The call on mental health James O'Brien vows to never forget

23 November 2021, 13:45 | Updated: 29 November 2021, 13:49

By Seán Hickey

LBC listeners were moved by this callers mental health journey, having suffered PTSD following the Bosnian War.

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Edin was 15 years old during Bosnian War and told James O'Brien he was the youngest UN interpreter during the conflict. He was moved to the UK aged 18, leaving friends and family behind after his service in Sarajevo.

"About 10 years after that, my PTSD kicked in" he said. The family he stayed with in Scotland "recognised something was wrong" and encouraged him to get counselling.

Read more: Veteran caller pledges spare room to Afghans fleeing Taliban regime

James was taking speaking to callers about their individual experiences of battling mental health issues and using treatments such as therapy, exercise and meditation to address their issues.

The caller explained that it was initially difficult to come to terms with his PTSD, because of a negative mentality around mental health issues at home, and with peers.

"I was fighting inside myself."

Read more: 'There are NHS doctors and nurses experiencing PTSD symptoms due to Covid'

James asked the caller how his PTSD manifested outside of his head, and Edin revealed that "it became normality" to discuss the horrors he saw whilst serving as an interpreter.

He also said a fear of death intensified after the birth of his daughter.

Read more: Maajid Nawaz moved by letter from Afghan interpreter in hiding

"Counselling just changed my outlook. I’m much more calm now" he said.

"I’m so glad you’re listening" James said at the end of the conversation.

"People that have been through horror, absolute horrors – it’s much easier for us to understand, but the people that have been through it still resist the idea they need help."

"Edin mate, thank you" James said, promising "I won’t forget that call."

If you are affected by the issues raised here you can phone Mind on 0300 123 3393 or Samaritans on 0330 094 5717. For PTSD specific advice and services contact Combat Stress on 0800 138 1619.

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