Post-Traumatic Stress (4)

…continued from previous post.

There are so many lessons from the story of Patrolman Evans.  I think about the many individuals who are first on the scene at traumatic events who have suffered in this way.  Only recently has there been some official recognition of these burdens and some change in workplace cultures that previously neglected the need for support and treatment.

Still largely unchanged is the experience of many who consulted their primary care clinician with unexplained physical ailments.  Few clinicians consider asking about traumatic experiences even when the patient’s occupation puts them at risk.

Finally, I think about how poorly I understand a healing process that culminates, after years of struggle, in painting a picture that relieves the suffering.

It is one of my long-term goals that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be screened for in those at risk, diagnosed early and treated appropriately.  We would never let Officer Evans suffer from ulcers or gallstones for ten years with no treatment.  PTSD should be no different.