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Showing posts with label End the stigma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label End the stigma. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 September 2019

PTSD: Tested in real-time


PTSD: Tested in real-time


In three days it will be exactly one year since I was forced off of work due to mental illness. If you take the time to read through my blog site, you will undoubtedly start to see how long and difficult The Road To Mental Wellness can be. I hope that you can also see that despite the long and arduous battle, it is, without question worth the struggle to keep moving forward.

You know, PTSD is a hell of a thing, the nightmares replaying the most horrific scenes in my head while I attempt to sleep can write off the rest of the night and even the days to follow. Fear of leaving my home, my mental made prison can really keep me in a perpetual loop of avoidance. I see potential emergencies lurking around every corner.

Recommended Reading

So, after all this time making myself scarce, sometimes for a week or two at a time,  only braving the world to see the people I am closest to or to sit down a discuss mental illness with other suffers, I decided to volunteer my time to help a political candidate in their bid for office in the federal election. 

I decided this because I need to start to gauge my tolerance in what is essentially a work environment, I felt honoured to be asked to help. and I thought, "What  a pressure-free way of testing the waters". This prospect excited me because of all I want to is move on with my life and get to a point where I can manage well enough to walk among the working world on a regular basis. 

Sadly, this social integration experiment is not going as well as I had hoped. Ever since I've started,  my startle response is at a constant high and I'm overwhelmed by the exposure to others bustling about. Overly loud vehicles rumbling by, just outside the office door, tear my already dwindled concentration away from what I am doing and my most triggering thing of all, sirens, lots of sirens. There is so much constant stimulation that I tire so quickly.

How to reduce stress in the workplace

At the end of most days, I am left in such a state of hypervigilance that I remain awake most of the night; this only compounds everything I have mentioned above when the next day rolls around.

My saving grace? The fact that I am a volunteer, I can do as little or as much as I can tolerate, I take full advantage of that flexibility. But, we all know that the working work demands one to be on all of the time, something that I simply cannot do. Testing out my PTSD symptoms in this voluntary environment has taught me that.


I will get there though, I will persevere and I will win the day... You can too, just keep working towards a solution that works so you can be productive and feel like your winning your mental disorder war.


Want help fund my book? donate GOFundMe - The Road To Mental Wellness - The book.

Trauma Specialist, Dr. Jeffery Hosick: jeffreyhosick.com

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD


Email: [email protected]

Facebook: facebook.com/TRTMW


Sunday, 8 September 2019

Reduced To Ash - Mental illness and exhaustion

Reduced To Ash - Mental illness and exhaustion


Personally, I find very little difference between overextending one's self physically and when one exceeds their tolerances mentally. The end result is the same, exhaustion. when one has a mental illness, at least my experience with it, it's rather like setting cardboard on fire with gasoline, the energy it initially produces is very intense, large flames and a lot of heat but is quickly reduced to a pile of ash because all of its energy has been depleted.

Anyone, mental illness or not, who has worked in both physical work environments and ones that require mostly mental processing can tell you that mental exhaustion is more tiring than being physically tired. I have done them both, personally, I'd rather be body tired any day of the week. I believe that being mentally spent is what oftentimes leads to physical injury and impacts how productive one can be.

Those with a mental health condition often tell me how quickly they burn up their mental energy stores; the more symptomatic they are, the faster they seem to arrive at the point where they are running on fumes. We, those with mental illness need help before we reduced to a pile of ash.

Reasons why people with mental illness are easily exhausted

This is vindication for me in a sense because what they describe is very similar to my own experiences with mental illness. An unexpected consequence of this revelation is that it helps me not feel like I'm trying to sleigh this dragon all by myself.

Recommended reading


I tire easily, PTSD can feel like you are running through a battlefield, so much sudden noise and constant stimulations that the heightened startle response is always in the on position. Not only do I have to contend with this, but I am also always on guard for some sort of emergency, part firefighter conditioning, mostly designed so that I can avoid potential death destruction. I don't think I manage another critical incident.


This tendency to be easily exhausted has been known to exacerbate my depression. I was once so full of energy and could take on the world, I loved being busy. Now with fatigue setting in so much sooner, I feel like a burden and rather useless. I do my best to shake these thoughts from my head and remind myself that I am no different than someone else who is sick. Sick people tend to tire easily.

As I continue down my road to mental wellness I remind myself to cut myself some slack. My life might not be what it used to be but nonetheless, I am still alive and because of this fact, I will get to where I need to be.

So, If this sounds like you, keeping going but rest when you need to, you may not be able to do what you once were able to do, but you can still do great things.




Want help fund my book? donate: GOFundMe - The Road To Mental Wellness - The book


You may also enjoy: Slowly Walking My Way To Mental Wellness.


Facebook: facebook.com/TRTMW


Email: [email protected]


Check out my friend's blog here: anewdawnaa.com





Tuesday, 20 August 2019

My PTSD: earned with distinction

My PTSD: earned with distinction



The wider world around us is rich with the potential for danger and destruction and like an animal in the wild, I am on constant high alert. Although my fire service years are far behind me now, they are far from a distant memory and the emergency service mindset is a sharp as it was the day, I turned in my bunker gear.

Our minds, like firefighters, are wired to think of every possible disaster and how to mitigate them, my anxiety disorder was a bonus skill in the fire service because, by its very nature, it created a worst-case scenario thinker out of me. I thought of every angle, all the things that could go wrong and ways to minimize them. 

But when my generalized anxiety disorder collided with post-traumatic stress, Its superpowers became toxic and slowly turned the fire service against my mental health., chipping away at my compassion and my desire to help and make a real difference. 

Because my anxiety never shuts off and PTSD is often times the driver of the rig, I can see now why I was destined to become a casualty of the EMS war; one too many battles both on the interior and on the fire ground/accident scene.


Now, years later, I am petrified that I will be sucked into someone else's emergency. I am scared because I know in my heart that I would not be able to cope with it. This fact saddens me because at my core I am a firefighter; I guess being disabled is something I have yet to grow accustomed to. I am learning that there is no shame in what I can not control. What I need to learn next is to somehow dull the fight, flight, freeze and emergency mindset.

With all that said, I gave the service my all and was determined to do everything I could to do my part to ease the pain and suffering of all those in need of help I am also a believer in leaving something better than when you found it, it was this mantra that drove me, I wanted to make positive changes around the station. One thing I was big on was safety and I worked hard to build accountability systems that would keep my brothers and sisters safer.


Shop all things firefighter related


So, do I regret my years in the fire service? I would have to say that even though I am on this hellish roller coaster ride of mental illness, I am proud of my years of service, my contribution to both my community and my department. As far as I am concerned, my PTSD was earned with distinction, in other words, I sacrificed my own well-being to help others and at the end of the day that has to mean something, right?


If you are struggling my friend, struggle no longer, there is help out there and other warriors just looking for someone who understands what they are going through. Get out of the service if you must, maybe the next person you need to save is yourself.

Want help fund my book? donate GOFundMe - The Road To Mental Wellness - The book.

Trauma Specialist, Dr. Jeffery Hosick: jeffreyhosick.com

You may also enjoy: The Mental Health Work Injury Called PTSD


Email: [email protected]

Facebook: facebook.com/TRTMW