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View Diary: It's about time this culture had a serious discussion about PTSD (202 comments)

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  •  Nothing against trigger warnings as such (1+ / 0-)
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    kfunk937

    But any formal system for their adoption is going to heavily privilege the PTSD of those whose trauma we recognize as valid and deserving sympathy.  

    With our racism and our incarceration and poverty rates, and the ways we remove the poor from safety, I expect there are a lot of badly traumatized people out there who meet all the requirements but who will never get a diagnosis, who cannot afford the simplest of care for the issue, and who will never have the nasty stuff which has happened to them be anything but a "what do you expect?" from the rest of society.

    So yes, I agree it is a mindful step.  But think it is often a step which reveals clearly the limits of who our minds do and don't include as worthy of concern.  

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:41:34 AM PDT

    •   I don't know how to respond to this comment (4+ / 0-)

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:46:15 AM PDT

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      •  What I was trying to get at... (5+ / 0-)

        ...and then I'll stop, as my words were obviously taken amiss...is that, as you say, we are a badly traumatized society.  If you're really truly there, I think it is not unlike -- albeit not nearly so clean or romantic -- the ending of "A Beautiful Mind", where you just see the monsters and keep trucking.  Because nobody really gives a shit you're too terrified to get out of bed or too hypervigilant to sit for the test.  And I think this is true for more people than we imagine, again, as you say.

        I think talking about it more is somewhat fraught, because as a society we are basically OK with most of the things that cause the trauma, with their preconditions and their consequences.  And because it is so common.  In my ever-less recent return to school, I noted shared ground on some of this with people who had grown up in war zones, with soldiers, with other trans folks, with people who had simply grown up poor in places where the poor are especially disposable.  So that it seemed churlish and special to say, this is insanely hard, this normal thing we are all doing.  Because it is probably the same for no few others, and they are silent also, and we are all trying to pretend the world is this simple, this survivable, this ordered, for now, to meet this goal.  

        Shy personal stories I won't share here, that is all I was getting it.  And now I'm over my zero limit, g'day.

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:16:19 AM PDT

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        •  I think I get it, hence my sig VVVVV nt (7+ / 0-)

          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

          by Joy of Fishes on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:42:05 AM PDT

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        •  I wish you peace and to all of those who suffer (10+ / 0-)

          from trauma. A while back, I read a psychiatrist say in the NYT, "Life is trauma." That's true, I don't doubt. There are some traumas that are of course greater than other traumas, but Jesus,  we all have them. If we could all just be open about our vulnerabilities and share, you have to believe there could be some meaningful collective healing. It wouldn't erase the specificity of our wounds, but wouldn't it help to know that we live in a world where people have empathy for our suffering? I think so.

        •  I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. (5+ / 0-)

          When the word privilege was thrown in there I felt like somehow you were suggesting that my privilege real or imagined--somehow negated the experiences, the trauma and the work I have done to live beyond them.

          But I wanted to be sure that was what you meant, and I am glad that it was not.

          I will not say that anything you have posted here is untrue. Its all true and then some.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:10:31 AM PDT

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          •  just ill put on my part (2+ / 0-)
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            kfunk937, GreenMother

            I suspect it is a line down every real bad thing in the world: the necessity to recover, and the necessity to persist.  It doesn't negate anything, at least I didn't mean it that way.  It does seem to me that for every person we create even a half-assed space to recover in, there are a dozen who we leave in the cold, who have no real hope of anything different.  And it makes me wonder about our public conversation on the subject -- not that the space to recover is bad, but we are a society which hands out damage points with glee, and we live in a larger world that does the same.  It is no wonder that some (most?) people make a religion (figuratively and literally) of sucking it up.  And so I wonder how we talk about it, beyond the very rational "well here is this problem over here, and you can have some modest accommodation, for a little while and with a raised eyebrow, while we do the things we think are supposed to fix it."

            It makes me, at least, want to think that the PTSD science is good, and we're finding ways to fix the very specific high side of it, and if the high side can be controlled, then other things are possible.  But it also does seem like...we're a society without an upper limit on punishment, in practical terms.  We love that stuff!  So every released prisoner who we've tortured in our jails...is very potentially as busted as our soldiers.   And so the conversation about PTSD, to me, quickly leads to a conversation about how badly we are willing to fuck each other up as a society, and what we are willing to do -- or how far we are willing to consider -- the humanity of the survivors.  How many survivors we are willing to create.

            And at the core of this is a kind of radical empathy, either its discovery or repudiation. When we called it shell-shock or cowardice, and hung the victims behind the front, we were protected from considering how the consequences of our ideal world break the human mind and heart.  And yes, there is a way in which the acknowledgement of the reality of this seems to me fenced off, so that we not look too far beyond the victims we choose to give some (inadequate) room to recover, to those who have only necessity.  It acknowledges the reality but scopes it to what we're willing to discuss.  And no, I don't think you did that here.

            Anyway.

            ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

            by jessical on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:55:48 AM PDT

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            •  I guess it wouldn't surprise you that I don't (1+ / 0-)
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              jessical

              advocate belief in hell or punishment in the afterlife either?

              Radical Empathy.

              I like it.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:38:30 AM PDT

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