PTSD—Take it Seriously
By David A. Goldstein, Esq.
Police work is physically demanding. Chasing suspects, being involved in altercations, handling domestic disputes are all part of the job. But, police work can also be traumatic psychologically and emotionally. Investigating murders, rapes and cases of child abuse, dealing with traffic fatalities and suicides all take a toll on one's psyche.
These events often come back in ways that can affect an officer's ability to perform at work, and can negatively impact an officer's private life. The results are alarming: alcohol abuse, divorce, heart attacks, sleep disturbances, depression and suicide. All are symptoms (among others) of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Regardless of the myths fostered by the media and the public, police officers cannot face trauma and violence on a continuous basis without the possibility of it affecting them negatively. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur to anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. The fact that traumatic events are part of an officer's average work day greatly exacerbates the incidents of PTSD.
These incidents can include flashbacks of the trauma(s), nightmares, anxiety when experiencing a sight or smell that can trigger memories of the event…. Although PTSD symptoms usually begin soon after the traumatic event, they may not occur until months or years later. The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person.
If you are experiencing PTSD symptoms caused by trauma on the job, and would like to speak with an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney, contact us at 213-739-7000.