What is Post Traumatic Stress Injury?
As defined by The Mayo Clinic, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. If the symptoms get worse or last for months or even years and interfere with your functioning, you may have PTSI. Getting effective treatment after PTSI symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.
"First Responders are twice as likely* to suffer from PTSD/PTSI due to the risk of frequent exposure to traumatic stressors".
(Ontario Ministry of Labour, 2016)
* compared to the general population.
Triggers can include exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation.
Trigger results from one or more of the following scenarios, in which the individual:
- directly experiences the traumatic event;
- witnesses the traumatic event in person
- learns that the traumatic event occurred to a close family member or close friend (with the actual or threatened death being either violent or accidental); or
- experiences first-hand repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event.
Disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in the individual’s social interactions, capacity to work or other important areas of functioning.
Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and frightening thoughts that get worse and/or last for months or even years
It is not the physiological result of another medical condition, medication, drugs or alcohol
Symptoms & feelings often masked or “pushed down” until pressure cooker situation “explodes”, alarming colleagues & family.
TRADITIONAL TREATMENT PROTOCOL FOR PTSD/PTSI
Individual & group therapy
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)
Service dogs (Courageous Companions)
Relaxation, yoga, mindfulness