Police Psychology | PTSD Part 1: What You Hear is What You Get
Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
I have seven PTSD cases in my office right now at different stages. Being hit by a car while working highway, a car accident with the leg shattered, a car accident during a chase, a guy stabbed in the eye by an Person with Mental Illness (PMI), a female punched squarely in the face losing teeth by an PMI, a guy who went through open heart surgery, a guy who went through a shooting and explosion, I am a lucky guy to see so much of one kind of case at one time, I guess. All have been depressed, questioning the meaning of life, think life is unfair, all have anxiety, and all have balance problems. You might literally say my patients are bouncing off the walls, as sometimes they are walking like they are on a ship in a rolling sea down my narrow hallways.
The depression and anxiety are all expected, but the amount of balance and vestibular problems is a little bit devastating. I have a thing in my office where I do a brief neurologic test when someone comes in with PTSD. I make them stand on one foot and count to ten which most can do. Then I have them close their eyes and stand on one foot. Everyone loses their balance a little, but most people can recover. When a person has PTSD, they can try and try and there is no recovery. It’s scary, and by the way I was the person who had open-heart surgery mentioned above and it has taken me a year to correct my balance from my mild case of PTSD. So, let’s spend this article taking a closer look at vestibular effect of PTSD. (more…)