A02: Is PTSD Contagious?

Before class THU JAN 31, post an analytical response to the reading about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There’s a single resource for this assignment, but later drafts on this topic may require you to do original research to supplement your source materials.

  1. Read the story, “Is PTSD Contagious?”
  2. Post a brief analysis on the topic of PTSD and the likelihood that it not only creates tension in the families of veterans, but is also actually transferred to those families.
  3. Post your response on the blog in two categories: A02: Is PTSD Contagious and the category for your own name found under Author.
  4. Give your post the title PTSD–Student Name substituting your own name, of course.

Notes: I’m not interested in your critique of the quality of the writing of the article. Instead, I simply want you to investigate whether it seems plausible that the hypervigilance, anxiety, terror, irritability, depression, and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress are transferred to the families of traumatized veterans. You may consider other factors as well, such as severe head trauma or preconditions that might dispose some individuals to the disorder.

A note on voice: What I mostly want you to avoid in this bit of writing are the personal reflections so many of you included in your first posts. Begin to adopt the more academic approach of sticking to the subject matter instead of your reaction to the subject matter.

An example of the style to avoid: When I first heard the concept of a psychological disorder being contagious, I thought it was crazy to even contemplate. Obviously there are no germs to be transmitted with PTSD, so the chances of catching it from someone seem completely remote. But I admit, the more I read about the subject, the more likely it seems that living in the presence of a person who flinches at every sound would start to rub off and make the whole household feel on edge.

An example of a style to adopt: Clearly, calling PTSD contagious is more of a metaphor than a statement of medical fact, but the metaphor is apt. Many of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress are in fact transferred to spouses and the children of traumatized veterans when they return home to their families. It shouldn’t be surprising that a parent’s night terrors and fear of the slightest sound or disturbance would unsettle a child; after all, children depend on their parents for their sense of safety.


  • DUE THU JAN 31 before class.
  • Word count is irrelevant, but thorough analyses of whatever length will be graded higher than superficial writing that wastes words. Complex ideas briefly expressed are rewarded best.
  • You will receive a grade for this draft, which is intended to diagnose your abilities and needs. You’ll also receive additional guidance for a rewrite I expect will follow later, along with, most likely, a second grade for your revised analysis.
  • Customary late penalties. (0-24 hours 10%) (24-48 hours 20%) (48+ hours, 0 grade)
  • Quizzes and Exercises category (10%)

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels. www.davidbdale.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in A02: Is PTSD Contagious?, David Hodges, Professor Post. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A02: Is PTSD Contagious?

  1. briannewaters3 says:

    Sooo I don’t know if this is just on my computer (because with technical difficulties I always have, it could happen) but this post has the directions for the Invention of Money paper.

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