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I was employed for about 25 years in the Railway industry amd for the last 15 of those years in a front line supervisory management post in Operations. One of my duties was to deal with what were euphemistically called "incidents" on the lineside. Most of the time these incidents were suicides or tragic accidents. During my career I had to deal personally with at least 9 such incidents.
These horrific deaths sometimes occurred at night and I would be called out, often after already having completed a late shift, after I had gone to bed for the night. The dreadful sight of a person's body after they had been struck by a train weighing 200 tonnes travelling at speed is something I just cannot describe. I still remember the details and I still see and hear the events in my mind.
The incidents were made worse by the pressure I was under to clear the line so that trains could begin to run again. The work was a complex mixture of liaison with the Police and ambulance authorities, advice to staff and passengers, ensuring the safety of the personnel on the track dealing with the incident and communicating with the Rail Control office and signalling centres.
I was never offered any counselling after dealing with these events.
I have only just realised, after coming accross your site, that I might be suffering from PTSD. I do often have flashbacks and have to relive the horror of these events.
Even though I am married and have a fairly good social circle I have a lonely life. I have been becoming more and more detached from my family and friends, often to the extent that I do not want to see them. I often withdraw to my study and work, as a defence against having to engage with my wife, and my marriage has been dead for 10 years. I have lost confidence in my ability to do my job and suffer great anxiety before meeting new people, espacially if I will be the centre of attention, i.e. in a meeting where I have to do a presentation.
Is there something I can do to change this situation? These events happened more than 10 years ago and I doubt if any GP will accept or recognise that i am suffering from this syndrome.
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