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PTSD in my novel ‘Finding Hayden’

findinghayden_cvr_smlThe topic of PTSD resonates with many people. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an affliction that impacts the lives of countless men and women.

For a number of years, the belief was that only combat veterans coped with this issue. Not so. Now we know that first responders, paramedics, police and firemen can suffer from PTSD. Anyone who has been involved in or witnessed a tragic event can also fall into the clutches of this disorder.

Living with PTSD is a challenge. The victim’s life can be filled with flashbacks, hallucinations, rage, nightmares and paranoia. Negative thoughts and a feeling of hopelessness can overwhelm the sufferer.  Many people cannot manage their lives and resort to suicide. The numbers are staggering.

Hayden, my hero in ‘Finding Hayden’ struggles with this problem. He’s lost all sense of purpose and is trapped in his own misery. Much to the dismay of family and friends, he’s  becoming more detached.

I didn’t need to invent challenges for Hayden. He was living in his own hell looking for a way out.

Discover ‘Finding Hayden’ and follow his journey. Available on Amazon. com or .ca

Have you or anyone in your circle of friends or family ever struggled with PTSD?

I recognize this is a personal question but your stories can inform, educate and perhaps assist someone who is fighting this significant mental health issue.

8 Comments

  1. This is one of the aspects I loved in your book, Jodie. I’m lucky in that I’ve never suffered from PTSD nor has anyone close to me (at least not that I’m aware of, because I know some people are embarrassed by it and don’t admit to it). But I did a fair bit of research on PTSD when I was writing the hero of “Ring of Fire,” Major Eric Weaver. A soldier who lost a leg to an IED, he’s coped extremely well with all the surgeries and dealing with a prosthetic leg, but it’s not so “easy” to deal with PTSD. It didn’t help that his career soldier father didn’t understand the illness at all, and thought only a wimp gave into it.

    I not only sent Eric to riding therapy but also to a survivors group where he learns exactly what you said, that PTSD can plague lots of people other than those in the military. I think it’s so important that we write about characters like this, in hopes that more people will understand how prevalent PTSD is and what a horrible thing it is to live with, and that they’ll be more understanding. (And, did I mention, I really enjoyed “Finding Hayden”!)

    1. PTSD is such a serious topic that I wanted to make sure that I handled the topic with care. I also wanted to have Hayden’s issue embedded in the story rather than ‘become’ the story. So Lily had to have a strong problem as well. Ah yes – the challenges of writing fiction.

    2. Hi Susan. PTSD is a complex issue and when I did my research I discovered fascinating strategies that people were trying in order to cope with this affliction. Certainly having the responsibility of looking after another creature can assist (a horse, a dog etc) I also read an article where a group of survivors used music therapy as their coping skill. A sensitive, and timely topic, that’s for sure. And thanks for the shout-out about Finding Hayden. So glad that you liked reading the first book in ‘The Coopers’.

  2. I’m going to pick up your book now, Jodie! I’m also fascinated with the subject of PTSD, something that affects the trauma surgeon hero in my upcoming book “Sunset Bay Sanctuary.” Medical professionals have a high incidence of this, especially ER staff, but unfortunately, as the scars are primarily psychological rather than physical, they can hide it better. Until they can’t. My hero finds help from a dog – and a dog trainer. 🙂 Thanks again for your post – I’m looking forward to Finding Hayden!

    1. Hi Roxanne,

      Thanks for stopping by. I agree, the psychological scars of coping with PTSD are immense and hidden as you’ve suggested. As I researched the subject I was amazed and humbled by the stories that I read. Thanks for picking up my book.

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