It’s Not Just Physical…

By Tanith Harwood

It’s Not Just Physical…

We are continuing to support APIL’s Rebuilding Shattered Lives campaign. There are some psychiatric injuries that can follow from a traumatic event, such as a physical injury from an accident. Some people suffer catastrophic and life changing injuries and as a result, can suffer from depression as they struggle to come to terms with what has happened to them and having to learn to adapt their lifestyle as a result.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that is caused by a traumatic event. Did you know PTSD is always classed as a psychiatric injury because it is different from other mental disorders, such as depression, as it cannot occur because of a genetic pre-disposition or unresolved issues from childhood.

Losing a Child

The following case study is taken from APIL’s ‘Reality Check: The real stories of injured people’ publication.

‘Priya left home one morning to walk her nine-year-old daughter to school. An explosion demolished the side of a neighbouring house as they passed by, killing the little girl instantly. The blast was caused by escaped underground mains gas, which ignited as the neighbour’s central heating boiler switched on that morning.

Priya was walking a few paces behind her child and survived. But she suffers severe post-traumatic stress disorder and is unable to work full time. The girl’s father, Rahul, was at work 50 miles away when the tragedy unfolded. He rushed back and saw his daughter’s lifeless body when he arrived at the hospital. Rahul’s resulting mental injuries mean that he cannot travel anywhere which requires him to stay away from the family overnight. This has severely restricted his work life, as he used to travel across the UK. The little girl’s older sister witnessed the harrowing aftermath of the explosion from an upstairs bedroom window and called her father to tell him about her sister’s death. She downgraded her plans to go to university because her psychiatric condition prevented her from ‘abandoning’ her family as she saw it, in particular her surviving younger sister. The family has been unable to consider moving away from the family home, despite the painful memories, as they cling on to the child they lost. To leave would be to ‘desert’ her.’

You can read more about the campaign on or visit

To read the ‘Reality Check’ report and to read more stories like Priya’s follow