Trauma, PTSD and 1st responders…Let’s Talk

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“We can’t call 911, we are 911!”
“They will not understand what I have gone through!”
“Why should I say anything if they don’t ask about it!”
“I have no where to turn to!”
“Perhaps it is better for me to disappear from the grid.”

If I, in the past 10 years, had gotten a quarter for each time I heard “I am doing fine”, I would be a millionaire by now! But that is not what psychological and peer support is about. In my opinion, it is about respecting people, their thoughts, ideas, emotions and experiences. It is about knowing that you can call your confidant at 2 O’clock in the morning and actually hearing him/her answering your call, for instance. (let’s try not to let it get that far)

Trauma and (C)PTSD can hit anyone and can activate someone’s darkest behaviors and language as well as it is letting someone look into the abyss of their own psyche. The behaviours accompanied with these trauma’s are confusing too many therapists still because A) they are still working with the written words of old-fashion textbooks and B) they have never ride with you or your colleagues. Meaning, they will diagnose you too quickly with ‘being a danger for yourself and others’ without knowing the details of what is happening out there.

Although not everyone is voicing their emotions and/or thoughts in such a strong manner (cursing or using dark humor), with a peer focused mindset this way of speaking up the mind is a perfectly normal reaction of e.g. a pent-up frustration.

I believe in working with someone’s strongest skills in order to build them up and make them smile. I don’t believe in taking away those resorts that make people feel safe and secure what in turn make them feel small and insecure. Simply in order to impose a therapy that does not even come close to the person sitting in front of you talking about their experiences.

For the therapists, (psycho) psychologists and psychiatrists out thereā€¦did I addressed your thinking? Good! Take that powerful energy you are feeling right now, convert it into a positive energy and apply it to your approach towards those who are sitting across from you. Because, most of the times, the behaviours you see are the effects of an underlying problem that has become a habit over time.

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