Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and First Responders
First responders are at a significantly greater risk
of developing PTSD. The condition occurs when an event or a string of events is too difficult for the brain to process, leading to trauma.
The fight-or-flight response is governed by your nervous system, which is split into two parts, parasympathetic and sympathetic. PTSD occurs when the sympathetic nervous system dominates, putting you in an almost permanent state of fight or flight.
Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD doesn’t affect any two people the same, but there are several symptoms that most people with the condition experience, such as:
- Dreams, nightmare or flashbacks of the traumatic event that are so vivid it feels like you’re constantly reliving them
- Avoiding situations that remind you of the traumatic event as well as talking about it
- A negative attitude about the self and the world, making it difficult to maintain relationships or pursue activities you enjoy
- An increase in anxiety and an increase in arousal due to emotional dysregulation
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and shame