On writing and PTSD



So there was a kerfuffle the other day on the mad max kink meme about this, and I figure I might have some ethos to speak on this issue, maybe, so here, in other words, is my useless two cents.

First, I kind of agree with the requester who kicked the shit off by asking for some sort of trigger warning.  But not because I am a frail flower that will be triggered by someone’s silly fic.  Because, you see, I don’t care to read ‘photorealistic ptsd’ fic in the same way that my sister, a doctor, doesn’t care to watch medical shows on TV, or my Army buddy friends can’t watch war movies.

They’re not triggered, they’re PISSED OFF at inaccuracies. How many rounds that pistol ACTUALLY holds. That’s not a real hand signal. House would be sued for malpractice and fired as an insurance liability.  That’s not how hospital consults WORK. Etc, etc.  Their clear knowledge of the real world situation jars with the Hollywood fantasy/myth and they simply are not entertained.

I’m not likely to be triggered reading a fic about PTSD. I’m really likely not to be entertained by it. So I’d like, since fandoms as I’ve said before, are COMMUNITIES, to have some heads up and be able to select things I think I will enjoy, and avoid things I think I will not enjoy.

It’s really that simple. It’s not about censorship or some bullshit SJW I AM OFFENDED, it’s just…yeah I would choose not to read that and I’d like to have that choice.

OKAY onto the PTSDpicking. 

Keep reading

Thank you for this insightful post! I particularly agree with this bit:

“* Second, that’s…not how PTSD flashbacks work? This is NOT me calling Miller out, because I don’t think he intends Max to have any sort of defined disorder. But in the interests of fanfiction and PTSD I’d like to bring to the floor that despite what Hollywood has told you, Godzilla isn’t real, and PTSD hallucinations don’t work like that.  In fact, if I had to diagnose Max, I’d probably put ‘psychosis’ higher on the list than PTSD.”

Indeed, the text of the film supports this. The Organic Mechanic (although clearly not a qualified psychiatrist) tattoos “psychotic” on Max’s back. The way his visions speak to Max and accuse him, and the way he describes them in the opening narration “Here they come…worming their way etc.” sounds much more like psychosis (to me) than a flashback.

I also agree that they are a simple visual storytelling device. The viewer learns instantly that Max is near-crippled by guilt about his perceived failures, which is important dramatically for his character arc. We see multiple people in his visions during the attempted flight from the Citadel, but Glory is the one that returns throughout the film because she is the one that positions Max’s character in a way that it is easily understood.

We know she is not his literal child from canon (Glory may be an invention of his brain) but the fact that a young female child is the one that keeps returning to accuse him, helps the audience read his actions throughout the film towards Furiosa, the Wives, (and childlike Nux) as protective (parental even) rather than possessive. If Max kept seeing visions of his dead wife instead, would we read his evolving relationship with the adult women (and Furiosa in particular) differently? Maybe I would.

The visions of Glory/past trauma are also used for his dramatic arc in the way that they disappear when Max is conscious and actively engaged in helping Furiosa, but Glory returns as soon as Max stays behind when the women set off across the salt. Glory disappears again when everyone links up, but comes back during the final chase when Max is separated from Furiosa and on top of the War Rig, and in fact “saves” him by causing him to raise his hand to block the dart that would otherwise have gone into his head.

Miller abandoned the idea of making the people thrown from vehicles look realistic (he made the Visual Effects crew watch real footage of people in high speed crashes) because a person ‘starfished’ flying through the air looks wrong to eyes accustomed to cinema visuals of stuntmen being able to control the way they fall. Reality looks fake because the images we are used to seeing in movies tell us otherwise. Same with Max’s visions: they are an accessible way for the viewer to understand the character’s emotional journey, not a medically accurate portrayal of mental disability.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1IlheL6.

Tags: turtles, fury road, text post, medical accuracy vs. storytelling.

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