Will we ever break the stigma within the ranks? Perhaps not, given the nature of the profession. Policing is a profession for hardened men and women. On the surface there may be “help available,” but once one has admitted “perceived weakness” through mental health issues, things will never be the same.
Many people report experiencing a traumatic event at some point in their lives. In fact, traumatic events occur among 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women during their lifetime. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event, however, develops PTSD. While post-traumatic symptoms are very common in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event, for most survivors these symptoms lessen with time. For a significant minority, however, these symptoms do not diminish on their own.
The job of the person with PTSD is to find a way in communication with other human beings with whom they feel safe to understand what has happened to them and to be able to have that diminish or fade enough – not go away, not as if it ever happened – but to fade enough so they can rejoin the present.