PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is defined as a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world. When you think of PTSD, what comes to mind? Most people think of army veterans, police officers, or doctors, but there is another occupation that is not getting the attention it deserves. Correctional officers have a highly stressful job that can have negative effects on their mental health and it’s important to have an open discussion about how to fix this issue.
Correctional Officer Mental Health Statistics
According to a California correctional officer survey conducted by University of California, Berkeley, 1 in 3 correctional officers have experienced at least one symptom of PTSD. As a point of comparison, about 1 in 7 combat veterans are diagnosed with PTSD. Forty percent of officers have reported having nightmares about an event at work that was frightening, horrible, or upsetting.
The Effects of PTSD
Without proper treatment, these symptoms of PTSD can affect their everyday life and slowly deteriorate their mental health. Post-traumatic stress disorder not only effects the lives of the correctional officer, but it can also put strain on their relationships and lives of their friends and families. If you or someone you know are struggling with mental health, it is important to contact your doctor to get the help you deserve.