Sunday, January 7, 2018

Police and PTSD "like your brain getting shot"

There is powerful, simple logic in this story of police officers supporting each other through the "in the line of duty" wound of PTSD. When an officer is shot, other police officers show up to visit, help in anyway that is needed and the wounded officer finds nothing to be ashamed of.

When they are wounded by what the job did to them, they need the same support but are reluctant to even ask for help. They sure as hell don't expect it.

The thing that keeps getting missed in all of this is that officers know what a traumatic event can do to survivors. They risk their lives to make sure there are more survivors than victims. They just have a hard time translating what responding does to them.

Police and PTSD: Local cops counseling colleagues
Jordan Fenster
January 7, 2018
“They say it’s an illness, a disorder, cumulative stress disorder, post-traumatic distress — but it’s an actual injury, no different from being a cop and getting shot and having this disability now because of an injury. It's like your brain getting shot.” Matt Frank

Matt Frank was shot by a suspect during an interrogation. Later, laying in the hospital, the then-Mount Vernon Police detective had a revelation.

Severely injured, Frank was visited at his hospital bedside by groups of police officers, many of whom he had never met, “just to see if I needed anything or if my wife needed anything while I was there, if my son needed to be picked up from school,” he said.

His then-4-year-old son asked if Frank knew the officers from work.

“I tell him, ‘No I don't even know those guys,’ and he said, ‘Well, why would they do that?’ and I said, ‘Because we're police officers and that’s what we do for one another.’”

Before that shooting in 2010, Frank and a friend, Westchester County Police Officer Joe Krauss, had been holding what he calls “10-13 parties” — 10-13 is the police code for “officer needs immediate assistance” — intended as fundraising functions.

“We would raise money for police officers that were in need of that type of support,” he said.
read more here

The other thing is, they need to get help now so that when it comes time to retire, they won't be hit with PTSD awakening and taking over.

This video is 9 years old. It addresses PTSD and retirement from The Badge of Life.
Andy OHara
Published on Nov 19, 2008 Badge of Life: The challenges faced by police officers when leaving a stressful career and entering retirement. Visit for free police suicide prevention videos and educational materials. Police retirement issues. Music: Kevin MacLeod

It is even worse for them if they were in the National Guard or Reserves. Facing the risk to their lives in combat, then back home, facing more risks gives them little time to heal.

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