THE EFFECTS OF PTSD IN POLICING 8
really necessary. PTSD makes the officers so vigilant and become paranoid, and they are unable
to trust themselves or anyone else. There has been news of officers committing suicide and the
public is left to wonder what might have led them to take their own lives. The main reason is
PTSD, which leads to suicidal thoughts and one among five officers with PTSD end up
committing suicide. physiologically, PTSD produces anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia,
and physical problems such as headaches and digestive problems.
The main problem with previous studies is that they fail to discuss the effects of PTSD to
the families of the officers. PTSD can cause the sufferer to become emotionally withdrawn and
distant from family members. In addition, officers become very needy and dependent, which can
result in them being outrageously demanding and impatient. In most instances, spouses have
reported that their partners have become violent and very irritable even at small things.
“Sometimes they revert back to old habits like smoking or drinking, or become a newly hatched
adolescent and engage in reckless, sometimes life threatening, hobbies. Sometimes hobbies like
motorcycling can border on suicidal when officers test the limits of speed and good
sense”(Lamberts, 1997, 498-506).
Mitigating the Effects of PTSD in Police Officers
Psychiatrist Thomas Neylan, psychologist Shannon McCaslin-Rodrigo, and social worker
Gerard Choucroun worked with officers from the Grant Air Force Medical Center to develop the
Deployment Anxiety Reduction Training (DART) program, with the aim of stopping post-
traumatic stress disorder before it starts. If implemented in the future, the goal of DART is to
tame the initial stress reaction to combat trauma. Although psychologists argue that treating
PTSD will continue being a challenge in the future, there are approaches that can be used by law