The Psychological Effects of Conducting A DIY Death Cleanup
If it so happens that a traumatic experience involving the death of a loved one takes place in your home, then you are probably burdened with the decision of who to conduct a death cleanup.
Some people do not know that in the event of a traumatic death, law enforcers and other related authorities will only do as much as remove the body and carry out investigations. Cleaning up the trauma scene is left to homeowners and family members.
The Psychological Dangers Of Cleaning A Death Scene
Cleaning a death scene is no ordinary task whether for a professional or a first-timer. Veteran crime scene cleaners still talk about the impact that their first major crime scene cleaning job had on them. They never forget. As they experience more traumatic scenes, it begins to take a psychological toll on them. This is why most of them do a psychological checkup from time to time by visiting a professional.
What about those directly related to the trauma, maybe family members of someone who died at home? Research has shown that when such individual partakes directly in the cleanup of the death scene, then there is a good chance negative emotions and psychological issues will be significantly heightened.
Speaking about psychological dangers, the two common psychological issues that people who render death cleanup services have been known to develop are depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
While not much research has been carried out on the psychological effects of trauma victims carrying out their own trauma scene cleanup, we can draw lines of parallel from the studies carried out on law enforcement personnel. The studies have shown that professional crime scene investigators tend to be more suicidal and depressed than their colleagues in different other areas of law enforcement.
Now, think of this. This set of people have already acquired the necessary training needed to undergo their job, thus the term professionals. Many of them also have ongoing and sometimes mandatory psychological help from professional psychologists, still the statistics are not in their favor. Then there is you, probably with none of these at your disposal, and who has probably never been on a crime scene, but are just relying on your housekeeping skills to do the job. You’ve just read how psychologically debilitating trauma scenes can be for crime scene professionals, what do you honestly think it would do to you?
In conclusion, whether you consider yourself a macho, or have the required skill, expertise, tools, and equipment to undertake a trauma cleanup, DO NOT DO IT regardless of whether you were affected by the trauma either directly or indirectly.
If you have just lost a loved one and need a death cleanup carried out or have just been a victim of a traumatic incident in your home, give yourself a chance to heal properly and let the professionals handle it. This is not the time to start burning everlasting memories onto your mind. It might haunt you for the rest of your days.