With what has been happening in the news lately. I think it’s a good time to talk about mental health with first responders. It’s easy to think about these people as tough men and women, and they are. It takes a special person to be able to do this job and see the things they do day in and day out. The danger they face doesn’t stop when they go home.
I think the first issues first responders can face is PTSD. Here are some things to look out for that may signal PTSD. Have you or a loved one started having trouble sleeping after a tough or tragic call? Have they started having anger outbursts? Anxiety?
Let’s talk about anxiety. First responders can have this as well.
- Difficulty controlling worry
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
- Easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance
- Exaggerated startle response
- Psychosomatic symptoms: Headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, pins and needles
- Physical symptoms: Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain
- The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning
I want to take a look at depression next. This can happen as well due to personal or even job related and want to make sure keep an eye out for this as well. Are they relying on alcohol when off duty. I’m not talking one or two drinks sometimes. I mean all the time. What about sedatives? Have they stopped doing activities that once brought them joy?
These might be some feelings they think or you might be feeling.
- lacking in confidence
The last thing I want to mention is Suicide. I know this is a biggie with first responders and I get it. I do, but please don’t go this route as this isn’t an escape at all. SEEK HELP!!!!!! There’s nothing wrong with seeking help. No shame at all.
Allyson is a published author, blogger, wife and mom to 4 kids. Three of her children are on the autism spectrum. She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. On her blog, you can find her writing about being an author, her faith, and family. She resides in Indiana with her loving husband and four wonderful children, dog, and three cats. She’s addicted to knitting and coffee.