The Effects of PTSD Essay

Submitted By rthokle
Words: 1650
Pages: 7

The Effects of PTSD “’I know he’s dead! Don’t you think I know that? I can still like him though, can’t I? Just because somebody’s dead, you don’t stop liking them, for God’s sake—especially if they were about a thousand times nicer than the people you know that’re alive and all’” (Salinger 171). This line from J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye shows the pain that a traumatic event can bring to a person. This kind of traumatic event can lead to a very serious disorder called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD has different effects for every individual who experiences a traumatic situation, but most of the time it will create tension in one’s personal life. PTSD can come from a variety of situations varying from a car accident to an assault, but most of the time the symptoms develop in the same way. Although PTSD may not seem like such a serious disorder, if left untreated it can make one stop caring about one’s life and everyone in that person’s life. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is often developed by experiencing or witnessing an event that makes one feel completely helpless and threatens one’s safety. In the article “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” by Melinda Smith, she explains:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma.
According to this information PTSD is very easy to acquire when exposed to a traumatic situation. However not all people are affected in the same way, which makes some individuals more prone to it than others. In the same article some of the many causes are listed. They include: “natural disasters, car or plane crashes, terrorist attacks, death of a loved one, rape, kidnapping, assault, sexual or physical abuse, or childhood neglect.” Some of these causes develop more serious symptoms and as explained in Dan Hinkel’s article “PTSD-gene Link Found in NIU Students after shootings,” there is a gene in certain people that can make one more prominent to PTSD than others:
A study released Monday showed that students with particular genetic variations related to the regulation of serotonin — a chemical that affects mood and mental function — displayed PTSD symptoms more frequently than students without the variations.
With PTSD being so easily acquired, it is hard for one to shield oneself from getting it. If left untreated the effects can be catastrophic to ones personal life and can evolve into something so unbearable that one may take one’s own life as a result. The effects of PTSD can send the victim into severe depression. In The Catcher in the Rye, the main character Holden Caulfield witnesses his beloved brother’s death and spends the whole night smashing windows in the garage until he has to go to the hospital. His behavior becomes out of control and he is kicked out of a few schools, but that is only the start of his spiral downward. He begins to drink underage, which can often be associated with coping with PTSD, and eventually he gets a prostitute just to talk to because he is so depressed. Many times PTSD can be mistaken as depression. As said in the article “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” by Melinda Smith,
“Other common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include: anger and irritability, guilt, shame, or self-blame, substance abuse, feelings of mistrust and betrayal, depression, suicidal thoughts and feelings, feeling alienated and alone, and physical aches and pains.”
All these symptoms describe Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. This shows how substantially PTSD can affect one’s life in so many ways. It has the potential to destroy both the victim’s life, and the victim’s family’s lives. As stated by Melinda Smith in the article “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”: Helping a