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waypills666

How do these people get that tough mentally?

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I always wondered how police officers, army men, paramedics deal with abusive and aggressive people and life threatening situations everyday without breaking or having a nervous breakdown. Is it coz they are exposed to it so much that they used to it and are now emotionally numb? How did they get that tough mentally?

Edited by waypills666

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They are chosen for their ability to not give a crap =) Most officers now are ex military or just back from Iraq...that's one reason. The other reason is the training is conditioning. And lastly I think military/officers/EMT's etc are exposed to so much violence and abuse that it wouldn't take long for the average man or woman to become desensitized. You kinda have to be numb to a degree to do the work they do.

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Are u saying being exposed to enough violence and abuse turns u into a hard ass? That's crap.

I've been exposed to emotional abuse on and off for over 15 years and it turned me into a total paranoid wreck. My anixety is sky high. I now trust no one. I can't function properly. Have no friends.

If anything the abuse has made me more fragile and MORE sensitive.

Edited by waypills666

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Why are you saying it is crap when you just asked:

"Is it coz they are exposed to it so much that they used to it and are now emotionally numb?"

If that's your response why even ask the question? Different people react differently. That doesn't make it crap.

I can't speak for other professions but my husband had a fairly extensive psych review before being accepted in the sub service and on an ongoing basis people get transferred out for psych issues.

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They get taught not to take the abuse personally though, also they dont get abused by people that are close to them or are supposed to care about them which makes it different to being abused by friends, family, workmates etc.

also everyone is wired differently, some people can handle things others cant.

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A pdoc once told me people who don't break:

no.1 they know how to look after themselves(can fight, self defend)

no.2 is confidence

no.3 they have people who can back them up

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It takes a specific personality and mental sense of being to become a cop. You have to be able to let stress not affect you, to let what people say roll off your back, to react quickly and decisively in urgent situations, to always put yourself first, and most importantly, to be able to distance yourself from what is going on.

A cop goes through extensive psychological testing to make sure they are the exact personality type they need. If there is one thing off or one crack in the chain they are rejected from the program.

Like I said, the most important thing for cops to be able to do is distance themselves. They can't let the often-horrible things they see affect them personally. Sometimes, only a "cold" person csn do this, but I've seen plenty of warm family people who are successful officers.

Like it was said, cops go through months and months of training. A lot of it is psychological. They are given the tools they need to be able to handle the pressures of the job.

Someone who had an MI is simply not built to do this. Nothing from being a cop can realistically be applied to our lives to somehow make us mentally stronger.

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I always wondered how police officers, army men, paramedics deal with abusive and aggressive people and life threatening situations everyday without breaking or having a nervous breakdown. Is it coz they are exposed to it so much that they used to it and are now emotionally numb? How did they get that tough mentally?

In my career I was a life flight nurse and a 911 paramedic. I do not remember ever being emotionally numb, however I do remember being so physically exhausted that my brain felt numb. However, that numbness never prevented me from doing what needed to be done, being empathetic, explaining what and why I was doing it, and demonstrating compassion and restraint even in the most trying of circumstances.

After shifts there was always the opportunity to verbalize, discuss, and even to cuss. Debriefing, is, in my experience, the cornerstone of being strong/tough both physically and mentally.

Contrary to what WithWingz expressed, not giving a crap and becoming desensitized were reasons to be reassigned or dismissed.

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I had a very good friend who was a long time cop and detective. I asked him how he dealt with the pressure. Now, he is the sort of person who is always upbeat and quick with a witty remark. Maybe that says something in itself.

In any case, he described to me that "You can't take it personally. It's just a job. He then mention mentioned the old cartoon, where the sheep dog and the wolf meet at the time clock with lunch pails, clock in, chase each other then clock out at the end of the day on the best of terms.

Despite your believe, the military does not teach it's personnel to be violent. Yes it teaches how to fight a war, but the last thing it wants is violent soldiers.

I can throw out several terms that may better describe the situation

-Professional detachment. Doctors don't know this automatically. Student doctors spend vast amounts of time in clinic learning how to handle patients without turning red, giggling or running out of the room

-Compartmentalization: Pilots learn that once they begin walking out to the plane, they must stop thinking about anything else going on in their life and focus only on flying. Any stray thoughts must be stopped immediately. If a pilot can't do that on any given day, then he must remove himself from the flight. I'm sure doctors and medical professionals are the same way.

***There are no supermen. Everyone we have discussed are just people with strenghts and weakness. Some can't handle the pressures and quite their jobs. Some resort to drink or drugs. Some react and act inappropriately with the public.

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Are u saying being exposed to enough violence and abuse turns u into a hard ass? That's crap.

I've been exposed to emotional abuse on and off for over 15 years and it turned me into a total paranoid wreck. My anixety is sky high. I now trust no one. I can't function properly. Have no friends.

If anything the abuse has made me more fragile and MORE sensitive.

you have a point. I think it really depends on the person. SOmetimes, there's too uch shit going on that you just don't have a crap to give anymore. While other times, no matter how bad life gets, you think all the problems made you stronger but they don't. You're still as messed up as before, more so than ever, probably.

It really depends no? Lots of luck in life, and i hope things will get better fo' you,

Margo

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they're being abused by strangers, that's a totally different thing- and yes you can become hardened to it with exposure

it's not like being abused in an intimate relationship, or by family.

just like how your own problems are serious and big, but hearing about someone else's, you are able to be objective.

Edited by hammock

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He then mention mentioned the old cartoon, where the sheep dog and the wolf meet at the time clock with lunch pails, clock in, chase each other then clock out at the end of the day on the best of terms.

AHAHAHA! I totally forgot about this.

Thanks for reminding me!

Absolutely relevant some days in my work. :D

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I have a family member who is a higher up in a police force. He's been in at least 15 years. Seen everything and dealt with all kinds of people. My favorite story is that one time he came upon a very drunk woman and she was not cooperating so he started counting (as a parent would do) 1...2....if I get to 3 its serious....and then she cooperated. That same tactic might not work on someone else but it did that lady.

It really is getting to know the psychology of the public, protecting yourself emotionally, and not bringing it home in a way that negatively impacts your family.

A lot of people couldn't do these jobs. Then there are the ones that do it and are good. (There's also the bad ones and hopefully they will be dealt with).

db

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