Some of you might remember my 2009 interview with PTSD survivor Michele Rosenthal, when I picked her brain about post-traumatic stress disorder, her thoughts on PTSD represented in entertainment media, and what she made of the Grey’s Anatomy‘s PTSD storyline – and GA actor Kevin McKidd’s portrayal of someone with PTSD – at the time.
Well, even though Dr. Owen Hunt (McKidd’s character) has since undergone treatment and his PTSD storyline in Grey’s Anatomy has sort of fizzled out, GA fans are now seeing another character battle the aftermath of trauma:
Dr. Cristina Yang.
For some viewers, seeing Dr. Yang – who is arguably one of Seattle Grace’s most hardcore, driven, and stoic surgeons – battle symptoms of PTSD for two episodes now might be surprising.
However, similar to other kinds of mental illness and mental health conditions, PTSD isn’t selective. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you’ve suffered a trauma (just like the trauma the employees at Seattle Grace suffered during last season’s finale), you are at risk for PTSD.
I applaud Shonda Rhimes and her team of Grey’s Anatomy writers for choosing Cristina Yang as the character to experience PTSD symptoms. Who knows if she did it on purpose or not, but I think it’s an excellent way to show the public that it doesn’t matter how tough you are – no one is immune.
For more information about and resources for PTSD, be sure to check out:
- NIMH: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Psych Central’s online PTSD forums and list of PTSD support groups.
- Heal My PTSD, the website for Michele Rosenthal’s organization to advocate for “PTSD awareness, education, treatment and self-empowered healing.”
And, in the meantime, what do you think about the newest PTSD storyline on Grey’s Anatomy?