Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic, shocking or frightening event. For a fire fighter, this might involve running into a burning home, searching for and rescuing someone, or witnessing the injuries of a victim or victims. For some, PTSD begins soon after the disturbing event. For others, it develops months or even years later, often after a triggering incident. This might be something as innocent as seeing a burning candle, hearing children playfully screaming at a park, or running up a flight of stairs.
All of these symptoms can be obstacles to a normal life at home and on the job, both inside and outside of the firehouse. They can also be a hindrance to healthy relationships with co-workers, friends and family. As a result, many fire fighters seek unhealthy methods of self-medicating, including drugs and alcohol. Some even consider and attempt suicide .
No one should suffer with PTSD on their own. If you’re a fire fighter struggling with this disorder, or you know one who is, the team at IAFF Center of Excellence wants to help you. Give us a call to speak with one of these professionals, and regain your peace of mind.
Medical Disclaimer: The IAFF Center of Excellence aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.