Trauma can mean different things to different people. You, as law enforcement officers, are exposed to traumatic situations on a regular basis. At any given time, roughly 30% of law enforcement officers are suffering from symptoms or meet the full criteria for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).14 Police officers who experience traumatic incidents are also more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.15 Generally, trauma can result from experiencing an event that involves:
You may react differently to traumatic events than others; and reactions can manifest themselves in a number of ways.17 Some victims of trauma experience only minimal reactions, including minor changes in sleep or appetite. Others encounter more distressing effects, like Acute Stress Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).18,19 Still others may push through the trauma aftermath to achieve resilience and recovery.
Valor Officer Safety and Wellness Program, Bureau of Justice Assistance
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