Litopia

We’re delighted you’re here! You’re just a few clicks away from joining the ‘net’s oldest community for writers… and certainly the friendliest. Click the “Register” button to create a free account. See you in the Colony!

  • Clichés & Tropes! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em! Share your opinion in the latest Craft Chat, live now until Saturday

Writing as Healing

More Grammar Humor

Christmas Book List, What Do We Think of this Mix?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Paul Whybrow

Full Member
LV
0
 
I found this interesting article in the Daily Telegraph today. Matt Johnson is an ex-policeman, who suffered PTSD and turned to writing violent crime thrillers as therapy to aid his recovery.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thin...y-journey-from-ptsd-to-crime-thriller-writer/

I've met several ex-soldiers with PTSD over the years, including a couple of Vietnam veterans who were still trying to cope with trauma thirty years later. Knowing them, prompted me to write of a serial killer with PTSD in my first novel The Perfect Murderer.

Writing is undeniably therapeutic, and organisations such as Lapidus, the Writing for Wellbeing organisation do great work.
 
D

David Steele

Guest
One of my old army buddies runs "Sapperfest", which is an annual get-together for former Royal Engineers (Sappers) to get very drunk, do silly things and generally behave like they did when they were thirty years younger.
He tells me that in his role with this organisation he is in touch with several hundred former service personnel who in some way or other have had mental health issues since leaving.
The interesting point is that, through therapy, what generally becomes apparent is that most people diagnosed with PTSD actually joined the army with mental health issues which (at the time) were undiagnosed. Military recruitment tends to focus on the "lower" end of social depravation, and a disproportionate number of boys and girls from that demographic have had difficult or dysfunctional backgrounds that have led them to bring their problems with them.
Later, when as a result of the sort of significant trauma, these issues present themselves, they are commonly believed to be "caused" by the events. It seems more appropriate to suggest that everyone has a capacity for dealing with trauma, but that many individuals enlist with their capacity already mostly used up.
For example, I carried out active duty in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Macedonia, but it wasn't until I got a job in civilian life that I ended up receiving counselling for anxiety! (Doncaster can do that to you.)
 
J

Jennifer Stone

Guest
One of my old army buddies runs "Sapperfest", which is an annual get-together for former Royal Engineers (Sappers) to get very drunk, do silly things and generally behave like they did when they were thirty years younger.
He tells me that in his role with this organisation he is in touch with several hundred former service personnel who in some way or other have had mental health issues since leaving.
The interesting point is that, through therapy, what generally becomes apparent is that most people diagnosed with PTSD actually joined the army with mental health issues which (at the time) were undiagnosed. Military recruitment tends to focus on the "lower" end of social depravation, and a disproportionate number of boys and girls from that demographic have had difficult or dysfunctional backgrounds that have led them to bring their problems with them.
Later, when as a result of the sort of significant trauma, these issues present themselves, they are commonly believed to be "caused" by the events. It seems more appropriate to suggest that everyone has a capacity for dealing with trauma, but that many individuals enlist with their capacity already mostly used up.
For example, I carried out active duty in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Macedonia, but it wasn't until I got a job in civilian life that I ended up receiving counselling for anxiety! (Doncaster can do that to you.)

Sounds very similar to what happened to my hubby, but I wont go into details. His past is not for me to speak about, if you understand me. He's only recently been diagnosed with PTSD and started counselling this year.
 

Nicole Wilson

Basic
LV
0
 
One of my old army buddies runs "Sapperfest", which is an annual get-together for former Royal Engineers (Sappers) to get very drunk, do silly things and generally behave like they did when they were thirty years younger.
He tells me that in his role with this organisation he is in touch with several hundred former service personnel who in some way or other have had mental health issues since leaving.
The interesting point is that, through therapy, what generally becomes apparent is that most people diagnosed with PTSD actually joined the army with mental health issues which (at the time) were undiagnosed. Military recruitment tends to focus on the "lower" end of social depravation, and a disproportionate number of boys and girls from that demographic have had difficult or dysfunctional backgrounds that have led them to bring their problems with them.
Later, when as a result of the sort of significant trauma, these issues present themselves, they are commonly believed to be "caused" by the events. It seems more appropriate to suggest that everyone has a capacity for dealing with trauma, but that many individuals enlist with their capacity already mostly used up.
For example, I carried out active duty in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Macedonia, but it wasn't until I got a job in civilian life that I ended up receiving counselling for anxiety! (Doncaster can do that to you.)
I have an army veteran friend with PTSD who does a lot of outreach for the PTSD community through art. I actually interviewed him for my current WIP (about an army vet with PTSD) and this is exactly what he told me. It usually starts with people that have previous MH issues and a rougher background. Then when they go to war or have intense personal traumas, those images get enhanced by the previous issues, making it into a huge issue altogether.

He also does a lot of outreach in teaching those with PTSD how to use photography, crafts, painting, drawing, and writing to heal.
 

Paul Whybrow

Full Member
LV
0
 
My fictional serial killer has PTSD, and knows that he does, using it as an edge to stay on the fringe of society. I link his shadowy world to the online homicidal activities of players of violent video games, young men who are often alienated from society. There have been several real life examples of mass murderers using video games as training for their intended attack, including Anders Breivik in Norway.

I'm not suggesting for one moment that all PTSD sufferers are potential homicidal maniacs. Nonetheless, there's always a huge increase in violent crime when conflicts end, as there's inadequate therapy for traumatised veterans. It's a sad fact that more Vietnam veterans died from violent acts after the war, than were killed during the conflict - including by suicide.

Boy soldiers are commonly used in revolutionary warfare. The atrocities in Africa, the Middle East and Slovenia featured children as warriors – often kidnapped and brainwashed youngsters; it's still going on. I once worked with a man who'd been snatched from his classroom by the army of the Ayatollah in Iran. He was 14 years old, and with minimum weapons training he found himself in a firefight using a machine gun forty-eight hours later. He killed people, and became the victim of chemical warfare. Twenty-five years later he was struggling to cope with the guilt of what he did. He tried to make amends by working with refugees in London.

He was one of the kindest men I've ever met. He had the wisdom to seek counselling, but hearing of his experiences made me wonder what would happen to a disaffected and traumatised warrior with no family or friends, someone who'd been turned into a killing machine - hence my novel, with a serial killer who's been fighting since childhood.

One of the things that I'm most grateful of, is that I never had to fight in a war, and now I'm too old! It troubles me greatly that not enough is done to deprogramme veterans from violent ways, and to help those who are tormented by trauma. Any outreach project offering support is welcome.
 
D

David Steele

Guest
When they first started making cars, they didn't sell them with seat belts because the manufacturers didn't want people to imagine the cars crashing.
...and so it is.
 

Robinne Weiss

Full Member
LV
0
 
When I was in my late teens and finally dealing with the violence done to me as a child, writing was absolutely critical as a way of working through it. Very therapeutic, especially since some of that writing was good enough to be published! Sending those understandings out into the world for others to benefit from...doesn't get much more healing!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

More Grammar Humor

Christmas Book List, What Do We Think of this Mix?

Top