Nothing new about PTSD
This is in response to a recent letter to the editor that asked if post traumatic stress disorder is a new problem.
No, PTSD certainly is not new, nor is it restricted to military combat vets. It is also found among law enforcement and fire service personnel.
When I was in the fire service, we had a formal PTSD debriefing program set up to assist us in recovering from some of the PTSD causes, inducing events we were subject to such as horrific multiple-victim auto wrecks, aircraft crashes, fatal fires, etc.
Allowing the effects of PTSD to remain untreated can cause mild to severe disability in its victims. It can be severe enough to prevent the individual from performing his job when faced with a similar incident later on.
It is not good to have a firefighter suddenly unable to enter a burning structure or a policeman unable to enter a dark alley because a previously undealt-with trauma suddenly causes the person to freeze and become unable to act.
That is one of the things PTSD does, along with nightmares, flashbacks, etc. Don't make fun of PTSD — it is real and debilitating.
Michael E. Vournazos