Author shares PTSD inspiration

Author shares PTSD inspiration

By Erin Johnson

Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with military combat. However, several different events in life can offset symptoms.

Larry L. Franklin an author living in Makanda, discussed his newest book “Mnemosyne: A Love Affair With Memory” at Longbranch Café Friday night. Through his discussion he gave some insight on issues associated with PTSD. He also brought courage to those who might even be grappling with this condition.

“You, as a survivor, can become strong, possibly stronger than someone who has not dealt with such threats and survived. You can recover and shout from the rooftops that life is good,” Franklin said.

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According to National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.

“In my worst state of mind, death was becoming more attractive than life,” Franklin said. “Without treatment, I most likely would not be here. Without treatment, the symptoms fester and can lead to even greater misery.”

Franklin suffered from childhood sexual abuse. He said it wasn’t until later in life that he had these nightmares that gave prompt to his book. He uses fictional characters, but draws them from his own personal experiences.

Through therapy Franklin was also able to gather himself in great detail and provide connections with what he was experiencing.

“There are different degrees of PTSD, some more severe than others,” he said. “The level and duration of treatment would depend on the severity of the symptoms and the client’s response to the treatment.”

A part of the discussion Friday night was spent talking about memory loss.

“Because of my memory loss and the recurring nightmares, I was left trying to define my identity,” he said. “The misery will pass and the violent experiences will become a distant and manageable memory.”

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Franklin aims to be an inspiration among students at SIU.

“This is an extremely brave man right here who’s been through the best and the worst,” said Phil Riggs, a senior from Morrisonville studying public relations.

Through conversations and publishing his book Franklin has provided people with a view into the reality of PTSD.

“I started thinking about PTSD and realized that it isn’t just servicemen and women suffering, but all different types of people who have experienced something so devastating,” Riggs said.

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