Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you’ve seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.
After a traumatic experience, it’s normal for a person to feel frightened, sad, anxious, and disconnected. But if the upset doesn’t fade and the person feels stuck with a constant sense of danger and painful memories, he or she may be suffering from PTSD.
Most people associate PTSD with battle-scarred soldiers—and military combat is the most common cause in men—but any seemingly life-threatening event—or series of events—that overwhelms you with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can trigger PTSD, especially if the event feels unpredictable and uncontrollable.
PTSD can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma.
Signs and Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD develops differently from person to person. While the symptoms of PTSD most commonly develop in the hours or days following the traumatic event, it can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years before they appear. There are three main types of symptoms and they can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time:
- Re-experiencing the traumatic event. This includes intrusive, upsetting memories of the event, flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again), nightmares (either of the event or other frightening things), feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma, and intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating),
- Avoiding reminders of the trauma. This involves avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma, inability to remember important aspects of the trauma, loss of interest in activities and life in general, feeling detached from others and emotionally numb, and a sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career).
- Increased anxiety and emotional arousal. This includes symptoms like difficulty falling or staying asleep, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”), and feeling jumpy and easily startled.
Movies With Characters With PTSD
There are many movies have had characters who exhibited symptoms of PTSD. The following films contain a character with PTSD that depicts the condition in a realistic manner. Each film also provides a foundation for a good Cinema Therapy experience due to directorial style, character development, casting, and production quality. New releases will be added to this article so return if this topic is of interest to you.
- I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
- The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
- Mine Own Executioner (1947)
- Twelve O’ Clock High (1949)
- The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
- Pawnbroker (1965)
- Slaughterhouse Five (1972)
- The Deer Hunter (1978)
- Coming Home (1978)
- Who’ll Stop The Rain (1978)
- Ordinary People (1980)
- First Blood (1982)
- Sudden Impact (1983)
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
- Chattahoochee (1989)
- Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
- The Rookie (1990)
- The Prince of Tides (1991)
- Fearless (1993)
- Above the Rim (1994)
- Copycat (1995)
- Dead Presidents (1995)
- Down Came a Blackbird (1995)
- Beloved (1998)
- Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- When Andrew Came Home (2000)
- Frida (2002)
- Mystic River (2003)
- Mysterious Skin (2004)
- The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
- Speak (2004)
- Lucid (2005)
- Black Snake Moan (2006)
- Fearless (2006)
- Home Of The Brave (2006)
- Reign Over Me (2007)
- Superheroes (2007)
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower(2012)
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