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PTSD and First Responders

PTSD and First Responders is an issue that goes unaddressed far too often. PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event. It is a lasting consequence of trauma that can cause intense fear, helplessness or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster and more. Families of victims can also develop PTSD, as can military personnel, emergency personnel and rescue workers, first responders, name a few.

People who suffer from PTSD exhibit a variety of symptoms. These can include a deep sense of helplessness, problems at home or work, abnormal fear, feelings of devastation, flashbacks from the event, a feeling of numbness, aversion to social contact, or avoidance of situations that might trigger memories of the event. Some physical responses may include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, panic attacks, irritability, anger outbursts, difficulty with concentration or memory, feelings of vulnerability, fear of normal every-day activities, or feeling overwhelmed by the smallest of tasks.

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Charles Nelson, a clinical psychologist who assesses and treats Veterans, Canadian Forces Members, and the RCMP with posttraumatic stress disorder, associated anxiety and mood disorders, and chronic pain. He holds cross-appointments as an Adjunct Clinical Professor, Clinical Psychology Program, with Western University, as well as a Research Scientist with The Lawson Institute. He has also presented at recent international conferences on suicide, trauma, vicarious resilience, pain, mild traumatic brain injury, and smoking cessation.

For more information on PTSD and Dr. Nelson:

- PTSD Association of Canada:

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