Foreign army veteran rescued after Songkran water gun exacerbates PTSD

Photo via Facebook/ Nicola Vincenzo Biccai

A Thai rescuer took to Facebook to share knowledge about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms after he helped a foreign veteran suffering from the condition after a water gun attack in the Patong sub-district of Phuket.

The Thai rescuer, Nicola Vincenzo Biccai, posted the story on Friday, April 14 that he received a notification from witnesses that a foreign man had fainted in Soi Bang La. Upon arrival at the scene, he discovered that the foreign man’s body temperature was high and he was breathing too fast.

The rescuer explained that the foreign man handed him an identification card saying that he was a US Army veteran. He then realised that the man must have suffered from a panic disorder. So, he and his team immediately moved the victim out of the scene and tried to assess his symptoms.

The foreign man explained that gun and shooting gestures exacerbate his PTSD symptoms. The water guns brought on traumatic memories of war and fights that he had experienced.

The man was sent to a hospital for further treatment. He received an injection for muscle relaxation and another injection of valium to treat his anxiety, seizures, and muscle twitches. The rescuer said he stayed with him until he fell asleep.

The rescuer went on to explain that the rescue team and medical workers in Thailand were not familiar with PTSD but he had some knowledge from watching a documentary on the topic. He cited statistics from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, stating that an average of 20 veterans committed suicide brought on by PTSD.

Many Thai netizens shared their experiences with PTSD in the comments. One Thai woman revealed that her foreign husband was an army veteran and suffered similar symptoms. He would suddenly lie on the floor if he heard something, such as a balloon popping.

Another Thai woman said her ex-boyfriend and friend suffered from PTSD, and Thai medical workers always laughed at them when they sought help. Another one said that Thai doctors gave her boyfriend paracetamol every time he suffered from PTSD.

PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as military combat, sexual or physical assault, a serious accident, or a natural disaster.

Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of triggers, hyperarousal, and negative changes in mood and cognition. PTSD can be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Phuket NewsThailand News

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.