PTSD Can Attack Years Later
Even With No Previous Symptoms
EDITORS NOTE:This article has been graciously provided by Allen R. Kates, BCECR, MFAW the Author of CopShock, Second Edition: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
“I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t think,
I feel sick. I can’t do this anymore.”
Can you develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) months or even years after a traumatic event like 9/11? Without showing any previous symptoms?
There are studies of World War II veterans and victims of motor vehicle accidents that say Yes.
This phenomenon is called “delayed onset PTSD,” according to the therapist’s diagnostic bible known as the DSM-IV-TR. It states that symptoms first appear at least six months after the traumatic event. That could mean months or even years later.
Yet some mental health professionals argue that the individual must have had symptoms early on, but didn’t recognize them. They also suggest that the PTSD sufferer delayed getting help for months or years, not that the PTSD itself was delayed.
Nevertheless, many law enforcement officers with no obvious previous symptoms do develop PTSD months or even years after a traumatic event.
As an example of delayed onset PTSD, here is the story of a police officer that developed the disorder five years after 9/11 and what he did about it… Continue reading
In the United States it’s time to celebrate our holiday of Thanksgiving whose tradition has roots to a feast of thanksgiving for a good harvest in Plymouth Colony Massachusetts in 1621, but now is utilized by many as a way to acknowledge all that we are grateful for in our modern lives.
By way of acknowledging what we in law enforcement should be grateful for, beyond the fact that we go home alive every day, I am, as you should be, truly grateful to Kevin Gilmartin, Ph.D. for all that he has done over the last several decades to bring to light all the issues about emotional survival in law enforcement. Without his lighting the path I don’t think any of us would be any closer to understanding what happens inside the psyche of this profession.
Gratitude should be an important concept in what we do today in law enforcement. If we seek it, we should be able to role-model it. Gratitude is an important building block of self-respect and community strength.
If you would like to consider what you are thankful for today CLICK HERE to download our CopsAlive Gratitude Worksheet.
Thanks are also due to Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR for bringing the concept of “CopShock” and PTSD to the forefront of our minds as well as to Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D. for her loving and compassionate reminder that we are only as strong as the family that supports us in her book “I Love A Cop”.
Start the New Year with a Proactive Annual Check In
Police work is tough business and it will eat you up if you don’t care for your “self” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally in law enforcement is usually NOT something you can do alone. Proper care requires Proactive Peer Support, Psychological Services and Chaplains Programs and other support services to be effective.
Police psychologist Jack Digliani has just produced the 5th Edition of his Police and Sheriff’s Peer Support Team Training Manual which he has always made available for free here on CopsAlive.com. He is also recommending that police officers agencies, and other law enforcement professionals consider doing an Annual Proactive Check-In.
There’s nothing like a good road trip for chatting while traveling to build and strengthen your personal relationships.
As we approach the July 4th holiday and it’s weekend I’m reminded of my experiences over Memorial Day weekend, which was the start of the summer time vacation season here in New England. My bride and I went on a road trip to the Hudson Valley in New York State that weekend. I know…I know you’re thinking: Sarge, how did you… Continue reading
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