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The Madness: A Memoir of War, Fear and PTSD from Sunday Times Bestselling Author and BBC Correspondent Fergal Keane

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I’ve been f**king scared all my life,” says Fergal Keane. “If there’s an underlying theme to my life, that’s it. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen, afraid of what I didn’t do ... Afraid of what someone will think. It’s a crippling way to go through life.” Part of his purpose in writing is to let others, who have had similar experiences, know that they are not alone.

The Madness: A Memoir of War, Fear and PTSD The Madness: A Memoir of War, Fear and PTSD

In this programme, we’ll be hearing about the extraordinary life of BBC war correspondent, Fergal Keane. His reporting helped his television audiences make sense of the horrors of war, but underneath there were more personal reasons attracting him to the frontline. Was he 'addicted' to war? Listen to his story and learn new vocabulary along the way. This week's question Elsewhere in the book, he describes “a vast graveyard. The rancid, offal reek of the dead rose from pits, ditches, houses, the banks of streams and rivers; a smell that settled in the mind as much as it lingered on our clothes and turned our stomachs.” and I began to have nightmares of Rwanda. And of course, at that stage, you know, it was obvious that I was traumatised but, again, did I go to a psychiatrist? No, I didn't. I kept doing the job.In his research, he is gathering the information for his next questions, about how trauma is shared, or how it spreads and travels. Where did it begin for him? He is excavating deep roots. OK, it’s time to reveal the answer to my question. I asked about the name of the PTSD-like condition suffered by soldiers during World War One. Fergal Keane opens doors into closed places. He lets us look inside those complex compartments where fear, anxiety, anger and panic lurk, and he tells a story of being afraid all of his life… beautifully written… This is an important book” - Irish Times We don’t often, or not often enough, think about those behind the camera. McIlveen’s writing, his words in Breaking, will make the reader think some more. Yes, it’s about the conquest of Ireland by the Elizabethans – basically the beginning of Empire. So much of history, to me, is about people who don’t see the ground shifting under their feet, and this new book is very much about that. It’s called The Golden World, from The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser.

The Madness by Fergal Keane review – the BBC war

It’s the most money I’ve ever spent on a book and was not shortchanged. Very well written and compelling. And yet he continued to return to war zones. He believes that he is, to some extent, “addicted to war”. “If you’re a drug addict or an alcoholic killing yourself people will say, ‘Oh, my God, stop.’ War is the only addiction that people will come up to you and say, ‘That was brilliant’.” Keane has not just the courage to risk death so that the most important stories can be told, as well as the eye to tell them with vivid subtlety, but also the humility to reveal the havoc that this task visits on the beholder' Spectator War became another addiction for you. Now that you’re no longer going to the frontline, has that addictive side of your personality found other outlets? Probable COVID-19 infection is associated with subsequent poorer mental health and greater loneliness in the UK (www.nature.com)

Farming Today — 08/07/23 Farming Today This Week. Eggs: hatchery; beak trimming; free-range to barn; bird flu and vaccine. UK-grown flowers. I got very close to being diabetic and was told I had to lose weight. I went at it and got one of those calorie-counting apps, and I think it got slightly obsessive. I lost a lot of weight, but I now feeling guilty if eat French fries.

BBC Sounds - The Madness by Fergal Keane - Available Episodes BBC Sounds - The Madness by Fergal Keane - Available Episodes

That news shield, that we have all hidden behind, offers only limited protection. It can be pierced. Is it any wonder that there is trauma in the newsrooms? Keane began his international journeys, into places most people would run a mile from — and, all the time, part of his story was this unseen war raging within himself. We think we know people. We don’t know their struggles.In the end though The Madness isn’t about self-discovery, but about rediscovering the world beyond the prison of addiction. Beauty, where it’s found, is fleeting; flowers on the frontlines, friendship among the mass graves and Keane makes a promise to the reader: he’s going to hold on to those moments. He’s going to keep hold of what is good. He looks haunted. His eyes fill with tears and he has difficulty talking for a moment. “You feel like a bit of a freak,” he says quietly. MyHome.ie (Opens in new window) • Top 1000 • The Gloss (Opens in new window) • Recruit Ireland (Opens in new window) • Irish Times Training (Opens in new window) If you’re a drug addict or an alcoholic killing yourself people will say, ‘Oh, my God, stop.’ War is the only addiction that people will come up to you and say, ‘That was brilliant’ — Fergal Keane

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