‘The words are stuck inside me; I write to heal’: Memory, recall, and repetition in PTSD blogs
Keywords:blogging, psychology, PTSD, recall, repetition, trauma
AbstractThis paper addresses issues around the automatic repetition of particular memories in the narratives / blog accounts of individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Based on a long-term project that examines how people with various bodyrelated conditions and ailments write or speak about their bodies, the focus of this paper is on 80 blog accounts wherein individuals with PTSD write both about living with the condition and about their steps towards healing themselves. The paper pays special attention to how the act of repeated blogging counters the paralyzing repetition in their heads, leading them to re-cognize particular distressing life-events and thus creating alternate episodic structures (Gee 1992). In particular, the article addresses: What insights about repetition and memory are we able to glean from PTSD pathographies, and in what ways does current scholarship in narrative analysis, applied sociolinguistics, and psychology permit a more complex understanding of the condition?
Andrews A., Brewin C., Rose S. and Kirk, M. (2000) Predicting PTSD in victims of violent crime: The role of shame, anger and blame. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 109 (1): 69–73. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.109.1.69
Bamberg, M. (2009) Identity and narration. In P. Heuhn, J. Pier, W. Schmid and J. Schoenert (eds) Handbook of Narratology, 45–60. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Bayley, K. (1984) Language and dementia. In A. Holland (ed.) Language Disorders in Adults: Recent Advances, 209–244. San Diego, CA: College Hill Press.
Beck, A. (1979) Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders. New York: Plume.
Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3 (2): 77–101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Bruner, J. and Weisser, S. (1991) The invention of self: Autobiography and its forms. In D. Olson and N. Torrance (eds) Literacy and Orality, 129–148. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Buchanan, E. A. and Zimmer, M. (2012) Internet research ethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-internet-research/
Charon, R. (2006) Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness. New York: Oxford University Press.
Davis, B. (ed.) (2005) Alzheimer Talk, Text and Context: Enhancing Communication. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230502024
Ehlers, A., Hackmann, A. and Michaels, T. (2004) Intrusive re-experiencing in post-traumatic stress disorder: Phenomenology, theory, and therapy. Memory 12 (4): 403–415. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658210444000025
Foa, E., Ehlers, A., Clark, D., Tolin, D. and Orsillo, S. (1999) The posttraumatic cognitions inventory (PTCI): Development and validation. Psychological Assessment 11 (3): 303–314. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1040-3518.104.22.1683
Freud, S. (1953 ) The Interpretation of Dreams. Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud 4–5. London: Hogarth Press.
Gee, J. P. (1992) The Social Mind. New York: Bergin and Garvey.
Grudin, R. (1982) Time and the Art of Living. New York: Harper and Row.
Hamilton, H. (1994) Conversations with an Alzheimer’s Patient: An Interactional Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511627774
Hamilton, H. (ed.) (2003) Glimmers: A Journey Through Alzheimer’s Disease. Ashland, OR: Riverwood.
Herman, J. and Harvey, M. (1997) Adult memories of childhood traumas: A naturalistic clinical study. Journal of Traumatic Stress 10 (4): 557–571. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jts.2490100404
Jackendoff, R. (2002) Foundations of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270126.001.0001
Katzman, R. (1985) Current frontiers in research on Alzheimer’s disease. In V. L. Melnick and N. N. Dubler (eds) Alzheimer’s Dementia: Dilemmas in Clinical Research, 1–11. Clifton, NJ: Humana Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-5174-3_1
Langer, E. (1989) Mindfulness. New York: Merloyd Lawrence.
Lepore, S. and Symth, J. (2002) The Writing Cure: How Expressive Writing Promotes Health and Emotional Well-Being. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/10451-000
Linton, M. (1982) Transformations of memory in everyday life. In U. Neisser (ed.) Memory Observed, 77–91. San Francisco, CA: Freeman.
Loca, J. and Wootton, A. (1995) Interactional and phonetic aspects of immediate echolalia in autism: A case study. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics 9 (2): 155–184. http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/02699209508985330
McPherron, P. and Ramanathan, V. (2011) Language, Body and Health. Boston and Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9781934078204
Monk, G. 1997. How narrative therapy works. In G. Monk, J. Winslade, K. Crocket, and D. Epston (eds) Narrative Therapy in Practice: The Archeology of Hope, 3–31. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Myers, G. (2010) The Discourse of Blogs and Wikis. London: Continuum.
Neisser, U. and Fivush, R. (2008) The Remembering Self: Construction and Accuracy in the Self-Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Parks, E. D. and Balon, R. (1995) Autobiographical memory for childhood events: Patterns of recall in psychiatric patients with a history of alleged trauma. Psychiatry 58 (3): 199–208.
Pawelcyk, J. and Erksine, R. (2008) Expressing the unexpressed: Self-disclosure as interactional achievement in the psychotherapy session. Communication and Medicine 5 (1): 35–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/cam.v5i1.39
Pennebaker, J. (2004) Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval. Denver, CO: Center for Journal Therapy.
Posner, M. and Rothbart, M. (1998) Attention, self-regulation and consciousness. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (Series B) 353: 1915–1927. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.1998.0344
Ramanathan, V. (1997) Alzheimer Discourse: Some Sociolinguistic Dimensions. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Ramanathan, V. (2010) Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Ramanathan, V. (2014) Contesting chemotherapy, amputation and prosthesis: Insights from patient and caregiver accounts. In H. Hamilton and W.-Y. S. Chou (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Health Communication, 123–137. New York: Routledge.
Rumelhart, D., McCLelelland, J. and the PDP Research Group. (1986) Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition. Volume 1: Foundations. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Schiffrin, D. (1996) Narrative as self-portrait: Sociolinguistic constructions of identity. Language in Society 25 (2): 167–203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500020601
Schneck, M. K., Reisberg, B. and Ferris, S. H. (1982) An overview of current concepts of Alzheimer’s disease. American Journal of Psychiatry 139 (2): 165–173. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/ajp.139.2.165
Schrauf, R. W., and Iris, M. (2011) A direct comparison of popular models of normal memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease in samples of African Americans, Mexican Americans, and refugees/immigrants from the Former Soviet Union. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 59 (4): 628–636. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03361.x
Simon, H. (1991) Bounded rationality and organizational learning. Organization Science 2 (1): 125–134. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2.1.125
Solomon, O. (2011) Body in autism: A view from social interaction. In P. McPherron and V. Ramanathan (eds) Language, Body, and Health, 105–142. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Sterponi, L. and Shankey, J. (2013) Rethinking echolalia: Repetition as interactional resource in the communication of a child with autism. Journal of Child Language 41 (2): 275–304. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305000912000682
Stribling, P., Rae, J. and Dickerson, P. (2009) Using conversation analysis to explore the recurrence of a topic in the talk of a boy with autism spectrum disorder. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics 23 (8): 555–582. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699200802491165
Suler, J. (2004) The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychology and Behavior 7 (3): 321–326. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295
Swihart, A. and Prizzolo, F. (1988) The neuropsychology of aging and dementia: Clinical issues. In H. Whitaker (ed.) Neuropsychological Studies of Non-focal Damage, 1–60. New York: Springer.
Terr, L. C. (1995) Childhood traumas: An outline and overview. In G. S. Everly Jr. and J. M. Lating (eds) Psychotraumatology, 301–320. New York: Plenum.
Tuval-Maschiach, R., Freedman, S., Bargai, N., Boker, R., Hadar, H. and Shalev, A. (2004) Coping with trauma: Narrative and cognitive perspectives. Psychiatry 67 (3): 280–293. http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/psyc.67.3.280.48977
Winkielman, P., Schwarz, N. and Belli, R. (1998) The role of ease of retrieval and attribution in memory judgments: Judging your memory as worse despite recalling more events. Psychological Science 9 (2): 124–126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00022
How to Cite
copyright Equinox Publishing Ltd.