“It took 20 years,” writes Fergal Keane in The Madness, “before I came to the point of accepting I was addicted to war.” It was a bitter realisation for the Irish journalist. Feted for his decades of reporting at the sharp end of disaster, Keane built a career on his capacity to take in the worst of human nature – and keep going. Until one day, tormented by his experience of the Rwandan genocide, he couldn’t keep going any longer. This book tells the story of how Keane began to unpick a lifetime of trauma, addiction and fear, traits that made him an alcoholic, a mental wreck – and a star.
A brutally honest exploration of what motivates Keane to keep reporting on atrocities despite the toll on his mental health
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Fergal Keane: Living with PTSD (BBC Two) began on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Keane, speaking to a diary camera in Kyiv, was going home, he said. He wanted to stay – the addictive part of him wanted to be the guy who witnesses history yet again, but… no. No more war reporting, listen to the doctors, time to knock it on the head.
The horrific scenes of war emerging from Ukraine have raised fresh concerns about the trauma experienced by those who witness extreme violence. PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - affects millions worldwide. The BBC's Fergal Keane, who was diagnosed in 2008, explores its effects and the potential for healing. All...