Before I begin, I wish to declare that I personally do not have (To my knowledge!) any of the mental defects or disorders listed in this thread, because no matter how much Tumblr tells me, a self-diagnosed disorder doesn't show up on a medical record. The examples will be short but full of content, and if any information could be considered inaccurate or skewered, please inform me as soon as possible through this thread. The last thing I want to do is misguide someone into doing something wrong on the server with their character. All of the information on how to properly roleplay the defects and disorders come from my personal interpretation, and it is something I have experimented with frequently prior to coming here to DayZRP. In the past, I've roleplayed characters with different forms of schizophrenia, varying degrees of autism, dissociate disorder, depression, and other various things similar or related to which I cannot currently recall (It's 1:10AM at the time of writing this). Please do not try to use a mental disorder or defect as an excuse to make a character unique or special, but rather to add on to the character to make them more of a deep and interesting story. I personally would find it extremely offensive if I suffered from say, Schizophrenia- And someone roleplayed a Schizophrenic person simply because they wanted to have a character be Schizophrenic. If you are to ever roleplay someone with a disorder or defect like this, please make sure it is of the highest quality roleplay you can muster out of it. The last thing any community needs is 20 - 40 people running around claiming to be extremely depressed or have multiple personalities. Have tact and taste while emulating this, please, and thank you.
If any of my comments or descriptions are found as offensive, rude, controversial, or otherwise inappropriate, please inform me immediately and I will make the edits necessary to remove any and all offensive content.
Also, I will not be covering any forms of eating or body-image disorders, nor will I be covering Down Syndrome or the Autism Spectrum. They are very touchy subjects and I personally do not want to be the one to break the straw of the camel's back.
So let's jump right in.
What is a mental defect or disorder? It's an abnormality in the consciousness of a creature that causes them to act different in some way, shape, or form. Depending on the severity of the defect or disorder, the creature could then be considered "dysfunctional". The medical definition of dysfunctional is, and I quote from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary; "the state of being unable to function in a normal way". This could be interpreted as a wolf in a pack being unable to hunt or kill prey, or as a penguin in the arctic straying very far from the group during a blizzard for an unknown reason. For humans, this means being unable to fit in with the society norms and expectations properly.
How is a mental defect or disorder acquired? It can be gained either genetically or through some form of mental, emotional, or physical trauma endured by the body at either a developmental or critical point in life for the victim. For example, in real life, I have an older brother who suffers from a condition to which I have yet to find a name for- But he is physically unable to recognize emotions on the faces of people. If you were to frown immensely and have tears streaming down your face, but not audibly begin to sob or cry, he would be unable to recognize that you're sad and simply speak to you as if nothing is happening. The reason he suffers from this condition is because, at the age of four, he was hit by a truck and miraculously survived, but caused irreparable damage to his frontal lobe. The frontal lobe controls the personality, behavior, emotions, judgment, speech, body movement, intelligence, concentration, and much more of the brain and the person to which the brain belongs to. It is entirely up the player on how the character acquired the mental disorder. I will give an example of how a character either I or someone else played in the past has acquired the specific mental disorder, to give you, the readers, insight on exactly what kind of scenario could assist in playing forward with the illness.
Dissociative Personality Disorder (Also referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder.)
Dissociative Personality Disorder is when a person has two or more distinct personalities, ranging from difference in logic and reasoning to difference in food preference or how they speak to people. In many cases, the person does not know that they have two or more distinct personalities. In extreme cases, the "host" personality has no idea the alternate personality/personalities exist, but the alternate personality is self aware and also aware of others if the person happens to have more than one alternate personality. Dissociative Personality Disorder use a defense mechanism in Psychology known as "dissociation", which is the total detachment from a memory that is either physically or mentally traumatizing, and this defense mechanism is involuntarily brought on without the realization of the person with the disorder.
To properly roleplay Dissociative Personality Disorder, you need to first understand that you're playing two distinct characters within the body of one physical character. It's like playing pretend when you're young, except it can feasibly cause issues with judgment and relationships with other characters. For example, one personality could be a meek and quiet personality who is more apt to sit back and listen, while the other is a very headstrong and aggressive lead-taker who never considers any other alternative that deviates from his or her original decision. There are certain triggers that cause the personality switch, in most cases. Otherwise, they may just switch out of nowhere, but I heavily suggest going with the triggers as it forces you to pay attention to everything that is going on and may add onto a situation to make it more interesting and tell a better story. An example of a trigger for a personality switch may be a certain noise or kind of environment. For example, in the book "Sybil: The True Story of a Woman Possessed by 16 Separate Personalities", the woman suffering under Dissociative Personality Disorder would switch from being a normal human to being a screaming, crying, cowering mess whenever a piano was played due to her being abused by her mother, who frequently played a piano.
In the past, I played a male character with Dissociative Personality Disorder brought on by mental trauma of having been trapped on a derelict cargo ship in the ocean during an exodus from his war torn country. He had two distinct personalities, one being a standard and normal person- But if he were to come across a corpse that was decomposing or in the process of decomposition, he'd begin to show signs of extreme anxiety, soon start crumbling into a sobbing mess, and become very violent with those around him. The reason for this is that people starved to death during the exodus, and the passengers of the ship had to resort to cannibalism to survive, the trigger being the smell of a rotting corpse. This is an extreme example.
A famous person in media with Dissociative Personality Disorder is Shirley Ardell Mason, also known as "Sybil Isabel Dorsett". She was mentioned previously, and has a movie made after her.
Alexithymia Disorder (Technically not classified as a mental disorder, but it's very interesting to me.)
Alexithymia Disorder is when a person is unable to identify feelings or emotions within oneself, as well as the difficulty of realizing the difference between personal feelings and bodily emotions, such as the difference between feeling sad and actually crying, whether they are sad or not. In addition to that, people who suffer from Alexithymia Disorder have difficulty describing how they feel to other people, as well as an extremely limited imagination that is replaced or overtaken by being extremely logical, even when a situation clearly calls otherwise. Alexithymia Disorder is acquired at a very young age, but it's unknown exactly how.
To properly roleplay Alexithymia Disorder, you have to learn to detach your character from their feelings and how to describe their feelings in a normal manner, in addition, you have to learn how to restrict yourself by having very little imagination or originality. This could mean never picking fruit or farming, never using improvised equipment, and in addition, this could mean being actually unable to explain to a friend why you didn't want to fight back against a gang of robbers or why you didn't want to go into the Northwest Airfield. The reasons are because you may be scared, anxious, or otherwise terrified- But your character doesn't know that. All your character knows is that they have a feeling about a place or group of people that they don't like, and logically thinking, they decide to stay away from something they don't like instead of taking a risk. People with Alexithymia Disorder are again, extremely logical, no matter the situation. They'll take things like statistics, percentages, or other forms of comparison methods into consideration before doing anything that may end up harming them or other people.
In the past, I played a female character who had Alexithymia Disorder, and was a doctor during a time of war. Most of the roleplay was avoiding emotional conversation and being very blunt and brash with people, but in a way that the character had no idea she was being blunt or brash. For example, a man comes in needing his leg amputated and asks if the leg can be saved. Most doctors would say something along the lines of "We'll do everything we can", but my doctor, having Alexithymia Disorder, replied with a very long and drawn out explanation about why it'd be impossible to save the leg in the current state it was in, as well as start listing off the various health risks the patient could undergo if they kept the leg.
Unfortunately, I do not know of any famous people in media who may have Alexithymia Disorder.
Schizophrenia Disorder (Very commonly and easily roleplayed wrong.)
Schizophrenia Disorder covers an awfully broad range of things. I'll try to make it as short and basic as possible, given how much information is available out there and how many different examples and scenarios could be given. There is no definite cause for Schizophrenia, but there are links to heredity and the overall childhood environment of the victim. In addition, there are many symptoms of Schizophrenia, and there are five major types that further add into the symptoms of Schizophrenia, causing a frenzy and mess of a mental patient.
People who suffer from Schizophrenia can experience the following:
Delusions - Exactly as it sounds, false ideas and "facts". The victim may believe that people are constantly watching or spying on them, or they may believe that they are a famous celebrity and make up a personality and name for their "stage".
Hallucinations - The experience of seeing, feeling, tasting, hearing, or smelling sensations or things that do not exist in reality. This is when the detachment between reality and perception overlaps and causes many, many problems. The most common example is the victim hearing voices in their head that give commands or comment on things. The commands or comments can range from simple things like "You seem hungry" when your stomach grumbles to "Throw that rock at that man as hard as possible" when you see a survivor standing by some rocks.
Disordered thinking/speech - The victim suffers from rapidly thinking and speaking from one topic to another, most of the time having no relation or link, meaning in a nonsensical fashion. Victims also sometimes make up words and interject with sounds.
The types of Schizophrenia are as follows:
Paranoid Schizophrenia - The victim suffers from feeling extremely anxious and suspicious, in addition to having feelings of people constantly judging, planning against them, or otherwise targetting them at all times. To properly roleplay this, you have to understand that the character will be constantly terrified of their surroundings and almost everyone they run into, as well as constantly repeat questions if they may be following them or may be plotting against them.
Disorganized Schizophrenia - The victim suffers from being incoherent in speech and thought, meaning very illogical and without reason or any base for what they say or think. They do not have delusions, usually, but they are awfully strange to speak to and try to interact with, as they might try to do various strange and inane actions with no reasons behind their actions. To properly roleplay this, you must be able to do things without having much reason behind it, and very quickly. For example, someone begins to speak to you about The Kingdom and you proceed to ramble on for a good ten minutes, even after they leave, about what makes a vehicle not work properly.
Catatonic Schizophrenia - The victim is very meek, quiet, negative, and is typically doing very strange things with their body in terms of positioning. To properly roleplay this, the character must be incredibly negative and physically strange, like sitting down on top of a thin fence or twisting like a pretzel while delivering a handshake of some sort. I unfortunately cannot give any further information on how to properly roleplay this, so I heavily suggest seeking out and reading the "How to Roleplay Mute/Deaf Characters" guide.
Residual Schizophrenia - Very depressing, this one is. The victim of this has had symptoms of Schizophrenia in the past, but somehow, no longer experiences delusions or hallucinations. The reason they are still classified as Schizophrenic is because they become extremely disinterested and demotivated with life, having a lack of drive or function. To properly roleplay this, you must be extremely anti-social and anti-functional. Sit around for hours by a campfire, don't even bother to relight it if it goes out. Someone goes to initiate on you for a robbery, you mope and just go on about how you don't care about anything anymore. It's very similar to Depression.
Schizoaffective Disorder - The victim suffers from both the symptoms of Schizophrenia and a major mood disorder like Bipolar Disorder or Depression. To properly roleplay this, you have to mix Schizophrenia in with another disorder- But unfortunately I personally do not know how to accomplish this, as I've never tried.
In the past, I've played a female character with Paranoid Schizophrenia who also suffered from Delusions. She constantly thought that people disliked her, plotted to kill or rob her, and also constantly thought that all her friends were not really her friends, but instead people who secretly were going to kill her, or do worse things. The main difficulty that other characters encountered when interacting with her was that, no matter how much they tried to explain to her that she was wrong, she continued to think this and used their words to add into her suspicions and delusions of them plotting against her.
A famous person in media who had Schizophrenia is John Forbes Nash, who believed he was working for The Pentagon at one point in his life. His life is covered in the movie "A Beautiful Mind".
Bipolar Disorder (Also very commonly and easily roleplayed wrong.)
Bipolar Disorder is a practically a mood swing disorder, but it lasts a lot longer than a typical mood swing. It is described as a "manic-depressive illness" that primarily affects mood, energy, activity, motivation, and the ability to simply function on a day-to-day basis. Bipolar Disorder can be extremely dangerous if not medicated, and good luck finding medication for it after the apocalypse. People who suffer from Bipolar Disorder experience periods, or episodes, of extremely intense emotional feelings. They also undergo very distinct changes in social behavior, energy, activity, and sleep cycles. Bipolar Disorder can be acquired through genetics or simply due to the way your brain may be structured, since there is an eerie difference between the brains of healthy humans and humans who suffer from Bipolar Disorder.
"Manic" means to be elated, happy, excited, ambitious, hopeful, and cheerful- But in an extreme manner.
"Depressive" means to be sad, unhappy, discouraged, hopeless, hateful, and negative- But in an extreme manner.
Bipolar Disorder can be categorized as one of the two following descriptions-
Bipolar I Disorder; The victim undergoes manic mood episodes lasting 7 days or more at a time before an episode of depressive mood lasting roughly two weeks or more. This cycle repeats itself, and occasionally overlaps, with the victim suffering both a manic and a depressive mood episode at the same time.
Bipolar II Disorder; The victim undergoes episodes of extreme depressive moods for long periods of time, before being interrupted by a hypomanic mood episode briefly, and then it returns to the extreme depressive mood.
To properly roleplay any form of Bipolar Disorder, you have to be prepared to be playing a character who is overall either excited to do everything or doesn't want to do anything at all, and then after 7 OOC days, switch the personality in the complete opposite direction. It can be difficult to keep track, but I'd recommend having a sort of signal or tick marking system to figure out how exactly you're going to switch. After a long enough time, the mood episodes will overlap and things will get absolutely crazy for you as a character and very difficult as a player, since you'll have to juggle two extreme opposites. For Bipolar I, it's a cycle of 7-14-7-14. 7 days of manic, 14 days of depressive. For Bipolar II, it's a cycle of 14-5-14-5. 14 days of depressive, 5 days of hypomanic; Meaning a lesser form of a manic mood. Keep in mind for Bipolar II, I made up that cycle just now, as the information I find is not very clear on how long these cycles are for Bipolar II.
You need to figure out the difference between manic and depressive, and clearly express it, make practically two extremely distinct moods, methods of acting, and even style of clothing you wear. People WILL notice the difference, but you as a character? You won't notice at all. The character will be extremely happy and have a lot of energy to expend, as well as have trouble sleeping. They will be much more active then they typically are, take a lot of haphazard risks that could easily be avoided, talk too quick about too many topics at once, as well as feel like their mind is moving too fast for them to express it properly. Then, a cycle of depressive takes place, in this cycle the character will be very empty inside and hopeless, full of despair. They will have little to no energy or motivation to do anything, sleep too much, and will have trouble concentrating on things. In addition to that, they will also be forgetting things a lot, and will occasionally think about death or even killing themselves. In extreme circumstances, some characters might.
I have not seen a character utilized Bipolar Disorder properly yet, nor have I personally roleplayed Bipolar Disorder in the past. However, I did have a friend who suffered from Bipolar Disorder. I could clearly and easily see the differences between her manic and depressive episodes, but I didn't know her long enough to study anything worthwhile based off interactions with her alone for this guide. Unfortunately, during what I assume was an extreme depressive episode, she took her own life back in January of 2016.
Depression (The thing most teenagers self-diagnose with on their Facebook page.)
In this current build of the guide, we will only be covering Major Depressive Disorder. In the future, I may cover other forms of Depression, but MDD is the biggest and most important one in my personal opinion.
Major Depressive Disorder is a common but severe mood disorder that EXTREMELY impacts nearly everything about a character, and almost seems to shape the character differently as a result. It affects how a character will feel, think, and perform in simple everyday life. It is currently the most common mental disorder found in the United States of America. Characters with Major Depressive Disorder will show at least three to five of the following symptoms, but other characters may show many more.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without actual physical causes
To properly roleplay Major Depressive Disorder, you have to understand that you certainly can be normal acting, happy, laugh, joke, have fun, and all that- But once a symptom strikes, it'll strike REAL hard. Your character could be perfectly fine when in a group with people he or she considers as friends, then immediately after splitting, be very easy to irritate and have trouble remembering what he or she did while together with the group, and then undergo a severe headache. Funny enough, Major Depressive Disorder is one of the easier things to roleplay because you have a lot of freedom with what symptoms affect the character during or after what scenarios. Experiment around with it until you find something that fits the character perfectly, I suggest.
Unfortunately, I do not know anyone or any characters who have Major Depressive Disorder- But a popular media figure who has Major Depressive Disorder is Alec Baldwin, an American actor.
Anxiety Disorder (Easy to describe, difficult to emulate.)
Anxiety Disorder causes the victim to suffer constant and nagging feelings of worry, fear, paranoia, and overall lack of safety. This can get progressively worse depending on the environment or physical health of the victim. Anxiety Disorders begin as a result of environmental and genetic factors working together, however, females are more likely to suffer from Anxiety Disorders than males. Anxiety Disorders are classified into three major specifications, and they follow as-
Generalized Anxiety Disorder; The victim suffers excessive anxiety and worry for months, as well as having to deal with several symptoms such as restlessness, becoming easily fatigued, irritability, involuntary muscle tension, difficulty calming down and controlling the feelings of worry, difficulty focusing and having occasional moments of absent-mindedness, and having difficulty falling asleep.
Panic Disorder; The victim suffers frequent and recurring panic attacks of intense fear and worry, excessive and accelerated heart rate, intense sweating, violent shaking and trembling, shortness of breath, a feeling of asphyxiation (choking), and an overall feeling that something horrible is about to happen. They suffer from symptoms such as the following; intense fear and anxiety about when the next panic attack will happen, feelings of spiraling out of control during a panic attack, phobia of places where previous panic attacks have occurred, and finally, sudden moments of intense fear.
Social Anxiety Disorder; The victim suffers from an intense fear of social situations because they believe that they will become embarrassed, judged, rejected, or simply feel worried about offending others. The victim undergoes symptoms such as difficulty speaking with people and feeling extremely anxious about being near them, a feeling of extreme self-awareness when directly infront of other people, and a general phobia of people judging them. In addition, they suffer from worrying about meeting people at an event or location long before even arriving or attending, they also suffer from difficulty both making and keeping friends. Some people suffer from an extreme fear of areas where other people might be, such as highly populated cities or towns, and finally- They may feel nauseous and feel a need to vomit when other people are around or too close.
To properly roleplay any kind of Anxiety Disorder, you need to be pretty decent for expression with your voice and a quick typer to get across any actions that aren't supported by animations or sounds from the DayZ game, which is pretty much any and all of the actions. The primary thing to be concerned with is that with an Anxiety Disorder, your character will be in an almost constant state of feeling uncomfortable and paranoid, even with close friends, and even in an area they've trusted to be a safe location. Due to the nature of Anxiety Disorder, you need to be ready to improvise in a situation or scenario that may call for it. For example, if you are playing a character with Panic Disorder and a group of people arrive and begin to rob you, you could potentially undergo a panic attack. Depending on how well it's roleplayed, they might take it seriously and change their actions and thoughts, maybe even try to help you. It all depends on them, of course, but a huge part is how real you make it out to be. It may be over-exaggerated, but if you can get the point across, then it worked and it was roleplayed properly in my opinion. Never underplay Anxiety Disorders if you decide to play a character with them, because then it'd be difficult to discern between typical, normal anxiety, and a full-fledged disorder. The whole purpose of it being a disorder is that it interferes with your normal social functions.
I have played a character with Panic Disorder in the past, but unfortunately I did not roleplay it as good as I could do today. She worked as an assistant mechanic for a group of people looking to repair a car, but began to avoid going to the shop or even seeing the fellow workers because she was absolutely horrified that a panic attack would set in upon seeing them or entering the shop, as she suffered multiple panic attacks while in the shop when she worked alone.
I also have a friend who suffered from Social Anxiety Disorder, and it's difficult for me to interact with him regularly because of how perpetually worried and afraid of being judged or embarrassed he is, which leads to him hiding many things from not just me, but from his family and many other people, due to the mere worry of being judged because of it.
Tourette's Syndrome (Ranges from wacky eyebrows to a man yelling at his cat.)
Tourette's Syndrome is a genetically passed along neurological disorder that is typically onset and developed during childhood. Tourette's Syndrome is easily identified by multiple physical "tics" and one or more vocal "tics". These are referred to as motor and phonic "tics". A "motor tic" is a sudden, repetitive, non-rhythmic movement while a "phonic tic" are involuntary sounds produced by the nose, mouth, or throat. Both involve discrete muscle groups that're beyond the control of the person who suffers from Tourette's Syndrome. Almost all cases are mild, but they are chronic, meaning they last a lifetime.
People who are victims of Tourette's Syndrome feel an incomprehensible urge and pressure to tic, similar to scratching an itch or having to sneeze. They either unconsciously, or when aware of these tics, consciously exert the tics in order to have a sense of relief, or continuously exert the tics until it begins to feel "just right" once again. People who suppress the tics begin to feel tense and mentally exhausted. An example of a motor tic could be twitching of the neck, mouth, eyebrows, flaring of the nostrils, opening and closing of the hands, twisting the shoulder, and cracking of the knuckles. An example of a phonic tic could be loud inhaling through the nose, clearing of the throat, clicking of the tongue, or other strange vocal noises.
In order to roleplay Tourette's Syndrome properly, you must understand that you will be typing very often to display the motor tics and using the microphone very often as well to display the phonic tics, and you need to get used to coming up the tics you want your character to display. For example, Ethan Klein from the Youtube channel "h3h3 Productions" has a case of Tourette's Syndrome in which he unconsciously wiggles and flexes his eyebrows in all sorts of strange ways, not knowing when he does it most of the time. Someone who has Tourette's Syndrome may have a more severe case as an adult than as a child, due to knowing that they have it and possibly being stressed with controlling it, causing it to come out more. You must pick out your character's tics very carefully, because once you've chosen them, you're pretty much stuck with them, because you need to be very on top of things in order to properly roleplay them out.
Famous people in media who have Tourette's Syndrome are, obviously the "Tourettes Guy", and Brad Cohen, an aspiring teacher in the movie "Front of the Class".
Impulse Control Disorder (Absolutely, positively need to rob people for their 7.62? You probably have this.)
Impulse Control Disorder is pretty self-explainatory. It is characterized by extreme impulsive behavior, meaning a failure to resist an urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others. People who suffer from this disorder have problems in emotional and behavioral control.
Five stages characterize this disorder, and they follow as;
1: The impulse itself
2: Growing tension of the urge
3: Pleasure experienced when acting upon the urge
4: Mental relief from the urge
5: Guilt of realizing what they have done, which may or may not actually happen
To properly roleplay Impulse Control Disorder, you have to be a bit creative on what that impulse is. Does your character want to steal a lot (Kleptomania)? Does your character want to constantly feel warm and make fires or campfires (Pyromania)? Does your character absolutely have to gamble things constantly (Pathological gambling)? Be creative with it, you don't need to have it be a niche or unique thing. You have to be prepared to act on this impulse at any time, think of it like Tourette's Syndrome in which the victim becomes extremely stressed and anxious if they do not act on the impulse.
Unfortunately I know no one in famous media, nor have I played anyone in the past, with Impulse Control Disorder.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder (Probably the funnest name for a disorder.)
Intermittent Explosive Disorder is a behavioral disorder in which the victim has violent and explosive outbursts of anger, violence, rage, and overall unhappiness. These outbursts are often disproportionate to the situation that triggered it. It is always unplanned, involuntary, and defined by an overreaction to any sort of provocation. Some victims experience changes in mood, energy, or overall tension of the body prior to an outburst happening.
The disorder is not easy to see for people who do not have it or recognize it, but individuals who suffer from Intermittent Explosive Disorder experience intense sweating, stuttering, twitching, heart palpitations (irregular heartbeat), and a feeling of tightness in the chest both during and very briefly prior to an outburst. After an outburst, victims of the disorder experience a sense of relief but later feel remorseful.
To properly roleplay Intermittent Explosive Disorder, you need to be able to act very quickly on the spot with both typing and voice- Roleplaying the symptoms building up to it and then letting it all out quickly. Be ready to yell and scream at people, because that's what you'll be doing. Possibly even swinging a fist or pointing a gun at someone, of course it not being an initiation- But rather just feral rage coming out of you for them dropping the canteen you just gave them. Sounds silly right? That's because it gets triggered by very minute, insignificant things. It'll be difficult to keep track of, but it'll be interesting to try.
Unfortunately I know no one in famous media, nor have I played anyone in the past, with Intermittent Explosive Disorder.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Even for people who aren't soldiers!)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental disorder that develops in a person after they are exposed to a traumatic event. This can be sexual assault, involvement in warfare, traffic accidents, nearly drowning, abuse as a child, or other threats that may have occurred on the person's life. It's most common in people who have been in wars or battles, and can develop at pretty much any point in life.
Symptoms of PTSD include but are not limited to;
- Disturbing thoughts, feelings and dreams related to the event
- Mental or physical distress and tension to trauma-related cues
- Attempts to avoid trauma-related cues
- Changes in how a person things, feels, and even acts
- Increased fight-or-flight response tension
A trauma-related cue could be something related to the traumatic event that caused PTSD to become rooted. For example, if someone had been in a traffic accident and they suddenly hear a car honking, or an engine getting close rapidly.
To properly roleplay PTSD, you must understand that it will completely change the way your character acts and speaks to people, as well as thinks. If you are a soldier with PTSD, perhaps you'll try to avoid guns and explosives since the sound of a gunshot will cause you mental and physical distress. If you have previously been sexually assaulted, maybe you'll be extremely untrusting of people who look similar to the aggressor or people of the gender that assaulted you. You must be ready to roleplay out signs of extreme stress, and also voice your concerns.
Someone I know who has PTSD is one of my family members who was in the US Navy during the Vietnam war. While working on a ship, he was working underneath a cannon when it fired without warning. Any loud noises cause him to twitch and become visibly uneasy, likewise with yelling- Due to the amount of cannon firing and explosives he heard while on his tours. He also becomes extremely uneasy when blood is seen or when he hears something hollow be hit, this is due to having seen a fellow sailor slip down a set of stairs and split his head open on the deck of the ship, killing him. He suffers from night terrors and flashbacks, even to this day. This is obviously a warfare example, and not everyone should follow it.