18 minutes of trauma

I’ve just found one of the best discussions on the importance and limits of the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder on a programme from the Why Factor on BBC World Service.

It’s a brief programme, only 18 minutes long, but packs in a remarkably incisive look at PTSD that tackles its causes, its cultural limits and its increasing use as an all-purpose folk description for painful reactions to difficult events.

Both compassionate and critical, it’s one of the best discussions of post-trauma and its diagnosis I have heard for a while.

As is typical for the internet-impaired BBC radio pages, the podcast is on an entirely different page, so you might want to download the mp3 directly.

Link to programme page and streamed audio.
mp3 of programme audio.


  1. bill
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Great program. I wish they had pulled out a bit more about the different approaches to treatment, especially the patients point if view.

  2. ptsdjedi
    Posted December 25, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I was involved in the BBC Why Factor PTSD documentary in your post.

    My PTSD was a result of the Asian tsunami, which is discussed in the documentary. I was very grateful to receive the best treatment and my life has moved forward since.

    I have just started a blog, to share my story and raise awareness of PTSD.


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