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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / PTSD for Medical and First Responders

Topic: PTSD for Medical and First Responders

  1. Gruffudd
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    16 December 2015 in reply to A Tech

    Donna, your news made my day. 

    I am proud of you for making that next step, and how great to have a husband who is supporting. My guess is that like I find with my change of direction, your past experience will make you a better practitioner then you would be without it. 

    I'll be thinking of you and your Aunt, I find endings and death challenging, but this time is special and I hope the time you have left with her leaves both of you at peace, and that there are some more memories that will help her live on with you.

    Rob.

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  2. A Tech
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    18 December 2015 in reply to Gruffudd

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for those lovely words. I do also believe that the struggles we live through not only make us stronger as a person, but as you said, it gives you a depth of understanding that can just never be taught!

    Talking with you has had an impact on me, I do need to tell you that. The story you shared about the mother and her baby, devastated me on a completely different level to anything I've ever experienced, especially as a mother.

    Trauma is confronting yes, but what you described is so unimaginable. I think you are an amazing tower of strength too. 

    I would certainly be lost without my husband thats for sure! 20 years together and he still surprises me all the time. He is an genuine selfless person who I am grateful for every day, my best friend.

    As you said in a previous post, I know that certain parts of PTSD will always cause issues for people like us, we just care too much I think. But I don't want it any other way. I couldn't stand being a cold and heartless person, it's just not me.

    And if none of this works out, well we can both fall back on driving buses!!! I've actually spent the past week very involved with many of the drivers I worked with, one of my close friends father just passed away and he was also a driver. 

    It's kind of strange really to be back in that scene, I had forgotten how much like a family they all are. I haven't driven in 15 years, but it's like I never left. And its the same across depots and thought the different companies, they al used to come under one government sector until it privatised in 1996. Listen to me, sorry for that, they were definitely some of the best times I ever had working. Good old Transperth!

    Well, I hope you have a great Christmas and just be safe.

    Talk soon,

    Donna 

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  3. kukla
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    19 June 2016 in reply to A Tech

    Hi

    My name is Tracey! I'm battling cancer for the second time! And I feel ur trauma and what you hve gone thru! Different circumstances of cause but I experienced trauma after my stem cell transplant and drs have just let me alone! I am more sick now instead getting better!! I'm suffering and so traumitised but no one believes how deep my scars are! Thank u for sharing ur story and I hope u get some help !

    From kukla

  4. A Tech
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    29 June 2016 in reply to kukla

    Hi Tracey,

    Thank you for taking the time to write to me. It's often these little things that mean so much, but these are exactly the things that most people seem to overlook.

    I'm really sorry to hear not only about about what your going though medically, but also that the system I used to hold in such high regard has let you down so badly! It's honestly just not good enough that these so called professionals can get it SO wrong, so often. I often think now at how blinded I was while I was working in the health department.

    I was always under the impression that oncology patients received automatic counselling. Does that not happen?? Or is it like what they offer their employee's, a maximum of 5 whole sessions!!!! It's all disgusting.

    As for me, I haven't posted since before christmas. I've had a few setbacks to say the least and it's taken this last 6 months to even slightly get back to some sort of normal. I had been spending a great deal of time last year with my aunty who had pancreatic cancer, she passed away in January and I took it really hard. Ended up back in hospital.

    A month ago my uncle was diagnosed with gastric lymphoma, with a mutant gene that's resistant to chemo. We don't have a lot of time left with him now.

    But despite all of this, for the most part, I still can't help but feel there has to be a bigger picture perhaps? I had enrolled in January to go to uni to do a health science degree. I deferred after my aunty died and have re enrolled for semester 2, to start in a few weeks.

    Although I'm sure if I'm completely up for it, I feel like it's something I need to do. Health sciences can lead me anywhere. Who knows, maybe I could help implement new trauma counselling services or even go into research to help prevent cancers. So many possibilities.

    I may also fall on my ass next week and throw it all in!!! I don't pretend to know anymore and I think that may be part of the healing process.

    I do feel that if you can, you should make yourself heard! Don't let them forget you. And there is nothing wrong in 'trying out' councillors until you find one that fits you.

    Don't give up on that, it's such a massive part of getting better. It's been almost 2 years for me now, I'm far from normal but I've definitely come such a long way.

    Take care and let me know how things go.

    Donna x

  5. July
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    29 June 2016 in reply to A Tech

    Hi Donna,

    How are you , we have spoken before on another post (different subject) and I just saw this post, I have wondered how you and your family are going.

    I also worked in a major hospital in E.D.for 7 years, I can completely relate to all your posts, I applied for another position in the hospital.... I work in maternity/birth suite now, much less stressful, less hours /less money but I'm so much happier, you can't put a price on your mental health and well being.

    True the things you see and deal with at times stay with you ...suicides, car accidents, drug overdoses, self harm, cot deaths, the list goes on and on.

    I can still remember and see the little face of one particular 8 month old baby who was found deceased at home, tried to resuscitate him but it was to late, I stayed with that baby for about 5 hours till the coroner came in and the police forensics, I was there when they where photographing his little body, turning him and rolling him....I can still hear and see the flash of the camera in my head....I wanted to cry and run , but I knew if I left, that sweet innocent baby would be alone and I couldn't do it.

    After the police left the coroner told me I could wash and dress him, no one came to see him ...in death I was his only carer, I carried that baby in my arms down to the morgue, his little head pressed against my warm body. I had to lift him onto that cold tray and leave him there.

    When I got back some people said "good job", I went and sat outside for a break, my adrenaline was pumping and I was shaking, after 15 minutes I was expected to just get back to work...no debriefing, nothing.

    I am a human being and a mother of 4, not a robot, every life touches yours, I love caring for people and I am so glad I still have that compassion and concern for others, if that ever leaves I wouldn't work in my field.

    Take care

    July

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  6. Darrend
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    15 July 2016 in reply to A Tech

    Hi,

    this is my first post ever(I've been registered on here for 2 years). My background is a17 year career as an ambulance paramedic. I have been unable to return to this job due to PTSD. This came about by exposure to many traumas over many years, and not processing each trauma before moving on to the next. I was diagnosed in February this year, but I had symptoms for a year or so before this. I'm hopeful that I will be able to return to the workforce in the near future. I am interested finding work in the mental health sector and helping others in their recovery.

    Please feel free to say hi.

    Darren.

  7. July
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    15 July 2016 in reply to Darrend

    Hi Darren,

    Yes, you guys cop the brunt of the initial impact of attending trauma scenes and making the first decisions....such a heavy burden and I know how hard it is for you guys, some people can process things quicker than others and sometimes that image lingers, you cannot just forget certain things once witnessed.

    You are only human with emotions and feelings, and at the time you think you are ok but afterwards in hindsight all the actions you have been involved with swirl in your mind, the split second decision someone has made has forever impacted many lives.

    To also watch someone die in front of you is a distressing event, knowing all the medical help has not saved that person, how do you process that, when you have spent 60 minutes in a full resus desperately praying for a heart beat... some sign of life, then too finally acknowledge theres nothing else that can be done, its the anguish of feeling useless, sad for the patient and the family thats also praying for a good outcome.

    How life can be taken away so quickly and unexpectedly, it is a shock and it makes us look at our own mortality and how we live our lives.

    I hope you find that ideal work balance and with your background I'm sure you will be an asset to your patients, sometimes you have to travel that same road as someone else, to appreciate their situation and help them to move forward, I wish you luck.

    July

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  8. A Tech
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    19 July 2016 in reply to Darrend

    Hi Darren, it's so good to hear from you! When I first started this thread for first responders, it was people like you and me that I really wanted to have somewhere to talk!

    Throughout my whole PTSD experience, I've been so disillusioned at the lack of support for us. I know that PTSD is such a complex illness and that there can't be a tailored program for everyone. But there seems to be only specific help available for victims of crime and returned soldiers (who I think we fit into the same basic category really, and vice versa).

    And yet the stats on medical personnel with PTSD in staggering! Not to mention suicide rates are through the roof.

    I'm so glad that you chose this thread to make your first post, that really makes me feel like its all been worth something somehow. I think you know what I mean?

    A paramedic for 17 yrs is a huge accomplishment! I hope that your proud of the service you've given. I was an anaesthetic technician in a trauma hospital for 10yrs before I was diagnosed with PTSD. I Specialised in emergency trauma, cardiac and did cardiothoracic transplants. No wonder I have PTSD right??

    My diagnosis was almost 2yrs ago (this December) and I'm still no where near ready to return to ANY type of work, especially theatre. Which in so many ways makes it harder, because I still have the passion for the job and want to return to it! It just depends if I'll ever get too.

    I'd love to hear back from you, this can be a hard road at times and I want you to know that you are not alone!!!

    Take care,

    Donna.

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  9. A Tech
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    19 July 2016 in reply to July

    Hey July, long time no post, hahaha (from me).

    Really nice words there to Darren, you should mention that your an ED nurse or he might wonder how you know this stuff!!

    But I agree with all you said, some of the resus's I've been involved in still haunt me today. Unfortunately we can't switch them all off when we go home (thats assuming we get to go home of course!).

    Last week triggered a whole fresh wave for me when my 19yr old son was at 'Bounce'. I hate that place with a passion!! While doing a somersault, he landed on the back of his neck!!

    3yrs ago, one of the cases that started my downslide into PTSD, was my nephews best friend. 16 yrs old on a motor bike hit by a car. I had to work that case despite my pleas to be relieved as I knew him personally. So at 16 he ended up at ventilated quad! That messed me up for a long time.

    When my son got hurt last week, I had some moments. But we're so very lucky!!! He was told if he hadn't of landed on the tramp then he would've broken his neck. He's severely sprained 2 joints (C6/C7), but still has lingering pain, so off for another scan tomorrow.

    I was surprised that I didn't lose it like I thought I might though. I think being my child, over took all the other past memories. So not a bad thing really.

    I've recently caught up on our other thread, so I'll chat to you there soon.

    Take it easy,

    Donna x

  10. July
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    23 July 2016 in reply to A Tech

    Hi Donna,

    So glad to hear your son is ok, every time I would hear a priority one coming in, your heart does jump hoping its no one you know or love.

    Yes ,a 16 year old ending up like that... so devastating for him and his family, life changes in a split second, I had a cousin's son come in to ED, motorbike accident 4am one Sunday morning (thank god I wasn't there) came off his motorbike and his female passenger came off also, she was killed instantly, he was resuscitated but very unstable he was transferred to a major trauma hospital but died on arrival, he was 22, when I found out that day I got a terrible migraine I think it was the shock, so sad two young lives taken away.

    I also had a young man I was doing CPR on and it wasn't till after, I realised he went to school with my daughter years before, another car accident , he also died during the resus , only 21, his friend was driving and he survived.

    I drive past the cross on the side of the road for that young man all the time and it brings it all back to me, I just wish the families would know that we cared very much for their loved one and it hurts us to, as I have a child his exact age and as a mother it is very distressing .

    I go home and tell my kids I love them cause you never know what is around the corner in life.

    Take care

    July

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  11. K_M
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    26 July 2016

    Thanks for sharing your stories comrades.

    I'm a RN, who used to work in ED. I did some time in a small rural place where there was a run of awful kids trauma. I moved abroad to work in large tertiary hospitals, and steered clear of kids. I moved around in some management, then more recently moved into icu, and had small people of my own. Most recently, I have been suffering anxiety and depression (seemingly out of nowhere) but then started having dreams about one particular trauma all those years ago. Sometimes the dreams have my children in them. I feel like I want to leave the profession. This burden I carry is great, and I can't talk to anyone. It's all too awful for lounge room talk. The profession I once loved is breaking me. I have an appointment to see my GP, as I need some help. Being a nurse was hard, but being a nurse, then coming home to try and nurture 3 other people after long draining shifts is overwhelming.

    it's nice to know I'm not alone, but I hope you all can find ways to move forward....please feel free to share them! Thanks!

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  12. Alex2000
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    28 August 2016 in reply to K_M

    First time poster. I'm in emergency services, off work at the moment, don't want to be, but know I need to be. I can't imagine doing anything else, but struggling to figure out if I can go back, if that makes sense. Have received great treatment and support. They say time heals, but how long do I give it before I have to walk away. Scared. Feel weak, feel lost.

    Can you go back to something that broke you in the first place?

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  13. MarkJT
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    6 September 2016 in reply to Alex2000

    As a member of Victoria Police and a PTSD survivor, I just love how you all have posted here in response to Donna. The Emergency Services and the Medical industry are prime candidates for PTSD and one thing is for sure, none of you are alone in your journeys.

    Support can be really hard to find so knowing that there is a whole thread here is fantastic.

    Much respect to you all.

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  14. Alex2000
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    7 September 2016 in reply to MarkJT
    Thanks for your post MarkJT, I'm assuming you developed PTSD from the job? If so, can you tell me a bit about your recovery? Time off, treatment etc. Did you think you would have to walk away? What gave you the strength to go back? Do you think you made the right decision?
  15. MarkJT
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    19 September 2016 in reply to Alex2000

    Alex2000, yes you are correct. Although i attended many scenes of deceased & trauma, it was one specific event that i attended that i significantly remember as the one that "got me". Whether or not this was the one that broke the camels back or was a singular event that caused the damage, i do not know but i do know that on that day, i knew it was different. So i was hospitalised nearly 10 years later, without self worth, a shadow of my former self.

    I had about 7 weeks off work and then went back on 2 x 4 hr days then worked that up over 2.5 yrs to full time. I took my time, did it my way and only increased hours when i felt i could handle it. Did i go back to early? Possibly but i was ever so mindful that "the longer you are off, the harder it is to get back" thought so i was keen to get back, plus the evidence of getting back to work helps considerably. Whilst in hospital I did have thoughts that my policing career was done but after a few weeks I was determined to get back. If i was to leave, i wanted to leave on my terms, not PTSD's terms.

    I started off with psychotherapy then underwent a course of exposure therapy. One of the more harder things i have done in my life but luckily for me, it worked and took the power out of the images that distressed and injured me. I learnt about and practised mindfulness and i love it. It is extremely important that this is used. By learning it, I was able to deliberately trigger myself (in a controlled environment with support nearby if required) so then i would also practise grounding myself. This allowed me to learn to live again. I just knew that to be able to function again, I had to learn to control my triggers because they are everywhere.

    The strength to go back was drawn from i love my job and i was not going to let this get in the way. I have had to make a lot of adjustments and have controls in place but once you square that away, it can be done. I was very fortunate in that my support at work was tip top. Could not have literally been supported any better which is just so critical to recovery and the ability to move on. I have accepted that this is with me for life and its a case of bad luck, it happened, do what you have to do and move on. I can no longer do many things because it will put me in danger of a relapse, so be it. I have accepted it and moved on.

    It is really easy to blame others and the like but its your life, so i took control of my life and did everything i could to get it back, which i did.

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  16. FluffyPuppy
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    26 September 2016 in reply to Alex2000

    Hi Alex2000, a huge congratulations for having the courage to voice what you are going through. I can really relate to your comment about not wanting to be there, but knowing you need to be.

    I worked for police, in an office-based role but exposed to graphic and sensitive material all day every day, and over time I knew that things were affecting me, that my character was changing, my reactions to things were different than they used to be, and my interactions with people and relationships were worsening. I knew the job was affecting me, but unfortunately I wasn't supported in any way, and so its wonderful to hear that you are, because that can make a huge difference in your journey from here.

    My new life journey started the day I walked out of work - I hit breaking point, one case that tipped me over, and I remember telling myself "If i just get to the door of the office, then the lift, then downstairs, then the front door, then the train, then home, then i will be safe. At the time, I didn't know what had happened exactly, and I don't think I thought at the time that I would never return. Once it really hit me that I could never return, I became like you - scared, lost, very weak, helpless.

    Today, my journey continues. Does time heal? For some people, absolutely. But we are all different, and you should know that your journey won't be like mine or anybody else's, and that's ok. You will know as time goes by whether returning is the right thing for you. I can imagine it takes a huge amount of strength to go back, it's not something that I could do. I think your first priority now is just being ok with you, not trying to be ok for the sake of your job, and not trying to gloss over or be strong anymore because that's what is expected. There are no time limits, and you shouldn't put pressure on yourself with dates, because if you cant meet that 'deadline' there's nothing wrong with that and the last thing I'd want you to do is feel like you've failed, when what you've really done is succeed by doing what's right for you, for whatever time period that involves. You've taken a big step in even acknowledging that you are where you are today. Stay strong, and know that this is a wonderful place to talk with others who really do know what you are going through, and keep getting the help you are, as I'm sure it will help you just like its helped so many of us.

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  17. Alex2000
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    3 October 2016 in reply to FluffyPuppy

    Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate your time in telling your stories, it really helps.

    So I thought I was going along ok, on a gradual (reduced hours) return to work path (non-front line), but have had a few triggers all happen over the last couple of weeks that have really thrown me. I thought I may have been on my way to getting back to my real job, but maybe not. I'm pretty gutted to be honest.

  18. MarkJT
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    3 October 2016 in reply to Alex2000

    Alex, important to realise that just because you have been thrown by a few triggers does not mean you are not still on the recovery path. Getting triggered is all part of the journey (unfortunately). Over time you will come to realise exactly what your triggers are and exactly how to handle them. Think of this as one step backwards to move two steps forward.

    There were many times where i had to tactically retreat to a safe location due to being triggered and then one day, i was triggered massive at work. I decided to stay and fight it which i did successfully...subsequently went home after work and slept as was that exhausted from fighting the trigger but i did it. This will be you.

    Patience and time. Don't expect to much out of yourself to soon. You brain is injured and it needs time to heal. Be kind to yourself, learn your grounding exercises and in time, you will be in a place where you will take on your triggers and then really start to move forward.

    Don't be disheartened, it is all a learning process.

    Cheers

    Mark.

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  19. Alex2000
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    6 October 2016 in reply to MarkJT

    Thanks Mark.

    Sound advice that I need to keep reminding myself of.

  20. Cornstarch
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    11 October 2016 in reply to MarkJT

    Hey Guys,

    I'm not an Emergency Responder but I hope you don't mind me posting here anyway. I'm a civilian gate-crasher.

    I don't have anyone to talk to who has experienced the extreme end i.e. violence and weapons or cleaning up deceased 'scenes'.

    MarkJT, I was just curious, maybe I just need someone to reassure me I'm not mad tonight, but in reference to the trauma that 'got you' did you have a really strange slowing down of time that spooks you.

    When I have particular flashbacks, the original memories when they occurred in real time were so scary in the sense of how much they slowed down. It was like they were travelling in Peanut Butter and the lid could never be placed back onto the jar.

    Just like in the movies when the 'movie scene' is played really really slowly and it's almost like an out of body experience. Arriving home to the scene of my Dad's passing I opened the front door and our dog ran to me with blood all on his chest. It plays out in my head slower and weirder than a Charlie Chaplin movie.

    Did this creepy time warping happen to you? Does it go?

    This isn't an emergency, I'm safe, but this week I have been talking to my shrink about 'the particularly really tough/awful stuff' to try and change my relationship to my flashbacks and obviously move into grief if at all possible.

    It's so hard travelling 'back there' but I am trying my best. I'm not a miracle, I'm only human. I have a pretty good hand break from roughly 17 years of meditation practice but because I have so many traumas, early neglect etc at such a young age I get scared that this concept of 'changing my relationship to the flashbacks' isn't realistic given my early life.

    Corn Fritters :)

    Peace.

  21. Cornstarch
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    11 October 2016 in reply to MarkJT

    To clarify the 'weapons' part of the PTSD is my own, all on my own, experience, and essentially the central feature of PTSD which is a 'direct threat to life'.

    Maybe I can 'change my relationship' to my other traumas, but that one, I just don't think that is realistic.

    I'm just a person.

    A direct threat from a father figure is just too much for anyone's psyche.

    I should focus on grounding not opening.

    What do you think?

  22. MarkJT
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    11 October 2016 in reply to Cornstarch

    Cornfritters (love the variation of the name!!) I didn't have a gradual slowing down but for an incident that occurred some 13.5 years ago, i can describe the stairs up to the flat, the hand rail, the door, the lock, the layout of the unit, the colours of the rug on the floor, the tv, the tv stand, the wine glasses in the display cabinet, the kitchen, the pots and pans in the cupboard....well fair to say i remember everything about it and i was only in the flat for around 8-10 seconds. Burnt into my memory would be the appropriate wording!

    Changing your relationship with flashbacks is excessively hard to do but if you can continue on trying to do it, i would well recommend it. I flashback constantly to that day but the flashbacks have no power in them thanks to exposure therapy. As I have said to you before, i only have visual flashbacks and you have physical so different traumas to deal with but you are showing huge courage to take them on. Much respect.

    Alex: Yes keep reminding yourself. I was feeling semi-crap this morning so did some exercise, some mindfulness and reminded myself that i have been through this before and i know what to do. Ended up being a decent day. The more you practice, the better you get.

    Cheers

    Mark.

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  23. Cornstarch
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    11 October 2016 in reply to MarkJT

    Oh my god yes!

    The sound of the mop slapping on the tiles when my sister started the clean up rings in my ears.

    Thanks Mark. Doesn't feel like courage some days. My body isn't giving me any choice. It is spewing out unprocessed muck. I'm not above the shame & humiliation of a rape victim don't you worry.

    Having said that I hope to advocate one day, or at least tell as many people as is comfortable for me to make others feel less alone, and I guess it may be a lame attempt to feel like he hasn't won.

    The physical flashbacks are the ones that embarrass me because they often happen in public because I'm in sensory over-load.

    I'm doing my best.

    xxx

  24. MarkJT
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    11 October 2016 in reply to Darrend

    Gday Darren, I believe the Code is i'm a 56, (Emergency Services brother in blue). Fantastic that you have posted in here and are engaging others.

    Have you sought out a psych to treat the trauma? The good news is that after a 2.5 year return to work plan, i reached full time work and functioning quite well so there is no reason why you cannot also get back into the workforce and contribute.

    Cheers mate

    Mark.

  25. MarkJT
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    11 October 2016 in reply to Cornstarch

    That is a very admirable thing to do, being an advocate and i sincerely hope that one day you get to realise that goal. Not before time though - make sure that your health is taken care of first. I don't doubt that you will make sure but I've seen others want to be advocate for mental health but have relapsed in the process.

    I have squared away with myself that the flashbacks are with me for life and i am fine with that, not that i choose to but that is reality. That is easy for me to say because i am on top of them, for the most part. Keep working hard on it though, the hard stuff now will serve you well in the future.

    Cheers

    Mark.

  26. A Tech
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    9 December 2016

    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).

    2 people found this helpful
  27. Cornstarch
    Cornstarch avatar
    571 posts
    9 December 2016 in reply to A Tech

    Hey A Tech,

    I really feel for you navigating bureaucracy with PTSD. I'm not an emergency responder but just a civilian. I met a lovely ex-police officer that was retired at like the age of 43-sih from it. One last call out just did her head in and that was that, BOOM, PTSD and a nervous breakdown that required several hospitalisations.

    Unfortunately the condition and how seriously it is taken is largely dependent upon America and the insurance companies over there. PTSD is thus a very politicised diagnosis, except politics that is being played out not in our own country! We are at the behest of American politics but the reality is that no matter what your diagnosis, we are all very limited with the sorts of therapies offered. If you have Anxiety, Depression, Bi-polar, PTSD, schizophrenia, alcohol dependency or anorexia we will all be offered the same pharmaceuticals and talk therapies. We truly do have a mental health crisis in Australia.

    I share your frustration, it really grates me. In my own experience PTSD is not taken seriously enough or the label is used far, far too loosely. Not everyone that has experienced trauma has PTSD, thank goodness.

    Just like all the other 'psychiatric' conditions represented on this website no-one can see with the naked eye the physicality of the condition, they're not able to see the nervous system flipping out and causing havoc unless you become symptomatic in public which is often the case. With PTSD though, people are very susceptible to becoming hermits, simply to drop the arousal enough by cancelling out as much unknown/unexpected stimuli as possible.

    I used to read up on it in the medical journals but the lack of research and the ignorance became so depressing I cut back. If something catches my eye I will read it.

    With you guys I think government agencies and the police/fire/ambos services are afraid of formally acknowledging it as legit because requests for compensation, loss of earnings and medical retirement will increase.

    The politics is disgraceful for not supporting you all, it makes me really angry.

    I hope your stress bucket has enough room to cope with work.

    Good Luck

    Corny

    2 people found this helpful
  28. TrailRunner
    TrailRunner avatar
    27 posts
    23 December 2016 in reply to A Tech

    Hi,

    im happy to see this forum is still active.

    im an ED nurse with just 6years under my belt. It's more than just a career for me, I was spending my spare time studying for my masters thesis. I was exactly where I wanted to be. I had big ideas I had dreams.

    6 months ago I had 2 horrible cases on back to back shifts. I barely had a chance to 'come to terms' with the first case when I'm confronted with another. i took a week off, I felt okay and I needed to be back at work to know get a sense of Being Okay.

    recently I was told those cases are up for review. I had to talk about both cases in detail over and over again. I was horrid to work with and no one likes a snappy in charge. I tried hiding from the work to be done, I put on a happy face.

    I took some more time off. Life turned into a comedy skit of errors. I drank to forget but it never works and it was enough to push me over the edge.

    I spoke with a counsellor, I spoke with my GP who said I'm not well and I need a mental health plan for PTSD/Anxiety.

    So this is the beginning of healing right? But I can't coordinate myself to organise more than 1 thing at a time, feeling pretty hopeless. I overthink plans, and then overthink how I'm overthinking.

    how do you get through this? It's debilating. I end up doing nothing all day.

    Help..

    1 person found this helpful
  29. CJs_mum
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CJs_mum avatar
    94 posts
    31 December 2016 in reply to TrailRunner
    One day at a time, slowly does it. It is very hard to keep motivated, keep going after an event like that and it is completely understandable! No one could go through that. I think you're amazing and the job is so so so so demanding - too much for one person to go through. But don't let it beat you!
    Don't let the red tape get to you. This will take time. Keep speaking with your counselor, get help with the red tape if you can and go easy with the alcohol - especially around Xmas and New Year...trust me, it really makes things worse!!! Ask friends for help and to get out during this silly season to do activities that don't involve drinking.

    Love and respect yourself, give yourself time and find something that brings you peace - go for a walk, do some gardening, clean out that cupboard you've been meaning to for years or something constructive that makes you feel better for doing. Good luck and much love
  30. MarkJT
    blueVoices Advisory Group alumni
    • Former member of the blueVoices Advisory Group
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    MarkJT avatar
    1313 posts
    21 January 2017 in reply to A Tech

    Hey all, just a post for the Melbournians who may have attended yesterdays events in the CBD.

    Make sure that you look after yourself and your colleagues what ever service you are in.

    I shudder to think how many of the members that attended will struggle for a long time after being confronted with such horror.

    Cheers

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful

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