Lorraine Kelly has been told it is likely she has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of her reporting on the Lockerbie disaster in 1988.
The TV presenter was one of the first journalists on the scene after a transatlantic passenger plane crashed into the Dumfriesshire town of Lockerbie.
Pan Am flight 103 was on its way from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK airport when a bomb exploded in the hold.
The explosion on December 21, 1988, killed all 259 people on the plane, many of whom were Americans heading home for Christmas, as well as 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie.
Ms Kelly visited psychiatrist Gordon Turnbull, an expert on PTSD, in Return To Lockerbie With Lorraine Kelly to talk about the effect of the tragedy on the people who lived there.
He told her he spoke to more than 100 people in Lockerbie in the wake of the disaster, and that they were showing ‘classic’ PTSD symptoms – flashbacks, nightmares and avoidance of the issue.
A transcript of their interview went as follows:
Ms Kelly: “The thing that I found was I was getting flashbacks and nightmares where I was almost above that horrible scene. And going back I’ve found I have been thinking about it a lot more, there have been a lot more dreams or nightmares, I should say.”
Professor Turnbull: “Flashbacks and and nightmares, they are the cornerstones of PTSD and they don’t happen in any other condition.”
Ms Kelly: “I honestly didn’t know that. So you think I had PTSD or have had it or still have it?”
Professor Turnbull: “If you’ve got flashbacks, you’ve got PTSD.”
When Lorraine says she doesn’t feel as though she’s allowed to have PTSD as she was just a reporter there, he replies: “By saying that you’re not entitled, you’re trying to separate yourself from an event, you’re avoiding belonging to it. It’s a defence mechanism.”
Thirty-five years ago this December, Ms Kelly was one of the first reporters to arrive at the scene. She was working for TV-AM at the time of the crash.
Before the police cordoned off the area, she saw first-hand the shocking aftermath of the disaster.
Confronting her own difficult memories in the documentary, Ms Kelly returns to try to understand what happened to Lockerbie and its people once the TV cameras went home.
Former Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is so far the only man convicted in relation to the bombing, after being found guilty of 270 counts of murder by a panel of three Scottish judges, sitting at a special court in the Hague in 2001.
He was sent to prison in Scotland, but was controversially granted compassionate release in 2009 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, returning home to Libya where he died in 2012.
Now, another man, Libyan Abu Agila Masud, who is alleged to have helped make the bomb, faces three charges, denying these when he appeared at a federal court in the US in February.
The BBC and Netflix have also commissioned World Productions to make Lockerbie, a six-part, factual drama based on the real events surrounding the bombing and the joint Scots-American investigation into the terrorist attack.
Novelist and screenwriter Jonathan Lee is the lead writer for the new series, with two episodes written by Scottish screenwriter Gillian Roger Park.
The series is being made in association with MGM Television, with Lockerbie set to air first on BBC One and iPlayer, followed by on Netflix in the UK and globally.
Return To Lockerbie With Lorraine Kelly is available to watch on the STV Player.
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