WOW, I have to say I am so impressed at the response this thread has been getting. I turn my back for 5 seconds . . . . . . ok, more like most of the year, lol.
When I was fist diagnosed with PTSD 2 yrs ago there was NOTHING available for us! Private therapy of course if you have the money, but not all do. I was discusgusted at my treatment by the health department, the lack of resources, but mostly by the stigma!!!
That's what hurt the most! For most of us we are in these positions because we just so happen to have a passion and dedication for a career that exposes us to horrific events. Most of us NEVER received the correct debriefing/counselling if any, and there was definitely no follow ups.
I'm an anaesthetic technician and I spend 10 years in theatres in the State Trauma Hospital. I saw trauma for sure, emergency trauma was actually one of my specialties alongside cardiothoracic, and organ retrieval/transplants.
But watching some of my colleagues take their lives hurt more. Brilliant surgeons that couldn't cope. This is what really haunts me. I knew these people, worked with them day and night to save others, only to watch them go.
It's so hard! When will people get that this is real? PTSD IS REAL!
I've since been told that health department has a reputation for being one of the worst for not helping their own, probably why things got so bad for me. I should have seen it and left sooner, but I didn't want to walk away from the job.
I now realise though that I almost didn't have a life to walk away with!
I let things get so bad and stay their for so long without professional help, that it has taken the best part of these 2 years to be where I am.
I STRONGLY urge anyone that's suffering, please don't stay for the job. It WILL be there when you come back, thats a given. If your passionate enough to even think that, the bosses know what type of person you are too. But if you stay just for the job, YOU might not be there later. I know that might sound dramatic, but I also never expected to see respected surgeons, CN's Chief Anaes Techs take their own lives.
I'm only now starting to think seriously about returning to work after christmas, but only part time to start with and definitely no trauma, haha.
I've also had a lot of personal tragedies to deal with the last 2 years and they nearly took me down more than the PTSD.
My dream is for change in regard to PTSD. Recognition for what we're going through and real time to heal (not 2-4 weeks).