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No end in sight

Discussion in 'Military & Emergency Services' started by Jag65, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Jag65

    Jag65 New Member

    Hello All,

    I am a 20+ year veteran police officer. My last assignment was the Commander of both the Operations and Support divisions. I left the job just over a year ago. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t handle the panic attacks, nightmares,anxiety attacks and many more issues any longer. In the end I couldn’t even responded to officers calls for help. That’s when I realized I had to go.

    I was in denial for years and hide everything. Not only was my work suffering so was my family life. I put the job before my family and it has taken a hudge toll on my relationship with my wife and kids. Fortunately I have a wonderful wife who did not give up on me.

    I have been in weekly therapy for over a year now and have been diagnosed with PTSD and depression. My therapist and I have identified over 20 traumatic events of both personal (one event) and the rest work traumas,

    I am on several meds that have helped reduce my symptoms. Frequently, my symptoms flare but are not as intense as before. They sill leave me out of touch with reality.

    I am trying towork through all of this but there does not seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel so overwhelmed, trying to repair the damage I have caused myself and the people closest to me.

    I am so stressed and can’t even think about going back to work. I was able to medically retire but I am fighting the cause. They believe my PTSD is not related to the job. I have also applied for Social Security. It’s been 9 months, I have done their testing and still no answer.

    Can anyone give me an idea of how long this will last? I know it is different for everyone just trying to get a ballpark. Also have any of you been able to go back to work after leaving and receiving disability.

    I would like to go back to work but am not sure I could. Any advise or personal testimonials would be greatly appreciated.
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  3. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    Ongoing trauma/multiple traumas can take years, decades, or a lifetime to heal from.

    Going back to work may be a possibility at one point, but I’d strongly advise going back into the same job as you’ll likely deal with triggers and symptom flare ups.
    shimmerz likes this.
  4. brokenEMT

    brokenEMT Well-Known Member

    I'm a 15 year paramedic, and I did go back to work on car, in a temporary position in a different division. My traumas are work related, but not involving patient care or patients, so I knew I could still do the job, I just couldn't return to the same division where the traumas occurred. I still had issues in the other division, and clearly needed therapy, but I could function and do my job, until I was physically injured.

    I don't know the sources of your ptsd, maybe you could return to law enforcement in a different capacity? different department?

    welcome to the forum!
  5. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    Dispatch here -- I've got PTSD from my military days, but everyone agrees the worst possible job I could have gotten into after I got out was 911 so that just added to it. I was there for my 20, did the counseling thing for about a year while I was still working until it became problematic trying to juggle the two. I finally went out on medical leave and have been out 4 months. I was able to get long term disability from work

    It took the first 3 months to get all the disability crap together and finally be able to take a breath and realize how much damage the career was doing to my life, my health and my family. Here's what I'm learning... I have to get better first before I can fix anything else in my life. Until I'm calm and reasonable (as much as a dispatcher can be!) it doesn't do me any good to try to fix the "outer" stuff. But -- as I get better the rest starts to fall into place, so I don't have to work as hard at the repair aspect.

    How long does it take? As long as it takes. But my T did ask me once --"how long did it take you to get to this point?" When I said 25 years she laughed and told me to stop asking her for a timeline.

    One thing I did that was really helpful was to keep a journal of how I was feeling. Now I can go back and look -- how was I six months ago? A year ago? 3 years? Often I don't see the improvement until I look back at what I wrote. Then I have a valid comparison

    Hope that helps!
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