By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia
Why is it that when a first responder is taken over by trauma, PTSD, addiction, or otherwise, the choice becomes to either turn a blind eye or end their career? Why are those the only options? Listen carefully, those are NOT the only options. Who decided those were the only avenues to take? Why do we fire them and send them spiraling further into a disaster that we created to begin with by not offering proper mental health treatment of those we have assigned to handle trauma every single day? Who decided that was acceptable?
Continue reading “Turn a Blind Eye or Fire the First Responder???”
One of the most effective treatments for PTSD was discovered incidentally by Francine Shapiro, PhD, in 1987. When Shapiro was hiking and became anxious and overwhelmed, she noticed that as she scanned the environment with her eyes, moving them back and forth, she began to relax. This led her to assume that eye movements had a desensitizing effect, and when she experimented with it clinically, she found that other people had the same response. It became apparent that eye movements alone weren’t comprehensive, so she added other treatment elements and developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
Continue reading “Was “EMDR” an Accidental Discovery???”
What happens to the family of a first responder when tragedy strikes? Well, it depends on the tragedy. If an officer gets a physical injury while on duty, there will be support from all over. I can remember when we endured our first shooting, there was a sea of officers from one end of the hospital to the other. In the following days and weeks, people brought food, cards, helped with the children, and much more. It was a very difficult time for our family. The support made it so much easier on all of us. There was a constant flow of messages, visits, cards, etc. We knew we had support. There were still difficult days, but the support was there.
A few years later, when PTSD crept into our lives, there was utter silence. There was no one coming with food. There were no cards. There were no messages. People avoided us like we had the plague. As he slipped deeper into PTSD, I found myself completely isolated and alone as I tackled daily life. My days were spent working, caring for the children, cleaning, cooking, running to practices, and all the while trying to determine his mental state every day to determine what would be of utmost importance that day.
Continue reading “PTSD & The Impact on the #1stresponder Family”