Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sheriff shares the story of PTSD

Cattaraugus County Sheriff Whitcomb shares the story of PTSD
Whitcomb makes presentation in Belmont to first responders
Wellsville Daily News
By Brian Quinn
Daily Reporter
Posted Oct 02, 2013

It might stay with you for a little while, but you’ll be able to return to normal on your own. It’s also possible, though, that you won’t be able to deal with it without help.

It is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and a group of around 15 law enforcement officers and first responders, mostly from Allegany County, got a sense of what it’s all about from Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb.

Whitcomb shared examples of events which could lead to problems with PTSD for military personnel, police officers and volunteer firefighters and EMTs. It can occur when someone responds to or comes across a life-threatening event.

“It’s a diagnosable disorder. It’s real. It’s in the book,” he said, referring to DSM-5 — the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Among the hypothetical situations Whitcomb put before his audience was that they are driving along when they come upon a car wreck. There is gas leaking, the engine catches fire and it’s obvious the vehicle will be engulfed. There’s also a pregnant woman trapped in the car. The person who finds the wreck tries to help the woman, but is unable to save her and has to retreat.
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