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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220860 
Title: Other Psychological Issues in Policing (From Under the Blue Shadow: Clinical and Behavioral Perspectives on Police Suicide, P 163-172, 2007, John M. Violanti and Stephanie Samuels -- See NCJ-220852)
Author(s): John M. Violanti; Stephanie Samuels
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Case Study; Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter presents case studies of two police officers at risk for suicide, one with a prominent pattern of aggression and the other in psychological conflict linked to being gay.
Abstract: In the first case discussed, the officer was quick to anger in any situation in which his demands were not met, both on-duty and off-duty. His aggression occurred in interaction with citizens, suspects, fellow officers, his wife, and other family members. His on-duty behaviors symptomatic of a death wish were not wearing a vest and engaging in increasingly risky behaviors perceived by others as heroic. In his family life, his anger was manifest in insensitive, cruel behaviors as well as detachment and indifference. He was diagnosed with depression and eventually retired from police work. He has functioned well in retirement while continuing under therapy and medication. In the second case, the officer is gay and has been in a relationship with the same person for over 19 years. At the time of his therapy, he was not actively suicidal, but suffered from depression and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. He was less at risk for physical suicide than psychological suicide, i.e., willful psychological deterioration under a refusal to engage in efforts that would improve his mental health. He lived under the constant anxiety that he would be identified as gay and be subsequently rejected and perceived by fellow officers as a sexual predator and a pedophile. 6 references
Main Term(s): Police suicide
Index Term(s): Aggression; Discrimination against homosexuals; Homosexuality; Police occupational stress
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