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Media Matters: Staying Informed While Staying Safe: A Major Challenge in a World at ‎War Described by the 24-Hour News Cycle
StressPoints
Date posted: 05/24/2022
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
For the past few months, the world has watched in horror as the invasion of Ukraine continues to unfold. Every day, viewers tune in to listen to more televised reports of indiscriminate bombings, civilian casualties, and fears/speculations of nuclear war. When journalists are not discussing the war in Ukraine, they often shift their focus to other fear-inducing topics such as global supply chain shortages, the rise in crime, pandemic deaths, or natural disasters. Reporting on international and local conflicts and other significant events is essential to raising awareness among the public of important issues and allowing journalists to counter misinformation and hold governments to account, yet the constant exposure to traumatic material can also be distressing for many viewers (Pfefferbaum et al., 2014). Although not officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a potential cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there is at least some evidence that media consumption can worsen mental health outcomes among adults and children (Pfefferbaum et al., 2019). Given the central role journalism plays in society and the impact mass media can have on well-being, it is worth exploring how our need for reliable information and connection through the news can be best balanced with our need for psychological safety.
 
Trauma and World Literature: Walt Whitman’s “The Wound Dresser”
StressPoints
Date posted: 03/31/2022
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
Perhaps 25 years ago, I spent an afternoon sorting through Duke University’s collection of Walt Whitman’s personal papers searching for anything he had written during the American Civil War (1861 – 1865). I knew that Whitman worked with casualties in army hospitals and, given that I was a psychiatrist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina (just a 15-minute walk from the University library where Whitman’s papers were stored), I hoped to find some observation of Whitman’s that could help me better understand the veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War in my clinic.
Trauma and World Literature: World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
StressPoints
Date posted: 01/27/2022
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
A recent essay by Vivian Gornick addressed the destructive psychological power of humiliating experience. Our literary example in the current column is drawn from poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s justly praised memoir/nature appreciation World of Wonders and illustrates that it does not take such an extreme setting as war for humiliation to have a powerful effect.
Trauma and World Literature: A Tragedy (in One Act) By Christian Scott Green
StressPoints
Date posted: 12/2/2021
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
As contributing editors of this column, we have always encouraged submissions from writers and students of Literature. In this issue, we are pleased to present an offering from musician and poet Christian Scott Green. The author has provided an introductory statement which describes the inspiration for his poem and shares valuable insights into the process by which it was composed.
Trauma and World Literature: Behold the Dark Gray Man: Triumphs and Trauma: The Controversial Life of Sholto ‎Douglas by Katharine Campbell, PhD
StressPoints
Date posted: 09/30/2021
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
Sholto, Lord Douglas of Kirtleside, was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot in WWI. He also served as the senior British officer in WWII in Fighter Command, the Middle East, in Coastal Command, and as military governor and Commander in Chief of the British Zone in occupied Germany. Lord Douglas had to pass judgement on the fate not only of the Nuremberg war criminals but also of others sentenced to death by military government courts in the British Zone.
Trauma and World Literature: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/23/2021
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
The plague of COVID-19 is often compared to the influenza epidemic of a hundred years ago. Less often mentioned are commonalities between COVID-19 and the ongoing AIDS epidemic. Perhaps the similarities are not so apparent because now, at least in economically advantaged countries, the risk from AIDS seems restricted to smaller, more marginalized groups of people. In addition, we now have more effective treatment for AIDS than for COVID-19.

Nonetheless, important similarities between the effects of AIDS and what we see in COVID-19 are brought to light in Makkai’s Stonewall Award-winning novel, The Great Believers.
Trauma and World Literature: ‎“Poem that Ends at the Ocean” by Jim Moore
Date posted: 05/27/2021
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
The award-winning poet, Jim Moore, author of the poem that follows in this issue’s column, writes in his autobiographical statement that as a young teacher two of his students dropped out of school. These students were subsequently drafted, sent to Vietnam, and killed. In response, Moore returned his draft card, and was therefore imprisoned for 10 months.
Trauma and World Literature: Thucydides on the Ancient Athenian Epidemic: Body, Mind, Society and Trauma‎
StressPoints
Date posted: 04/1/2021
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
Thucydides, author of The History of the Peloponnesian War, is known for his compelling historical narrative and political analysis of the late fifth century (431– 404 BCE) war between Athens and Sparta. Centuries of thinkers have praised Thucydides as the first historian to be rigorous in his research—especially when compared with his predecessor Herodotus—and realistic in his analysis of power. 
Trauma and World Literature: She’s Gotta Have It
StressPoints
Date posted: 01/26/2021
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
She’s Gotta Have It, Episode 5
Written by Barry Michael Cooper
Produced and Directed by Spike Lee
First aired on Netflix November 23, 2017
Trauma and World Literature: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
StressPoints
Date posted: 11/24/2020
Topic: Trauma and the Arts
In these times—no, in any time—we can be grateful for the cheer of a great comic novel about a seemingly gentler world. Gibbons’ 1932 Cold Comfort Farm is just such a masterpiece.
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