toxic positivity
Nov 28 2019

What Is Toxic Positivity?

The term “toxic positivity” may seem like a contradiction. For those looking to create meaningful change in their life, understanding how positivity can be problematic in certain circumstances is critical. We received advice to “stay positive” and “look on the bright side.” Unfortunately, these cliché phrases can be less than helpful and even detrimental to…

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What Is Chemical Dissociation and Why Must First Responders Avoid It?
Jul 23 2020

What Is Chemical Dissociation and Why Must First Responders Avoid It?

Making your way through the cycle of addiction eventually leads to confronting the realities of your alcohol and/or substance use. For many, the act of getting high or drunk may feel like a thoughtless impulse — but upon examining that urge, a lot of well-hidden truths can be realized. Usually, the drive to drink or…

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Mental Health and Addiction Triggers in Times of Social Unrest
Jul 19 2020

Mental Health and Addiction Triggers in Times of Social Unrest

One of the unintended side effects of modern society is the widespread reach of media communication. While this communication is neither inherently “good” or “bad,” our constant exposure to predetermined topics within the news cycle can cause additional anxiety, stress, and depression. It’s even worse for first responders on the front lines, who aren’t just…

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How EMDR Can Help First Responders With Trauma
Aug 03 2020

How EMDR Can Help First Responders With Trauma

The eyes are a window into the soul, as the saying goes. They may also provide crucial assistance for overcoming trauma — something that first responders often see and experience on a daily basis. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a process that uses the physical movement of the eye to work through unprocessed,…

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Reliving Trauma in Social Situations: How First Responders Can Cope
Aug 19 2020

Reliving Trauma in Social Situations: How First Responders Can Cope

First responders enter into life-and-death situations on a daily basis. Between rushing into burning buildings, arriving at traffic collisions, and speaking with those in crisis, the proximity to risk is constant. For many first responders, this is commonplace. Some cope well with their fast-paced and often dangerous work environment. However, when social situations trigger the…

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Can a First Responder’s Family Experience Secondary Trauma?
Aug 05 2020

Can a First Responder’s Family Experience Secondary Trauma?

First responders go to work knowing full well that they risk being exposed to traumatic events on a daily basis. Feeling the mental exhaustion that comes with seemingly never-ending exposure to emotionally-scarring moments can pose many risks for first responders recovering from addiction. As long-term trauma builds, it can have a major impact on these…

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How Do Trauma and Addiction Go Unnoticed in First Responders?
Aug 10 2020

How Do Trauma and Addiction Go Unnoticed in First Responders?

The effects of trauma coupled with alcohol and/or substance use disorder present themselves in several ways — if you are trained to look for them. Still, for first responders dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction, there are many reasons why these underlying disorders go unnoticed. Under Pressure First responders are asked to do…

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First Responders and Panic Attacks
Sep 11 2020

First Responders and Panic Attacks

Anyone who lives through a traumatic experience can be triggered into an onset of panic. Any veteran firefighter, EMT, or law enforcement officer has likely assisted someone going through a panic attack — probably many people. Yet, regardless of their experience, first responders themselves can also be prone to experiencing panic. These episodes may not…

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Do You Have a Negativity Bias?
Jan 16 2020

Do You Have a Negativity Bias?

Even people who view themselves as relatively positive and upbeat may be harboring an unconscious negativity bias that shapes the way they perceive the world. Adverse events and circumstances have a more significant impact on the human brain than positive ones. This means that people who have experienced sadness, hardship, and trauma, have a stronger…

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PTSD and substance misuse
Apr 14 2020

What Is PTSD and Its Relationship to Substance Misuse?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, is an anxiety disorder brought about by exposure to a disturbing or shocking event. PTSD may occur due to experiencing or witnessing:   Natural disasters A serious accident War or combat Violent personal assaults or attacks Rape   People exposed to these types of terrifying situations may become witnesses,…

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secondary trauma
Dec 03 2019

What is Secondary Traumatization?

In the mental health world, the term “trauma” is used to describe any experience that creates emotional or mental distress to the extent that it becomes difficult to function in some or all facets of life.  We are currently in the midst of a profound cultural shift that is beginning to acknowledge the many-layered effects…

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