Chapter

<i>THE RIGHT STUFF</i>

CHERYL REGEHR and TED BOBER

in In the Line of Fire

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195165029
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864089 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195165029.003.0005
 THE RIGHT STUFF

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The training and personality style of emergency responders prepares them to deal with high drama situations. However, this exposure has an impact on their emotional and psychological well-being. This chapter discusses the symptoms of post-traumatic stress and the various levels of symptoms that people can experience from mild distress to symptoms that significantly affect function. Factors associated with higher levels of symptoms based on previous research are also reviewed. The coping mechanism most frequently described by emergency responders involves the deliberate use of cognitive strategies such as conscious attempts to shut out the emotional reactions of family members of the victim, visualizing the next technical step to be accomplished, and shutting down their own emotions. Other types of strategies involve having a positive personal life, talking to family, exercise, and blowing off steam with colleagues. The effectiveness of various strategies for self-care and coping are discussed.

Keywords: battle fatigue; PTSD; intrusion; avoidance; arousal; acute stress; chronic post-traumatic stress; coping; cognitive strategies; personal life

Chapter.  6093 words.  Illustrated.

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