Friday, April 29, 2016

After Click of Gun Trigger, Firefighter Started to Heal PTSD

How 1 firefighter beat PTSD
Fire Chief
Rick Markley, FR1 Editor-in-chief
April 29, 2016

"I haven't been angry in over 20 months," he said. "It's a pretty amazing feeling. It's like being a year and a half old and seeing everything for the first time."
Firefighter Scott Geiselhart, a 20-year veteran, was at his wit's end when he put his most reliable revolver to his head. He was alone, angry, isolated from friends and family, a heavy drug user and tormented by nightmares.

When he pulled the trigger, there was only a "click." That was two years ago and to this day he has no idea why the gun didn't fire. That was one of two times he was ready to take his own life.

The second time came shortly after he learned that he had post-traumatic stress disorder. He burst in on his estranged family, manic with the news that the years of abuse he'd doled out wasn't because he was crazy — there was a reason.

When they recoiled, he retreated to his auto repair business and phoned a police officer he knew to ask that he explain his condition to his family. The officer said he was coming over to take him to the hospital, then jail.

Geiselhart got out his acetylene tanks and an automatic rifle. He wasn't going anywhere. As he waited, he made three phone calls. The first was to a suicide help line; after 12 tries there was no answer. He called another hotline that offered him an appointment 10 days later; he didn't think he'd live that long.

His third and last call was to the Share the Load program, where he talked to someone who got it.
read more here