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22 Year Cop In Crisis, Looking For a Forum

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by CaptainR, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. CaptainR

    CaptainR Active Member

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    Hello all. I'm not really looking for answers, I suppose, just looking for an outlet, and looking for others who understand what I'm going through.

    I'm a 45 year old man and I've been a cop for 22 years and am still currently active. I've been suffering for many years now for reasons I don't fully understand yet. In 22 years, obviously there have been plenty of traumas. Been on the life-threatened end, and also was involved in one fatal shooting where I watched my partner for the night shot point blank in the chest (he survived) before I returned fire and killed the shooter. That one happened less than 24 hours after another situation where I thought I was going to die at the hands of a suspect because of some mistaken facts, and I nearly pulled the trigger when it would have turned out to be a bad shooting.

    Anyway, things have bottomed out for me to say the least. I've been to a crisis counselor every day for the past week to get through this bottomed out period. Just took my first dose of Effexor XR this morning after putting it off for several days after getting the prescription (it still terrifies me what this stuff can do to me, but I'm desperate). My counselor has identified major depression and PTSD, but in the crisis state we haven't been able to explore any real issues. She's afraid that if we open things in my present emotional state it will be more than I can handle. And she's probably right. I certainly didn't argue, because it seems every time I'm honest about what I'm going through at the moment the topic of inpatient care or a leave of absence comes up. Both of which spell more of a loss of control than I can handle at the moment.

    I know these are somewhat ambiguous facts. Just wanted to open the door slowly. Would welcome any sharing from other cops or anyone really who understands the overwhelming nature of this depression. I've described this to my counselor and wife as feeling blind, a selective blindness that only lets me see the pain and negative things, and blocks out visions of anything hopeful or positive. It's pretty tough for someone who hasn't been there to understand that part of it.

    Thanks for listening.
     
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  3. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    Hi Captain, welcome aboard! (yep the pun was intended! :)

    Major depression IS part of PTSD.. Multiple diagnosises drive me nuts. There's no need for that.

    You will find a lot of us who get it. I'm no cop, nor will I ever be one, but I fully understand PTSD. My son and I both have it.

    Share what you are comfortable with. We all open up on here at our own rates, so don't put pressure on yourself there.

    It sounds like you have a good handle on it, as in your accepting the PTSD and your being honest about what you can and can not do, and how it's affecting you. Those are huge steps in themselves.

    Anyways, nice to have you!

    bec
     
  4. Linda

    Linda Well-Known Member

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    Welcom to the forum, Captain R! That looks like we have another remarkable person here.
    I an sure you will find help and support.
    Linda
     
  5. officerx

    officerx New Member

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    Captain R,

    Welcome to the forum. As a former police officer, I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. When I think back on my few years on the job, and all the incidents that could have, and did, cause trauma, I can't help but admire you for doing the job for so long. I am glad you are getting help now. I waited too long and I think that means that the PTSD will stay with me forever.

    Officer X
     
  6. CaptainR

    CaptainR Active Member

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    Thank for the welcomes....

    Thank you all for the welcomes.

    And Officer X, you expressed a fear that is overwhelming me at the moment. I've just now been forced by life events to face up to my issues and go begging for help. For the past few days I've really been struggling to get the fear of one thought out of my head - that fear is the recurring thought of "What if I never get better?" I know that's an irrational thought. I know there must be some relief, at least to some degree, in my future, but right now the blindness of the depression won't allow me to see it. I can't seem to stop obsessing over that one hopeless thought, and of course it's counterproductive and sends me spiralling downward the more I obsess over it.

    It comes along with the guilt and anger at myself for ignoring symptoms for so long. Self-medicating with alcohol at an increasing pace, changing from prayers to God for relief, to desperate begging for God to kill me as a way to escape. Then I see where I've come and I wonder how I could have ignored all the signs. I ask myself, who prays to God to kill them?! How could I have not seen what my life had become.

    And no, this is not a suicidal post. I do NOT want to die. I just don't want to live the way I have been, and I'm praying the medication and the therapy will begin to give some small relief so I can see at leat a pinpoint of light in the distance to begin moving toward.

    Does that make any sense??
     
  7. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

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    welcome to the forum, cap.
    cathy
     
  8. cheryl771

    cheryl771 New Member

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    I was a cop also ...

    I was also a police officer. And I also suffer from ptsd and depression. I am amazed that your department has a crisis counselor and I am shocked that they haven't fired you yet. Ptsd and mental health problems are typically hidden from the public by police departments. It's just not good publicity for a department to admit they have officers suffering from mental illness. In addition many departments simply do not want to pay for any type of care for officers after they become disabled weather they were injured in the line of duty or not. I was a police officer for a rural small department. The first thing my department did when I was diagnosed was to promptly dismiss me and then tell me to get help. The dr. that diagnosed me with ptsd and depression lied to me and misled me into thinking that I would actually get counseling from my department. And then when my department dismissed me I no longer had any health insurance or income. After they told me to get help I immediately replied where? how? The department response was they don't know, don't care and that was my problem now. For those of you not in law enforcement this is normal and 100 percent legal. I was dismissed because I was diagnosed with ptsd and depression and there might be a problem. Not because there was a problem but because there might be a problem. I have not worked since 2001. I have no income and yet I do not qualify for any type of assistance at all. And yes this year I had the privilge of paying taxes. Penalty for early withdraw of retirement fund. If there are any other officers out there please post places where we may be able assistance.
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum Capt. I'm a 16yr cop. I was desperate too when I found this forum back in the summer. Iv'e been in and out of therapy for a long time and I do know the feeling of "Will I ever get better"? I don't think that will ever go away. Don't obsess about taking a leave. Who are you trying to impress ? It hurts for a little while with people staring and talking about you but when you confront them about why you were off they shut up and walk away with their tails tucked between their legs. Being relived of duty helped more than it hurt. I get along with other officers BETTER now than in the past and it made my relationship with family much better. If you need more info or just need to talk shoot me (no pun intended) a PM.
     
  10. officerx

    officerx New Member

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    Captain R,

    Yes, your post makes perfect sense. The fears of never getting better is common, I assume, and I don't think there is such a thing as ever getting completely over PTSD. However, things do get better. At least they have for me. Not too long ago, I was convinced that I would never feel like myself again, but when I am totally honest with myself, I realize that I am a heck of a lot better than I was.

    Like Terry, I will also extend the offer of being in contact via PM if you would like.

    X
     
  11. CaptainR

    CaptainR Active Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about your experience, Cheryl. The crisis counselor isn't directly through the department, it's through an Employee Assistance Program available to all employees of our county. And as far as dismissal, at this point I'm not worrying about that. Between our state statutes that protect me, the Family Medical Leave act, and the amount of sick time I've got after 22 years, things will be far down the road before that's my worry. I'm still functioning enough to go to work and do the job I now have (administration), and the only way I can see having to leave is if a psych deemed me unfit for duty.

    I do understand your situation. Many smaller departments just don't have the resources or desire to deal with the problems. It's easier for them to just get rid of someone than to figure out how to help them get well.

    I don't know about resources to help you. It's hard to say what to do in your situation. So much depends on what type of long-term disability program your city/county had, whether you met the requirements if they had one, whether you could win a claim the disability was job related, etc... It's all complicated, but I imagine if things happened back in 2001 you probably explored all those issues long ago.

    Anyway, hope you're getting some sort of help now, and hope things begin looking up for you.
     
  12. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    Hey Captain, it's me Hercules again. I seem to be drawn to your emotions. I like you and the things you are saying. Hang in there. You will get to the point of accepting this shit. I've been on meds for a long time--I hate them-they scare me--but what waits for me without them scares me more. And believe me I have tried to exist without them and going back to being that person not on pills only takes once to remind you why you take them and you gain a renewed respect for those little pills. Smile my friend and talk. Talk to anyone who will listen whether they understand or not. By explaining how you feel to those who love you, you are helping not only them but yourself understand this mess we are in. What time zone are you in?
     
  13. willing

    willing Active Member

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    Welcome Captain R,
    You sound like I feel. Together on the outside but writhing on the inside. The medication helps a bunch. Therapy does too and then there is here...this forum. All can help. Anthony has done a great job with this site. I have not found anything else that compares. So consider you have done well and your surrender is a new beginning that will open unbelievable doors and getting better will be in a deeper and more meaningful manner than you could have ever imagined.
    Best to you,
    Patty
     
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