Reprint from December 2009 Article:
As I write this article the holidays are upon us. According to an Andy Williams Christmas song,“This is the most wonderful time of the year”. Yet, for some firefighters out there it can be frustrating, scary and sometimes a very depressive time.
For these brothers and sisters of ours it can turn into a tragic season. Just within the past week I have heard and/or read of three of our brothers who took their own lives. All that remains are the families and friends who are grieving and wondering why? Or, what could we have done to help?
One of the main causes of suicides is depression, which does not show any discrimination. It doesn’t care about job titles, religion, race, age or gender. It weaves a web of destruction that causes chaos in the lives of those who are suffering from depression. Time and space restrict me from going deeper into explaining the many sides of depression.
Here are signs and symptoms of depression according to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV). They are weight loss, insomnia, restlessness or slowing down, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, confusion and recurring thoughts of death.
If you see a fellow firefighter (or anyone) with these signs or symptoms please have them seek out professional help. We are always protecting each other while on the fire-ground. My hope is that we can protect each other at all times.
If you have feed back, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org