Monday, November 12, 2007

PTSD by proxy?

I had a thought in class the other night...

It's entirely possible that I'm either a) completely off base or b) stating something that's already been studied and documented and everyone else knows but me. Either way, I'm still sharing my though.

During the Cold War- the era of the eminent threat of nuclear annhilation by atomic bomb via Mutually Assured Destruction, children (and probably adults) who lived in fear of "the bomb" day in and day out developed some of the symptoms of PTSD. Notably, nightmares. The fear was so great and so internalized that even though it wasn't something they had actually experienced, the fear of experiencing it gave them bad dreams.

So- can kids growing up in the post-Cold War era, in a home environment where there is no unnatural violence, be so sensitive to the thought of violence or strife that they internalize it to the same degree and experience the same PTSD symptoms? I understand that it isn't really PTSD, but that's the kind of dreams they say I have. Is it the same as "the bomb" dreams of the Cold War?

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