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So, what works? what were you offered?

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

  1. jael

    jael Policy Enforcement Banned

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    I realize that the reason many of us are on this forum is because we didn't find anything that worked as far as preventing PTSD. I'm wondering though, does anyone here have experience with a therapy or were offered a way to decompress on the job to prevent PTSD from happening? There has to be services offered to police officers at least right?

    I am in the medical field. I was never offered any way to deal with the loss of patients or treating horrific cases while on the job. We all just silently suffered. Are there services that could/should have been offered? What do people in other fields exposed to vicarious trauma receive as far as help? What happens when someone dies on your watch? What happens when you are directly involved with someone's death?
     
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  3. TexCat

    TexCat Not a cat or a native Texan. Banned Donated

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    In my field, I am required to purchase liability insurance. I work individually with children. When I taught in schools as a teacher, they frequently did trainings on how to keep us and the school for being liable in a whole range of situations. Making sure the students weren’t having their rights violated, how to notice abuse at home.

    I was actually sexually harassed by two middle school boys and some high school boys on the job. Not to mention adults that I work with. I have had to turn people into cps, I have been threatened by two parents over money.

    I know what I wrote was off topic, but those experiences were not something I was prepared to deal with. I had to wing it. My friend who is gay, has a whole other set of “rules” that he follows to stay safe on the job, in an effort not to be accused of anything. (Like never using the same restroom that students use)

    There should be trainings and support. I think that schools are the most likely to offer them. I would hope and pray that military has something in place as well as hospitals.
     
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  4. JadesJewel

    JadesJewel Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Donated

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    @jael...I did find a therapy modality that worked for me and stopped the constant triggering and flashing back into my trauma memories...EMDR Therapy worked for me. And I am still here in this forum to give back for what was so selflessly and generously given by members here to me...and that is love, compassion, ptsd information, and how to self-care, and oh so much more.

    So much was given to me here in this forum by precious members...and I am here now trying to give back. I have a friend who is officer of the year where I live and she also has ptsd. She attends routine trauma therapy sessions...like I did which she says helps her to cope with loss and her ptsd issues.
     
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  5. Freida

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

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    At work (911) we now have a peer support group, trauma intervention team and chaplains program, as well as a debriefing program and employee assistance program through the county. It's all fairly new, but the results have been amazing. These programs weren't offered back in the day when I started, and a lot of us suffer from ptsd now because we came from the suck it up cupcake mentality. It was a badge of honor to take the worst of the calls and move to the next one without cracking.

    Luckily we are taking better care of our youngsters so they can process immediately instead of 20 or 30 years later. Sadly most agencies don't have anything in place for their staff, but it is slowly changing.

    Personally - Internal Family system and EMDR is what I'm doing now. Seems to be working -- long road
     
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  6. JadesJewel

    JadesJewel Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Donated

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    Sounds @Freida like you have a good solid support system at work...and good! I too come from the suck it up buttercup mentality as well and it wasn't working so well for me either. Yes...long road...but doable.
     
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  7. The Albatross

    The Albatross Product of decisions rather than circumstances Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    The only job I ever had that offered anything assistive (not to prevent PTSD mind you, but to assist with stress, grief and bereavement) was when I worked Hospice. We had group meetings, a Chaplin and some peer to peer sharing. Including the military, no other employer I've ever had in any field has done that.
     
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  8. Tornadic Thoughts

    Tornadic Thoughts I'm a VIP

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    I worked in a state-owned vocational rehab arena for over 13 years and they didn't offer anything along the lines of support in dealing with the various aspects of our job that I ever recall. They did have the insurance options available if you were a full-time salaried staff, called EAP - Employee Assistance Program. You were allowed 4 free visits to a counselor, and after that, had to pay like $45/per session, if I remember correctly.

    However, I only sought help via that route after I spoke up about unethical happenings going on and was made to feel like I had obviously lost my damn mind, plus I became quite the target for admin staff. I wasn't offered those options when I'd seek help with the emotional drain and strain of having lots of suicidal students, students who were abusive, students who I knew were being sent back into abusive situations, etc., etc. Once I was routed directly to some professionals working under that particular insurance umbrella, I quickly learned they had no interest in helping me with my lifetime issues that included many traumatic events, it seemed like they only wanted to get me medicated for the things they could easily match with many other diagnoses other than ptsd (severe depression, severe anxiety, severe adhd, severe this, severe that) and back into work compliance as soon as possible while hopefully convincing me to drop my grievances against what I'd observed for years.

    The same system designed for me to get help from managed to break me down even more and I finally resigned. I eventually, and quite desperately, found help in all the places I'd been taught to avoid my whole life...like acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractor, sound healing, energy healing, iridology, herbal and nutritional healing, breath work, etc., etc. If it weren't for finding healers who barter, it's hard to tell where I may have ended up.

    Wishing you wellness and genuine care in your healing journey.
     
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  9. jael

    jael Policy Enforcement Banned

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    I appreciate the responses.
    They are about what I expected and that's not good. I'm tired of living in the suck it up butter cup world. I can suck it up just fine thank you. But the container has only so much capacity to hold all this crap.

    I think there is a glimmer of hope for the future though. I'm hoping that some professional are starting to realize the damage that that culture causes.
     
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  10. Freida

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

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    I think you missed part of it. I think all of us (?) have LEFT the suck it up butter cup world. I know I for one decided it wasn't worth it. Why should I keep pretending and damaging my own brain so that other would think I would have it together? What a bunch of crap that was.

    Part of it was that we didn't know the damage that all of those calls, deaths, people, etc were causing on our brains until the last 10 years or so - which kept the need for help from being recognized. Hell - 911 is still categorized as a secretarial position by the Office of Professional Management and they are (as of today) still fighting putting us in the first responder category. Why? We aren't physically there so it cant bother us that much. Seriously - that was their reply to the challenge last year.

    But it is changing. Slowly yes, but changing. As we learn more about the effect of that chronic stress, we can put things in place to combat it. As we learn more about how ptsd develops, we can start plans to prevent it. The one thing I realized I left out of my blathering about work was that almost every one of those programs was started by the dispatch staff -- not management. It came from the bottom up - and that is happening around the nation. People like yours truly who didn't want the next generation to end up like I did, are coming together on teams, doing the research and starting the programs. If you don't have something in place and you don't have the energy to create one, find some of them little millineals running around out there and tell them you have a plan to save the world. Then let them run with it. They worked their butts off for us because it was a way to take care of people and they live for that crapola!
     
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  11. The Albatross

    The Albatross Product of decisions rather than circumstances Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    I don't think it's necessarily a "suck it up buttercup" world when the fact is that though there are vocations whereby people can get Post Traumatic Stress - only about 4% get PTS D . I do think though it would be nice to have services available for high risk vocations... however I also think it would be REALLY really f'ing nice if employers provided pensions like they used to too. Because frankly, 401K's aren't really helping people my age (born in the 60's and after) with retirement. But if that's the way you'd like to think about it, you're free to keep it. Not my thing though. My issue, my responsibility to get treatment and deal with it.
     
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  12. Freida

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

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    @The Albatross The problem we run into in the high stress jobs is the attitude that not reacting/feeling/crying/ etc is an expectation of how the job is done. A very small study from a couple years ago showed 30% of the dispatchers they interviewed qualified for a PTSD diagnosis. Part of that is the constant bombardment of crisis calls, lack of recovery time, and lack of management support. The other, bigger, issue is that the work culture doesn't allow "weakness" so asking for help, even on your own time, is often considered an inability to do the job. That leaves them walking the the line between being strong enough to do the job and being human enough to ask for help.

    And I totally agree on the pension thing!
     
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  13. The Albatross

    The Albatross Product of decisions rather than circumstances Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    You don't have to tell me about high stress jobs Frieda. Yeah it does leave them with walking a fine line... but it's their decision. Employeers that aren't required to provide a pension any longer are "supposed" to be sensitive to these matters? Eh, no.... nope... they don't care. Suck it up buttercup though?... Nope... evaluate and go get a job that works.
     
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