PTSD Symptoms in First Responders Looks Different,

PTSD symptoms in first responders look a lot different than PTSD symptoms in sexual assault survivors.

These symptoms below are specific to PTSD among first responders.

  • Intrusive memories, dreams, or flashbacks of a specific incident
  • Refusing to talk about a traumatic event
  • Losing interest in activities
  • Avoiding places where a traumatic event occurred
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or low self-worth
  • Distancing themselves from others
  • Feeling tense or on-edge all the time
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Paranoia or overwhelming fear
  • Irritability or aggressive outbursts
  • Inability to focus
  • Reduced work performance or missed days
  • Increased alcohol or drug consumption
  • Unreasonable reactions to average situations
  • Risky, dangerous, or self-destructive behavior

First responders should also look out for one another and keep an eye on their coworkers.

If you’re a first responder, you understand the job better than an outsider.

Monitor your coworkers for any behavioral changes – don’t write it off and tell them to suck it up. Be supportive and reassuring: encourage coworkers to participate in counseling for first responders.