York & North Yorkshire

Iraq veteran David Adams speaks of PTSD struggle

Soldiers
Image caption Almost 4,000 servicemen and women were diagnosed with mental health problems in 2010

A veteran who punched his wife and smashed up their home after returning from Iraq has spoken of his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

David Adams and his wife Linda, of Bedale, North Yorkshire, have called on the government to give more support to families of traumatised soldiers.

Mr Adams said he had no psychiatric help following his tours of duty.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the mental health of armed forces personnel and veterans was "a top priority".

Mr Adams is serving a two-year community order and is undergoing psychiatric treatment as part of the sentence he received at Teesside Crown Court in April for attacking his wife.

He said: "I feel absolutely sorry for Linda, what she's had to endure, I really do. I can apologise a million times but it still wouldn't be enough.

"She should not have had to endure what I put her through."

Speaking to the BBC earlier this month, Mrs Adams said her 51-year-old husband's behaviour changed on his return from Iraq.

He smashed up the couple's home while she was out, causing about £38,000 damage.

Mr Adams said: "I just flipped. I was withdrawn in myself and for some reason I just absolutely exploded, from the top to the bottom of the house it got wasted.

"I don't know what the reason behind it was. I can remember just standing there thinking 'what the hell have I just done?'.

"All I remember was prior to that I was thinking about being in Iraq."

Mental health funding

Mr Adams said he had never heard of PTSD until he was diagnosed with the condition.

"I just thought I had a bad attitude problem," he said.

Mrs Adams said: "I can start to understand now why it has made him the way he is. They're supposed to get debriefed but he didn't.

"I know the odd one or two can fall through the net, but it's happening to too many."

The MoD said: "The Strategic Defence and Security Review committed an additional £20m per year for the provision of healthcare, part of which will be used to deliver enhanced military mental healthcare services.

"The prime minister asked Dr Andrew Murrison to examine ways to improve health services for both current personnel and veterans and we are working with the Department of Health and others to implement the recommendations he has made, which will provide much better and much wider mental health support."

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