Getting through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD )

Dad suffered from war neurosis due to being a young 17yr old sailor during World War Two.  In the Battle of the Coral Sea he saw his mates burnt to jelly from enemy aircraft bombers above, and  ships go down where many sailors were eaten by sharks.  Today what dad would have been diagnosed of would be called PTSD. The doctors back then also did not know how to successfully treat him, and many others like him.  

As an adult I went to Rwanda in 1994 as a third world aid worker with World Vision straight after the genocide.  Personally witnessing  in a church 3,000-4,000 rotting bodies layered on top of each other with the stench of death in my nostrils. The image, however, that shocked me most was a purple robed, half decayed priest with a rosary bead around his neck. My faith was rocked to the core “ How could God allow a man of God die this way?” 

Years later, after seeing a Christian psychologist, I was diagnosed as having PTSD. The amazing thing that occurred was that during a session I had a revelation that this priest I had seen horrifically murdered, did not die in vain. Because of that man’s death I have a strong desire to see peace and reconciliation in action. 

With great conviction I felt drawn to central Australia, originally reaching out to troubled young Indigenous petrol sniffers. Later I then worked for a women’s service, helping women and children through domestic violence. A total of nearly 20yrs all up in Central Australia. “ How could someone diagnosed with PTSD be able to do this type of work?”

It is only because of the grace of God I have been able to rise up above my very traumatic experiences turning them into positive impacting assistance in other people’s lives. 

You too can raise up above your painful past asking God to help you through. If I can do it I know you can. God is with you. 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Please feel free to look at my webpage for more information.


                                                                                      Feeling free again

                                                                                     Feeling free again

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my first blog. After travelling and working extensively overseas, it is time for me to explore our digital world. In this blog post, I want to share about working cross-culturally.

More than 30 years ago, I started my journey living and serving on Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, off the coast of Australia. I thought I was going to teach health to aboriginal families, but how wonderful it was to learn instead from these Aboriginal brothers and sisters. They taught me about bush tucker and bush medicines and took me along on turtle and dugong hunts.

When I was just 21yrs of age and just finished both my general nursing and midwifery I was ready to conquer the world. I applied for a job in Tanna Island in New Hebrides because it sounded so exciting.  The job description stated one had to travel in small canoes to the different neighbouring islands to deliver health care, whilst living in a hut.  I thought, “ Now this is the job for me.” Sadly they wrote back and said I was too young. What a blow!

However after travelling for 16 months as a back packer over Africa, Europe and America, along with some small jobs along the way, I decided to reapply for another interesting position.  This time  with the Queensland Aboriginal Health Program.  

In my youthful naivety, a child of the 70’s, I turned up in a near see through dress, with bracelets and rings collected from my travels, sharing confidently about my overseas experiences. The Doctor probably thought I might just be the sort who could handle living in remote areas.  Even though I loved adventure I also had a deep compassion for people who have not had it easy in life. The statistics showed that sadly Aborigines died twenty years younger than the caucasian population of Australia.  Loving health education more than clinical nursing the preventative health care job sounded fantastic, so much so I stayed with that position for 6 full years. 

I hope you might like to contact and share your thoughts as well. You can also look at my web page. 


Vivien Wilson