Story 3



In order to maintain confidentiality, actual names and photos have been omitted.

Mr. “N” is a 30 year old male. He was referred to FRC centre by the community volunteer (CV) as the family members during a home visit has disclosed that he was having physical and psychological problems due to the incidents he has gone through.

In 2008, when he was 26 years old, he was forcefully recruited by the LTTE. He was sent for training and when he refused, he was assaulted by the LTTE and sent to the battle field before he received any formal training. He has tried to escape from the LTTE three times during the year 2008, but was always recaptured and brought back to the LTTE camp. As punishment, he was put in to a dark room and kept in it for three months. During this time he was not given enough food or water, and he lost his perception of day and night. He was also physically assaulted with a wooden pole and a wire rod. 

He was released from the dark room three months later and was reinstated as a troop. Once again attempted to escape the LTTE, and while he was being pursued by the LTTE and being shot at and his shoulder was hit by a bullet. He managed to escape and was admitted to a hospital, where the bullet was removed. Once he had recovered, he was sent to an Internally Displaced People( IDP) camp from which he escaped as well. He then settled down at his relative’s home in his native village. 

During the assessment, the Psychosocial Worker (PSW) observed that he was stressed and his self-care had diminished. His facial expressions were sad and he was also agitated. The PSW was able to identify symptoms similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He had physical symptoms such as decreased sleep and appetite, nightmares, and pain in the joints. The psychological symptoms the PSW identified were fear when he travels near the sea, anger, sadness, suicidal thoughts, and flashbacks. Behaviourally he had started drinking alcohol and eating Beatle leaves.

He went through continuous counselling and medical treatments for three months. He received 3 medical sessions for the physical complaints and 3 physiotherapy sessions were conducted for the pains. He was referred to the hospital to get further treatment for his suicidal thoughts and medical services.

Mr. “N” received individual counselling for the psychological symptoms he was displaying and completed 12 sessions with the PSW. He underwent simple breathing exercises for anger, sadness and agitation. The PSW also did activities which involved him imagining pleasant scenery of the sea and beach, which helped to reduce his fear of the sea. Psychoeducation sessions were conducted on sleep hygiene and activities to reduce nightmares. 

The PSW started noticing positive changes in him with continuous counselling. His fear and agitation reduced and he began talking freely about his feelings. His sleep pattern is improving and he is now able to take care of his hygiene. He reported being happier and that his general wellbeing has improved. During follow up visits he expressed that he has increased his involvement in community development activities and religious activities.