The Unspoken Affliction: FD’s and PTSD

A while ago I wrote on the subject of funeral directors and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the belief that there was a lot out there. This is a sensitive subject that will benefit greatly from transparent vulnerable open discussion. But who wants to be first?

Finally, a young man has stepped up. He has given me permission to print here his comment to my article and I reprint it in the hopes it will encourage others to express themselves as well.

I’ll make this short. I agree 100% with you. I’m 25 and I live in Nevada. My oldest sister has said she thinks I have some form of PTSD but I’ve tried to deny that because I feel that can only be for soldier or first responders, heroes. I used to work at a very busy funeral home and I’ve seen just about every type of death out there. Things never bothered me, until I left the business. We would alway say we had a switch we would turn off when we would arrive on a scene to turn off feelings. For a while it felt as if my switch was stuck off but now it has snapped back on and I feel it all. There are things I’ve seen I havnt told anyone. I can’t look at orange extension cord without thinking of the people I’ve picked up hanging from the ceiling with it. My fiancé says I’ve sat up in my sleep on several occasions searching for a deceased baby. Or one time she said I sat up sobbing in my sleep trying to finger print a baby that had been strangled. As an “undertaker” we aren’t supposed to show emotions. I remember recently seeing a jar of red sauce break on the floor and I was instantly brought back to a scene my partner and I went to where a young girl had been shot by her brother and my partner and I were slipping around in blood trying to gently place her in a body bag while the parents are hysterically sobbing. I guess some thing you don’t forget. At times I’ve felt disconnected from others because of the things I’ve seen. I’d look around at people happy and laughing after I had just pulled a charred body out of a house or shell of a car and just think, they have no idea what just happened. I don’t know if you’d say I have PTSD or not but I do believe it’s something that needs to be addressed. Thank you.

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