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Thread: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

  1. #1

    has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    Hi I am new to this site but I really need some advice

    I am a police officer, up until 9 months ago I was a uniformed response officer.

    In November 2012 I was diagnosed with ptsd following a violent incident at work which put me directly in danger of fatal if not serious injury along with the victim

    I underwent 16 weeks of emdr therapy as well as antidepressants which I am still taking. After a gradual return to restricted duties I returned to my uniform role. I had two further setbacks and was referred back for a further 6 emdr sessions.

    A year after the diagnosis I finally was able to return to full single crewed duties. Unfortunately within less than two days I had an accident on duty which caused a serious traumatic injury to my elbow which required surgery. I returned to work 3 months after surgery on a restricted role on the investigation team, I returned to full duties within that role despite on going injury related problems.

    Six months later I have had to have further surgery due to nerve damage which if left could have resulted in the loss of use of my arm.

    Since the accident last year I have had nightmares of a violent fatal nature involving me or my loved ones. I have a genuine fear of being made to return to a uniformed role, my injured arm has muscle wastage and weakness both in the arm and hand and fingers. I have a recurring fear that should I be called to deal with a violent incident I will not be able to protect myself due to the injury/weakness to my arm. This is a genuine fear and I'm suffering anxiety, insomnia, chest pains, headaches, nausea,depression and stress. I don't feel as though I am or ever will be physically,psychologically,mentally or emotionally able to return to a uniformed role.

    I don't know how to deal with this with my employer. I don't know if this is ptsd returning. I don't know what to do.

  2. #2
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    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    Was the emdr therapy through work? Is it something you can request more of now anxiety symptoms have returned? It sounds like the even is still affecting you, whether it is memories of the event or fear of a similar situation...the feelings are there, and they are affecting you.

    If you don't feel comfortable talking to work maybe approach your GP for some different therapy / counselling...you need to address the thought process that fuels the fear. Are there any colleagues that have gone through something similar that you feel comfortable talking to?
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  3. #3
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    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    I have ptsd too and although it is very much in control now I still sometimes get triggers which bring things back. With therapy I have learnt how to deal with this. I had intense psychotherapy and it may be worth enquiring about this for yourself.

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    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    Hi Insomnia,

    I am a retired (medically) police officer due to PTSD at work. I struggled for many years with recurring symptoms. Please PM me and I will discuss fully. Some forces have woken up to the idea of PTSD others have not!!! My force treated me very badly all my treatment was through my GP and local mental health services. The force just did not get their act together.

    I have had lots of EMDR and therapy and eventually was offered a medical retirement 4 years ago. Sorry to have to say this but if you continue to put yourself in a situation where you are triggering your PTSD it will return.

    Sarah

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    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    Also, if you're in a union/staff association, get in touch with them as they may be able to help you find a way forward.

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    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    Good idea Blueangel...unfortunately the Federation is not a Union and are pretty useless when it comes to this sort of thing. The complication also is that between Occ Health, HR and Federation they do not communicate very well. They also have the issue of "confidentiality". I have sent Insomnia a PM so we can discuss things. I went through all this for 11 years with my force..... it's complicated.

    sarah

  7. #7

    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

    My ohu advisor is aware that I have been having symptoms of ptsd and at the moment she is saying they want to get the arm injury sorted first and then possibly 're refer me for more emdr.

    I totally agree with regards to the symptoms returning if I continue to put myself in situations that may trigger my ptsd but unfortunately my force just don't seem to grasp that.

    I am fully functional officer within an investigative role and have made applications and efforts to get a permanent position in this role. Unfortunately they are just focused on returning me into uniform. Just the thought of it sends me into a complete panic, anxiety and sleepless nights

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    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    Sorry to hear you are having a bad time Insomnia. It seems that your position is bringing you down constantly and you are bashing yourself about not knowing what to do. Have you considered changing your role completely. maybe it is time for a change. If you can't resolve this at your current workplace, I would have thought you need to be signed off medically permanently or seek another position somewhere else.
    It is important to keep a regular visitation with your GP and discuss all of this, as this will be relevant for the future if you do leave. To me, it is something that definitely needs addressing.

  9. #9

    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    Thank you carnation, I have tried to get other roles within the police force as I am fully functional as an investigative officer, however they just focus on me going back into uniform.

    I have applied for jobs outside of the police but I love my role when it comes to investigation and supporting victims. I just have a real, genuine fear of going back out on patrol and getting into a situation that will make my ptsd symptoms worse.

    The policies and politics involved in the career of a police officer are unbelievable, sadly once you are "damaged" goods the force see you as being of no use to them, and will use unsatisfactory performance policies in order to eventually dismiss you.

  10. #10
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    Re: has my ptsd returned? i dont know what to do from here?

    It sounds like you have a little depression too. It is also difficult when you have loved your job and something happens to you and changes all that. You can never go back, you can only go forward, and that is what you have to have in the back of your Mind. Your past is affecting you future.
    I think you need to discuss this matter with others that have been in a similar position and also the medical services.
    Unfortunately the Mind plays a big part in all of this, and there will be many people on this Site with good advice.

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