Ptsd & Slaughter House Five

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Amy Smith
Dr. Lee
English 101
December 1, 2011
Post-traumatic stress disorder, also called PTSD for short, is an anxiety disorder. Anyone can get post-traumatic stress disorder, especially war veterans or a survivor of a serious or tragic event. In the novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, one of the main characters is Billy Pilgrim. He fought in World War II for the United States. After the war Billy is not the same as he was before. Although Billy Pilgrim is not officially diagnosed with PTSD, he shows many signs and symptoms of the disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is very serious and many people can develop this disorder. People who have served in a war, a survivor of a natural disaster, or a person in an abusive relationship are all equally at risk. War Veterans especially have seen such traumatic things. Not only are they killing other people but they see those people lifeless and injured. They lose friends every day and are witnesses to those who are lost. Many people feel frightened or stressed after the experience has happened. Some people experience symptoms for a shorter period of time such as a few weeks. This is known as acute stress disorder (ASD). Some serious cases may cause a person to commit suicide.

Major symptoms of PTSD are the re-experiencing symptoms. These include flashbacks, bad dreams, and frightening thoughts. Billy Pilgrim experiences all of these. He experiences time travel, in which he ends up in all different time periods. Although it may just be Billy’s imagination, He thinks that he is abducted and travels to space with the Tralfamadorians. Billy travels back and forth between his past, present and future throughout the whole novel. Billy’s flashbacks of the war cause him to live the trauma over and over. The author writes “Billy is spastic in time, has no control over where he is going next, and the trips aren't necessarily fun. He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he...
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