Yes, you- the one who has trained hard and works tirelessly in a job most could never do. There is no question that you serve your community with everything you can. But where do you go after a tough run or shift? What happens then? First responders have a higher likelihood of developing PTSD. Don’t suffer alone, effective treatments are available. Read here about PTSD, first responders, and how you can take care of yourself so that you can keep helping others.
Some of the traumatic things you were exposed to probably got better over time, however sometimes there can be events you don’t recover from as expected. Instead, you may feel stuck. You may even go on to develop PTSD. Being a combat vet you were trained to be ready for the unexpected. When the unexpected happened, your training kicked in and you did your job to the best of your ability often without even thinking. But what do you do when the unexpected injured you or one of your brothers? Or took their life? There’s not really any good place to process this stuff while in combat- it’s onto the next mission. While this makes sense to keep you focused, it takes it’s toll over time. You stuff it down, and keep going because that is what you have to do.
Here’s the thing: surviving a sexual assault, maybe a rape, or attempted rape, or other means of sexual violence increases your likelihood of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. What this means is those past experiences are negatively impacting your day-to-day life and preventing you from being able to live how you’d like to.
The good news? PTSD is treatable. Yes, you heard me right. No, we can’t delete the bad things that have happened. However, what we can do is control how much those past events impact your life now and your life in the future. There are effective treatments available for you to help you to find hope and get back to living life instead of avoiding it.
PTSD and Avoidance One of the topics that comes up often in PTSD is this idea of avoidance. Avoidance is the conscious or unconscious effort to push away painful thoughts, memories, and emotions, or to avoid people, places, or things that may remind you of past trauma. This makes sense right? If something is painful … Read more
As a specialist in PTSD, one of the therapies I use in my practice is Cognitive Processing Therapy, or CPT. CPT is evidence-based, meaning it has been researched and shown to be effective in treating PTSD. It is a 12-session weekly individual therapy structured to provide you most relief from your symptoms.
I offer the two most widely researched and most widely utilized PTSD therapies to date. Not only do research studies say they work, but I’ve had 11 years of seeing them work. I’ve seen people smile again and reconnect with others. I’ve seen people start living again. Read here to learn a little more about Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE).
One common concern I’m repeatedly hearing is that folks think treatment will somehow make things worse. PTSD is a disorder that worsens over time, and the more that you avoid dealing with it, the worse it becomes and the longer it lasts. With that said, the symptoms of avoidance can be the very symptoms maintaining your PTSD and preventing you from taking the leap into getting help you need.