35 trauma-exposed firefighters, 32 trauma-exposed CSI police and 23 unexposed matched for health, gender, age and years of education volunteered to participate in a study about the price of repeated traumatic exposure among first responders in order to compare the performance of non-PTSD trauma-exposed firefighters and CSI police, and trauma-unexposed matched controls.
The full study is available to read here.
The results of the study have shown a possible hidden price of repeated traumatic exposure, which is not reflected in the standard measures of PTSD. The price of repeated traumatic exposure is not limited to trauma related conditions. Instead, it reflects a more general impairment, which may affect the way first responders interpret and react to various aspects in their environment.
By reading the study above I could link the traumatic exposure I had during my career as Police Detective with some automatic responses I had at that time. It is amazing how easy you can better analyze the events when everything belong to the past as it is sad how in a given moment you cannot understand what is happening.
I was able to override my default reactions and provide myself more behavioral flexibility by acknowledging those reactions and becoming aware of that. The effort I put in developing that awareness gave to me a greater control by anticipating the reaction and planning ahead to act instead.
My meditation practice and the effort I put in being mindful about what I was feeling in a given moment, were a medicine to me. It is not easy to change unconsciousness behavior, but if you put effort into increasing your awareness the real change happens. This is the reason why F.R.Y. The Method has a mindful approach to the movement: as it is the relationship you have with the movement and not the movement itself that can be a game changer. Meditation and a mindful approach to your life can help you. Keep practicing constantly and trust The Method. Things simply fall into place.