Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be related to lots of different things, people who experience or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war or combat, rape or other violent personal assault. In this post I will focus on Military/war trauma.
When I was growing up PTSD was mostly connected to combat or war. It was hard for the partners of those who experience horrific things to recognize that this new person was the same one they knew before.
They weren’t the same from when they left to when they came back. It had to be hard for both. For the suffer, it feels like you are not the same person, and you’re not. You’ve been changed. The flashbacks, the anxiety the fear that surrounds you. They may develop different ways to cope like an addiction to drugs, sex, gambling, food or alcohol. They might withdrawal or act as if nothing has happened. The might self harm or punish with weight gain or loss or attempt to take their life. Yet, these experiences are not widely represented nor are the varied number of strategies people adopt to manage their trauma
You feel as if you can’t escape. And even if you made it out alive, there are still those who didn’t, and you add guilt to the already .
For the suffers partner you just don’t understand. They are back, they are home, they are safe. Why can’t they just move on? But it’s not that easy.
How people experience and react to trauma is as varied as the people it touches. In romance, we tend to see a lot of anger and generally it’s the hero that’s affected. Yet, under anger hides sadness and depression which tend to only be shown if the person has been injured in a way that affects their ability to move or appearance. I would love to see (and write) more varied experiences and of course, heroines who are affected and how the dynamic changes.
What are your thoughts on PTSD and romance?
Looking forward to connecting with you,