Soldiers are often diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after enduring emotional turmoil, but individuals in other professions suffer similar repercussions after experiencing trauma. New research shows that people in the medical field can suffer from trauma that results in PTSD as well.
Michael Ferrara is one example of an individual who has never set foot on a battlefield, but is now struggling with horrifying memories of his own. For three decades, Ferrara worked as a search-and-rescue official, firefighter, ski patrol officer and paramedic. Eventually, his days in the field began to catch up with him, according to NPR.
Ferrara told the news source that he began to see images of climbers who had fallen to their death and burned bodies in his head. To cope with the trauma, Ferrara isolated himself and began taking drugs.
Experts believe that a lack of education and awareness of PTSD has prevented many individuals from reaching out for help. The stigma attached to the condition has also hindered the recovery process for people who have sought assistance.
More than 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Therapy can often help individuals manage the condition over time.