A recent study covered by the Guardian has revealed that one in five police officers in the UK suffer from PTSD.
A team from the University of Cambridge carried out research which found that an extraordinary number of police staff suffer from the disorder.
The NHS describes PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) as ‘an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.’
‘Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.
‘They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.’
Dr Jess Miller said, ‘For the first time in the UK we can see behind the cultural trope of the burnt-out copper who has seen too much. This is a clinical and public sector crisis.
‘Dealing with disturbing experiences is a defining part of policing, but employees have a right to expect resources to protect them from the impact of daily trauma exposure. Without such resources in place, the cost to policing and public safety will just mount up.’
Shockingly, Dr Miller has also said that the vast majority of sufferers do not realise that they even have a disorder.
For those worried about PTSD:
You should visit your GP if you or your child are still having problems about 4 weeks after the traumatic experience, or if the symptoms are particularly troublesome.
If necessary, your GP can refer you to mental health specialists for further assessment and treatment.