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I have very strong feelings about this. Clearly. 17 pages worth.

Great big thanks to ~oboe-wan and *PlayinTheDead for the mountain of help they gave me on this.

Big ups also to =TheSkaBoss for helping me out with some of the finer points of DID/DA.

EDIT: 20/7/13 I want to give a special thank you to ^NicSwaner, for the DD and for understanding how important this piece is to me/in general.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-07-20
A Guide to Writing Combat-Related Mental Illness is a must-read guide by =doughboycafe for any writer planning to explore psychological trauma. ( Featured by Nichrysalis )
:icongreenhatman:
Greenhatman Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015
Like I said in your guide to war stories, this is a fantastic resource for writers.  But even more, reading this helped me realize how to work on some of my own mental issues in ways I hadn't thought of before.  Thank you!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Professional Writer
You know, you're not the first person to have said that. I'm a little stunned but, hey, you know, writing it probably helped me think about some of my own as well.
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:iconhambone--1:
Hambone--1 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. I can tell you put a lot of work into this. This was so helpful for writing characters with combat-related mental illnesses.
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Professional Writer
Glad to hear it. Hope it helps!
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:iconfulcrum45:
Fulcrum45 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent piece. I think this is the most thorough guide I've seen here on DA. I'll have to refer back to this when I start working on a relevant project of mine. Thanks for writing this!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2013  Professional Writer
Thanks, I really appreciate the comment, and I hope it proves useful.
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:iconanapests-and-ink:
anapests-and-ink Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
(finally posting a comment...:blush:)

I found this very helpful, not just for writing but for understanding people in general. I know a couple people who have illnesses covered in this guide. It's good to have something like this to refer to (for myself, not for them). Thank you so much for writing this! It's truly invaluable.
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Professional Writer
:heart: I´m always happy to see you, whenever you show up.

I hope that it is helpful, not just for writing. The funny thing is Repression is totally something everyone does. Conflict resolution classes and therapy sessions are basically lessons in how not to repress and cultivate fear around an emotion, so I thought it was something that might be useful for everyone!
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:iconassureastheskyisblue:
assureastheskyisblue Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013
I have to write a narrative for my English final assignment, and this will really come in handy! Thankyou for the fantastic information :)
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Professional Writer
You are more than welcome :)
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:iconheronwolf:
heronwolf Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Heya! I've just featured you here: fav.me/d6gqhjc
Have a fantastic day ;-)
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you very much!
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:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Best guide I've ever read on dA because you've cited all your sources so the readers can do more research on their own :highfive:
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you very much. I'm so glad so many people came out and responded to it. The kindness is overwhelming.
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:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome.
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:iconheronwolf:
heronwolf Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Dude, thank you very much for taking the time to write this and upload it to dA!
I've been working on a character who suffers from amnesia for a while now, and this is really helpful ;-)
Have a good one.
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
You are very welcome. I'm doing the same, which is part of what lead to this guide. I hope it helps! Let me know if you have any amnesia specific questions or notes to compare!
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:iconheronwolf:
heronwolf Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Will do, thanks again ;-)
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:iconj-ko:
J-ko Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
This is extremely useful stuff to read and keep for future reference. Thank you, and congratulations on the DD too!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you very much, and happy writing!
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:iconrenstudios:
ReNStudios Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist

Thank you so very much for this resource and list! Wonderful overview and discussion, will definatley be helpful to me in my projects.

 

 

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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
I very much hope it is! Thanks for the lovely comment.
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:iconrenstudios:
ReNStudios Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist

Update: I've had to rethink and rehaul a good deal of one of my original character's mannerisms with all this new information, I've got some amount of leeway in that fantasy elements come into play, but I'd like not to handwave the seriousness of these problems and portray them as realisticly as possible.

My character was involved in a life-threatening explosion and ended up in a coma, but woke up with a bit of a different personality. I've noticed this might contradict a few things as that's not really how most of these listed illnesses really work.

Would you happen to have any resources relating directly to Dissacociative Identity Disorder? It's sort of controversial in fiction since it gets abused a lot to let a character get away with things or misrepresented by those who haven't done their research or just think it would be cool (Which leads to really awful conclusions and assumptions about people that actually may have or do suffer from something like DID) and I'd really like to avoid that. (In fact, the character in question's personality change effects another character moreso than themself.) So if you have any tips or places I can look for more info on things that would involve personality, that would be mucho appreciated~!

Thank you again for this wonderful write up!

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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Professional Writer
Hey, sorry for the ridiculously long wait! I got caught up with all kinds of real life things. But, I did give this problem some thought. I´m really happy to hear that you´re taking so much time and effort
to understand this and get it right. I really respect that. Big high
five.

First thing´s first, with something like Dissociative Amensia, it is possible that this person could wake up missing vital pieces of information or just be ´duller´than before, but as *bloodawni points out, a one time trauma like an explosion for someone in their 20s is far, far less likely to produce DID. If you do want information on DID, I would recommend contacting =TheSkaBoss - they know way more than I do about it.

But second, the other question I have is what happened during said explosion that your character wound up in a coma? Because these disorders are mental but not produced by a physical injury. Amnesia can also be produced by head trauma or prolonged coma, but I know less about that. I could absolutely dig up a few articles if you´d like, but, my main point is that a physical injury could be a game changer.

Here is the basic rundown on what DID is (and again, this was clarified by =TheSkaBoss so they are a good bet for answering questions): You have a person, they experience a trauma. They are scared and do not want to confront the trauma again. So, there is a piece of them, we will call it EP, that remembers the trauma and relives it, whether it be in dreams, flashbacks, etc. But that part is locked away. Part of this person´s character is locked away there too, so the person is just emptier than they were. But, they function. On the outside, they perform their normal tasks, think, love, dream, whatever, just less than before. What you see on the outside, we will call AP.

Now, the AP is still the core of this person. It is a personality. The EP is just some memories and traits strongly associated with those memories that are locked in a little vault. There can be multiple EPs, multiple traumas, multiple forgotten things. But there is only one AP. That´s Dissociative Amnesia. When there is more than one AP - meaning, the trauma was so strong that the real person, the main AP, doesn´t have the skills or traits necessary to handle the situation so it forms a new one, that is DID. There are also probably a mess of EPs attached to both of these APs. But you can see why it would normally take a prolonged situation to produce something like a second AP, because a need for constant coping exists. Thus, as *bloodawni pointed out, it´s more frequently found in children, because they are still developing.


Phew. I know this is all really complicated, and not like it´s something easily accessible, so I hope this helps in some way! I think I can probably point you at some good info to help you out once we hash out if there is physical injury involved, and how much memory or personality loss you are looking at. Can you give me a snapshot of your initial idea for it?
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:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry to jump in here, but unless the character had DID before the explosion, this would probably be a misrepresentation of DID as well. (There are circumstances where it might work, I suppose - if the character is younger than about 5 or 6, but for the most part, it's very unlikely.)
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:iconrenstudios:
ReNStudios Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha no worries! The character is in their late twenties if that makes a difference, which it probably does. Would you happen to know of any places I could look for more information on DID or similar illnesses? I'd really like to avoid misrepresentation, and get all my facts straight before I get to this part of the story, and like I said earlier, I'd like to avoid handwaving anything with fantasy elements.
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:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Unfortunately I don't, I'm sorry. :/ I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to look, all I really have is personal knowledge. (Though that, if you wish to ask questions, is open to you!)

From what I know, DID rarely appears as a response to trauma post (youngish) childhood, probably because at that age, your mind and personality is less 'set' and thus more easily manipulated? (I'm not entirely sure on the reasons behind that) That would knock it way out of likelihood for your late 20s character; but I don't really know anything else that would show up in the way you've previously described.

Sorry I couldn't be more help, but I wish you lots of luck!
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:iconanyman82:
anyman82 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much for this! I'm working on a character right now who's a veteran with PTSD, but I didn't know where to start and I wanted to get it right. It's such an important issue and I really want to do it justice, so this is exactly what I needed! Thanks again. :)
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
Very glad to hear that, if you have any other questions, ask me. I might not know the answer but I can probably point you to people/articles that do! Happy writing!
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:iconskitskitpotter:
skitskitpotter Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Student Writer
Wow, what an excellent and thorough research paper! It must have taken you a lot of time and effort to compile all of this information. Thank you very much for this useful guide!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
You are very welcome! And it did take a lot of time, yes, but it was all well worth it in the end from the totally amazing response I got from you guys. So thank you.
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:iconithilwentheninjette:
IthilwenTheNinjette Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
I don't have time to read it all right now but I'm faving it so I can read it later. I have a few stories that involve war and understanding more about the impacts of it will really help. Thanks so much!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
You are welcome, and I hope this helps you!
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:icononi-defense:
ONI-Defense Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I don't have my mouse with me, and using my laptop's built in scroller pad sends me to pages I didn't mean to click on, but this page was something I made need in the future since I am working on a military novel.

Thank you for putting this together.
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
I hope it helps with your writing. Military novels are always so hard and so sensitive, but maybe this will make it a little easier.
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:iconthepurplekieen:
ThePurpleKieen Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I clicked on this because I've always been very interested in psychology, especially after writing a paper on PTSD in World War I, and wow. It's clear you put a lot of time, energy, and research into this -- definitely deserves a DD. Very helpful, and I'm sure a lot of people, myself included, who read this come away having learned something new.
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you for the very kind commentary!

And it just so happens that a few of the sources I used were recent studies on psych problems in WWI, so if you're interested, particularly the articles by Van der Hart I found really good.
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:iconkiramaru7:
kiramaru7 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
Thanks so much for sharing this information! Not only was this an interesting & informative read, but it's extremely helpful! Thank you again for sharing it.
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
You are very welcome. Thanks for taking the time to leave such kind comments!
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:iconkiramaru7:
kiramaru7 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
You're welcome! :)
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:iconconcora:
Concora Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013   Writer
Fantastic resource. Congratulations on the DD! :clap:
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
:heart: thank you!
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:iconrobottoxic:
RobotToxic Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this info, my friend. I can now write combat scenes for my books! Thank you so much~:heart:

And congrats on the very much needed DD!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
I hope it helps you! And thanks for the kindness!
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:iconrobottoxic:
RobotToxic Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
*mental combat, sorry~ ^-^' I feel stupid now...
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:iconvelkynkarma:
VelkynKarma Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for sharing all of this information! I can see lots of research, time and effort was put into this, and it's extremely helpful to have it all organized in one place.

Some of this I was familiar with already, and some of it is new to me. And then, some of the 'tropes' you mentioned actually surprised me (for example I find it baffling that people might think a trauma and related mental illnesses will 'turn off' after the initial cause, like a war, is over). Other tropes I am familiar with and I'm glad to see you addressing them as incorrect (it has always bugged me, regardless of the media, how trauma and trauma symptoms are treated conveniently, only happen when the plot demands it, and mysteriously vanish when no longer needed).

So thanks for all of this, this is a great piece of work!

~VelkynKarma
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
I hope it continues to be a helpful resource. I do occasionally check for new research, so I plan to update it as the years go b. And yes, I agree about the tropes - and sadly, I see millions of them, but those are the 5 most popular.

Thanks so much for the kind and thoughtful feedback!
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:iconmrmadmaniac:
MrMadManiac Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist
Nyra: THIS will come in handy!

as they say: "no pain for ye, no PTSD"
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Professional Writer
I hope it does come in handy.

And do they say that?
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:iconmrmadmaniac:
MrMadManiac Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist
(Be warned, Nyra enjoys experimenting with people's traumatic memories and psychological weaknesses.

And, not really.)
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