Why bring up such a sensitive issue?
PTSD and trauma are sensitive issues impacting service members and police officers who hold many different kinds of jobs.
It's not just the officer on the streets who experiences stress or just the infantry soldier on the ground. It's important that we broaden how we view trauma and realize that as human beings it is important not to compare our stress and trauma to the person next to us. Stress, trauma, and PTSD are a deeply personal journey.
Some service members and police officers suffer in profound silence because they don't feel worthy of the stress they may be experiencing. It's possible they weren't at the scene when something happened or maybe their job didn't require them to be in the heat of battle. Does this make their human experience less important or less traumatic? The answer is no.
For example, take the job of a dispatcher in a police department. The dispatcher holds a very important job. Without them, the officers on the streets do not get to where they are going to help the people that need it. Is a dispatcher unworthy of developing symptoms of recurring stress because they aren't on the street seeing the actual events taking place? They are sitting behind a desk with a headset on. Is this less stressful than being on patrol? I'm not so sure. I would imagine it could actually, potentially be more stressful because you are delivering critical information, but are not in the position to physically assist someone. Your ability to help is limited to dispatching out to the team on the streets.
Let's visit another example. Delivering critical information can be a great source of stress. Consider the police officer that must visit with families after a car accident takes place and must deliver the message of the condition of their loved ones. After visiting with family after family, experiencing their genuine reactions of fear, sadness, panic, and hysteria, time after time, it wears on a person's psyche.
Broaden how you think about stress, trauma and post-traumatic stress.
So many are suffering in silence because they feel unworthy of their own feelings.