- PTSD demystified by clinical psychologist Dr. Sean P. O'Brien
- PTSD signs and symptoms
- How to avoid PTSD
- How to reach out and help a friend
- A spouse's story
- A call for change by Canadian Critical Incident Inc. president Barney McNeilly
PTSD Help and Hope
In just over the past decade it has become common knowledge that law enforcement personnel, along with other emergency services workers, are a population highly prone to suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a direct result of their work, there is regular involvement with traumatic events over the course of their entire careers. This is especially true for those of us working in the field of critical incident stress management. For those individuals in law enforcement, however, who generally entered into their careers as physically and mentally "strong," highly idealistic, and caring people, PTSD is often quite baffling. Moreover, it is a concept that is hard to accept by those who are following the mantra "to protect and serve." Understanding the needs of this unique population that is highly prone to PTSD is imperative for mental health professionals attempting to assist survivors with healing and moving beyond this disorder.
Too often in law enforcement, personnel equate mental disorders with being "crazy" and they feel that an emotional response to trauma indicates "weakness." This myth must be erased. Law enforcement personnel must come to admit that they, too, are "normal" human beings who react in "normal" ways when exposed to abnormal events that make up their job environment. It is important to consider that this is an environment that lends itself naturally as a "set up" for PTSD. To this end, education becomes most imperative!