Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Let's Talk about PTSD in Books, Folks

I’m going to be perfectly frank with you: PTSD is something that I have no personal experience with. I don’t know what it feels like to have flashbacks to traumatic events, or to be set off by things that seem inconsequential to everyone but me. I don’t know what it is like to have a family member or to have a friend with the condition either. I feel like having PTSD would feel lonely. But I don't know. 

These word seem to brush off the gravity of the mental state. The word conditional, I mean. I don’t know what word to use instead: affliction, disorder, illness. Every word seems wrong when I don’t actually have experience.

The reason that I think it needs to be portrayed in books more that just that: because there is still this taboo-ness about it, I think that books that broach the subject-- especially with a younger audience (a younger audience that does know someone, or is someone). This is incredibly important, I think. 

Let’s talk a bit about what PTSD actually is.

Who can have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The short answer is anyone.

The longer answer is this: people who have witnessed or experienced childbirth, soldiers who’ve experienced combat, anyone who has suffered a loss, a survivor of sexual assault, a person who has been through a natural disaster—any person who has lived through trauma.

Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD. In this entire us population, around 8 percent of people will experience PTSD.

What does it all entail?

No case is exactly the same as another case. Sometimes there are flashbacks, and other times there aren’t. Occasionally there are people who avoid triggers all together: sounds and sights and smells and tastes. Other people are hyper-vigilant. It’s all, from what I’ve read, totally dependent on the person and the experience. 

If you want to learn more about PTSD look at these websites: ADAA, NIH, US Gov

What does all this mean for books?

Well, my dear bookish people, this means that you can write and read stories that increase your awareness. This means that the more you read about the hard to talk about stuff, the more that’s going to be on the market. The less alone people feel. The more educated society is. The more open the conversation is. Less stigma. Less shame. Both good things.

What are some books that have PTSD in them that are YA? Did you think that they allowed for a conversation to be had regarding the disorder? What do you think about books breaking conversation barriers?

To see all the recs lovely humans shouted out on Twitter, look at this link

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