One of the things I most deeply believe in is how PTSD impacts identity. This idea — and how important it is to reverse the negative impact! — was the foundation for my own healing journey and is now the crux of how I approach self-empowered healing in all of my work.
Imagine my delight, then, when Sarah Vine contacted me about graduate research she’s doing in the area of PTSD and identity. As survivors we’re always looking for people to support us. We’re also looking for people to hear what we have to say about the PTSD experience. Sarah offers to do both. In her guest post today she asks for volunteers. I hope some of you will agree to share your experience with her so that the reality of PTSD gets even further documented.
Naturally, you’ll want to know about who Sarah is, her purpose and her mission. You’ll see from her words that she’s genuine. She’s also willing to answer any questions so feel free to reach out to her!
I am a final year undergraduate student of psychology studying at the University of Derby, specialising in Mental Health. As part of my undergraduate thesis I am conducting a study exploring individual experiences of living with PTSD and the relationship this condition has with identity and view of self. As part of my project I need to interview people who have been diagnosed and are still dealing with their PTSD. My brother has been my first volunteer; he has been coping with his Combat PTSD for the past 9 years and is one of the main reasons why I am so interested in contributing to this field.
The rationale behind the study is to further inform the existing psychological research into how people suffering from PTSD cope with and manage their condition. Recently some researchers have argued the significance of considering the perception of self and identity in relation to people who suffer from chronic conditions. These studies have investigated the personal experiences of people living with chronic conditions and the surfacing theme has been the influence this has on the view of the self (Bramley & Eatough, 2005; Murray & Harrison, 2004; Smith & Osborn, 2007). These studies have highlighted the magnitude of investigating subjective experience and focusing beyond certain disease-specific thinking to begin to foster an understanding of how self perception could supply insight to these chronic conditions. However, the majority of this research has taken a sociological perspective or examined particular chronic physical conditions. This study will explore Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the concept of self and identity, a greatly overlooked aspect of psychological research surrounding this chronic condition. It is my belief that by focusing on chronic mental conditions from a psychological perspective, whilst exploring the personal accounts of sufferers in depth, would build upon the work to date and has the potential to contribute considerably to understanding the healing process and the development of new treatments.
You are invited to take part in this study. This will involve answering questions regarding your experience of living with the condition and NOT the trauma behind your condition (unless you feel it is relevant) in response to either an online real time interview via Skype Chat/MSN messenger or emailed questions. Your interview and personal information will be kept completely confidential and secure at all times, and you will not be identified in the final report. After the report has been completed, all interview transcripts and other related information will be destroyed. Your answers will be part of an Independent Studies project and may be published in academic texts, however, they will remain completely confidential and unidentifiable.
You don’t have to participate in this study. If you do consent to taking part, you still have the right to withdraw your responses from the research, without giving a reason, for a period of one month post the interview date. This can be done by contacting me at the address below. If you would like further information on the study please do get in touch. Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you wish to participate please email me and we will organise the preferred method of interview. If you do have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sarah Vine is a currently studying to be a clinical psychologist with her main focus centering within the mental health field. Prior to taking up this training, Sarah spent 7 years working with the British military helping both current and ex servicemen and women affected by PTSD to receive the care and assistance that they required to deal with their condition.
Sarah is no stranger to PTSD and the impact this chronic condition has on the lives of the sufferers and their families. For the last 9 years she has been the main support for her brother, diagnosed with combat PTSD, and continues to help him recover from his trauma.
The mother of two boys, 7 and 3, of whom the eldest is autistic, Sarah wants to utilize her ‘everyday’ learning acquired from living with and loving people with mental trauma and developmental disorders and combine this with her formal psychological training to aid a greater breadth of people in her life.The research cited is being conducted exclusively by and only relates to Sarah Vine.