PTSD, also known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents etc. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder can be caused by multiple factors such as;
- Inherited mental illness (anxiety, depression)
- Life experience (severe trauma)
- Inherited aspects of your personality (temperament)
- The way that your brain regulated the chemicals and hormones your body in response to stress.
It is estimated that 7.8% of Americans experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women twice as likely as men to develop the disorder. Around 3.6% of American raged 18 to 54, which is 5.2 million citizens, experience PTSD during the course of a single year. The statistics represent only a small portion of individuals who have experienced at least once traumatic experience. The most common experiences for
PTSD occurrence for men are rape, combat exposure, so war, childhood neglect and childhood physical abuse. Women are very similar, with the most common experiences being rape, sexual molestation, physical attack, being threatened with a weapon and childhood physical abuse.
From all the men and women who have spent time in war zones fighting for their country, 30 percent experience PTSD, yet the proper treatment and care are still not provided for them.
In Mockingjay, several characters suffer form PTSD, the triggers mainly being combat exposure, childhood neglect, physical attack and being threatened with a weapon. The disease in the text is portrayed in a way that the younger readers are able to understand, and the older readers can sympathise with. The representation of the disorder by Suzanne Collins is the major reason behind me deciding to research PostTraumatic Stress Disorder. I have researched mainly PTSD in America as that is the framework for
Mockingjay, being set in the future United States.
Symptoms of PTSD can begin immediately after the traumatic event, although is not diagnosed unless these symptoms last for at least one month. If these symptoms are causing significant distress or interfere with the daily life of the individual, PTSD can might diagnosed and treatment can begin. There are multiple symptoms of PTSD, the first being “re-experiencing” symptoms. These symptoms involve reliving the traumatic event, which can occur in different ways for different people. Experiences can be relived by the memories coming back to the individual when they are not expecting them, which can majorly affect their daily functioning. Another was of reliving the event can be if the memory is triggered by something in present time for the individual. In Mockingjay, Katniss is triggered by travelling back to her home District and seeing the damage of her former life and home. The last type of re-experiencing symptoms are flashbacks to the traumatic experience.These types of re-experiencing symptoms can cause both physical and emotional reactions, and can feel so real that the individual may genuinely believe the event is occurring again, with the same feeling that were felt at the time of the event.
Another type of PTSD symptoms are “Avoidance and Numbing” symptoms, which are the efforts of the victims to avoid the traumatic event and anything related to the event. They may try to avoid triggering situation and memories, going near places related to the trauma, sights, sounds, smells or people that may be reminders of the event. Numbing symptoms may be the individual finding it difficult to be in touch with their emotions and have trouble expressing them, they may be less interested in things that they may have been interested in before the event. Some individuals forget or are unable to speak about the event.
With PTSD, individuals can commonly also experience depression, anxiety or substance abuse. More than half of the men with PTSD will also have