Think about a rough day at work. Your boss yells at you about a report, someone ate the lunch you brought from the company fridge, or you get an angry call from a client on the phone. It can get rough, but think about a bad work day for those who work as first responders. The firefighters, police officers, military personnel, emergency dispatchers, EMTs and others who keep us safe, deal with extremely stressful situations every day. The work can mean close encounters with danger, chaos, and tragedy, sometimes on a daily basis. This often can lead to first responder PTSD. Here at Neurosciences Medical Clinic, we are professionals who are here to ensure you have all the information to help aid with these situations. We offer the best PTSD treatment near Miami.
What is PTSD?
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a severe accident, a terrorist act, war or combat, rape or other violent personal assault.
PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as “shell shock” during the years of World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II. But PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, in people of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD.
Over time, exposure to such stress can take a toll on first responders’ mental and physical health. In some cases, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) results, with symptoms such as:
- Flashbacks, nightmares, and recurring thoughts
- Emotional numbness
- Extreme worry, guilt, anger or hopelessness
- Avoidance of people, places or things that are reminders of the trauma
- A loss of interest in things that once gave pleasure
- Feeling anxious, on edge or jumpy, and startling easily
- Sleep issues
- Problems with alcohol, drugs or food
The Challenges of First Responder PTSD
Remember, they are human too. First responders generally operate in a culture that seeks to uphold an image of invincibility. It is a way of dealing with all they must encounter. Admitting that there are cracks in the armor can seem not only counterproductive but dangerous—a way of undermining the confidence necessary to do the job effectively and safely.
Unfortunately, that is an attitude that can rise all the way up to management ranks, with those who open up about what they are feeling to their superiors sometimes being told to “deal with it” or “toughen up.”
There is also the fear that admitting that they are struggling, will be seen by others as proof that they are just not up to the job. This can cause a downward spiral. That can be terrifying to contemplate for first responders, who tend to see their work as not merely an occupation but as their identity.
There is also the stigma surrounding mental health issues that need to be taken into account. This stereotypes those with mental health problems as somehow defective or weaker, sometimes leading to prejudice and discrimination. That stigma can turn inward as well, leading the person to buy into all the negative things they’ve heard about mental illness and to hide their distress rather than take steps to overcome it. Think of the popular phrase, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” A first responder dealing with trauma may often feel like they are that weak link. Our PTSD treatment will help these individuals get through it.
Contact Us Today
Dealing with an individual who is suffering from first responder PTSD must be taken seriously. Our professionals are here to help. Neurosciences Medical Clinic has the best PTSD treatment near Miami. Call or visit us today for more information.