Why I Write about Trauma
Why write about trauma, anxiety, depression, and PTSD? Why am I so passionate about these issues and why did I want to feature characters with such flaws? Isn't there enough negativity in the world?
My answer is yes, there is enough negativity in the world, and this is exactly why these topics are so important. Trauma related effects and disorders are running rampant in our society. Hundreds of thousands of children are in foster care throughout the country. These young people of all ages didn't get there for no reason. Just merely removing a child from their home is traumatic, not to mention the abuse and/or neglect that often puts them there. On that same note, 22 military veterans commit suicide every day, and countless men and women who protected and served this country are now fighting a silent war within.
As uncomfortable and disturbing as these topics are, they need to be brought to light and understood not just by those who have experienced trauma, but by all of society. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD all have something in common. They thrive in isolation. The less a person feels understood, the more severe these issues will become. Just as a person who battles against these silent enemies must first acknowledge the condition and accept help, we as a society must recognize that these problems are real and in a way incurabale without an effective support network. We need to be willing to reach out and more so listen to those in need. We need to not judge when we find that someone is struggling mentally and instead uplift and encourage. Most of all, we need to get beyond the term "disorder" and realize that certain issues and behaviors are normal responses to abnormal experiences.
In addition to raising awareness, I want to be a voice to those who have been hurt, neglected, abused, or experienced some other form of trauma. I want them to connect with my fictional characters and see that there is hope beyond trauma and even psychological diagnoseses. Complex psychological issues that result from trauma can't merely be healed through a textbook definition or medical intervention. Memories don't just go away. Dreams don't just suddenly turn happy. Feeling hopeless or worthless doesn't just vanish with a few words of encouragement. Mental and physical responses to past traumatic events can't just be ignored or hidden in hopes that they'll someday just fade away. The effects of trauma will always follow a person in some way. The true answer isn't to strive to erase the past but rather learn to live with it, reach out to others where help is needed, and most of all, find strength and power through Christ.