In my line of work, I’ve heard a lot about the unseen injuries that can be suffered from years of being exposed to violent and traumatic events. Law enforcement, first responders, rescuers and military often carry scars from their time of service that can’t be seen but are mostly felt. But one important aspect to consider is that it isn’t always the people in these specific lines of work that suffer from these unseen injuries.
One of the most common of these, is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD has been around for a very, very long time. It isn’t until recent times that deeper focus and understanding has started to come to the surface. In the times of World War I, the term “Shell Shock” was used before the term PTSD was coined. It was characterized by the reaction soldiers had to the constant exposure to violence and war time incidents. There has long been a stigma behind PTSD, where many believed it only affected those who “weren’t able to deal with it” or was a sign of weakness. For decades, there were those who also believed that it was a manufactured disorder and that the sufferer was not genuinely afflicted with an injury. Even today, there are some who question the legitimacy of PTSD.
In recent years, PTSD has been the subject of multiple studies, which have proven that there is a physical transformation that happens in the human brain as a result of repeated exposure to traumatic or terrifying events. These can include, but are not limited to car crashes, robberies, sexual assault and other various forms of accidents and/or crimes against a person. Although there is no known cure for PTSD at the moment, there are a number of therapies that, when used alone or in combination with one another, can alleviate the symptoms. In fact, The LifeLine Foundation even lists meditation as one of the treatment options. Imagine that…
Obviously, what works for one person doesn’t work for every person. people who suffer from PTSD can and will often suffer from different symptoms including but not limited to nightmares, flashbacks, sweating, trembling, increased irritability and constantly being “on edge”, as though was always felt as though they may be attacked at any given moment.
In previous years, many people would turn to the more “unconventional” types of self-treatment, such as alcohol, substance and drug abuse and unfortunately even suicide. It’s important to know that there are resources and people available to help you through it, if you are suffering from PTSD. The stigma is slowly being eliminated and it is starting to be recognized as the genuine article. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that PTSD is all too real…
More information and further resources on PTSD can be found on the following websites:
The LifeLine Foundation: http://thelifelinecanada.ca/resources/ptsd/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=ptsd%20causes&utm_content=!acq!v3!42605611150_kwd-281317349__219978557412_g_c__&utm_campaign=Branded+-+Canada&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6Y2c9oO_4QIVRLbACh01VQsbEAAYASAAEgKOWPD_BwE
Most first-responder organizations also offer a number of resources and people you can reach out to. It’s important to impact the message that thesis something you don’t have to deal with alone.