Researching Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I received the first of four research books I’d ordered on PTSD, a subject I find fascinating fortunately, because the heroine in my book seems to be suffering from it. It’s been interesting to see the statistics on who is more susceptible to react drastically toWaterlilies: Morning with Weeping Willows, Detail of the Left Section, 1915-26 trauma…women more than men, younger people rather than older, people with no social support, people with past substance abuse issues.

Many people suffer from the debilitating flashbacks, their hearts race, they sweat, they relive the trauma, they can’t distinguish between the actual event and their episodes of panic. Doesn’t your heart just break for them? Whether they’re Vietnam Vets, rape victims, abuse victims, disaster victims such as the survivors of 9-11…

Aside from book research, I have to wonder why God puts these things on my heart? Am I someday going to be glad for the frame of reference these psychological books are giving me? I’m still at the point in my writing, where any potential for it to have outreach seems surreal. I’m on the verge of thinking of it as more than a hobby, so I do still wonder if writing is the vehicle God knows will land me at a certain place at the right time? Know what I mean? What if I’m not ever going to be published, but will someday be in a White and Purple Water Lilies, 1918position to need counseling, or to be a counselor?

At the writing conference I recently attended, Deborah Raney half-joked about how in the beginning stages of plotting out a novel, you’ll be smacked right down in the middle of real-life research. Heaven help you if you’re writing about a plane crash! I haven’t had anything earth-shattering happen, but perfect snippets drop in my path like inspiration from God. Suddenly every article, every conversation, every sermon–comes alive and pertains to key parts of my story.

So I have to wonder about this interest in post-traumatic-stress-disorder. I really fell into it when revising my first draft of this novel. I’d alluded to the things my heroine was suffering, without knowing anything about PTSD.

At any rate, I know educating oneself is never a waste…so I’ll just enjoy the ride and see where God takes me, and possibly the book, along the way.

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BTW, one of the PTSD books I wanted was $60 plus at amazon.com and I got it for .99 cents at half.com! Isn’t that amazing?