PTSD... From a movie?


| 6 Comments

            A few years ago, NPR's This American Life did a piece on sleeping (or lack there of). More specifically, they discussed how one man lost sleep for literally years, and is still currently traumatized from watching The Shining as a six year old. The movie itself is irrelevant, though all you need to know is that if you watched the movie as a young child, it would undoubtedly stick with you. In Stanley Kubrick's case, it stuck with him to the point where he was petrified of falling asleep at night. He felt embarrassed as he grew into an adult, telling almost no one of his struggle, yet still had flashbacks of a horror film he watched as a child.

            In 2012, we almost always associate PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with war. We hear of soldiers coming back from the Middle East unable to sleep and becoming violent to others around them. According to PTSD's main website, there are three main symptoms. 

             - lasts longer than three months

             - Causes great distress

             - Disrupts work or home life 


vetptsd.jpg


Looking at these symptoms, Stanley had all three to a substantial degree. Like Andrew has discussed in class, some experiments are difficult to conduct because in this case, why would anyone want to subject their young impressionable child to a horror film study? Because of this, in order to draw correlations, we must look elsewhere. According to Dr. Raison, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University, even bullying can lead to PTSD.  A woman wrote to him and explained her situation and how she was bullied during her childhood and it has effected her ever since. Dr. Raison draws parallels between her experience with bullying and even closes his response with, "My German buddy has led armed convoys into Afghanistan but still wrestles with rage and terror over a bully from the schoolyard days. You are not alone in your struggle."

            So what does it all mean? In short, PTSD may not be specific to war, though that is usually the most common case. My questions surrounding this pertain to the fact that there is little information. Why is PTSD not studied more outside of war? I understand it is classified with sexual abuse, tragedies such as 9/11, and certain horrifying events people witness. My point is that when people struggle with certain things from their childhood such as bullying, or even a horror film, why isn't PTSD something that is discussed?


6 Comments

I think it's very possible to develop PTSD after any event that can be traumatic to a child. While my case isn't nearly as bad as the man who couldn't sleep, watching scary movies as a child made me irrationally scared of the dark. I still freak out and I'm 21 years old. I can see how bullying could seriously cause PTSD, as bullying can cause children to feel humiliated and lower their self esteem. Depending on what the bully does to them I think there could easily be different levels of trauma.

PTSD can be developed from any traumatic event and it is frightening to see someone who has it. My cousin's husband who was in Kuwait and Iraq developed it after returning form his deployment. Anytime he hears a loud, sudden sound he imagines it as gunfire and immediately reacts as if he was being shot at. He is getting better and often times its not severe. However, having two kids under ten years old, its hard to describe to them what is wrong with their father.

Check out this blog I wrote earlier in the year about a pill that can get rid of bad memories. https://blogs.psu.edu/mt4/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=659650&blog_id=78373

PTSD can be caused by any major distressing life event, not just war. We often hear about it in respect to war because the statistics on it are widely available as compared to that from people who were abused, were in a car accident or a plane accident, etc. On the note about PTSD in soldiers, I found an article that says that one soldier commits suicide every day in the US. That's horrible. And the reason that I believe that we don't hear about the PTSD caused by bullying or by movies, is because as the symptoms described above state, the symptoms interfere with the person's life, but do not generally cause suicidal behaviors.

PTSD can be developed from any traumatic event and it is frightening to see someone who has it. My cousin's husband who was in Kuwait and Iraq developed it after returning form his deployment. Anytime he hears a loud, sudden sound he imagines it as gunfire and immediately reacts as if he was being shot at. He is getting better and often times its not severe. However, having two kids under ten years old, its hard to describe to them what is wrong with their father.

Check out this blog I wrote earlier in the year about a pill that can get rid of bad memories. https://blogs.psu.edu/mt4/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=659650&blog_id=78373

PTSD can be caused by any major distressing life event, not just war. We often hear about it in respect to war because the statistics on it are widely available as compared to that from people who were abused, were in a car accident or a plane accident, etc. On the note about PTSD in soldiers, I found an article that says that one soldier commits suicide every day in the US. That's horrible. And the reason that I believe that we don't hear about the PTSD caused by bullying or by movies, is because as the symptoms described above state, the symptoms interfere with the person's life, but do not generally cause suicidal behaviors.

PTSD is primarily discussed with soldiers who have been in war because it is most commonly found amongst them. Don't get me wrong, I know there are thousands of people that go through the stress of being bullied as a child and sexually assaulted, but I think that the term is PTSD is targeted more towards war veterans because they have witnessed irregular things on a daily basis at some point, such as loud bombings, shootings and even seeing their friends arms or legs decapitated after a bombing. Most people cannot relate to someone who has been in war unless they have been in war themselves, but we can relate to someone being bullied, or sexually assaulted because its something that can happen to anyone, and we can put ourselves in their shoes and empathize with them. But everyone has their own opinion.

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Hybrids
Everyone has heard of them as being the best car out there, mainly cause of gas prices. Hybrids are sweeping…
Break-Ups
People everywhere are breaking up, just in time for the holidays. And the more couples I see parting ways, the…
Pregnancy Tests
While browsing Andrew's blog and looking to see all of the posts that I missed (I'm pretty sure I haven't…

Old Contributions