Josh’s Story CPTSD

On March 25, 2013, Corporal Josh Griffiths was just 23 days from the end of his tour with C Company (Cheshire), 1st Battalion, Mercian Regiment in Afghanistan. The 24-year-old was getting ready to eat his evening meal at his ISAF patrol base in Nad-e Ali when a pick-up truck driven by a suicide bomber burst through the wall of the base and exploded leaving a 40m gap in the perimeter wall.

As Afghan insurgents began to attack the base, Josh, despite his serious injuries fought back.

“It was pitch-black and the pain in my back was excruciating but when I heard one of the lads shout out, the adrenaline kicked in and instinct took over. Crawling through the debris and darkness, I pushed forward helping the wounded as much as I could. The screams were horrendous, I had no choice but to keep going”.

The cookhouse and operations room were both completely destroyed by the blast. Still disorientated, dressed in a combat shirt and without any protective equipment, Josh grabbed a light machine gun and returned fire continuing to protect fellow wounded soldiers from the militants who were spraying bullets and firing rocket-propelled grenades from the field outside the base. His efforts stopped the attackers from advancing any further allowing the casualties to be evacuated before he then led an assault on the assailants. This concluded with the enemy’s defeat and withdrawal from action. The attack which lasted several hours left one colleague dead and 14 wounded.

Not only had the original blast damaged Josh’s eye and left grenade fragments embedded in his face, but he had also broken the fourth vertebrae in his spine. After accepting initial medical treatment for his wounds, the seriousness of his injuries necessitated his evacuation to the UK.

Whilst making a full recovery from his physical injuries Corporal Griffiths went on to suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the barracks attack, and numerous other deeply disturbing incidents during his tours of Afghanistan.

Seeking help for his CPTSD from both the Op Courage Veterans Mental Health Team and the Departments of Community Mental Health Team within the Donnington military base, he was told by psychologists and psychiatrists on so many occasions that there was no cure for PTSD or CPTSD and he would have to manage its symptoms indefinitely. This obviously left Josh feeling abandoned and without hope of ever living a ‘normal’ life again.

Fortunately, as we at Trauma Research UK know, PTSD and CPTSD can be completely overcome and Josh can now confidently look forward to his future with his young family. He can take his little girl for a walk without being petrified that he is going to get shot at from behind, he can now sleep peacefully next to his wife instead of worrying he will lash out during nightmares, he can now play football with his friends and go to the supermarket without risk assessing every small detail.

These days, Josh is living a fulfilling and contented life, running his own business. Having successfully overcome his own struggles with PTSD and CPTSD, he’s eager to share his journey with others who may feel lost or beyond help. Josh is a dedicated patron of Trauma Research UK and is determined to spread hope and awareness, letting others know that they too can find healing and reclaim their lives.

Josh is competing in Europe’s Toughest Mudder Endurance Event on the 24th of June 2023 to raise awareness and funds for Trauma Research UK. If you would like to sponsor him and support the charity, find out more here: Tough Mudder UK 2023 – Josh’s Page

Living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be extremely challenging, however, you are not alone. Here at Trauma Research UK, our belief is: ‘It’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you’. With this philosophy, we believe everyone can successfully overcome life’s challenges if given the right help and support. Read more…



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