time employment.
Attacked – Finance officer
Assault victim who was attacked by her father 17 years before receiving treatment:
Before treatment: “I was angry for years after dad broke my finger. I felt humiliated and sick. My behaviour was off the wall. I had extremes of feelings, self harm, substance abuse and I was very paranoid.”
After treatment: “Quick and painless, really positive. I can now speak about the incident – I have put it in the past.”
Sexual Abuse – Supervisor in a housing department
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The client was sexually abused as a 6-year-old, 21 years earlier.
Before Treatment: “The smell of alcohol made we want to be sick as did if anyone grabbed my arms – the abuser used to grab my arms. I suffered flashbacks and dreams of what happened. I didn’t like going out. I was called a hermit. I was not a nice person to look at – this is how I felt inside. I wanted to be on my own.”
After treatment: “I don’t have any more flashbacks and the smell of alcohol doesn’t bother me anymore. Generally I feel like a different person, more confident and outgoing – whereas I used to be petrified. I don’t feel like a six-year-old any more. People now invite me out socially.”
Street Robbery – Manager of a large commercial department
Victim was witness to her husband’s mugging at gunpoint seven years earlier.
Before Treatment: “I became very nervous around people I didn’t know. I experienced flashbacks and if anyone came towards me in the street I felt startled. My sleep was affected.”
After treatment: “I don’t experience flashbacks or dreams of the incident now. I have stopped crying.”
Violence at work – Fraud investigator
PTSD Sufferer – The client had been issued with death threats two years before treatment:
Before Treatment: “I didn’t feel safe at home or outside. I wouldn’t take my four year old son into town. I detached myself from my wife and family. I had flashbacks of the incident – sheer panic and anxiety.”
After Treatment: “I can go out again to the pub. I am more confident. I can communicate better with my wife. I can do surveillance work again.”
Car accident – Social worker
Client brain injured a child who ran out in front of her car one month earlier.
Before Treatment: “I was unable to sleep, I had flashbacks and was very emotional.”
After Treatment: “I felt like a new person. I no longer get flashbacks. I can remember the incident but it is in the back of my mind. I have the ability to deal with the issues.”
Mugging – Office cleaner
Client was mugged in their car and sprayed with pepper dust two months earlier:
Before Treatment: “I thought I was blind. I couldn’t get in the car. I thought I was going round the twist. I couldn’t be on my own and lost all my confidence.”
After Treatment: “I can now drive my car. I have more confidence and have put the trauma behind me. Something was lifted.”
Domestic Violence – Training officer
Client was threatened at knifepoint by her husband nine years earlier.
Before Treatment: “I suffered flashbacks. I couldn’t stand jokes about knives. I couldn’t talk about the incident. I had low self esteem.”
After Treatment: “No flashbacks. The memory of the incident does not get triggered off. I don’t experience images of the incident. What I was experiencing before Rewind was horrific.”
Traumatised from war experiences – Site services officer
Client suffered PTSD as a result of serving in the Falklands War.
Before Treatment: Ken was a 49-year-old Falklands veteran who, between March and June 1982, experienced three terrifying events.
A missile hit HMS Antelope – the ship Ken was serving on – but did not explode immediately. Twenty four hours later it exploded, ripping through the ship. Ken had to pull bodies out of the water as he helped to get colleagues off the burning ship.
Ken rated his well being as a result of these events as 5 out of a possible 50.
When describing his life before Rewind he says: “I didn’t go to parties because of the noise. I knew the balloons would bang and I pre-empted this by ducking under a table. I would sweat, it was sheer terror for me, taking me back to the war. I used to vomit – people would think I was drunk or on drugs. I felt I was back on board and I was swaying.
“I would lie on the floor for hours because I felt so physically sick. I would be on edge for days – sometimes unable to walk. I avoided sleep because of the nightmares and after several days would get hallucinations. I would sit in the flat in total darkness for days. “I thought that buses that drove by were jets, the smell of fuel oil, ‘burnt pork’ makes feel sick. I used to sweat profusely but was cold and shaking, in a state of mental confusion.”
I was like a zombie, a robot. I saw my GP in 1983 after leaving the navy. I saw a psychiatrist for a year but it didn’t help; it was a waste of time. I have no recollection of what they said, apart from being told I was a manic-depressive. Medication did not stop the nightmares.”
I was prescribed Valium, Mogadon, antidepressants and I’ve been given anti psychotic drugs – and none of them helped.”
After Treatment: Seven to 10 days after the Rewind Treatment he said: “The memories don’t seem to bother me anymore. I’m not fearful. I’m unsure – it’s like bereavement. I’ve had 20 years of a wasted life. It’s like coming into the light. I felt jolly, joking and then – but what am I going to do with it? I feel all over the place. I feel like I’m born again at 50.”
Three to six months later Ken commented: “I feel my face has changed. The light has come on from within; it’s a spiritual light. I am more relaxed, more at peace. I think I am content. I have laughed more in the last weeks than in the last 20 years. I sleep much better, I eat well, I can relax, I feel much more in control. This has been life changing for me – no more flashbacks of nightmares; it was like a prison sentence. My partner has noticed the difference in me. She likes what she sees.”
Ken has needed ongoing adjustment counselling as we have termed it. Having lived in hell for more than 20 years, it has been difficult for him to adjust to a normal existence. He is angry that, through lack of the right treatment, he has wasted 20 years, not to mention acquiring an unnecessary psychiatric history.