Blue Line


September 15, 2016  By Tom Rataj

381 words – MR


One Cop’s Battle With the Demons of PTSD

Reviewed by Tom Rataj

As the first police officer on the scene of a serious motor vehicle collision in 2004, Brian Knowler worked frantically to save the life of a seriously injured driver while awaiting the ambulance.

During the rescue attempt he discovered the person whose life he was trying to save was a close friend from high school and university. Unknown to Knowler, his friend was fatally injured. No amount of medical intervention at the scene could have saved him.

This was the catalyst that sent Knowler into an eight year downward spiral of post traumatic stress, seriously damaged his personal and professional life and almost costing him his own.

is Knowler’s very personal and straight-forward account of his struggles to cope, recognise, understand and survive the effects of PTSD.

This 133 page self-published paperback is a quick read, written in an approachable style, and gives the reader a candid insider’s view of the effects of PTSD. Police officers and other emergency responders will likely recognise and better understand some of their own thoughts and feelings about operational stress injuries and post traumatic stress.

Knowler sets the stage with that fateful night in 2004, then takes the reader through his struggle and eventual personal admission and official diagnosis of PTSD in 2012. It then follows his rocky road through treatment and recovery and even post traumatic growth, a reprioritising or resetting of life that can be brought on by the adversity of PTSD.

In addition to his personal story, Knowler also offers a variety of strategies for dealing with PTSD, including personal, family and professional support, fitness, a healthy diet and proper nutrition, spirituality and meditation, avoiding drugs and/or alcohol, equine therapy and other tools. He outlines what worked for him, and may work for others.

One chapter is co-written with his wife, who provides her personal account of the challenges she faced while trying to save her husband, their marriage and family.

Knowler has started Knowler Consulting, a service specialising in PTSD.

On The Other Side of Broken is available from


Visit for more information or to contact Brian Knowler, B.A., J.D.

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