Exposing PTSD: mental health professionals say don’t be afraid to ask for help

One local law enforcement official using social media to bring awareness to PTSD. (WISH photo)
One local law enforcement official using social media to bring awareness to PTSD. (WISH photo)

LEBANON, Ind. (WISH) – The Boone County Sheriff is using Facebook to expose post traumatic stress disorder.

The post centered around his daughter, a Lebanon Police Officer.

In the post, Sheriff Michael Nielsen said he and his wife almost lost their daughter Taylor to the stress disorder. It’s a disorder that he said was likely triggered from a call she answered earlier this year.

It was February 4, 2016. Officers were responding to the shooting deaths of mother and son Katherine and Raymond Giehll.

Among the officers running into their Zionsville home was Boone County Sheriff Michael Nielsen and his daughter Lebanon Police officer Taylor.

“How someone can do what they did absolutely appalls me,” said Sheriff Nielsen during the investigation.”It is absolutely one of the worst things that I’ve ever seen.”

Months later, in May the Nielsen’s spoke to 24-Hour News 8 about that day.

“He (Sheriff Nielsen) had always told me that getting into this field you’re going to see things that you’re going to wish you’ve never seen,” said Taylor Nielsen.

“When you see something as gruesome as that (the bodies of the Giehlls), it will effect you for the rest of your life,” said Sheriff Nielsen.

In his Facebook post on Tuesday, Sheriff Nielsen said his daughter never received the right treatment after that day.

“People don’t want to say, ‘God I’m depressed,’ or ‘I’ve got PTSD,'” said Pascal Fettig, the executive director of Mental Health America of Boone County. “Most people, such as the military, and police officers kind of strive with stressful situations and we need stress in our life believe it or not, because stress can be positive, but post traumatic stress is very negative.”

Fettig didn’t treat Nielsen, but said her experiences are common, especially among law enforcement.

“We look at the news and there’s constantly shootings and something happening, and if a person has been involved, in that type of action, and they’re watching the news and it triggers a memory, you can be back in that dark place all over again,” said Fettig.

Fettig said the only way to get through it is to talk about it, and then get treatment

“The biggest step is for the individual themselves to realize, ‘Hey I need more help,'” said Fettig.

In his post Sheriff Nielsen said  he will now work with the Lebanon police department to make sure Taylor and other officers will get the help the need.