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Screen Trauma: Visual Media and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Screen Trauma: Visual Media and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Recent studies in psychiatry reveal an acceptance of trauma through the media. Traditionally restricted to immediate experience, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is now expanding to include mediated experience. How did this development come about? How does mediated trauma manifest itself? What are its consequences? This essay addresses these questions through three cases: (1) ‘trauma film paradigm’, an early 1960s research program that employed films to simulate traumatic effects; (2) the psychiatric study into the clinical effects of watching catastrophic events on television, culminating with the September 11 attacks; (3) reports on drone operators who exhibit PTSD symptoms after flying combat missions away from the war zone. The recognition of mediated trauma marks a qualitative change in the understanding of media effects, rendering the impact literal and the consequences clinical. What informs recent speculations about the possibility of trauma through media is a conceptual link between visual media and contemporary conceptions of trauma. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Theory, Culture & Society" SAGE

Screen Trauma: Visual Media and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

"Theory, Culture & Society" , Volume 33 (4): 25 – Jul 1, 2016

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References (89)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2015
ISSN
0263-2764
eISSN
1460-3616
DOI
10.1177/0263276415619220
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent studies in psychiatry reveal an acceptance of trauma through the media. Traditionally restricted to immediate experience, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is now expanding to include mediated experience. How did this development come about? How does mediated trauma manifest itself? What are its consequences? This essay addresses these questions through three cases: (1) ‘trauma film paradigm’, an early 1960s research program that employed films to simulate traumatic effects; (2) the psychiatric study into the clinical effects of watching catastrophic events on television, culminating with the September 11 attacks; (3) reports on drone operators who exhibit PTSD symptoms after flying combat missions away from the war zone. The recognition of mediated trauma marks a qualitative change in the understanding of media effects, rendering the impact literal and the consequences clinical. What informs recent speculations about the possibility of trauma through media is a conceptual link between visual media and contemporary conceptions of trauma.

Journal

"Theory, Culture & Society"SAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2016

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