I have just completed the practice path of the BSc in Applied Psychology at IADT. Over the course of my degree, I have realised that I have a particular interest in abnormal psychology and developmental psychology. My main areas of interest are anxiety and trauma-related disorders, developmental disorders, cognitive development, and language acquisition. After graduating from my degree in Applied Psychology, I aim to pursue a Master's degree and a career in speech and language therapy.
My final year project focused on the portrayal of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the media. There is a lot of research investigating the portrayal of PTSD in the media, but most of it focuses on the portrayal of PTSD in factual paper media. There is a lack of research investigating the portrayal of PTSD in other forms of media such as television, film, and social media. My project aimed to address this gap in the research by investigating how PTSD is portrayed in dramatised films and YouTube interviews. It examined the accuracy of the portrayals, and it investigated their similarities and differences.
My project was titled ‘Differences between the Portrayals of PTSD in Fictional Films and YouTube Interviews.’ The main aim of my project was to examine the differences between the portrayal of PTSD in dramatised films and YouTube interviews and to evaluate the accuracy of the different portrayals using the DSM-5-TR. The data was collected from four films and four YouTube videos that explored PTSD. The films and YouTube videos were transcribed, and the transcripts were examined using qualitative content analysis.
The results of the project suggest that there are a wealth of similarities and differences between the portrayal of PTSD in film and on YouTube. Arousal and reactivity symptoms is the most prevalent symptom category, and negative emotional state and dissociative reactions are two of the most prevalent symptoms in both forms of media. However, while irritable behaviour is the most prevalent symptom in the films, it is significantly less prevalent in the YouTube videos. Both forms of media fail to present several symptoms. Although, there are more symptoms present in the films than in the YouTube videos, and the symptoms are present more frequently in the films than in the YouTube videos.
The results of the project further suggest that while several symptoms are portrayed accurately in the films and YouTube videos, the portrayal of PTSD in both forms of media is mostly inaccurate as several symptoms are not portrayed at all.
The results of the project build on the existing research on the portrayal of PTSD in media. They support the previous research in the area which suggests that the portrayal of PTSD in media is typically questionable, inaccurate and incomplete.