Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Donald Trump And PTSD: PTSD Is Not A Sign Of Weakness Says June Sitler, Author Of Newly Released Book About PTSD, 'Fugue'

J. P. Sitler's new release 'Fugue' is a blend of the psychological, analytical and the phenomenal that tells the story of transformation

PTSD can take many forms. When one hears Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) the image of a Vietnam Vet comes to mind. However, many people from all walks of life may suffer from this disorder. They are the survivors. They can be people who live in the inner city, those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, survivors of childhood trauma in adulthood, or a man or woman after a divorce. Or they can be witnesses, rescuers or survivors of catastrophic events. They can have reactive depression and even a dissociative disorder.

One thing PTSD is not - it is not a sign of weakness. J.P. Sitler, author of 'Fugue' believes just the opposite.

Donald Trump recently addressed military veterans in Herndon, Va., and suggested those who develop post-traumatic stress disorder are not strong and cannot handle combat. Sitler responded by declaring that this statement illustrates how profoundly some of us can misunderstand PTSD.

As an author of a book about PTSD, called 'Fugue', she found that PTSD is in fact a survival skill, that kicks in psychologically to endure horrific events that otherwise would completely overwhelm an individual when one’s life is vitally threatened. It is a failure to scream, if you will. A numbing of senses. Doctors, nurses and first responders often at least once in their career, experience an episode of PTSD.

Statistics show about 30 percent of the men and women who have spent time in war zones experience PTSD. An additional 20 to 25 percent have had partial PTSD at some point in their lives. More than half of all male Vietnam veterans and almost half of all female Vietnam veterans have experienced 'clinically serious stress reaction symptoms.' Current estimates of PTSD in military personnel who served in Iraq range from 12% to 20%.

Anthropologist and neuroscientist Melvin Konner in his collection Understanding Trauma sees PTSD not as a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. He wrote that it could be possible that our common generalized anxiety disorders are an evolutionary legacy, a way to adapt in a wilderness full of fear, fight or flight.

In a A Huffington Post column, it was stated that Donald Trump’s comments on Veteran suicide are exactly why there is a PTSD stigma. Sitler responded by stating that Trump tried to back-pedal his argument saying his remarks were taken out of context. We need only to look back a bit to his his comments on Sen. John McCain’s time as a prisoner of war, stating that he is not an American hero. His true colors shine through once again. Sitler goes on to say Trump could be envious of Sen. John McCain and of other veterans because he was deferred from military service due to his flat feet. The weakness actually lies within Trump. She asks do we really want an American President who feels the need to compensate for his weaknesses, playing out on the world stage?

In the storyline in 'Fugue', the protagonist Nathan is handsomely rugged, linear and computer savvy. His perfect world however, is falling apart at the seams, his job, his relationships, all because he has lost his sense of time. It is a tale about three childhood friends and all the manifestations of love and its consequences. In a catastrophic drowning accident, Nathan fails to save his beloved friend from childhood. Readers witness Nathan's struggle with his needle sharp emotional pain made palpable through anger, denial and fear. Through deep hypnosis, Nathan begins to find answers.

Some of the Fugue characters include a narcissistic mother, a greedy metrosexual pharmaceutical lawyer, a Naval officer suffering from PSTD, a beautiful girl with a secret and a smart logical young man struggling with emotional issues. Many appear to be living lives of perfection but only in degrees of sanity.

The book has received rave reviews from readers. One said, "This is really original and a totally brilliant read . . . I can't recommend it highly enough." Another stated, "J. Sitler moves the reader quickly through an intriguing psychological tale of past trauma and its sustaining impact on the present." Another said, "Sitler's FUGUE reminds me that PTSD is not relegated to the military experience. Readers may identify their own fugue experiences not as severe as in Nathan, the main character, but it will be therapeutic. I know it was for me."

J. P. Sitler is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at 'Fugue' is available at Amazon and other book retailers. More information is available at her website at

About J. P. Sitler:
J. P. Sitler is the author of numerous op-ed articles for The Nashville Eye of The Tennessean, which include Appearances Are Deceiving, AIDS and Grace and PTSD. Fugue is her first novel. She is a northern transplant living with her husband Dr. Vaughan in an empty nest filled with high-drive canines and opinionated cats in a sleepy southern town. She is a survivor of 31 surgeries, lived seven years on the largest, longest existing American commune, was a medical transcriptionist, and is now a teacher and novelist.


J. P. Sitler