I work with First Responders like firefighters, police, and paramedics.
- Are you fatigued or burnt-out?
- Do you take your work home with you?
- Are nightmares or racing thoughts keeping you awake?
- Do you feel irritable, angry, fearful, or numb?
- Is it difficult to have compassion for others?
As troubling as these experiences are, they can be normal and expected reactions to the abnormally stressful events encountered in the course of your work and life. Just as overexercising can result in a fracture or muscle tear, exposure to difficult situations may lead to a stress injury. Such an injury can have a toxic effect on thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and physical health.
Ironically, many helping workplace cultures which demand high performance, skill, and cooperation, may encourage you to “suck it up,” because “it’s what you signed up for.” This can make it difficult to reach out and get the help you need. The good news is, it is possible to heal from a stress injury, and to build resilience.