While the world sees flashing lights, shiny cars and engines racing by, strong, skilled and precise decision making, the truth is that the pressures of dealing in day to day and moment to moment life and death decisions are triggering and wear first responders down. The trauma and secondary trauma that is witnessed on each passing day builds up and the impact of this on ones personal health, functioning, and family/social relationships suffer immensely. Each day can feel like a nightmare and often the nightmares continue during the night time. Symptoms of irritability, confusion, amplified emotional reactions, thoughts of self harm, and intense worries come as a sudden onset or may have been brewing for some time. Friends, family, and colleagues might be pushing you towards getting help, or you may want to explore ways of understanding what is happening to you in a safe and confidential way.
First responder culture is something that I understand and can relate to from years of experience working professionally as colleagues with various first responder professionals and departments across the country, as well as providing counseling for first responders. The schedules worked, demands of overtime, interpersonal dynamics of each department and the politics that come with the profession are unique and present challenges that are not always understood by those not educated about the ins and outs of first responder professions.
Let’s you and I chat and see if we would be a good fit in working together to help relieve the symptoms you may be experiencing. Here are some resources for you to explore. Please contact me if you would like to talk more.