Actress and former child model Jennifer Sky recently wrote an article for New York Magazine in which she revealed that her experiences as a child model had led to a diagnosis of complex PTSD.
It sounds unlikely to many – modelling is perceived as a pampered, spoilt career – but child models were not protected by labour laws at the time. She was subjected to neglect, molestation and abuse during her career, and it is this trauma that has caused her condition.
PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a severe and disabling condition which results from traumatic experiences, but the experiences which trigger it may vary considerably. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD in the International Classification of Diseases states that the triggering event would be a stressful event or situation (either short or long lasting) of exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature, which is likely to cause pervasive distress. Events of this nature can, and sometimes do, happen to almost anyone.
Serious road accidents, terrorist attacks and violent personal attacks can trigger the condition. Several of the survivors of the July 2005 bombings in London have gone on record to recount their experiences with PTSD afterwards, but prior to those shocking events they were simply ordinary commuters.
Some professions, however, are more likely to encounter the kind of traumatic experiences which trigger PTSD than others. Emergency responders are commonly at risk; fire-fighters, police officers and paramedics frequently see sights which are upsetting and disturbing in the line of their duty.
The one profession most often connected with PTSD is the military. Soldiers in warzones are constantly exposed to traumatic experiences; witnessing the injuries of their colleagues, coming close to death themselves, and witnessing evidence of the atrocities which they have been sent to combat. Statistics from the Ministry of Defence earlier this year revealed that 11,000 current service men and women had been diagnosed with the condition, and one leading charity expects this to rise by up to 12 per cent each year until at least 2018.
Although treatment and counselling is available, and the condition has been recognised for many years, there are still cases where those in authority fail to give the support and protection necessary to protect those on the front line. Where this can be shown, it is possible to gain compensation, making it easier for you to seek treatment and cope with the condition. At Blackwater Law, our experts are able to deal with PTSD claims sensitively and sympathetically to get you the compensation you deserve on a no win, no fee basis. So please get in touch today on 0800 083 5500.