PTSD In The Odyssey

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Over 8 million people are diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) every year, with plenty more that don’t report this mental illness. Many suffer symptoms of PTSD after war or a terrifying event. In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus reveals that someone with with PTSD constantly has a war-like mindset as though reliving events and increased stress.
Reliving moments from a terrifying moment can really affect the thought process through PTSD. This can take any form like speech, object, or ideas known as triggers. These triggers can cause painful memories or emotions to resurface. “They made me feel a pang, and I agreed… my men slept in the shadowy hill, but I walked through the dark…” Odysseus thought while distracted at Circe’s house. Two observations within this piece of evidence are imperative to support this claim. The definition of pang is “a sudden sharp pain or painful emotion,” according to This “pang” that Odysseus received was from his men persuading him to continue their journey home. All of those bad memories of barely surviving the war and those treacherous obstacles rushed back to him. He is faced with the reality of moving on from his happy place to potentially go through similar life threatening obstacles. He then takes a moment to finally agree that he must go through this struggle for the good of his men to get back home. Next, within the quote Odysseus walks through the dark. This represents
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After years at war he became scarred from the traumatic events. Through remembrance, he relives these events, but tries to endure the pain. Also increased stress causes agitation and overall hostility which also happens to be symptoms of PTSD. Through his war like mind, he feels broken to the sense that he will never be the same. Taking his anger out on the one hundred suitors is just one of the many examples of why Odysseus suffers. He doesn’t seek help, but hopes he can endure this