“It didn't bring back the old me but helped me on the path to the new me”: exploring posttraumatic growth in British veterans with PTSD
Walker, P. A. and Kampman, H. 2022. “It didn't bring back the old me but helped me on the path to the new me”: exploring posttraumatic growth in British veterans with PTSD. Disability and Rehabilitation. 44 (24), pp. 7455-7463. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2021.1995056
|Walker, P. A. and Kampman, H.
This study explores the role of scuba diving therapy in growth experiences of ex-servicemen. Previous research has focused on difficulties arising from re-entering civilian life after deployment. Known mental health challenges occurring after severe combat related trauma exposure include depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, less is known about the potential positive transformation which can occur when individuals navigate these challenges. Known facilitators of this positive transformation, often referred to as posttraumatic growth (PTG), are still sparse in this participant pool.
This study utilized an in-depth qualitative approach of interpretative phenomenological analysis utilizing semi-structured interviews. A homogeneous sample of five male British ex-service personnel with a diagnosis of PTSD who identified with PTG was recruited.
All participants reported positive mental health benefits from diving with four themes emerging: human connection; meaningful leisure; embodiment; and the calm.
Scuba diving appeared to afford instant access to lasting relief of anxiety, stress, and symptoms of PTSD and reduction of physical symptoms of their trauma connected to underwater weightlessness. The reduction of PTSD symptoms carved space for PTG, facilitated through a meaningful leisure environment with opportunities for human connection with individuals who had gone through similar experiences.
|Disability and Rehabilitation
|44 (24), pp. 7455-7463
|Taylor & Francis
|Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|29 Oct 2021
|Publication process dates
|13 Oct 2021
|04 Nov 2021
|© 2021 Taylor & Francis
This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in
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