Portrayals of PTSD in Pop Culture

As more veterans return from overseas, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) continues to gain attention from the mental health, military and government communities. However, PTSD has become more prominent in pop culture due to an increase of PTSD portrayals in television and movies. One of the most notable and timely examples is the new character,  Dr. Owen Hunt, on ABC’s popular medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy.

Dr. Hunt, shown above in preparation for a  brain scan, recently returned from active military duty in Iraq.  Since his introduction earlier this season, he has progressively shown more problems with assimilation  into civilian life and has demonstrated PTSD symptoms.

Are you interested to see how ABC is portraying  PTSD? You can view the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy, in which Dr. Hunt seeks help after his symptoms increase, by clicking here and selecting episode 18.

Because most individuals do not read psychological or medical journals, articles, and studies, it is important that the messages that they do receive about conditions such as PTSD are accurate. A misleading portrayal can do much more harm than good by adding to misconceptions and stigmatization.

Do you think that films and television shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy, are portraying PTSD properly? Do you think that the appearance of PTSD in popular shows will increase awareness or understanding of the condition?

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This entry was posted in Psychology in Pop Culture and tagged , , , by EMDR. Bookmark the permalink.

About EMDR

The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) is a professional association where EMDR practitioners and EMDR researchers seek the highest standards for the clinical use of EMDR. EMDR is an accepted psychotherapy by leading mental health organizations throughout the world for the treatment of a variety of symptoms and conditions. This website provides information to the greater EMDR community including clinicians, researchers, and the public that our members serve.

One thought on “Portrayals of PTSD in Pop Culture

  1. i think it is imperative that television see and understand EMDR and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder accurately.

    i think the broadbrush effect on our society can be much more harmful, i have an independent television project in development about PTSD & EMDR. Docu/drama, please feel free to contact me.

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