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Historically called combat stress, shell shock, battle fatigue and other emotional maladies, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains one of the most debilitating and least understood emotional conditions experienced by individuals who experience trauma.
Cumulative PTSD can be even more debilitating than PTSD resulting from a single trauma. This is because cumulative PTSD is more likely to go unnoticed and untreated. This means that an officer with cumulative PTSD may be much less likely to receive proper treatment than a combat soldier. And unlike physical injuries, psychological traumas may occur daily yet often be ignored. If left untreated, officers may become a risk to themselves and others.
If recognized and properly treated, officers and those around them can heal the devastating impact of PTSD from a single incident or cumulative PTSD. The keys are education, early recognition, and seeking help sooner rather than later.
As a means of better educating its officers about the symptoms associated with PTSD, the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD) in South Carolina has published a sheet describing PTSD, and the sheet is being disseminated far beyond the near-1,000-employee agency it was originally designed for nearly two years ago
To learn more about this debilitating and often ignored condition, click here to download your 2 pager on how post-traumatic stress disorder can be elevated as an issue and addressed for your city or department.
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