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“The RCMP broke my brain”: Can you be sure it’s broken?

Aug 31

Several days ago I read a news article (Postmedia News, August 25, 2013) in which a high profile member of the RCMP (who has made no secret of being assessed as suffering from PTSD) stated that “The RCMP broke my brain”.  If you have a similar “diagnosis” and believe your brain is broken please take pause.  Here is some information worth considering (I have included references with this post, just in case you are of a mind to increase your knowledge in an area that is replete with misinformation) :

  • Do we know the psychopathology that underlies PTSD?

No, we do not.  The use of terms like “diagnosis”, “symptoms”, and “syndromes” and the division of disorders into “diagnostic categories” by psychology/psychiatry constitutes the medicalization of thought and behaviour in the absence of proof that anything medical is occurring (e.g. a broken brain).  In addition, the terms have no obvious meaning in light of Woolfolk’s (2001) assertion that while we know what a heart dysfunction is, the concept of behavioural or psychological dysfunction has no clear meaning.  In other words, medicine has scientifically based diagnostic tests that follow symptoms, on the surface, to their root causes whereas psychology and psychiatry do not.  Mirowsky (1990) added, early, to our understanding by pointing out that symptoms (i.e. your subjective experience) are supposed to be signs that point to something beyond themselves.  The signs/symptoms of psychological disorders (including PTSD) point only to the “categories” of disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM); and I’m sure you would agree that your symptoms are not caused by words in the DSM through which your care-giver has perceived and organized your complaints.

Moreover, Benight (2012) in an article focused on assisting us to see beyond the current research paradigm, points out how most of the work in the area of traumatic stress focuses on either the risk factors that precede a post traumatic response, or the specific symptoms that follow a potentially traumatic exposure.  We know very little about the dynamics of the psychopathology that happens in between (e.g. a broken brain?).

Finally, the near obsession with PTSD in both the lay and professional literatures has tended to overlook the wide diversity of responses that individuals exhibit following a potentially traumatic event.  For example, PTSD often occurs along with other types of psychopathology, most frequently depression.  How these two may interact over time is poorly understood; not enough study has been done to choose among competing explanations.  Do depression and PTSD originate from the same source (e.g. Breslau, et al., 2000) or does depression arise subsequent to PTSD as a response to the failure to get well (e.g. Gilboa-Schechtman & Foa, 2001)?  It is also plausible that depressive thinking may precede, and in some cases contribute to, the cause of PTSD (Bryant & Guthrie, 2007).

So to be very blunt, while I understand what the RCMP member was trying to say, the only thing you accomplish by erroneously accusing the Force of breaking your brain, is to provide them with a wrongheaded reason to dismiss you!

  • Is PTSD a discrete clinical “category”?

No, it is not.  Following the third edition of the DSM the criteria for PTSD began to gradually expand in an attempt to address subjective experience.  This initiative has served to lower the threshold for a diagnosis of PTSD which has resulted in the diagnosis becoming less valid (McNally, 2003).  In addition, studies that have examined the latent structure of PTSD symptoms have consistently supported a dimensional rather than a categorical structure (Broman-Fulks et al., 2006; Ruscio, Ruscio & Keane, 2002).  This means that there is a compelling case to be made for viewing PTSD as existing on a continuum ranging from mild to severe rather than as a discrete clinical category (i.e. either you have it or you don’t).

  • Are all “traumatic events” traumatic?

No, they are not.  When trauma adjustment is followed over time much variability is discovered.  There is so much variability in how individuals adapt to a “traumatic event” the term is being referred to as a misnomer.  Researchers in the area are now advocating the use of the phrase “potentially traumatic event” (PTE) (Bonanno, 2004; Norris, 1992) as it seems that most people exposed to PTEs cope remarkably well (Bonanno, 2004, 2005; Bonanno & Marscini, 2008).

Empirical studies suggest that most of the variability in response to PTEs, across time, can be illustrated by four different trajectories: gradual recovery; a relatively stable trajectory of healthy functioning; a delayed reaction; and, chronic dysfunction.  Gradual recovery was defined by Bonanno (2004) as “a trajectory in which normal functioning temporarily gives way to threshold or sub-threshold psychopathology (e.g., symptoms of depression or PTSD) usually for a period of at least several months, and then gradually returns to pre-event levels.  Full recovery may be relatively rapid, or may take as long as one or two years”.  Until recently relatively little was known about the trajectory of healthy functioning (or resilience) as a result of the focus on PTSD as a category.  Due to an accumulation of research it is now clear that the ability to maintain normative or baseline levels of functioning, following a PTE, is not rare but often the most common response (Bonanno, 2004, 2005; Bonanno & Mancini, 2008)

Delayed reactions to highly stressful events have been traditionally thought to be the result of inhibition or denial.  The literature on bereavement, for example, suggests that when there is an absence of immediate grief, it will eventually surface as a delayed response (e.g. Bowlby, 1980; Osterweis, Solomon & Green, 1984; Rando, 1993).  Despite the wide acceptance of this belief, solid empirical evidence has as yet to be produced (Bonanno & Kaltman 1999); Wortman & Silver, 1989).  The longitudinal research on PTSD suggests, rather than a genuine delayed reaction, a sub-threshold response that tends to worsen over time (Andrews, 2008; Bonanno et. al, 2005; Buckley et al., 1996).  And finally, it is well understood that only a relatively small group of individuals will manifest a chronic pathological reaction to PTEs (e.g. Bonanno, Rennicke, & Dekel 2005; Davis, 1999; Robins, 1990).

So to conclude, I will caution that the field of trauma studies (e.g. PTSD) has become rife with myth and misconception.  I hope what I have presented here helps to clarify some of this misinformation.  While I understand what the member was trying to say, it is a sign of psychological illiteracy to suggest that anyone who has received a “diagnosis” of PTSD has a “broken brain”.  It would have been more accurate to suggest that “as a result of the harassment I have endured at the hands of my employer, I feel broken”.

Dr. Mike Webster, R. Psych.


Andrews, B., Brewin, C.R., Philpott, R. & Stewart, L. (2008).  Delayed onset posttraumatic stress disorder:  A systematic review of the evidence.  American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 1319-1326.

Benight, C.C. & Bandura, A. (2004).  Social cognitive theory of posttraumatic recovery:  The role of perceived self efficacy.  Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42, 1129-1148.

Bonanno, G.A. (2004).  Loss, trauma, and human resilience:  Have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events?  American Psychologist, 59, 20-28.

Bonanno, G.A., & Mancini, A.D. (2008).  The human capacity to thrive in the face of potential trauma.  Pediatrics, 121, 369-375.

Bonanno, G.A., Papa, A., Lalande, K., Westphal, M. & Coifman, K. (2004).  The importance of being flexible:  The ability to both enhance and suppress emotional expression predicts long-term adjustment.  Psychological Science, 15, 482-487.

Bonanno, G.A., Rennicke, C., & Dekel, S. (2005).  Self enhancement among high exposure survivors of the September 11th terrorist attack:  Resilience or social maladjustment?  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 984 – 998.

Bonanno, G.H. & Kaltman, S. (1999).  Toward an integrative perspective on bereavement.  Psychological Bulletin, 125, 760-776.

Bowlby, J.  (1980).  Attachment and loss.  New York:  Basic Books.

Breslau, N., Davis, G.C., Peterson, E.L., & Schultz, L. (2000).  A second look at comorbidity in victims of trauma:  The posttraumatic stress disorder – major depression connection.  Biological Psychiatry, 48, 902-909.

Broman-Fulks, J.J., Ruggerio, K.J., Green, B.A., Kilpatrick, D.G., Danielson, C.K., Resnick, H.S. & Saunders, B.E. (2006).  Taxometric investigation of PTSD:  Data from two nationally representative samples.  Behaviour Therapy, 37, 364-380.

Bryant, R.A. & Guthrie, R.M. (2007).  Maladaptive self appraisals before trauma exposure predict posttraumatic stress disorder.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 812 – 815.

Buckley, T.C., Blanchard, E.B., & Hickling, E.J. (1996).  A prospective examination of delayed onset PTSD secondary to motor vehicle accidents.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105, 617-625.

Davis, H. (1999).  The psychiatrization of posttraumatic stress:  Issues for social workers.  British Journal of Social Work, 29, 755-777.

Gilboa-Schechtman, E., & Foa, E.B. (2001).  Patterns of recovery from trauma:  The use of intraindividual analysis.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 392.

McNally, R.J. (2003).  Progress and controversy in the study of posttraumatic stress.  Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 229-252.

Mirowsky, J. (1990).  Subjective boundaries and combinations in psychiatric diagnoses.  Journal of Mind and Behaviour, 11, 407-423.

Norris, F.H. (1992).  Epidemiology of trauma:  Frequency and impact of different potentially traumatic events on different demographic groups.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60, 409-418.

Osterweis, M., Solomon, F. & Green, F. (1984).  Bereavement:  Reactions, consequences and care.  Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Rando, T.A. (1993).  Treatment of complicated mourning.  Champaign IL. Research Press.

Robins, L.N. (1990).  Steps toward evaluating post-traumatic stress reactions as a psychiatric disorder.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20, 1674 – 1677.

Ruscio, A.M., Ruscio, J. & Keane, T.M. (2002).  The latent structure of posttraumatic stress disorder: A taxometric analysis of reaction to extreme stress.  Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111, 290-301.

Woolfolk, R. (2001).  The concept of mental illness. Journal of Mind and Behaviour, 22, 161-187.

Wortman, C.B. & Silver, R.C. (1989).  The myths of coping with loss.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 349-357.

  1. mixer permalink

    Hi Dr, I think I understand what your telling us. That we should be careful with using the wrong words when describing our ailments because by using them we would be giving our employer his much needed excuse to get rid of us. While I was reading your words I was wondering WHO was writing them, why was this person hiding behind technical Medical Jargon. I guess that must of been my PTSD or one of his friends causing me to question your words. Your right in saying that PTSD is so widely used to describe many things. I also agree that my brain is not BROKEN, I feel that it is not the same as it was. When I say my arm is broken it’s because the rest of me is not.

    You will surely understand that we feel the only way to describe our Brain is like another part of our body like my Head Hurts, of course I never heard anybody say I have a Brain hurt or a Brain Ache. Yes we forget that our brain is who we are. ( I may be wrong or using the wrong words) and not just a body part.
    Being Police officers we do weight all the words that are used when doing an Investigation, so yes we should use the right words when saying what we have.
    The cause of PTSD may not be easy to find. Yes long term exposure to bad and negative things will change anybody. Does it cause PTSD or Depression ? I don’t know. When I was told, or classified as being a person who experience PTSD it has help me try to understand the changes that I have experienced. The RCMP is using this brand to identify me. Yet they don’t care what caused it nor that I’m feeling better but that I do have bad days.

    The system, RCMP HEALTH SERVICES has used this Brand to place me on Duty to Accommodate (DTA) they wrote down that the only restriction that I have is that I can only WORK DAYS that I can continue to investigate or do REGULAR Police work. Now this NEW brand has limited my duties to any demenial duty they can find. Yet say I’m still subject to EMERGENCY call out. My Brain is NOT Broken but the System IS.

    Thanks Doc for creating this blog for permitting use to read your what others are experiencing and bringing us to order.

    • Hello Mixer,
      Thank you very much for your thoughtful response. I like the metaphor of the “broken arm”. It illustrates my point well. In medicine the physician has the X-Ray to determine the underlying cause of your pain symptoms; in psychology/psychiatry no such test exists…..we really don’t know what is causing your pain? However, based on my understanding of the state of traumatic stress research, I will tell you this, sometimes the worst does happen but because of our innate tendency to “bounce back”, most of the time things will work out just fine.

      Dr. Mike Webster R. Psych.

      • Anonymous permalink

        I think it is helpful to also ask ourselves how did it feel. I feel as though I have gone through stages. I felt I carried my stress in my stomach and my physical body for a long time. That is what I had always done, it had always worked fine for me. I believe I had “normal” stress response. My stress manifested itself physically, adrenaline rush, shakey hands pounding heart, but I could still think straight in fact my thought process was great, memory also great, no depression at all. I knew I was suffering from stress but I was coping and managing it. Then something shifted. I am not sure what caused the shift, maybe suppressing one drama too many but it started to feel as though it shifted to my head and I started to feel stress response in my head. Again I functioned like this for a while but it was different than my normal stress response. I could no longer feel normal physical nervous adrenal responses in critical situations. I almost needed critical situations to function mentally. Maybe because I became physically run down also. I was also diagnosed at the same time with fibro and adrenal fatigue. Then it progressed to feeling like a head injury. I went day in day out with a crippling headache and terrible anxiety and physical fatigue. No depression as such through any of this. As I have gotten over the head thing and my anxiety levels have dropped and almost returned to normal depression has set in. The depression comes and goes and there have been times when it has been alarmingly bad. Yes I could take anti depressants but I haven’t because if I did I wouldn’t know when I was feeling better and I want to feel better not just be medicated better.

        My short term memory is terrible it was there in the early diagnosis but it has gotten worse lately. I just pray it will return to me. Long term is excellent. I believe also that disassociation is something I have experienced a lot of with my ptsd. A feeling that my circumstances were so unpleasant that I almost check out and have had long periods when I feel all the lights are on but no one is home. This became a bad habit which I am working on currently. A feeling of being here but not really being present in the moment and participant. Like a bystander in my own life.

        So in relation to your question of what comes first, for me the anxiety disorder came first and it was followed by depression. However I feel much of the depression has been caused by lack of hope of resolution in my working situation. With work comes hope, life and meaning, routine, and function. If working routines are not re-established then of course you’re going to sink that is only natural. People without PTSD who are unemployed and unemployable frequently suffer from depression. So if your anxiety disorder has caused the loss of your job temporary or permanent of course you are going to be depressed. People who suffer from anxiety disorders need to keep moving forward. Feeling trapped in a situation or being unemployed is not good for people with anxiety. They need to keep busy, have distraction (focus) and relaxation. They need to re-learn the way around their own brain and how to navigate. I can definitely feel when I am starting to “go there” where I don’t want to go and I check myself now. I try to avoid feeding it. I figure if I can brake cycles I will and eventually my brain will return to normal functioning instead of being stuck in a chaotic loop. I also know when enough is enough and where as before I would have just kept on going doing more and more I now am very aware and I say to myself I’m overwhelmed and that’s okay. Just saying the word makes me feel better. It relieves my anxiety. By saying this. I give myself permission to slow down, knowing that if I do, that the overwhelming feeling will pass and I will feel resilient again before too long.

        I want to recover from PTSD, I want to believe that I can, and I am focussing on this recovery every day. I want to have myself back and am hoping that positive thought process will start to become more natural than deliberate. That I will start to feel more able than disabled. That the percentages will shift.

        I have read that PTSD is like snakes and ladders. When you land on a ladder you go up, then life deals you a snake and you take a step back and let’s face it nobody likes setbacks. But if you’ve ever played the game you always end up at the top of the board.

        Was my PTSD (anxiety disorder) work related? Yes. Was it as a result of harassment at work? Yes. Is it preventable – hell yes if the RCMP would only treat us more intelligently.

    • Bob Perry permalink

      Hello Mixer – The RCMP is very good at organizing, categorizing and classifying its human resources. The use of “limitations & restrictions” to establish a recovering members “status” is a little archaic; perhaps a more purposeful and holistic approach would be to talk in terms of the members abilities.

      L&R’s appear to bring with them a negative context – that the member is “less than” others. It also may strike at the very core of who were are and what we do – potentially threatening our careers as police officers. Though, on the positive side it may provide an opportunity to pause, reassess where we are in life and whether continuing in the police field is where we wish to be.

      Not having a collective understanding of the nature of a psychological injury also is a factor in the stigmatizing members. Breaking a leg, suffering an amputation are all “visible” injuries that seem to receive greater “supportive efforts” than harm done to our brains receives. We cannot see it, we have little understanding or choose not to understand. This is part of the stigma that comes with being off with a psychological injury.

      As you and others have probably experienced managers and supervisors require greater education around the nature of psychological injuries; how to provide meaningful work to those that are returning from a psychological/occupational stress injury; and around reintegrating the healing member back to work in a purposeful, compassionate manner. Dr. Jeff Morley, a former member, recently highlighted a need for a reintegration component as part of an overall strategy – I could not agree more.

      One of the best learning experiences I had in my career was taking a course (on my own volition) entitled ” A Managers Guide to Stress, Trauma and Burnout for Police Officers” (now called:
      Valuable Work – Meaningful Life: Effectively Addressing Stress, Burnout & Trauma in the Workplace”) by Dr. Fisher & Associates. It was the start of a new learning path.

  2. Wow, very insightful. My head hurts just reading it.

    Well said and something members should think about when receiving any diagnoses. Just because you have been diagnosed with an injury does not give the RCMP reason to discharge you. Further, is the RCMP not responsible to deal with the complaints that members have made prior to dismissing them for any reason? It seems to me that RCMP management wants to dismiss for any reason and not deal with complaints.

    My thoughts.

  3. Catherine permalink


    I am the person who made the ‘broken brain’ comment. My brain definitely feels broken because I struggle to multi-task and I struggle with short term memory loss. My own doctor has told me that I have a brain injury so, yes, I guess I have a broken brain. At the moment, I am not employable.

    I have spoken to Doc. Webster in the past about PTSD and he calls it ‘Post Traumatic Growth’, meaning that our trauma is something we can learn from and grow from as human beings. I agree with him. I know that I cannot move forward until I am disconnected from my employer which is why I feel comfortable in making the comments that I do and continuing to move forward with the medical board. Let the chips fall where they may and I will still do my best to help my colleagues who are suffering with psychological illnesses. I know the RCMP is aware that I cannot return to work, as I have been very public about that, and I think we all know that, at least for me, it will be healthier to move forward.

    My biggest concern right now is that some members will return to work too quickly because they are in fear of losing their jobs if they don’t. Does anyone know how long you have to be off duty sick before you receive the Notice of Intent to Discharge? I’m just wondering because I have many paranoid friends right now.

    • Bob Perry permalink

      Hello Catherine – you pose an interesting question that perhaps I may take the liberty of shaping slightly. I wish to add a few cursory observations before delving into that point.

      The RCMP is a process generating and process driven organization. Process is often grounded in rules, regulations and policies that are not necessarily forward looking or 21st Century policing driven. This process preoccupation frequently leads the decision making in the RCMP to “do things right” rather than “doing the right thing.”

      This may result in the seemingly chasm of disconnect between expression of thought and action by the senior managers in the organization; resulting in member frustration, anger and disillusionment. If we joined the RCMP thinking that it had any expressed genuine concern for its employees that is supported and evidenced by its collective actions then many of us were quickly disappointed.

      ‘E’ Division HR used to use the phrase “Employees are our greatest asset”. I use to chuckle at the phrase as members were treated like valued assets alright; assets like chairs, tables and computers that are acquired, used and then condemned for disposal. There are too many insights from affected members to not believe in a wide disconnect between the expression of value the organization has in its members and the actions it takes.

      Around the question of how long a member has to be ODS before being discharged, I would like to think it is assessed on individual merits of the case and the degree to which the member can serve in some capacity if not fully fit as a Category 2 or 3. Many posts here from members have outwardly expressed frustration and anger that they feel they are being “pushed out” of the organization.

      So I ask the following re-shaped question for those that read and post comments here:

      1. How long should an organization, like he RCMP, wait for the return to wellness/health of an employee off duty sick?

      2. Should psychological injuries be treated differently in this assessment process than the more common physical injuries?

      3. Recognizing that the rigors of police work can lead to physiological/psychological injury should the pension plan be changed to reflect this reality?

      4. Is there hope for the RCMP to transform itself into a 21st Century police organization that places a high value, and genuine value on its employees rather than just doing things right vs. doing the right thing?

      Just a few thoughts for which I do not have a full answer.

    • Anonymous permalink

      Catherine’s concern of members returning to work too early is real. I made that mistake myself and there are others in far worse situations than me.

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Hi Catherine, Trust me your memory will get better, I remember not remembering , ( sounds weird) of how not being able to do the simplest of things. ie watch a movie in the VCR (ok I’m old, I was 43 at the time) i had sticky notes on the machines on how to do it. The Kids would have fun watching me . I was the Tech GEEK lol.

    Yes a part of the brain is affected even Damages as some say (which I agree), Of course some say this is not true… But WE know differently having lived with it.
    Your PTSD is going to get better, but it’s ugly head will visit every now and then. As for People at work well, I’ve had some Supervisor’s who in the Past would say that PTSD people were faker’s and abuser of the system and when they became ill they came to see me for support and ask If they would ever be normal again. Only to deny this once they got better. ( so I guess they were never normal )

    I’m also concern like you, about people coming back to work too soon, because they will fall again, all we can do is to be there if THEY decide THEY want our help. Even then some supervisor told me I was encouraging them to become SICK. ( I got the Power ) lol

    A Friend of mine who is a Drug Recognition Expert, you know the ones we use like Breathalyzer Technician. He would look at my eyes and say you should not be working because you are impaired by drugs the supervisor’s would laugh this off because this Technician was my friend and would say anything to support me. You see he was told the same thing when he took his DRE course as he like us is a PTSD Survivor and back to work on Medication.

    Once you start to feel better only THEN will you realize how far you have come. After 13 yrs I see how much I have Improved, almost Normal … LOL whatever Normal is in this Day and Age.

    You mentioned ” I cannot move forward until I am disconnected from my employer ” there is some truth to this. Now I will say something Stupid ” THE ONLY POWER THEY HAVE OVER YOU IS THE POWER YOU ALLOW THEM TO HAVE. ” When I told this to one of my A–hole supervisor’s because he was starting a to RANT he almost had a KITTEN. He could not believe that I had told him that. He said that he would charge me under the RCMP Act. I said for what ? Asserting Myself then I walked out of his Office. As we do not have to listen to their STUPID comments and insults. No charge ever came .

    Remember they Hired you because you were The BEST Candidate. Nothing has change except now you are Stronger than before. BOZO Parade does not affect us anymore .

    Take care, Head up, Shoulders Square !

  5. mixer permalink

    Well Bob you sparked a flame in my torch.
    I don’t understand the Category 2 or 3 what do you mean by this.

    All members that are well are category 2 fit for duty. Category 1 is ERT team, (Strong macho members.)
    Category 3 is some type of restriction, this goes on to 6 or 7 I believe. At Level 5,6 chances of you Returning to regular Duties or doing any Police Work is very Slim. Once the Rcmp has determinded that this is PERMANENT, they will be looking to discharge that Employee.

    You see I’ve always been a Cat 2, last year after my medical I got a Cat 1 across the board. I told the Doc I did not want a 1 but a 2 like I’ve always been for 25 yrs. He replied by saying Cat 1 is better. Now this Year I’m a Cat 2 except for working shifts which is a Cat 3. HMMMM but I’ve been branded since 2000 and never any restriction and the work always done to their SATISFACTION…

    This time with the restriction that I have to work days. Even do that I’ve been off the Sleep Meds for 13 months and sleeping better. The Doctor says my Affliction is PERMANENT because some WHITE SHIRT told him I was either Cured or NOT. ( This is what the Doctor told me )
    He wanted to place me in a Section, I joked and said I want to stay on the Road front line. …. One month later I was duty to accommodate because I can’t work nights. The Doc said I can do everything else except nights because of PTSD, Medical Insomnia etc.
    So I guess your wondering what’s my Point well that’s it why can’t I return to do what the Force Doctor say I was doing and that my immediate supervisor say’s I’m good at and wants me Back.. I don’t have the answer maybe Bureaucrats or back stabbing.

    Now Catherine, unless I’m mistaking , the force can start Notice to Discharge once they believe you cannot do your duties… which ones ??? The Force Doctor has to agree that you chances of ever doing POLICE Work are slim to none. A panel of 3 doctor’s can be convened to make sure nobody has made an Error.

    But Really Bob what is Real Police work ?
    1) Is it Front Line, going to bar fights and domestics ;
    2) Maybe it’s Investigating any Criminal Offence.
    3) Or maybe Drug team,
    4) Surveillance,
    5) Intel,
    6) Protective Detail
    7) Technical Ops, Computer support
    8) RIOT Team ,
    9) Training branch because of experience and knowledge,
    10) Street Team;
    11) GIS;
    12) Terrorism NSIS
    13) Computer Crime
    14) last but not least Highway…
    Because I’ve done them all and I’m being told there is nothing available…. because I can’t work NIGHTS…

    Now for how long should our Employer wait for us to get better. This is the real kicker. We do not have UNLIMITED SICK DAYS . We have the Time it Takes to get Better. Whom should decide how long this is ?
    1) A White Shirt that Hide’s in an Office
    2) SEC They hasn’t done any REAL POLICE WORK Since getting a White Shirt .
    NO A Doctor not a POLICE, A group of Doctors not a Group of POLICE.

    No straight answer for time on this because the HUMAN BODY is a complex thing. The same injury takes longer in some cases for many uncontrolled factors.
    It’s get’s even more complicated when the injury is in the Brain. Because as our Friend the Doctor said there is no machine to determine what is not correct in the Brain. You see the brain can heal itself after time, it can reroute the synapses around areas that are damages.

    Now our Friends in Uniform in the Canadian Armed Force have program(S) to help them get back to work; or help them adjust to life after the Force, because of complicated injuries. God knows they deserve it after going to WAR and seeing horrible things abroad.

    The RCMP also has A program to help it’s members: it’s called DISMISSAL , UNFIT FOR POLICE WORK.
    Even if the INJURIES are directly related to doing our Job, you know the usual run of the mill stuff: 1) Getting shot at,
    2) fights where it’s 10 to 1 or 12000 to 27 that’s right and no backup because NO MONEY
    3) involved in accidents because our Client’s have decided that they are not going to cooperate so they ram you police car or try to run you over while your on foot patrol .

    This happens everyday a POLICE Person put on the UNIFORM and goes OUTSIDE the Office. Then when he enters the office where his FAMILY is where he should be safe and sound he gets it again but on the Mental side …

    1) Harassment pick the type because it goes from Sexual, Physical and Mental

    So bottom line When you get hurt while working, ITS DUTY RELATED if you can’t return to work … FULL PENSION.
    The politicians get it after spending 8 yrs in OFFICE.

    Why not US
    (ps) I’m not angry or Mad at you Bob you just sparked the flame and it Flared

  6. Anonymous permalink

    Was Pierre off duty?

  7. Anonymous permalink

    thanks Lori

  8. Dr. Mike Webster permalink

    Hello Lori,
    Thank you for your pertinent post. I think it will add much to the present discussion on the blog. I am familiar with Dr. Ochberg and his work. He is a distinguished psychiatrist and author. What is important for all those who read this guest-blog to realize is that there is a big difference between opinion (a hypothesis) and fact. The scientific method welcomes hypotheses, but they must be tested before they are accepted as facts (even if they come out of high profile mouths). The data that comes from the testing of a hypothesis must be collected and analyzed, and then a conclusion formulated that can be communicated to other researchers so that they can attempt to replicate the result. Dr. Ochberg is simply offering an opinion (a hypothesis) in this video. Without proof of what “seems” to him we would be unscientific and naive to accept it as fact.

    An example of the kind of science that I am speaking of is the work done by, the neuroscientist, Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos from the University of Minnesota. Several years ago (2010) he used brain imaging, and a machine called a magnetoencephalography (MEG), to study psychiatric disorders (including PTSD). He was able to identify patients suffering from PTSD by measuring electrical signals in the brain. While his findings may sound encouraging (in the quest to find medical substrates for psychiatric disorders), it is important to recognize that his work was preliminary, not widely replicated, and raised as many questions as it answered. For example, the MEG continued to identify electrical signals associated with PTSD even in those subjects who were identified as recovered. As I’m sure you would agree, this result is confusing and calls into question not only the MEG’s ability to identify discrete psychological conditions but also the relationship between electrical impulses and those same conditions. So as you can see, even promising leads like Dr. Georgopoulos’ require much more scientific inquiry before we can make any definitive statements. With the state of trauma research as it is today, anyone suggesting that PTSD is a brain injury is offering an opinion in the absence of well established fact.

    Dr. Mike Webster R. Psych.


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