I have chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, due to growing up in a rather abusive household, the tenure of which stretched for over 20 years.
I’m also bipolar, which can fuel the PTSD on either the mania or depressive episodes.
My treatment is a combination of medication and talk.
PTSD/bipolar isn’t all there is to me, of course, and much of the time I’m a very functional person. (You can’t work where I do if you aren’t.) But I do write a lot about my disorders, because it helps me organize my thoughts about them, which seems to be helping.
Nowadays there’s a PTSD ‘n bipolar category.
I came up with a 10-item list of the what people get wrong about my PTSD.
PTSD/Trauma in Literature
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Fiction
My most informative articles are a series of posts on Tor.com:
- Part 1
How PTSD is experienced in real life, and an overview of what fiction often gets wrong.
- Part 2
An in-depth look at the PTSD portrayals in Babylon 5 (“And the Sky Full of Stars”) and Lord of the Rings.
- Part 3
Another in-depth look at PTSD portrayals, this time in World War Z and The West Wing (“Nöel”).
- Part 4
A very in-depth look into PTSD and Lord Peter Wimsey.
Miscellaneous Tor.com Posts Touching Upon PTSD
Other Thoughts on PTSD/Trauma in Literature
- A Poetic Example of PTSD
- When I Stopped Thinking of Neil Gaiman as Perfect
- More on Why I Like New Trek and Surviving
Dancing with Psychologists
I started seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist due to the aftermath of That One Flashback, which hasn’t happened again, but has come close.
Well, just an informal series of blog posts about my current run of psychological sessions. They tend to be very personal and at times very meandering. They can be somewhat difficult to find, so here’s a list of them.
A note on terminology: I use “Candy Man” to refer to my psychiatrist, because he prescribes the medication, and “Bartender” to refer to my psychologist, because he’s there to talk to.
- So, What the Candy Man and I Figured Out
- Meeting #1 With the New Bartender
- In Which Technology is Advanced
- Appointment #2 With Bartender: What Do You Want?
- Apologies and the Third Session of Bartending
- Dancing with Psychologists: Session the Fourth
- Session Five, or How I Left
- Session the Sixth
- And Seven for Luck
- This is My Brain on PTSD, Eight Edition
- Nine for Mortal Men Doomed to Die
- Ten Times Shorter
- There’s No Magpie Rhyme for Eleven
- Session the 12th: Hard Candy Christmas
- Session the 13th: I Should Have Known Just From the Number
- Session the 14th: It’s Been Too Long
- Session the 15th: Introducing Ike
- Session the 16th: Queen of Denial
- Session the 17th: The Years of Zorn and Tharn
- Session the 18th: ‘Cause I Don’t Care Much For Money
- Session the 19th: The Persistence of Memory
- Session the 20th: On Good and Evil
- It would help if you accepted you were bipolar
- Cutscenes Are Annoying
- Breaking Through is Bad to Do
- Observer Effect
- Wish Me a Happy Birthday
- The Creepiness of Graveyards
- And It’s Still Coming Down Today
- Dance of the Blame Fairy
General PTSD Musings
Just personal blog posts, not strictly attached to “Dancing with Psychologists,” on PTSD and trauma.
In reverse chronological order:
- The Everyday PTSD Experience: Not As Romantic or Exciting As You Might Think
- Last Night It Was So Good, I Felt Like Crying, Felt Like Crying (a few paragraphs in middle about flashbacks)
- Why People Don’t Leave Abusive Relationships
- Like Giving Away Keys to the NSA (triggers and vulnerability)
- Intermission Betwixt Bartender Meetings #1 and #2 (though I think Part 1, Section 2 of “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Fiction” is a better, more concise version of this)
- Abuse Really Does Permanently Change You and Ruminations About Comment Threads
All That Background
A few personal blog posts if you want to know more about the trauma exposure that created my PTSD. It’s kind of nasty, but probably in a fascinating way. There is no particular order to this list or even what’s recalled, because the timeline can be a little hazy (probably for the better).
More information can be found embedded in various posts in other sections.
- My Subconscious Sent Me a Dream with a Blue-Red-White Seal and Everything
- My Gods, an Attack of Childhood Nostalgia: Fashion Plates, section 1
- And Something I Need to Discuss With the Bartender
This is where I try to live. Dreams somewhat betray me, and coping strategies I try to come up with. There is a lot of stumbling. I’m trying to compile this so I remember my mistakes, too, because I think some of these I’ve repeated over the years.
In reversed chronological order, because having the most recent and most coping-ative posts on top feels like the right thing to do: