Narrative, Memory and PTSD. A Case Study of Autobiographical Narration After Trauma
Keywords:restorative narratives, cognitive narratology, autobiographical writing, narrative identity, post-trauma writing
This paper argues that by structuring potentially traumatising memories through narration, autobiographical storytelling reduces the experience of contingency, supports narrators in regaining feelings of autonomy and thus enables traumatised individuals to complete their otherwise potentially incomplete autobiography. Post-trauma writing carries the chance to re-articulate highly emotional experiences with formerly 'random or isolated events' into a meaningful storyline. The effects of highly emotionally experienced trauma decrease and enable the individual to continue narration about their present and potential future. A case study of a veteran autobiography is used to emphasise the meaning of autobiographical writing when individuals suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This paper is particularly relevant in times where war and terror are frequently not just communicated through the media but are experienced by millions of people worldwide. At the same time, it is a contribution to the rapidly developing field of Cognitive Narratology and Restorative Narratives.
Copyright (c) 2022 Deborah de Muijnck
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