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10 Fictional Characters People With PTSD Relate To

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Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

When dealing with mental health difficulties, it can be helpful to find a character who’s going through something similar. Mental health struggles can feel very isolating, and it’s nice to know that someone, even if they’re fictional, is going through it as well.

• What is PTSD?

This is especially true when dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. It’s easy to feel like you’re alone when you’re dealing with symptoms like hypervigilance and panic attacks. But you’re not alone. You’ve got a community of people around the world who deal with the same symptoms, even if they didn’t come about in the same way.

Sometimes, in order to make ourselves feel like someone out there understands, we look to the movies, television and books. We asked our PTSD community what fictional characters strike a chord with them. Read what they said below.

Is there a character you relate to as someone with PTSD? Click the image below to join the conversation!

A screenshot of a post on The Mighty. It reads: "If you live with #PTSD , share a fictional character you relate to and tell us why. Your answer might be used in a post for The Mighty."

Here’s what our community had to say:

1. Buffy from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Photo of Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer
via “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Facebook page

“I tried so hard to be a ‘normal’ girl but there were things happening to me that felt so unreal. It was lonely even when I wasn’t alone. Even though there wasn’t much more I had in common with Buffy, that piece of it was so present that it was greater than all the differences.” — Allison Marie

Need a non-judgmental place to talk about PTSD? Download our app and connect with others using the hashtag #PTSD.

2. Jessica from “Jessica Jones”

A photo of Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones
via “Jessica Jones” Facebook page

“As another survivor of rape, it was very difficult for me to watch the first season, but I related to her so much, and it was a very realistic portrayal of PTSD.” — Marisa S.

“The depiction of PTSD in [the show] is great, not overly dramatic or unrealistic. She maybe doesn’t handle it all that well, but who does all the time?” — Sarah R.

3. Rick from “The Walking Dead”

Photo of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes from "The Walking Dead"
via “The Walking Dead” Facebook page

“Awakens in a hospital after being shot to find his entire world has turned upside down and he has to fight to survive. I discovered, ‘The Walking Dead’ shortly after descending into PTSD-related depression and identified very closely with his struggle.” — Todd B.

4. Fear from “Inside Out”

"Fear" from Inside Out. Text on the photo reads: "Fear is missing your alarm."
via “Inside Out” Facebook page

“Fear! Constantly feeling nervous and seeing the worst possible outcome to each situation.” — Lori B.

5. Charlie from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

Photo of Logan Lerman as Charlie from "Perks of Being a Wallflower."
via “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” Facebook page

“Charlie, because of his loneliness and understanding of the world. The way he writes letters because his doctor said it might help him feel not so alone. I have used that same skill.” –Annmaree B.

“When I watched the movie for the first time, it was the only movie that adequately showed how PTSD looked for me. The flashbacks, him pacing around the kitchen in one of the final scenes, the panic attacks, the anxiety — all while trying to function in day-to-day life. The line that always stuck with me from him was, ‘I am both happy and sad at the same time, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.’ And that quote is so relatable to my PTSD and how I deal with it.” — Te’sha

6. Alice from “Alice in Wonderland”

Alice from "Alice in Wonderland."
via “Alice in Wonderland” Facebook page

“Alice. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on and everyone in here doesn’t make sense. So I keep trying this or that going through life wondering why the rabbit has to hurry.” — Juniper H.

7. Thomas from “Peaky Blinders”

Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby in "Peaky Blinders"
via “Peaky Blinders” Facebook page

“He continues to push through life and accomplish the goals he sets for himself to take care of his family. I perceive him to be a someone with ‘high-functioning’ PTSD.” — Jason T.

8. Wonder Woman from DC Comics

Art of Wonder Woman.
via DC Comics Facebook page

“She is strong, but kind. She seeks justice for those who are not strong enough to overcome the evil they are faced with.” — Amy R.

9. Stitch from “Lilo and Stitch”

Stitch from "Lilo and Stitch"
via “Lilo and Stitch” Facebook page

“When I got out of my situation, I had to relearn myself, and my reaction was pretty much like Stitch’s meltdowns — abrupt fits of rage and confusion. But eventually like Stitch, I was able to calm, feel at peace with some of my life with people who loved me for who I was, even if I still have my moments.” — Shelby W.

10. Harry from “Harry Potter”

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter from "Harry Potter."
via “Harry Potter” Facebook page

“Harry Potter — because having a piece of Voldemort’s soul trapped inside him, is exactly what it feels like to have PTSD.” Violet 

So much trauma, but he remains a good person and the hero of his own story! He had to fight and battle though horrific things but he came out happy!” – Brynn L.

Finding people who we feel we can relate to is an integral part of dealing with trauma. It can feel like no one possibly understands what happened to you in the way that you do. So, finding someone who you understand — even if they’re fictional — can feel like finding buried treasure. After spending what feels like eternity trekking alone, that moment of relatability is solid gold.

What fictional character do you relate to?

Originally published: February 4, 2019
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