Is everything trauma porn now?

Smart guy Steven Beattie, who I assume loves it when I call him Beatts, ruminates on an article about “trauma creep” in the Times. You know, everyone, including me, has started a Substack now, but Substacks are really just blogs with a different (and more easily monetized) delivery system that makes people feel like they’re part of a club. Beatts has been giving it away for free for a long time and we oughtta love the dude for it. Here’s to you, you raging party animal.

Trauma and ADHD: PTSD Questions and Answers

“Call it post-traumatic hyperbole. Or TikTok pseudopsychology. Or even therapy-speak,” Bennett writes. “There are plenty of horrible things going on in the world, and serious mental health crises that warrant such severe language. But when did we start using the language of harm to describe, well, everything?”

It’s a salient question. In the Pixar movie The Incredibles, the bad guy plots to give everyone superpowers because he recognizes that if everyone is a superhero, then no one is. The same principle could be applied to the notion of trauma: if every single everyday occurrence can qualify as traumatic, then how do we react when confronted with actual trauma on a personal, social, or global level?

Where literature is concerned, the focus on trauma narratives – often presented in the form of personal essays or memoirs of harrowing experiences – has had an influence on the way novelists construct their characters, and not entirely for the better. 

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