Hello, I am unsure of how to go about all of this and am hesitant because I do not want to step on any toes. I am looking for some help in regards to a book i have written, my first, in which the main character has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I wrote the book going along with what information I have scrounged from the internet and various newspaper articles. Needless to say many of these sources have proved somewhat, lets say, impersonal. I know that I do not really belong here; it seems to me like I could come across as looking to someone else's suffering to benefit myself and my book. I hope that is not how I come across, I sincerely hope so. I suppose that, if allowed, I would like to describe what I feel, at this point, is an accurate portrayal of what my character goes through in regards to his PTSD. If anyone should feel like criticizing or correcting, and hopefully eventually confirming my direction with this I would be profoundly thankful. Keep in mind that I am an outsider here, I have never known anyone who has had PTSD and I intend to change that both through this Forum and seeking out the help of those in my area. My book took form from a short story that I had written in college, my professor called it interesting but antic! He also said that it was not completely satisfying, I agreed. I was happy with that because his full analysis gave me some direction to go with; I abhor criticism that leads nowhere. So a few years pass and the story lay about with various other unfinished projects, a bad habit of mine, until my longtime girlfriend and I parted ways, it was amicable, but painful none the less. I decided that it was time to do something which I knew i would be proud of later on, regardless of whether it was well received or not. That's the spirit, I thought; go get 'em tiger! Also I needed something to do with my time! So I have spent the last year cloistered in my apartment writing and smoking entirely too many cigarettes, but always writing. I only tell you this because I have dedicated a lot of time to this damn book and i want to get it right. Jack, my character, suffers from PTSD, which he acquired in the service of the military. He has hallucinations, (Is this accurate?) which I specify stem from a lack of sleep and an overactive imagination. The lack of sleep, of course, is a direct manifestation of his disability. For future reference, if I say anything that is offensive, such as the word disability, I hope to stand corrected! In my desperation to make this character likeable (Read: Familiar) to those who may someday read this book I have sidestepped, in my ignorance, the aspect of a possible change in behavior such as anger and seemingly incomprehensible rage. I instead decided to allow him the option to be morose and unresponsive as if in a waking coma. Do not be angry with me yet, Jack does a lot of good in this book and I feel that I have been diligent in making him seem real and therefore flawed. He is a wonderful father when it comes down to it and though it is sometimes hard to see how, he eventually comes to the right decisions in the end. Through the course of the book we see how Jack can not fall asleep for fear of the nightmares which haunt him. Though lessened while awake, he still suffers from them. Much of this book is about how he attempts to cope with them. One unfortunate side effect is that he scratches himself involuntarily to deal with his anxiety as he sees no other way to handle it. Here's to hoping that I get an overwhelming response implying that I am terribly wrong in my thinking. Sensing that I may not be, I only hope to gain some personal insight into this affliction which may help me to write a better book and therefore shed some light on PTSD for those people, like myself, who have had little or no contact with it. Even if the only people who read it are those near and dear to me who I am able to force the book upon, I want it to be genuine! The stark realities aside, I think that this book is light enough and humorous enough that it is not depressing; it tells the tale of a man with a problem that he is determined to overcome. And yet he is nearly incapable of doing so in even his most lucid of moments. A catch 22, as it were. I hesitate to go on as I have probably lost everyone's interest about seven paragraphs ago, so I think that I will let it go at that and hope that I hear from those of you who are willing. I thank you and wish you all the best of luck, do not hesitate to say hello. I must also stress that I need help and approval from those who would know that I would be full of crap if I had not sought out help and confirmation on PTSD. You! have a wonderful day and make what good luck you can because it is not always there to be found. P.s. This book is also about a number of other things as well, Pharmaceuticals being one of the other topics. It also has a lot to do with the expectations we have of our heroes and the ideal, and therefore unobtainable, perception that we have of them. Jack is a man, who despite all odds against him; he is missing a leg and has a disease that no one seems to understand and few even acknowledge, who, through his determination makes what he can of his life and the challenges thrown at him. Thank you and Bon Voyage!