As a part of GeekDis, a creative collaboration to shine a light on disability representation in pop culture, I am bringing you my three favorite characters with PTSD to talk about what the writers got right. PTSD, or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health condition that is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. PTSD is not something that only affects soldiers. It can affect you; it can affect anyone. It affects me. I knew GeekDis was the perfect opportunity to finally talk about some of my favorite characters who also suffer from PTSD as well as discuss what the writers got right about PTSD and how it affects us.
Please note that I am not a professional, and I am simply basing this on what I have gone through as diagnosed by my therapist as well as the official definition and symptoms of PTSD. All experiences will vary, and no case of PTSD is the same as another.
Note: “Disney Depression” is not the same as clinical depression. This post is not meant to diminish real depression in any way.
With the world in the midst of a pandemic, vacations and trips have been cancelled while most of us self isolate in our homes. Like most people, my partner and I had to cancel all of our travel plans for 2020. While we have some hope that 2021 may present a safe opportunity to travel at some point, that time is far in the future as of the writing of this post. After honeymooning at Disney in 2019, we had hoped to re-create that experience in 2020. Obviously it wasn’t possible once the virus took hold.
We’ve been feeling pretty down about not being able to go back to Disney World to be perfectly honest. I know it seems silly considering how much has happened this year, politically and otherwise, but I strongly feel that the disappointment in unfulfilled plans is valid. Most of our lives have stopped moving forward. Most of us are confined to our homes, working in a makeshift office, and only leaving the house for appointments and grocery shopping. It’s completely normal to mourn what “should have been.” In an effort to combat this Disney Depression, a term coined for the feelings you get leaving the most magical place on earth and the time between before you are there again, I came up with 6 different ways to deal with the Disney blues.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I wrote a post about my abusive relationship on another blog. This blog has long since been deleted as well as the posts I wrote with it. I did copy over some of my posts to an external drive that I felt may be worth sharing again one day. This drama-filled, emotional personal story was one of the ones I have kept for years, unsure if I should edit it and re-share it or let it die. It was an extremely dark, abusive, and unhealthy time in my life from the age of about fifteen to twenty. Here I am at 27, almost 28, re-reading what I wrote several years ago, fresh from my break up.
Ever since I started my “Mental Health in the Geek Community” series, I have wanted to tell the story about how fandoms helped me through this horrible break up. I have stopped myself over and over again, fearful of what wounds would be re-opened or what drama or revealed secrets would befall me. I’ve been in therapy now for about 2 years, and I think it’s finally time that I share a bit of my story about how Doctor Who helped me heal and move on from an abusive teenage relationship.
Trigger Warning: I got into detail about the abuse I endured. It’s okay if you want to skip this post. I’ll see you in the next one.
I can’t believe it’s been over 6 months since I started working from home and self isolating. So much has happened in those six months like getting a big job promotion and my husband and I buying our first home, and yet I’m still only leaving the house for necessities and the very rare special occasion restaurant meal. My mental health has rode the waves (and roller-coasters), ebbed and flowed during the past six months.
Lately, my mental health has been pretty crap, and it makes sense as my entire every day routine was ripped away: we had a house guest for longer than planned, most of my means of escape were eventually packed away, the entire home buying process was stressful… I could go on, but I won’t. Let’s move on to the entire purpose of this post: things that have actually been getting me through the past 6 months of self isolation, working from home, and the daily stresses that come with the ongoing pandemic.
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Most K-Pop isn’t open about mental health, mental illness, or personal struggles, and that’s where BTS is different. One of the biggest reasons I love BTS is their incredible lyrics that touch on aspects of mental health and mental illness. Their music videos speak volumes even with a language barrier. Their canon Webtoon, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt.0: Save Me, dives into the mental health of their alter egos as well and lends a hand to their narrative of healing, loving yourself, and moving forward.
Today I wanted to share some of my favorite lyrics from BTS’s songs that have been healing for me. Whether I was deep in depression on these days or just needing a little reminder that I’m going to be okay, BTS was able to touch my heart, and I hope that some of these songs and lyrics can help you as well.