Have you ever worked with someone for a long time; and they used to be all fun and laughs,

…..but now they’re just ANGRY?

 

Or maybe you’ve been married to someone for what seems like an eternity; and it was always so much love & respect & laughs for most of the first years,

…….but now they’re just ANGRY for what seems to be ALL THE TIME,

..and you feel like you’ve had enough? – (or maybe a past relationship ended because of the anger).

 

Well….

What if – it wasn’t about the anger?

 

So often, our natural reaction towards an angry person is to either:
– Attack
– Deflect & diffuse, or
– Retreat.

 

But what if it wasn’t about the anger?

 

What if it was deeper than that?

I believe that rarely does ‘anger’ stem from the immediate incident.

Sure – you’ll probably have instances where that IS the case, but I believe in most cases,

…..it’s probably a deeper issue.

 

Sometimes, even the person that’s angry, doesn’t know why they always seem to be angry.

 

What if it stems from PAIN?

 

That’s why it’s important as Emergency Service workers, & their loved ones….to understand some symptoms of ‘burnout’ & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Now before you jump up and down and say “It’s not f*#’n PTSD or burnout!!”……I’m just pissed off at the fact …..blah blah blah….” …

– hear me out.

 

If hearing so many stories about colleagues & former colleagues suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, has taught me anything, it’s to empathise & try to understand that there are many symptoms that can be mistakenly seen as ‘isolated’ issues, and therefore the deeper cause can be left undetected for long lengths of time.

“If only someone had recognised that it wasn’t my normal behaviour, and raised the alarm”

…..has been a common comment that has been said to me.

 

So this is just to raise some awareness, and to help you consider the fact…that;

 

It may not just be the ANGER that’s the issue,

 

And in doing so; help someone get the help they need….earlier.

 

So;

The term ‘Burnout’ is used to describe the physical & emotional consequences of a highly stressful position.

In an Emergency Services role (including hospital setting), on average – signs of burnout

commonly begin about 5yrs from commencement of the role.

(2012, Kalemoglu)

 

The basic stages of burnout are:

 

HOPE –(leads to) FRUSTRATION –(leads to) ANGER –(leads to) APATHY – (leads to) BURNOUT

 

PTSD is:

‘A particular set of reactions to an actual or perceived life-threatening event towards themselves or others’.

(2014, NCBI).

Whilst I won’t go into the 4 clusters of symptoms here; I will mention signs to look out for, SOME signs/symptoms to look out for:

 

– Changes in mood (ANGER outbursts, sad, empty feeling etc)
– Crying / weeping for what seems like ‘no reason’
– Withdraw from social interaction…’Just wanting to be by themselves’ a lot.
– Flashbacks
– Sleep disturbances
– Anxious / apprehensive about things that you were once quite confident in
– Seem to always be ‘on guard’ / ‘over cautious’ etc

 

So in explaining a little bit of the common signs/symptoms…

 

WHAT IF, we were to respond with EMPATHY?

 

And ask the question….

 

RUOK?

 

 

*If you or someone you know experience any of these, or you are concerned at all…..please don’t hesitate to seek professional help: GP, counsellor, psychologist, staff support services etc*.
Lifeline: 131114

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest