What is PTSD?

The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) as,

A mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”  

Other symptoms include intrusive thoughts, reliving the trauma over and over again. Intrusive thoughts can appear in dreams, a person could have negative mood changes, avoidance, and anxiety.  

Montana Highway Patrol
Photo courtesy of the Montana Highway Patrol

Imagine what Montana Highway Patrol  officers see on a daily basis.  

These people are usually the first on the scene, whether it’s a fire, a crash, a shooting etc. And those scenes can be quite traumatic and violent. Those memories may wiggle their way deep into the subconscious and can cause issues later in life.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

Reddit is blowing up over this exact topic in the state of Montana.  

According to one website, Montana and a few other states do not offer workers compensation for PTSD.

The title of the thread says: Disgusted with MHP and states, 

Montana law specifically prohibits PTSD from being covered under workers compensation. In some other states, like Washington, it is state law that if you serve 10 years as a first responder it is assumed you have PTSD and must be proven otherwise by the state. If a claim is made you are eligible for disability retirement. PTSD is also covered under work comp. As usual, Montana is about 20 years behind the rest of the country. It is disgusting that asking for help resulted in such harsh and unjust treatment.” 

 People are also blaming the political landscape for lack of {mental} health benefits in Montana. 

Another comment on reddit reads, “Anyone who thinks they give a crap about working class people, even cops, is kidding themselves. They only care about cops insofar as crime can help get their decrepit base voters to the polls. That’s why we all got so many mailers telling us the whole state would be Portland if we didn’t vote for incompetent half-lawyers like Knudsen.”  

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

Treatment for PTSD  

Some people have combatted their PTSD with therapy, daily rituals and healthy lifestyle choices. But if left unattended, PTSD can become overwhelming and interferes with daily life. It’s crucial to seek help when something traumatic happens to us, but not everyone knows what to do.  

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

Lessening the stigma on mental health

We have to lessen the stigma of seeking mental health help, especially in the state of Montana where depression rates are through the roof. Mental health days off work, or to seek therapy are crucial for people with PTSD.

If workers aren’t getting paid for those days off work, or for therapy then what is the answer?

I’ll tell you right now the mentality of, “pull up your boot straps up and work,” isn’t helping.  The bypassing of, “people don’t know what hard work is these days” doesn’t help either. 

If you're suffering with intrusive, traumatic thoughts seek help. We see you, we hear you. And you deserve the help. If you know anyone dealing with PTSD, being an active listener is a great tool to help cope. Everyone just wants to be seen and heard.


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