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Those are some solid plans.

For those of you who've been here long enough to remember RidRyder you will remember that he routinely advocated regular mental health check ups for EMS providers. It's not a bad idea especially if it helps you get out of your own head.

So what kind of car do you want to get?

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Mobey: The best thing for you is that you are recognizing that there is an issue that needs to be dealt with.

When you have accumulated stress over long periods of time and no way to release it, it starts to affect things.not eating right, not getting enough sleep, night dreams of previous calls & Pt's , irritability, short fuse with friends & family are all signs.

Thats why they call it PTSD.

We deal with lots of mental trauma on a regular basis and all need to find a release.

Been there, done that, Got to the point that I worried what would happen if I went away for a couple days.

I got better! You can too.

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I know exactly what you mean. To be honest and up front, I never understood the meaning of flashback, or having a flashback. Until about the last six months. Vivid, things/people trigger it out of nowhere. I don't wanna say any more than that at this point. I have someone that I can vent to; and I like to go on long drives. Although that can get a little pricey. Mostly, I just like to go somewhere and be completely alone, so if I gotta cry it out, I can, and the only person to judge me - is myself. And I'm a pretty harsh judge, and a sore loser when it comes to EMS. I know these people, I take it personally (the care I give) and it takes a toll. Esp. on the GI system. Acid reducers and bottles of Maalox. Can't take anything with Iron, so I know if what I'm doing isn't working.

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Mobey,

Your post has touched my heart in so many ways. My thoughts and prayer go out for and your family

I am pretty new at EMS but also have put some time into "thinking through" mental health. I started having the dreams early on as some of my very first calls were absolutely horrible. I am comforted that in some of my dreams I am still the hero.

I think that providers here can not only relate but have felt similar horrors at some time in their career.

I am only a basic but everyone in my area thinks I am hot s**t although I know that I am not. It stinks because these are so few people I can actually help. The high regard and respect we get can be intoxicating and toxic at the same time. I have tried very hard to create a standard where I live up to my own expectations and not the expectation fantasized by others. My expectations are based on scope of practice, protocol, and the true realities of the call, not the almost superhuman expectation of miracle work that others have set for me. I remind myself of this every shift.

It sounds to me that your wife is a wonderful and understanding woman and I can see that you love your family very much. I have found it productive to talk to my wife about how I feel when i get home from a shift. She will ask me how the day went and if I respond that it was tough she will be available for when I feel like talking to her. She does not understand the interventions and procedures but she does understand her man is hurting. Once I realized that she understood I was able to confide in her and find another outlet of release. It also allows her to feel she has participated in helping me. Our wives can empathize with our feelings without understanding the circumstance that provoked them. This is possible.

She came to this realization because I took the time to not hide my monsters from her but let her try to help. I have a friend that had me talk to his wife about the job for him and this helped her realize the pressures we are under. You might even be able to visit the psych pro as a couple on occasion.

I know I am rambling but I wish you and your family the best and hope that some of my thoughts may aid you in this difficult time.

We all live far, far away but you are not alone.

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Hey Mobey... Longevity in this industry is almost an oxymoron. I had a couple minor meltdowns before I learned what you did. I wish that I could have learned those lessons a lot earlier and also wish I could engrain it in the rookies before the crash & burn.

Thanks for sharing your personal story, I think it will make a difference in someone's life & career.

And hang in there, you're not alone.

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Mobey- you clearly are a smart cookie. You have taken the critical first step- recognizing there is a problem. You have also taken the next step- outlining a plan, and I think you are dead on in your ideas. Food, health, exercise- and mental health assistance PRN. As was mentioned, it does sound like PTSD- not necessarily from one specific incident, but the cumulative stress and pressures of the job.

I have never been a big advocate of therapy, but recently have began seeing a psychologist- for personal issues, but those issues impacted my work and how I perceive my life and my future. It's too early to tell what will become of these sessions and if they help or not, but I can see the value in them. As you say, an outside, nonEMS, impartial observer is vital to get to the root of the problems you are having. I always thought asking others in the business(trusted friends and coworkers) was key to getting a handle on things. They have been there, they understand what you are going through, but I think too often they are not forcing you to dig deep enough to get to the core of what is really affecting you.

In my brief sessions, I have learned that the problem often lies not with the type- or even volume- of issues you are having, but our perceptions of those problems and our reactions to them. The way we respond to stressors and problems is key in determining if we are adequately coping and processing things.

I think when we are new to the business, often times we are single, with no family and few responsibilities beyond ourselves. Coping is a lot less complicated. Having a rough stretch at work? Take a few days off work, take a vacation, go hang out with friends, indulge in a favorite hobby- whatever makes us happy. There is nobody we need to answer to, or consider when taking these mental health breaks. We do not need to focus on anyone else, and handling stress is easier. Once families come into the picture, life becomes more complicated, and the accumulated stress of years of bad calls, lousy sleep patterns, poor eating habits, and the baggage adds up.

Anytime you need to talk- shoot me a message, and I would be more than happy to help out. I'm about as far away from your working situation as possible- busy urban area vs rural, but I think the essential issues are universal. It's a lifeline, brother, and I wish someone had tossed me one(or recognized if someone did) some time ago. It would have saved me a lot of heartache. You are not alone.

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Well Mobey I certainly had a big WOW come out of my mouth after I read your post.

Its a good thing that you have recognised the red flags in your life. The fact you have seen them, have taken the appropriate actions to get your feelings in check and have a supporting wife is half the battle. The other half will just happen with some work.

A friend last week said "I feel like Im fighting a loosing battle" I responded "You only loose if you quit" We all have our things in life and we all have our ways to figure it all out.

Take care Mobey and I hope it all goes well for you and your family, remember you too are only human :)

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Mobey, you have put an excellent post here!!! You are doing a great thing for yourself and your family by sitting down and looking at things like you did. You have made some great points and plans. Thanks for sharing.

I didn't realize how much I needed to read something like this right now. There are a few folks here that know, but I'm just coming back from a bit over 2 weeks off after my mother was killed in a DUI accident. She was about 4 miles outside my response area (rural area) where she was ejected and killed. I'm looking at what I need right now, in the way of counseling, because of this and the other stressers in my life. Your post touched me deeply. Thanks!!!!

I have never been a big advocate of therapy, but recently have began seeing a psychologist- for personal issues, but those issues impacted my work and how I perceive my life and my future. It's too early to tell what will become of these sessions and if they help or not, but I can see the value in them. As you say, an outside, nonEMS, impartial observer is vital to get to the root of the problems you are having. I always thought asking others in the business(trusted friends and coworkers) was key to getting a handle on things. They have been there, they understand what you are going through, but I think too often they are not forcing you to dig deep enough to get to the core of what is really affecting you.

In my brief sessions, I have learned that the problem often lies not with the type- or even volume- of issues you are having, but our perceptions of those problems and our reactions to them. The way we respond to stressors and problems is key in determining if we are adequately coping and processing things.

I think when we are new to the business, often times we are single, with no family and few responsibilities beyond ourselves. Coping is a lot less complicated. Having a rough stretch at work? Take a few days off work, take a vacation, go hang out with friends, indulge in a favorite hobby- whatever makes us happy. There is nobody we need to answer to, or consider when taking these mental health breaks. We do not need to focus on anyone else, and handling stress is easier. Once families come into the picture, life becomes more complicated, and the accumulated stress of years of bad calls, lousy sleep patterns, poor eating habits, and the baggage adds up.

Herbie1, you've got some good point here too. Thanks to you too! I hope that you've found the help that you need.

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Mobey, you have put an excellent post here!!! You are doing a great thing for yourself and your family by sitting down and looking at things like you did. You have made some great points and plans. Thanks for sharing.

I didn't realize how much I needed to read something like this right now. There are a few folks here that know, but I'm just coming back from a bit over 2 weeks off after my mother was killed in a DUI accident. She was about 4 miles outside my response area (rural area) where she was ejected and killed. I'm looking at what I need right now, in the way of counseling, because of this and the other stressers in my life. Your post touched me deeply. Thanks!!!!

Herbie1, you've got some good point here too. Thanks to you too! I hope that you've found the help that you need.

Rat- I am so sorry to hear about your mother- please accept my sincerest condolences. I hope you are able to come to terms with your loss.

Also- thank you for your kind words.

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