Re-experiencing past trauma as physical symptoms that manifest in the body can be alarming. When someone experiences physical symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS), the body does not remember the event as something in the past. These symptoms can intrude visual, auditory, and other bodily functions causing the body and mind to feel as though they […]
A first responder’s work can be rewarding, but over time, it can also take its toll on an individual and lead to emotional exhaustion. This exhaustion can result from high emotional involvement, such as working with traumatized individuals in the community without adequate support. In the emergency services community, compassion fatigue can often be thought […]
This article is courtesy of Patrick McCurdy, Retired Sergeant/Deputy. — Being a First Responder is difficult. You see and experience things on a regular basis that would send most people reeling in shock. Most people cannot even begin to imagine the depths of sorrow, tragedy, evil and darkness that you witness and deal with. Despite […]
This article is courtesy of Patrick McCurdy, Retired Sergeant/Deputy. — “I sat with my anger long enough until she told me her real name was grief.”C.S. Lewis It was Christmas Eve. We were looking for a domestic violence assault suspect. It was a pretty bad assault, and we were determined to find him. Everyone inside […]
After the flurry and liveliness of holiday festivities comes a time for quiet reflection, as many look back on this past year and prepare for the next. This desire to continue improving oneself as we make our New Year’s resolutions is a healthy intention. It is admirable to make goals for ourselves continually, but when […]
Burnout is a state of mind characterized by emotional and mental exhaustion. When someone develops burnout in the workplace, they may begin to perform poorly, develop a cynical outlook, and struggle to cope with stress. While burnout can happen in any profession, first responders are especially susceptible due to the intensely stressful nature of their […]
Post traumatic stress , or PTS, is a psychological condition caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. This may be an event that happened in a moment, such as a serious accident or act of violence, or it may be a series of events that occurred over a long period of time, such as […]
First responders who have stayed sober for extended periods are privy to the mental health benefits of experiencing peace of mind. However, any long-tenured recovery alumni can attest that these moments of clarity, feeling content in sobriety and life in general, often lack their portability.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 30 percent of first responders suffer from a mental health condition, including post-traumatic stress (PTS).
With the rise in critical incidents against civilians and towards our men and women in uniform, first responders must be able to identify PTS.
The role that friends and family take on when a loved one struggles with addiction almost resembles the job responsibility of a first responder.
The feeling of being “on-call” for a person who has the potential to go into crisis at any moment and constantly remaining open to the prospect of intervening for your loved one requires both empathy and vigilance, the same characteristics that first responders use to do their jobs.