This sunday, 25th November, I attended the film premiere of a short film called Advance2contact as a guest of the charity @ourlocalheroes.
http://www.ourlocalheroes.org.uk is a small, new charity founded by fellow former Army officer Steve Pearson. The event was well organised by Natasha Kinsey.
Advance2 contact (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DYzEVAf8O4 ) is a short film, written and produced by actor Scott Ryan Vickers. It is based on the actual experience of a soldier. Scott has personal experience of PTSD and wanted to make a film about the effects the condition can cause in a person as a means of raising public awareness.
The film release comes in the wake of an interesting programme on PTSD made by Ross Kemp that was screened on Sky TV called ‘Invisible Wounds’. The documentary made by Ross discussed the symptoms and interviewed some victims, advance2contact takes you into the world of the sufferer and demonstrates very clearly, and quite uncomfortably, what PTSD can feel like.
I have PTSD. I no longer get the regular occurrence of symptoms such as night sweats and violent dreams, but they still strike once in a while. I have learned to manage the condition. I know what triggers my panic attacks and flashbacks, I know what places and situations to avoid. I have learned how to manage the condition and how to regain control of my life. I know what caused it… I think, or at least I understand the situations that led to it developing. I now control it, rather than it controlling me.
Advance2contact was raw, uncomfortable viewing to a PTSD sufferer. It reminded and brought into focus what PTSD feels like. It made me feel emotional and it brought tears to my eyes. It reproduced symptoms that I had struggled to explain to others in a way that I had not seen before and which really impressed me. At points in the films I wanted to stop watching, but in the end I was glad I stuck it out. The reason for this… Advance2contact is a superb film. I re-creates and demonstrates PTSD in a way that is harrowing to the sufferer and informative to the non-sufferer.
PTSD doesn’t just strike soldiers. Scott makes this point in the attached Utube link. Anyone can be affected. It just takes a trigger event to cause it.
For anyone affected or interested in learning about PTSD I would recommend seeing the film. Scott Vickers has captured the very essence of the condition and should be congratulated for the achievement.