This is Part III of a three-part essay on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: understanding it, having it, writing it.

Part I: What I Did In The War. (Introduction; background; what happens during trauma; what happened to me.)

Part II: What Does A Flashback Feel Like? (My history with PTSD, what it felt like to me, and dealing with other people who have it.)

Part III: I Don't Have To Do That Any More. (On recovery; lingering effects; book, film, and TV recommendations.)

After all that, I have never been either formally diagnosed with or treated for PTSD.

Unusual Circumstances May Cause Unusual Problems )

Recovery: Traditional Methods )

Recovery: Non-traditional Methods )

Don't fall in love with your own beautiful suffering. )

Recommended Media: Nonfiction )

Recommended Media: Fiction, TV, and Movies )

I hope this was helpful, useful, or enlightening. It was hard to write, and not just because of its extreme length. Some of it was stuff I've never told anybody before. There was even a point when I considered not posting it at all.

I was tremendously pleased and flattered when so many of you, when nominating the anime character I most resemble, thought that sanity and stability were among my most notable traits. I briefly had the woeful thought that after writing a three-part essay detailing my suicide attempts and blackouts and flashbacks and sleeping with a weapon in my hand and so forth, if I ever asked that question again, you would all say, "You are crazy suicidal teenage terrorist Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing!"

On the other hand, most of that craziness is in the past. Regarding what remains, I believe that while I may have more total crazy than the average person, I am also much better than average at dealing with and controlling it. Not to mention the advantage I gain from not pretending that I have no crazy. In equation form:

More crazy + more anti-crazy skills - denial = less insanity.

Less crazy + fewer anti-crazy skills + denial = more insanity.

Or so I hope. Actually, so I believe, considering that the total amount of time I spent considering not posting this was approximately thirty seconds. Surely Heero would have deleted the entire series without posting, in the unlikely event that he had the self-awareness to compose it in the first place.

As always, please feel free to link, ask questions, comment, share your own experiences, correct my science and statistics, or recommend media on the subject. And anyone is always free to friend this LJ. (Though I mostly write about manga, anime, and books, not mental health issues.)

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