What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? (PTSD)
Years ago it was referred to as shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome…PTSD is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic/terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster. PTSD or other psychological injury after a workplace trauma occurs in 15 to 25 per cent of all emergency workers. Family members can also develop PTSD and vicarious trauma. Often people who experience a traumatic event will have reactions that may include shock, anger, nervousness, fear, and even guilt. These reactions are common; and for most people, they go away over time. For a person with PTSD, however, these feelings continue and even increase, becoming so strong that they keep the person from living a normal life. People with PTSD have symptoms for longer than one month and cannot function as well as before the event occurred.
The above excerpt is from the website for “I Run and Rock” (http://www.irunandrock.ca/#!what-is-this/cjg9), an annual marathon to help raise awareness for PTSD and support for first responders. This peer driven event is organized by volunteers from various emergency services, military and medical personnel that are passionate and driven to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues within the emergency responder communities. Visit the website to learn more: http://www.irunandrock.ca/#!resources/co2z