What is critical incident stress?

Most first responders see, hear, taste, smell and touch more trauma in a month than the average citizen does in a lifetime. Critical incident stress is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, by a group or an individual. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Over/under eating
  • Withdrawal
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Increased alcohol consumption

These symptoms are normal, as long as they do not continue for an extended period of time, causing your life to become unmanageable (relationship problems, work-related problems, addictive behavior, domestic violence, etc).