PTSD in First Responders
PTSD in first responders is very real. We owe it to our first responders to help spread awareness on this all too often overlooked subject. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) often comes to mind when we think of soldiers who have faced military combat. It's not only our combat soldiers who experience PTSD however. Anyone who has experienced or witnessed a life threatening event can experience PTSD. These may include natural disasters, acts of terrorism, serious accidents, rescue missions, caring for and/or treating patients and other life altering events.
There are three different kinds of symptoms of PTSD. The first set of symptoms involves reliving the trauma in some way. The second set of symptoms involves avoiding people, places or situations that remind one of the trauma. The third set of symptoms include things such as feeling "on guard" all the time, being easily startled or constantly irritable. Recognizing these symptoms and seeking treatment sooner than later is important.
As we continue to learn and understand more about PTSD in First Responders, the more we are capable of helping our own. If you or someone you know may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD, please ask for help.