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Book release: Behold the Dark Gray Man

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Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of Research and Training at Combat Stress, Dr Walter Busuttil, has recently assisted the research for a book about a senior commander who developed PTSD.

Like many of the veterans we treat, Lord Douglas, the veteran at the centre of Behold the Dark Gray Man by Dr Katherine Campbell, experienced combat and moral and ethical dilemmas that left mental scars. The consequences often occur after leaving service, in the form of PTSD and other complex mental health conditions.

On average it takes up to 14 years for veterans to seek help, by which time, their symptoms have created such a strain that their lives are falling apart. We treat veterans from every conflict and across the armed forces. Last year, we treated veterans from 17 different conflicts, including Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and the Falklands. The youngest veteran we treated was 21 and the oldest was 88.

When she was just five years old, Katharine’s father, Lord Douglas, began to suffer from strokes and vivid flashbacks as a result of undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Of his work with the author, Dr Busuttil said, “Combat related mental illness can affect anybody, no matter what rank. The most senior personnel may need help, although most, together with their families, continue to suffer bravely in silence even today.”

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