Police officers are bound to have PTSD at some point in their careers. The horrors they see and the stress that comes with it guarantee some form of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, another term being used now is PTSI: post-traumatic stress injury. The aim is to destigmatize this diagnosis since “disorder” has a negative connotation. Injury, however, is a term that relates to people as being hurt or damaged by outside forces (such as a broken bone, concussion, etc.)
Mental health is still considered a weakness to many, so any way we can remove the stigma is a step in the right direction. We are losing too many law enforcement officers along with other first responders, military and veterans. The suicide rate is high and we need to curb this epidemic.
PTSI is described as an actual biological injury to the brain after a person experiences or witnesses a terrifying/tragic event. For many in the groups we mention and support, this is an everyday occurrence. For civilians, these events typically happen once, twice, a few times or not at all in a lifetime.
PTSI symptoms can range from flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and pervasive thoughts of fear that affect daily living. There is extensive research on how to treat PTSI as an actual injury vs. a “mental disorder.” The fact is: a mental disorders and/or illness is a brain injury in which the chemicals are not balanced.
Our goal here at Blue Love: Off the Cuffs is to provide information, resources and support. If you are feeling any or all of these symptoms, please reach out to someone, ANYONE. You can also reach out to us directly and we will help you find resources.
This is not YOU, this is not YOUR fault. We are human and vulnerable. YOU are NOT alone.