Our nation’s first responders are under increased pressure with our rapidly changing culture. With an increasing population and departments struggling to keep up with the demand for more responders and higher quality the end is not in sight. Body cameras, chemical attacks, terrorisms from home and abroad, gangs, drugs, hate crimes, accidents and the population growth resulting in more calls. These demands affect our First Responders who have a difficult time not taking the stress home. You don’t want to talk about your day when you get home, your trying not to relive the day’s events but your family may want to know how your day was. You need some time to decompress, to be left alone. These are normal but may not be enough to shed the stress that accumulates. Exercise and workouts help but here again it may not be enough.
Increased threats within our community has brought the public to have a greater appreciation for our first responders and the dangers faced by the men and women who serve our communities and armed forces. Our first responders need to be aware that the confidence and assertiveness they need to perform their jobs has a counterbalance which may result in chronic unmanageable stress.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is on the rise. Anxiety Disorders are increasing in frequency with and without Panic attacks. Don’t wait to get treatment as these conditions tend to worsen when ignored. Many people have tried to medicate there symptoms with drugs and alcohol which may seem to help but in fact will only briefly stave off the inevitable return of the anxiety.
Counseling provides the confidentiality and privacy to work through the problems whether there caused by work home life or both. All conversations are strictly held in confidence unless the responder needs the counseling professional to communicate with their department. Wives can be included at the request of the responder to improve communication and understanding as you deem necessary. A one-time consultation may be the best way to explore the possibilities and determine if counseling can be helpful to you.
Within the scope of my practice I have worked with Police and Firefighters, Detectives, Veterans of Foreign Wars, State Troopers, Texas Rangers and S.W.A.T.. I am proud to have been given the opportunity to give back to these outstanding people who do so much for our country.