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PTSD and “The Hunger Games”

February 3, 2012

For those of you who are not familiar with “The Hunger Games” writer by Suzanne Collins, it is a series of three books due to come out as a Hollywood movie in a month or two.

The gist of the book, without giving it all away, is the story of a future Country that has gone through a terrible war and it has left the Country segregated into zones each serving the Country in a different way. There is little communication between the zones which act independently to serve the central government.

Each year to remind the people of the terrible war they stage “The Hunger Games” where one child of any age up to 18 is selected from each zone to participate. The object of the game is to hunt down and kill all of the other participants until there is only one left standing. This then becomes the winner of the “Hunger Games” of that year.

This gives you enough background to go ahead and read the three books, if you choose, or wait until it comes to the movies or later to video or never if this is your choice.

I read these books over the last few weeks and I enjoyed them. There was a segment in the third book entitled, “Mockingjay”, that struck me hard and I wanted to share it.

In this segment that I will quote exactly one of the main character named Peeta, is asked what it was like to be in the games.

“Once you are in the arena the rest of the world becomes very distant”, he continues, “All the people and things you loved or cared about almost cease to exist. The pink sky and the monsters in the jungle and the tributes who want your blood become your final reality, the only one that ever mattered. As bad as it makes you feel, you’re going to have to do some killing because in the arena, you only get one wish. And it is very costly.”

“It costs you your life,” says Caesar.

“Oh no. It costs a lot more than your life. To murder innocent people?” says Peeta. “It costs everything you are.”

“Everything you are,” repeats Caesar.

Coming home with PTSD for me was like this. I left me in Vietnam and came home someone different.