Victims often walk away from a burning home, a totaled car or a broken building, but memories they take with them can leave a scar for life.
“It’s not an issue of getting through it and resolving it and being cured. It’s a matter of learning how to adapt and how to bring it together in your life and move on and be able to experience life afterwards,” said Dr. Stephen Finzo, Central Wyoming Counseling Center Psychologist.
First responders often help victims who are experiencing tragic loss. They do their best to stay calm, in hopes victims will do the same.
“An important part of our training is to understand that the way we react is going to have an effect on the people we’re helping,” said Casper Fire Captain Justin Smith. “And so by us having that calm demeanor that enables people we’re trying to help and we can help calm them as well,” Captain Smith continued.
First responders can also suffer from PTSD themselves. Especially when they respond to calls involving families or children, reminding them of their own.
Captain Smith said “The things that we see every day are the types of things that wear on you. Especially after they add up over time.”
Family and friends who aren’t trained will have trouble directly helping victims of PTSD. But they can help by getting the victim to speak to someone, even if it’s just once.
Somebody will talk you through some of that. And that initial assessment might be enough to get you on the road to helping yourself. But when somebody’s traumatized in your family. It affects your whole family, said Dr. Finzo.
June is national PTSD month. Central Wyoming Counseling Center doctors want you to know they have support groups for anyone suffering from PTSD.