Like Soldiers Returning From War, First Responders Face PTSD Concerns


This past Monday, we celebrated Memorial Day; a day to honor and remember those persons who gave their lives so that we could continue to live in a free country.  Let’s also remember the families who now have to manage lives without their loved ones.  I am certain there is a mixture of grief, sadness, and pride.

Some of the women and men who return from military service develop PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder).  Some of your coworkers may have served in combat or the reserves.  Their behavior may at times not make sense to you:  hypervigilance, sits with back to the wall facing the door, easily startled and unexplained mood swings.

These women and men deserve our understanding.  Transitioning from combat or life in another country to living in the U.S. can be challenging.  First responders transitioning from putting their lives in danger on a daily basis to an “every day” mindset can create difficulty as well.

Anyone who faces the threat of losing their life can develop PTSD.  Some people have developed PTSD from watching the news, and social media feeds about 9/11, natural disasters, the Nickel Mines tragedy and shootings strategically placed in the local news.  As daunting as it may seem, the healthiest way to manage PTSD is to talk about the situation that created fear and the feelings attached to it with a safe and trusted person.

Several organizations exist to support the military, law enforcement, first responders, and trauma survivors in Chester County.  Private therapists, the VA, your company’s EAP service and David’s Drive just to name a few.

Please remember to say thank you to our military personnel and first responders; not only on a holiday, but whenever you get a chance.
Top photo credit: Robban via photopin (license)

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