First responders, including those in law enforcement, fire fighters, paramedics, military personnel and healthcare workers.
EMDR therapy to treat first responders, fire fighters, paramedics, military personnel, law enforcement, community and healthcare workers.
Emergency personnel are charged with responding to calls that range from routine transports to incredibly devastating and traumatic incidents that can take a lasting toll on their mental health and well-being. Challenges with PTSD in this industry are often not addressed because of a culture that has subscribed to a “suck-it-up” narrative. This approach isn’t doing first responders any favors—suicide and PTSD rates among those who work in emergency services are almost double those of the general population.
Critical incidents at work can cause Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) lasting 2 to 30 days and Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) lasting more than 30 days. When first responders experience, witness, or are confronted with events on the job that involve death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others a person responds with intense fear, helplessness, and horror. This can cause ASD and PTSD. First responders may constantly re-experience the traumatic memory and want to avoid situations associated with the event. They respond when triggered with a flight, fight, freeze response. First responders with Acute Stress Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can experience greater difficulty doing their jobs effectively. These symptoms can make it not only difficult for first responders to do their work or be on active duty but it can also impact their lives at home with family, friends and in the community.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Difficulty remembering instructions
- Difficulty communicating thoughts
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Atypically argumentative or angry
- Difficulty making decisions
- Limited attention span
- Unnecessary risk-taking
- Disorientation or confusion
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of objectivity
- Easily frustrated
- Unable to engage in problem-solving
- Unable to let down when off duty
- Refusal to follow orders
- Refusal to leave the scene
- Increased use of drugs/alcohol