Canadian first responder, struggling with undiagnosed PTSD, takes his own life

On a daily basis, first responders are exposed to a variety of life and death situations.

Edmonton's Brad Symes, age 38, appeared to be troubled by what he experienced as a 13-year veteran firefighter who followed his father, Stan, into the firehouse. He often confided with his parents about what he witnessed.

The turning point for Brad was the drowning of a child at a local pool. It appeared to hit Brad pretty hard, especially as a father with two young sons.

John Wayne Syndrome

While Symes talked about his experiences with his parents, others manage their stress by building a "tough guy" persona by keeping their feelings to themselves, hence the John Wayne Syndrome. Ultimately, those who are diagnosed (or diagnosed) with PTSD need to shake off the stigma and get some help.

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