I’ve only been in EMS for about a year and a half. But I came into this field (that already has a high risk for PTSD) with PTSD. I was in denial about how bad it was.
I let all my partners know that I had it, almost like it was AIDS or something. But I had this one partner who truly saved me. He asked me if I take meds. Of course I said no. He looked me straight in my eyes and asked why. To this I simply said “I’m in control”. But he knew better and with honesty he said “no, you’re not”. I broke down I cried. In front of a man I’d only know a few hours at best. He said don’t be ashamed. You can’t prevent it. But you can control it. I had questions. He answered them all.
I was jaded with my psychs before. I treated them like a diseased animal. But why? Am I not an equal? I too have something that I couldn’t have prevented. I look back on that day where a stranger yet a brother in EMS changed my life. And know I am a cheerleader for my psychs. Because if I can control and evil so can they!
Don’t ever give up on yourself or your patients. Some days will be harder than others. I still get anxious and have had a serious panic attack working in this field but instead if breaking me down like it would have before, I now turn to my brothers and sisters and ask for help. My EMS family truly saved me.
So don’t be scared to ask for help, cry if you have to. Don’t hide the demon because it only grows in the dark. Let it out. The light of help will burn any sense of hopelessness you have. And remember some days may be harder than others but be glad that everyday you have a chance to live!!
Salud brothers and sisters! We truly must be insane to do this job 😉