How one paramedic is recovering from PTSD


Our sessions have been amazing. They’re the highlight of my week. This doctor is a big proponent of a therapy called EMDR: eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. I can only explain it as Voodoo, but I’ll try to explain it as it was explained to me. EMS personnel share a common characteristic we use when responding to calls. When we see someone injured or critical, we have the ability to shut off our emotion. All of us have this uncanny skill to stop feeling and start thinking. We shut off the emotional side of our brains and just use the logic side. All of us who’ve performed CPR on a baby, or patched up a person who’s been badly mutilated in a car accident, knows there’s no time for “the feels.” We have a job to do and we do it well. But that ability to shut off our emotions has a drawback: We’re not shutting off the emotions, we’re suppressing them. Over time, we become off balance. All of our emotions start to fight to get out at inopportune times. You can only suppress them for so long before the emotions have had enough. [Excerpt]






Benjamin Vernon

Original Work Citation

Vernon, B. (2016, January 15). How one paramedic is recovering from PTSD. Journal of Emergency Medical Services. Retrieved from



“How one paramedic is recovering from PTSD,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 21, 2020,

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