Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, two Iraq War veterans suffering from depression and suicidal ideation following deployments in Iraq, decided to take a 2,700-mile walk across America as a way to confront their inner pain, according to the flyer for their award-winning film “Almost Sunrise” (firstname.lastname@example.org). Last week, along with other veterans, I viewed the film at North Shore Community College in Danvers, Mass., where I had served as president for 13 years helping build a program that serves upwards of 400 veteran students today. The film records, after they conclude their hike, their subsequent treatment involving silence and meditation, resulting in their self-discovery of the cause of their pain, severe guilt over actions they had taken that affronted their morale self-expectations. In Tom’s case, it was leaving a civilian Iraqi wounded and dying on the side of the road. For me, it was leaving behind an orphanage full of Vietnamese Americans, products of unions between Vietnamese and American soldiers when my unit was removed from the Mekong Delta in 1969. I can relate.All this awareness raising has not made anyone aware of the reasons they have to live. Most still do not have a clue that PTSD has changed how they are but has not changed who they are.
How they are makes them think the way they used to be is gone forever. Under that pain, it is all still there. They just have to use the same dedication to do their jobs as they do to the job of healing and helping others heal as well. After all, isn't that what their jobs were all about in the first place? Saving lives? What better place to start than with their own so they can turn around and lead others to heal by example?
They do not know the difference between PTSD caused by profession and the type civilians get.
AbstractFirst responders, including military health care workers, public health service workers, and state, local, and volunteer first responders serve an important role in protecting our nation’s citizenry in the aftermath of disaster. Protecting our nation’s health is a vital part of preserving national security and the continuity of critical national functions. However, public health and public safety workers experience a broad range of health and mental health consequences as a result of work-related exposures to natural or man-made disasters. This chapter reviews recent epidemiologic studies that broaden our understanding of the range of health and mental health consequences for first responders. Evidence-based psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions for posttraumatic distress reactions and psychiatric disorders are outlined.Civilians can get hit by PTSD from one event. Now think of how many events all of the above experience throughout their career. Now think about the other fact that far too many of them forget the basic reason they wanted to do those jobs knowing that it could cost them their lives.
What makes their PTSD different and deeper than what civilians get is they willing risk it it all for the sake of other people. They have a deeper level of emotional ability to allow them to do that and that is also why they get hit harder than others. Plus, it is the biggest reason they are so unwilling to ask for help from anyone.
These men and women are the ones others depend on. Or that is the way they see themselves. The original basis actually demands they ask for help considering they have no problem depending on those they serve with to help keep them alive doing those jobs topped off being willing to pay any price in order to return the favor.
So why haven't they gotten that message? Why haven't they gotten any of the messages they really need to hear loud and clear?
We're too busy reading about raising awareness stunts while no one can actually explain who they are trying to make aware of the fact veterans, Police Officers, Firefighters and EMTs are killing themselves. Yep, guess along with leaving out the current Military Suicides on all the awareness, they forgot about all the other jobs.