Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “ptsd”

Psychological effects of torture: a comparison of tortured with nontortured political activists in Turkey

Psychological effects of torture: a comparison of tortured with nontortured political activists in Turkey – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8267139

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What are the psychological effects of torture?
  • Do people recover from being tortured?


This 1994 article from the American Journal of Psychiatry was indexed by Medline, a service of the National Library of Medicine. Only the abstract is available online, but you should be able to get the full article through interlibrary loan. The “results” section of the article looks intriguing for writers wondering about the lingering effects of torture:

The torture survivors reported an average of 291 exposures to a mean of 23 forms of torture. The mean length of their imprisonment was 47 months. The survivors of torture had significantly more symptoms of PTSD and anxiety/depression than the nontortured comparison subjects, although their PTSD symptoms were only moderately severe and their general mood was normal. Despite the severity of their torture experiences, the survivors had only a moderate level of psychopathology.


FBI Coping With Crime Victimization

FBI Coping With Crime Victimization –https://www.fbi.gov/resources/victim-assistance/coping-with-victimization

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What are some physical effects associated with being a crime victim?
  • How should a parent deal with a child who has been a crime victim?
  • What happens to a victim of financial crime?


General information for what victims of crimes go through, how to cope and what organizations can help which kinds of victims. Talks about symptoms of PTSD without actually calling it that. Links to brochures on specific types of victimization, including child pornography, bank robbery, financial crime and human trafficking.

National PTSD center

National PTSD center – http://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Where can I find an example of a “returning home from a war zone” guide?
  • What are some PTSD issues specific to women?
  • Where can I find a guide aimed specifically at Iraq veterans?
  • What are some assessments for PTSD and trauma?


This site is divided into three sections:

Public (including veterans) – From the web site, “Fact sheets, videos, and more about trauma to help answer your questions about PTSD and related issues.”

Professional (Providers and Researchers) – From the web site, “Materials on the psychological effect of trauma and tools to help you with assessment and treatment of PTSD.”

About Us – links to annual reports and organizational information.

This site also provides access to PILOTS, a database of published articles on PTSD. From the website,

PILOTS stands for: Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress). This database is an electronic index to the worldwide literature on PTSD and other mental health consequences of exposure to traumatic events. Unlike other databases, PILOTS does not restrict its coverage to articles appearing in selected journals. It attempts to include all publications relevant to PTSD and other forms of traumatic stress, whatever their origin without disciplinary, linguistic, or geographic limitations.

Articles found in PILOTS may or may not be available online in full text. In cases where the full text is available and the abstract isn’t enough to satisfy you, see your local library about interlibrary loan.

Complex PTSD (Veterans Affairs)

Complex PTSD – https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd-overview/complex-ptsd.asp

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What types of trauma are associated with Complex PTSD?
  • What does Complex PTSD do to one’s self perception?


This is a simply a factsheet from the National PTSD center. I’m including it here because it provides information on a form of PTSD not usually dealt with in literature or in films. From the website:

Clinicians and researchers have found that the current PTSD diagnosis often does not capture the severe psychological harm that occurs with such prolonged, repeated trauma. For example, ordinary, healthy people who experience chronic trauma can experience changes in their self-concept and the way they adapt to stressful events. Dr. Judith Herman of Harvard University suggests that a new diagnosis, Complex PTSD, is needed to describe the symptoms of long-term trauma (1). Another name sometimes used to describe this cluster of symptoms is: Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS)(2).

This page includes examples of the situations that appear to contribute to Complex PTSD and a listing of symptoms. There is also a reading list for more information.

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