Lately in the media, and on everyone’s mind has been the topic of post traumatic stress disorder. All my feelings about the word disorder aside(check out my last article), I submit a question: Does trauma or stress have to present itself months or years down the road for it to be taken seriously?
The answer is absolutely not! As first responders we are subjected to many different sources of stress, anxiety and trauma on a daily basis. Sometimes that stress and trauma can take quite a long time to manifest into something recognizably amiss. Other times, we notice it right away. These are called acute stress reactions, and they can be just as overwhelming as anything else. I will not play games with your emotions or mine to mention specific instances for examples; I’m sure we can all pull from experience. What is important to take away however, is that your emotions are valid! You have every right to experience them, and there is help!
So what can we do?
Now for some good news! Whether you wish to seek solice, treatment, or just validity, the avenues are much the same as for anything else:
- Talk to someone you trust!
- EAP (employee assistance programs)
- Self care (works best with a little professional guidance)exercisemeditation
- a loved hobby
Rest assured brothers and sisters, no matter how you feel, no matter when you feel it, you will always be validated here. Stressful situations, no matter when or how we choose to process them, are a part of the job for sure, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence when making heads or tails of them. I’m here if you need me.