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Signs and Symptoms of Police Officer Burnout

  • A sense of dread – nervous stomach before shift
  • Fatigue – feeling tired most of the time, no energy
  • Easy to anger, irritability, lack of tolerance, lack of interest
  • Low self-esteem, feelings of low mood and depression
  • Negative outlook on life, life meaninglessness, job meaninglessness
  • A sense of being trapped, without options – boxed in
  • Tension headaches, increased migraines, muscle aches
  • Nervous stomach – eating and digestive disturbances
  • Increased use of alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs
  • Sleep disturbances – anxiety dreams or nightmares
  • Sexual dysfunction – no desire, inability to perform, or hypersexuality
  • Uncharacteristic negative behavior or acting out
  • Lack of concern for behavior consequences
  • Carelessness on the job, poor officer safety
  • Increased citizen and family complaints
  • Increased problems with coworkers and supervisors

Signs of Excessive Stress

  • Impaired judgment and mental confusion
  • Uncharacteristic indecisiveness
  • Aggression – temper tantrums and short fuse
  • Continually argumentative
  • Increased irritability and anxiety
  • Increased apathy or denial of problems
  • Loss of interest in family, friends, and activities
  • Increased feelings of insecurity with lowered self esteem
  • Feelings of inadequacy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) is a treatment method that has proven to be very helpful to many, and which has gained widespread acceptance among mental health providers and trauma patients. Practitioners with special training offer EMDR to patients who are assessed as suitable and would be likely to benefit from it. Specific decisions about treatment are always made by qualified clinicians in consultation with their patients.

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