Tuesday, March 20, 2018

PTSD Service Stuff Stop Sign

Stop stuffing what your service does to you
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 20, 2018

If you made it your job to serve others, time to deal with it instead of stuffing it.

The only way to prevent PTSD is to stop all wars, crimes, fires, natural disasters and accidents. Think about that for a second. 

Now think about how you decided to make it your job...willingly putting your life on the line because all those things happen to people you don't even know.

Sure, you can understand when one of us has just been through something horrible and dealing with a lot. Why can't you understand when one of your own, or you, has to deal with a lot more because you face more of those times that could kill you?

While it may be difficult for the survivors, it is a lot hard for those we count on to help us become a survivor instead of victims.

Service members (including National Guard and Reservists) law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders, face the same things the rest of us deal with but piled on top of that "everything else" are all the times you put your lives on the line. Even when you are not in an active situation, you are waiting for the next time. After all, that is what you get paid to do. Isn't it?


What you cannot forget, you stuff it to be able to just get on with your time off the job. The problem is, there is really no time you are totally off the job. You know when you are not on duty, someone else is.

It is what you decided to do with your life. It is what you trained to do. Did they tell you that you would no longer be human? Did they tell you that you were supposed to stop feeling?

Screw that! If you didn't feel anymore, then you wouldn't care anymore and you wouldn't want to do the job that could very well cost you your life!

You had to care deeply about life, or you wouldn't risk yours. That leaves a huge question. Then why don't you care enough about your own life to ask for help when you need it?

PTSD hit 1-out-of-3 Vietnam veterans. Hit 1-out-of-5 OEF and OIF veterans.

Police officers, according to Psychology Today article
There are approximately 900,000 sworn officers in the United States. According to some studies –19% of them may have PTSD. Other studies suggest that approximately 34% suffer symptoms associated with PTSD but do not meet the standards for the full diagnosis.
USA Today did a great report on combat veterans joining the police force afterwards.


  • Veterans who work as police are more vulnerable to self-destructive behavior  — alcohol abuse, drug use and, like Thomas, attempted suicide.
  • Hiring preferences for former service members that tend to benefit whites disproportionately make it harder to build police forces that reflect and understand diverse communities, some police leaders say.
  • Most  law enforcement agencies, because of factors including a culture of machismo and a number of legal restraints, do little or no mental health screening for officers who have returned from military deployment, and they provide little in the way of treatment.
Ok, so now you understand that most of you stuff things instead of actively dealing with them and taking back lives. Now maybe you understand if you happen to be one of them, or one who never went to war, but put your life on the line all the same.

The truth is, suicide is hitting more veterans, police officers, firefighters and emergency responders. There comes a time when you start to see the signs that you should stop trying to stuff it and start doing something beyond getting numb or doing whatever it is that "takes you mind" off what is going on with you. Maybe it is time to fight back?

Maybe instead of accepting the fact you are willing to risk your life for strangers, you accept the fact that you need to start trusting the same people you risked your life with and let them know you need some help.

They would die for you, just as you would die for them. Do you really think they won't take the time to listen to you?

One more thing to consider is, there is nothing weak about someone like you. Actually, it requires you to have a deeper-stronger emotional core than the average citizen. It is also why you got hit harder than others did.

Ready to stop stuffing and start healing?

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