Guest Blog – Jason

Not all superheroes wear their underpants on the outside of their trousers! - Guest Blog

On the 8th July, Paramedics and First Responders around the globe are being recognised and celebrated as it is International Paramedics Day.
 
It’s a chance to recognise and celebrate the incredible work they do, and also a chance to promote and raise awareness about the many different settings paramedics now work in including primary and secondary care, GP surgeries, research, education, military, offshore, helicopter emergency medical services and telephone triage systems.
Paramedics continue to put the wellbeing and interests of others first, working tirelessly in the most challenging of circumstances and often at great risk to themselves – including their exposure to traumatic events putting them at high risk of developing PTSD or C-PTSD.
 
The theme for the first ever International Paramedics’ Day 2022 is ‘Proud to be a Paramedic’ and as such, we’re proud and honoured to share the story of Jason Jeffries-Lloyd who has been a Paramedic for over 25 years and is now Paramedic FCP Facilitator BSoL Training Hub. 

“I have been a Paramedic for over 25 years and in that time I have seen some truly awful sights and dealt with situations that nobody should ever see or have to emotionally deal with. No one in training school ever mentioned what or how you deal with the aftermath of having a dying child in your arms or even how to come to work after this happened to me.

In this blog I want to talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD which I suffered with many years ago following a 999 I attended and how I dealt with it.

Us Paramedics are a strange breed, seldom asking for help from anyone, making us even more at risk of suffering from this life changing condition. Paramedics have all had the pub chat with our friends who are not in the job saying, “Tell us about the worst job you’ve been to” swiftly followed by “I couldn’t do your job”. Me personally, I don’t want to re-live it again and again but when you have PTSD any trigger can bring it all flooding back at anytime.

Back in the day, when I first started in the Ambulance service PTSD had not been diagnosed or developed. You certainly didn’t talk about it as you feared ridicule at the hands of your colleagues, and when you saw something or dealt with something truly horrific you were told that this was ‘character building’ and to ‘man up’. I quickly learned that I kept my mouth shut at work and luckily for me my wife, a nurse, helped me to deal with this as best she could.

I was asked about how I deal with bad jobs by a camera crew with me on a shift filming for a 999 Ambulance series. My answer, I think seemed to him bordering on crazy, but I stand by my definition as it’s how I compartmentally deal with it. I replied to the young cameraman by saying, have you ever seen Albert Finney’s Scrooge? He looked at me waiting for the punchline but one didn’t come and I again asked the question. He now saw that I had parked the jovial Jason and had a serious face looking at him, to which he replied ‘yes I have’. I asked him if he remembered Marley’s ghost that came to Scrooge carrying a long chain that he had forged through his life, he again answered ‘yes’ still waiting for a punchline hoping I would make him laugh, but I didn’t because I firmly believe that this is what happens to Paramedics and how we deal with our bad jobs. I explained that the longer service you had, the longer the chain will become, and etched on this chain are the faces of all the truly awful jobs that you have been to. This chain you will carry with you for the rest of your life and you can choose to deal with it head on or ignore it and let it build up until something or someone breaks.

Let’s just say it never made it to the TV, no surprise there as the whole idea was to sell our job as superheroes wearing our underpants on the outside of our trousers, not dealing with disturbing jobs and sugar coating the service. Paramedics are seen as unwavering people who do not have emotions and certainly do not need to talk about them, that and the ability not to need food or water and be able to lift any patient no matter how heavy is a popular misconception too. But what made my story above even harder to bear was the fact that the crewmate I was with that day sadly took her own life a year later as her demons were too much for her to bear.

PTSD UK estimate that over 50% of people in the UK will experience trauma at some point in their lives, and believe it or not it is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. Just seek help.

Often, people think their symptoms will go away over time – but this is very unlikely, especially if you’ve been having symptoms for over a year. Getting treatment can help stop it from causing problems in your relationships, your career, or your education – and so you can live the way you want to. Asking for help if the first step to getting control of your PTSD or C-PTSD, and starts you on the path to recovery. Getting treatment can also help other health problems you have that you may not realise are linked (even physical issues). Waiting for treatment may make your symptoms worse, and then be harder to deal with – so you should see a medical professional as soon as you feel ready. If you’ve tried treatment before, and you’re still having symptoms, remember that advancements are being made all the time in treatment options for PTSD and C-PTSD – it’s always a good idea to try again if you feel ready.

In the UK today, there are several treatment options for PTSD and the current NICE
guidelines recommend both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Eye Movement
Desensitisation Reprocessing as the main forms of treatment. For most people, these treatments can get rid of symptoms altogether.

The above data has been taken from the PTSD UK website please click the link to find out more or to volunteer any of your time for this great cause that us Paramedics need.”

In memory of Kelly Davis

 


 
 
 
#InternationalParamedics Day #ProudToBeAParamedic #IPD2022

  • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Optio, neque qui velit. Magni dolorum quidem ipsam eligendi, totam, facilis laudantium cum accusamus ullam voluptatibus commodi numquam, error, est. Ea, consequatur.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Optio, neque qui velit. Magni dolorum quidem ipsam eligendi, totam, facilis laudantium cum accusamus ullam voluptatibus commodi numquam, error, est. Ea, consequatur.

Hello! Did you find this information useful?

Please consider supporting PTSD UK with a donation to enable us to provide more information & resources to help us to support everyone affected by PTSD, no matter the trauma that caused it

PTSD UK Blog

You’ll find up-to-date news, research and information here along with some great tips to ease your PTSD in our blog.

LLHM for PTSD UK

events | run London Landmarks Half Marathon for PTSD UK Sign up now London Landmarks Half Marathon The challenge This event is not your average half marathon! From cultural landmarks and heritage to the city’s quirky and hidden secrets, runners

Read More »

Guest Blog – Jason

Not all superheroes wear their underpants on the outside of their trousers! – Guest Blog On the 8th July, Paramedics and First Responders around the globe are being recognised and celebrated as it is International Paramedics Day. It’s a chance to recognise

Read More »

Guest Blog – Aaron

Guest Blog – Aaron: my PTSD story At only 16, Aaron has already been through a lifetimes worth of pain – and his resulting PTSD diagnosis took him to ‘the darkest place he never thought he’d get out of’. In

Read More »

Imagery Rescripting for PTSD

Imagery Rescripting for PTSD Your own mind can be an unpleasant or frightening place when you have Post  Traumatic Stress Disorder. It can summon up unwanted memories, flashbacks, distressing imagery and future scenarios that add to your anxiety and distress.

Read More »

Support Spotlight – Dean

Supporter Spotlight – Dean We’re so grateful to each and every one of our supporters, but for the last year, Dean has been going above and beyond to support PTSD UK and raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with

Read More »

PTSD UK Supporters Store

100% of the profits from everything in our online Supporters Store goes directly to our mission – to help everyone affected by PTSD in the UK, no matter the trauma that caused it.

Treatments for PTSD

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.