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Tactical Living

Aug 23, 2023

In this riveting episode of the Tactical Living Podcast, Coach Ashlie Walton and Detective Walton dive deep into the topic of hidden traumas that first responders face daily. These aren't the major incidents you hear about on the news but the subtle, recurring situations that chip away at their emotional resilience over time.


What are Hidden Traumas? These are daily emotional impacts that might not stem from high-profile situations. Examples include witnessing neglect during routine calls, unresolved incidents, verbal abuse, family stress from the job, cumulative loss, routine disheartenments like aggressive drivers, and the profound isolation felt at scenes.


Contrasting Overt Trauma: Unlike the immediate emotional distress from overt traumas, hidden traumas are cumulative, often sneaking up unnoticed until they manifest as severe issues.


The Reality of Everyday Encounters: The most distressing situations are often not the major incidents but the frequent, routine ones that wear down first responders emotionally over time.


Navigating Emotional Exhaustion: Always being alert can lead to a unique fatigue that's both physical and emotional. And, despite societal expectations of them being stoic heroes, first responders are human. They grapple with feelings of sadness, anger, and helplessness, especially in situations they can't control.


The Personal Toll: This constant emotional barrage can strain personal relationships, leading to distancing, irritability, and even substance abuse as a negative coping mechanism.


Building a Support System: The importance of creating an environment within law enforcement departments where officers can speak openly about their feelings, access mental health resources, and feel supported by both leadership and peers is emphasized.


Conclusion and Call to Action: The episode wraps up with a passionate plea to change the narrative surrounding first responders, emphasizing their humanity and the genuine emotions they experience. It's a call for structural change within departments and a reminder for first responders: It's okay to ask for help.


Join Coach Ashlie Walton and Detective Walton as they shed light on the unseen battles first responders face and the importance of acknowledging and addressing these hidden traumas.




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