The men and women who work in law enforcement are trained to handle extreme situations while being unaffected emotionally by the horrors of the streets. Police officers are expected to be tough and in control, however the experiences their profession provides them become too overwhelming. As a result, law enforcement is among the highest stress-rated occupations in the United States. Stress is the body's way of coping with emotional and physical change. As a positive force, stress provides motivation in order to achieve important goals. However, when stress is unrelenting and out of control, it is a negative force that causes unhappiness, sickness, and even death. The majority of police-related stress derives from the day-to-day conditions police officers encounter. Domestic instability is also a foundation of stress, which could be caused by the high risks involved in law enforcement and by the emotional withdrawal of the officer from his/her family. Stress and anxiety are the main cause of the emotional and physical breakdown of police officers today; therefore stress education is a critical necessity as more and more police officers are suffering from depression, alcoholism, divorce, and suicide.
In their careers, law enforcement officers come across many traumatic and life-threatening situations. The uncertainty of whether or not they will survive the day and the scenes of death and destruction the officers come upon daily build up added stress as the days pass. Overpowering stress can soon turn into depression. It is not normal for any person to observe and be involved in traumatic violence on a continual basis. The constant reminder of human misery and brutality are devastating to their mental health. Police officers suffering from depression try to ignore or conceal the emotional signs of depression, such as, irritability, .
despair, lack of energy, and lack of interest from their co-workers as well as from their families (Seely, 2003, para 19).