I don’t have PTSD, and I’m trying to write a character that does. This character has to directly return to the source of trauma, and I want to make them dissociate accurately. How would I do that?
A thing to consider about that "returning to the scene of the trauma" idea. Avoidance is a pretty important symptom too and a lot of people with PTSD would do almost anything to avoid returning to the scene and to anything that remotely resembled the situation.
Thanks, I didn’t realize how sensitive it was to ask.My advice is: Don't. Write what you know.
Continued advice: Don't come into a PTSD forum as a non-PTSD-haver and ask us to discuss our worst things with you. Self-described "writers" who pop up here from time to time tend to be extremely entitled and unwilling to understand why we might be unhappy discussing the subject with them.
More advice: Google is your friend. Use it.
Final advice: Go away.
Primary sources should NEVER be your first source.Thanks, I didn’t realize how sensitive it was to ask.
@jules0260 “Who better to ask?”
I first started writing for publication when I was about 14.
I learned very early on 2 things;
A)'Never bring up my age until my parents were cosigning on my contracts (let the work stand or fall on it's own. If it's good? It's good. It's not "good for a 14yo".)
B) The rules for journalistic integrity apply to fiction, if anything, even more so than nonfiction. As you're not reporting facts, nor truth, but making up stories surrounding other people's lives. This piece right here? Hardens to the #1 Rule of Fiction = Write What You Know. How you learn that information, if it's not yours to begin with? It's not something you know, but something you want to know? Is as important as how you present it.
So I'm going to hope that you've already learned lesson A, and you're somewhere between the ages of 12-16, and are about to learn lesson B.
Because who better to ask? Primary sources should NEVER be your first source.
This is known as the GoldStandard of what not to do. You've just done that ^^^ You've walked into a community of people who have suffered great tragedy & traumas beyond the scope of normal human experience; & blithely started asking questions with no foundation of even minimal research to engender understanding of the issues at hand, preparation, nor sensitivity to the harm your actions may cause. If you're embarrassed by this? Good. Use that to further your own education so you don't make the same mistake again, and build both your own character & ethical bottom line.Reporters have also been accused of indecency in the process of collecting news, namely that they are overly intrusive in the name of journalistic insensitivity. War correspondent Edward Behr recounts the story of a reporter during the Congo Crisis who walked into a crowd of Belgian evacuees and shouted, "Anyone here been raped and speaks English?"
Some baseline & beginning reading for you.
SPJ Code of Ethics | Society of Professional Journalists | Improving and protecting journalism since 1909
SPJ Ethics Committee Position Papers: Reporting on Grief, Tragedy and Victims | Society of Professional Journalists | Improving and protecting journalism since 1909
SPJ covers the ethics for the entire range of human experience. For trauma specific ethical guidance? They (and I) very strongly recommend the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma.The overriding point, however, is that journalists must be responsible both in how they gather and present the information in words and photos. Stories involving grief and victims go to the heart of one of the tenets of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics: Minimize harm.
Tragedies & Journalists
Ethical Reporting on Traumatised People
The Art of Trauma Reporting: Pulitzer Prize Winners Reflect
ISTSS - Journalism Students Learn Victim Interaction Skills Through Role-Playing