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Thread: How do police officers deal with stress?

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    How do police officers deal with stress?

    It's known that police officers have high rates of suicide, divorce and alcohol abuse. Do mental issues always build up over the years? Is it common to develop anxiety from all the craziness going on? Are there effective ways of battling police stress or that's just part of the job and everyone suffers from it more or less?

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    You have to learn to deal with. The best way to deal with it is talking amongst your brothers in blue/brown. Each person is different and requires different things. I masturbate. Others use humor. Some exercise.

    Is this high stress? You bet your ***, you have to figure out what works for you and do it.

    Divorce in my opinion is caused more by guys being stupid and chasing tail. It's easy to get hooked up. Many women find what we do, our personality and our uniform attractive. You must have good self control. The badge will get you *girls, but the *girls will get your badge".

    Alcohol, if used moderately and intelligently can help some. I admit, there are days I go that route. Probably not the best, but nobody is perfect. If it became an addiction and I abused it, it would be a problem.

    Suicide is rare in my opinion and is probably more related to individual mental health issues then the occupation.

    As I stated, each person has to learn with dealing with the stress. If there is one garuntee, it's that there will be a lot of it. I'm fortunate enought to have a wife I can share things with and guys I work with that I can bounce the bad things off of. For the most part, I'm able to keep work at work- which is also important.

    This question could be asked relating to any occupation. They all have their stresses in addition to everyday stress. Stress is part if life, you just have to find a proper, suitable way of dealing with it.
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    God and exercise.

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    I'm lucky- my wife is a paramedic, so she could relate to many of the difficult parts of the job.
    As mentioned above, you must acknowledge God. I don't mean that as "you have to" - I mean that as "it's hard to make it without belief".
    That said, find a good off duty hobby, with regular friends (not necessarily cop friends). In my 18+ years, most of the guys I've seen go down in flames was because they lived and breathed law enforcement.Constantly. They only hung out with other cops, and eventually alienated family and friends.
    Add excessive booze and there is real potential for disaster.
    Just my $.02
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    I masturbate.
    Me too.


    I don't really see this job as being that stressful. I work for a nice town for the most part and it isn't too crazy around here. We get busy some times but it isn't anything I can't handle. Of course, we aren't going to family disturbances with shots fired by ourselves. We'll always have back up. I know that handling stressful calls by yourself take a toll on you.

    I duck hunt, fish, exercise and take my dogs running. But I wouldn't consider that anything that "relieves" stress. It's just fun stuff that I do.

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    I yell at strangers on the internet. It takes the edge off after a stressful day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    You have to learn to deal with. The best way to deal with it is talking amongst your brothers in blue/brown. Each person is different and requires different things. I masturbate. Others use humor. Some exercise.

    Is this high stress? You bet your ***, you have to figure out what works for you and do it.

    Divorce in my opinion is caused more by guys being stupid and chasing tail. It's easy to get hooked up. Many women find what we do, our personality and our uniform attractive. You must have good self control. The badge will get you *girls, but the *girls will get your badge".

    Alcohol, if used moderately and intelligently can help some. I admit, there are days I go that route. Probably not the best, but nobody is perfect. If it became an addiction and I abused it, it would be a problem.

    Suicide is rare in my opinion and is probably more related to individual mental health issues then the occupation.

    As I stated, each person has to learn with dealing with the stress. If there is one garuntee, it's that there will be a lot of it. I'm fortunate enought to have a wife I can share things with and guys I work with that I can bounce the bad things off of. For the most part, I'm able to keep work at work- which is also important.

    This question could be asked relating to any occupation. They all have their stresses in addition to everyday stress. Stress is part if life, you just have to find a proper, suitable way of dealing with it.
    Excellent question and first-rate answer by Michigan, although his method of stress relief caught me off guard.

    IMO incompetent administration that acquiesces to special interest groups and community activist, bad policy, unjust and excessive discipline and inept supervision contribute more stress than dealing with criminals and calls for service.
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    Great answers.
    Michigan has a good point about work related stress in general, however there is a difference between stressing about a civilian job like losing it or bad manager/co-workers, deadlines, etc and police where you potentially face life and death situations at any given moment. Perhaps, it is offset by doing what you love as an officer, as opposed to being stuck in a cubicle in some regular job and hating every minute of it, as I would. That stress would prolly kill me faster lol
    Either way, I'm wondering, how do yALL view the general public when you are on and off duty? Do you see every person as a potential threat that could shoot you in the head? I'm thinking I would be slightly paranoid every time I put on my uniform and go out there. Is that how you feel at all?

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    I just cave in to binge drinking the weekends I'm not on-call.

    I don't start before 10:am though.... usually.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanitizer View Post
    IMO incompetent administration that acquiesces to special interest groups and community activist, bad policy, unjust and excessive discipline and inept supervision contribute more stress than dealing with criminals and calls for service.
    ^By far the most stressful.

    BTW. You know you are a cop when Someone plays the masterbation card and no one flinches.
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    I haven't worked a day yet!

    Everyday I am thankful I do not live the way many people the public do not visually see everyday, or encounter everyday live like.

    I do not consider what I do work. I don't lift 100 lb cement bags, I don't lug Sheetrock or break concrete all day in the blazing heat.

    When I was on patrol, I had the time of my life.

    When you sign out at the end of your shift, you are thankful you do not encounter the things you encountered while working.

    Stress? Yeah occasionally, but when I look around and seeing people wait years to get on my job and when I look around and see where I live compared to where some others live, my stress goes away and I am greatful and happy.

    I will also get very happy if I hit $135,000 this year!
    Last edited by NYCTNT; 04-02-2013 at 10:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanitizer View Post
    IMO incompetent administration that acquiesces to special interest groups and community activist, bad policy, unjust and excessive discipline and inept supervision contribute more stress than dealing with criminals and calls for service.
    This right here. I can't recall ever experiencing "stress" on the street. There's the occasional burst of adrenaline or minor injury, but that's not longterm FML-style stress. That type of stress is reserved for when I get effed with by the people who are supposed to have my back, or when I watch a buddy get the same.

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    I don't mean this to be disrespectful. That IMO, is what really separates the men from the boys from this job. Some people are good at dealing with stress. I find i hang out with my cop friends and talk about job stuff, and don't talk about job stuff with my non cop friends. I have a strong family. I am very close with my mother and father, and my wife and my brother (who is also my best friend). You can't take it home with you, and if you do, you have to talk it out and let it go. If you let it eat at you, it will eventually destroy you.

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    The thing is to have a hobby that you enjoy and make sure to have plenty of friends both inside and outside of law enforcement. It's those guys that have the "work then go home and wake up and go back to work" mentality that burn out quickly.

    Some guys I know have gotten into MMA as a hobby some guys travel when ever they can when they have a little annual leave time to themselves. I know some guys who go back to school part time to learn a new skill set and set their minds on something outside of police work. My uncle earned his MBA and runs a store part time with his wife which he enjoys very much. I know one guys who is working his way in the photography field and another girl who is gaining headway in real estate.

    The point is to have something outside of the job that can ground you such as a hobby, or taking the time to learn a new skill-set to practice on your days off or when you take off your uniform for the end of the shift.
    Last edited by ryanpax; 04-03-2013 at 03:21 AM.

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    Masturbation....LMFAO That's a good one. Advice to you rookies....Not on duty please. No personal experience here, just sayin. Agnostic here. I believe in my family and friends everything else will work itself out. Don't do much with coworkers but, that doesn't mean that I hate them. I got the drinking out of my system early. I still have a drink but, have become a light-weight. I try to do Disney as often as I can. Happiest place on earth you know. First thing my FTO told me is similar to the girl getting the badge but, used a different word instead of girl. There are badge bunnies but, hey we aren't hose draggers. Is there a hosedragger.com site where you can ask them about divorce? Interesting to see what they would say. The hose gets the girl but, the girl gets the hose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanitizer View Post

    IMO incompetent administration that acquiesces to special interest groups and community activist, bad policy, unjust and excessive discipline and inept supervision contribute more stress than dealing with criminals and calls for service.
    I left this part out and I couldn't have said it better.

    First line supervisors and admin. can make things miserable for you. And that's usually an officer's downfall.

    The actual job is easy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curly Bill View Post
    ^By far the most stressful.

    BTW. You know you are a cop when Someone plays the masterbation card and no one flinches.
    I was gonna but I was blowin off some stress.

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    We are all different, and solve this problem in differing ways.
    Me? I was a competitive shooter before I got into LE, and remain one know long after retirement. I will admit that on some occasions, my target took on the appearance & persona of someone who had stressed me - it was great to blow away the stress!
    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
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    I shoot a lot of stuff. When I'm not working, I volunteer with a couple of local groups to teach civilians how to protect themselves.

    I also compete in various types of shooting competitions. SASS, IPSC, IDPA, GSSF are different types of matches I compete in.

    Sometimes when I'm not competing, I'll go out to the woods and simply blast a bunch of watermelons or other random stuff. Tannerite is another favorite target. Strapping a Tannerite target to random stuff like broken refrigerators and stoves can be quite entertaining.

    Basically find something you like to do and go enjoy doing it.

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    As the name implies... SCUBA Diving .... Plus I still feel like I haven't worked a day yet, best job in the world.

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    Working out is probably one of the best stress relievers IMO. Everyday after my shift I go the gym which is conveniently positioned between the PD and my home, so I dont really have an excuse to skip it. I go in there for about 1 1/2 hour and go crazy. By the time im finished, I dont have enough energy to worry about anything else but going to bed.

    Whatever it may be, you need to be able to find something to "distract" you from the nature of the job and focus on something for YOURSELF. Everybody does it differently, but if you DONT do it, your done...
    Live with honor, and let not your death be born by the pallbearers of disgrace, cruelty, weakness, and fear.

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    How do I relieve stress? Two words. Desk pop!

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    Physical fitness is #1. A good hard workout, run or swim is a great stress outlet. Besides, there is no excuse for an officer to be out of shape. I yearn for the day when fat cops are just a bad memory.

    Besides working out, I fly my airplane and ride my motorcycle. A fine adult beverage and a cigar is another thing that makes all of life's problems disappear for a while.
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    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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    Personally I leave work stuff at work. I hang out with a lot of non cops and try to avoid talking about cop stuff around them unless its a funny story or something similar. Also, working out regularly helps keep my stress/anxiety level down. Seems kind if weird, but it seems like I can turn off my emotions at work. I really don't really get upset, sad, mad etc.. For me keeping neutral emotions helps, there aren't highs and lows. I think going from one extreme to the other can cause a lot of stress/anxiety
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