Not all Injuries are Visible
Do you know that Emergency Services workers are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe and debilitating form of anxiety. It often strikes when an individual experiences a traumatic event.
This could be a serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war, or a natural disaster such as a bushfire or a flood.
Strong emotions such as fear and anger, sadness and despair, are natural responses in situations like these and will generally dissipate over time. However when these feelings are intensely distressing and persist for a month or more it is important to seek professional help.
What are the symptoms?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is identified by three main groups of symptoms:
- Flashbacks of the traumatic event
Flashbacks of the traumatic event can occur in dreams and nightmares as if the individual is re-living the event. Physical symptoms such as sweating, heart palpitations and panic attacks may also occur.
- Feeling emotionally numb and avoiding situations that are reminders of the trauma
Avoiding possible reminders of the trauma can compel some people to withdraw from their normal day-to-day activities and become isolated from friends and family. Some may experience ‘dissociation’ – a sense of witnessing events from a detached state.
- Feeling anxious and irritable for no apparent reason
Afflicted individuals may experience a heightened state of alert and be constantly on the lookout for danger. This can lead to confusion and irritability.
PTSD is a severe and debilitating illness that can have profound consequences if left untreated. As such, it’s important to seek help.
At Endeavour, our psychologists are experienced in helping those suffering from PTSD to overcome the symptoms and restore their quality of life and personal wellbeing.