The PTSD Conversation

The PTSD Conversation

Yesterday afternoon was the start of a journey for many organisations and countless numbers of individuals who share a passion to find the best pathways forward to support the people in the community who are suffering from PTSD… Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This debilitating disease spares no one and individuals from all stations in life can find that suddenly, they are not coping.

Simon Gillard a former police officer for 15 years who was invalided out of the force with PTSD and now an advocate for others with PTSD and the author of the bestselling book, Life Sentence – a Police Officer’s Battle with PTSD (Penguin Random House) shared some very interesting observations during the afternoon panel discussion.

Vicarious trauma and long-term accumulative stress can play havoc in the lives of compassionate and caring individuals.

The solution is early intervention and proactive care to support people to be emotionally resilient to stress and trauma.

People engaged in the ‘Stress and trauma cocktail professions’… defence forces, police, fire fighters, nurses, paramedics are often not given appropriate and adequate care and just told to ‘suck it up’ and get back into the ‘lion’s den’ and get on with it.

People are an investment, not a commodity.

Often going from an apparently normal person one day to a person with PTSD can be a case of ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ often caused by people working in a world where moral injustice is the order of the day.

Talking with someone to debrief a situation can he healing, but not seen by others as important in the scheme of things.

Invested listening without judgement is a key in the support of PTSD suffers. You cannot develop emotional resilience when you are continually being thrown back into the ‘lion’s den’ without techniques, tools and strategies to deflect the impacting stress you continue to experience.

Recovery and resilience are just words without supportive action steps.

You cannot keep going down the river ‘full on’ in the middle of the stream when stress is eating away at your insides. You need to go to the eddies at the side of the river to rest, recover, catch up and gather some tools and strategies that work for you.

Simon believes that that a renaming of the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to Post Traumatic Stress Reaction, rather than Disorder needs to be made as it is an injury, a brain injury.

Two other tandem speakers, Mark Carroll, President, Police Federation of Australia/Police Association of South Australia and John Schumann, Singer-Songwriter reminded the audience that Australian’s respond best to stories. They quoted an American Indian Proverb…

“Tell me a fact and I will learn it; Tell me the truth and I will believe it; Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever”.

This very different conference is focusing on the ‘soft science’ around the stress problem and focusing on tools and strategies that can change lives for the better of PTSD suffers.

This Weeks Video…

Self-Healing Meditation – The Garbage Truck – Dr Judy Hinwood

 

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