PTSD isn’t a LIfe Sentence
After my incident, it took ten months of my good, normal, high functioning life crumbling before a psychologist suggested I had PTSD. Before that the PTSD insidiously infiltrated my life. It made me behave in ways I couldn’t even acknowledge to myself. My wife saw the changes and attributed them to me no longer being interested in being a husband and father when in reality I was struggling to maintain my composure. I saw myself as strong and capable; I didn’t see my distress as something to speak about. I know when I did talk, the look on the face of who I was telling reinforced the idea I need to keep it to myself. I didn’t want anyone else to feel the way I did. I wasn’t told about the possibility of getting PTSD from police work. Come to think of it I was never told about PTSD. I knew what I heard in the news. I thought it was something combat soldiers came home with. When I was told I had PTSD, my reaction was “NO, I don’t deserve to have it, I haven’t earned it”. It’s been three years of different therapy, medication and turmoil but I’m seeing the light at the end of tunnel. I met many people during my journey and everyone’s story is different yet the same. No one wants PTSD, they don’t fake it, they weren’t prepared for it and support is essential. Without support from family, friends, and the organization they work for the trip will be longer. With support, and tenacity, PTSD isn’t a life sentence and you can come out of it better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you.