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PTSD in First Responders Can Be Reduced


Being on the front lines can be pretty stressful. The daily occurrences of micro and macro traumas add up and compound. After years of this, first responders can have feelings of helplessness, fear, or disgust. Although it can feel overwhelming, PTSD is treatable, but it needs to be identified early.


Two of the most significant obstacles to people receiving proper treatment for PTSD are under-reporting the trauma by the survivors in fear of being stigmatized and not recognizing the trauma symptoms by healthcare providers or the survivors themselves.


To get proper treatment for PTSD, you first need to recognize the symptoms. The following symptoms may indicate that you have a post-traumatic stress injury:

  • Aggressive, reckless, or self-destructive behaviour

  • Dissociation from yourself

  • Inability to recount the traumatic events

  • Experiencing the traumatic event in nightmares or flashbacks

  • Changes in sleep patterns or sleep disturbances

  • Suicidal behaviour

  • Social isolation and loss of interest in activities

  • Blaming yourself or others due to a distorted sense of reality

  • Substance abuse


Some of the factors that contribute to improved recovery against PTSD are actions that will reinforce feelings of support, hope and self-control. These methods include having peer support and a strong sense of community because if you feel like you belong and have strong emotional connections, it can help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. Another method is Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, or CISD, a debriefing process used by emergency services in the aftermath of a significant traumatic event. Using CISD can help recovery through group dialogue, a form of therapy that targets stress management and can treat the trauma symptoms after the fact.


By getting the proper help from a mental healthcare professional, first responders can stop PTSD symptoms from becoming more problematic. By entering into therapy and surrounding yourself with an appropriate support system, you can live as normal of a life as possible.


At RD Psychotherapy, we can help you or your loved one access the proper services to start the road to recovery. Our team is built by experts who know what first responders are going through and how to work through their traumas to no longer suffer. Contact RD Psychotherapy today for more information!


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