Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Healing Mechanisms in a Novel “Self-Prisoner”

Mitikie Liyew, Tesfaye Dagnew, Tesfamaryam G. Meskel


This study aims to analyze the post-traumatic stress disorders of characters in an Amharic novel ‘Self-Prisoner’ and the healing mechanisms depicted in it. The novel portrays traumatic experiences of characters that cause post-traumatic stress disorder, and reveals how they applied various healing mechanisms. The characters undergo complex and endless horrible experiences, regardless of age, gender, social class, race, and academic status. This paper provides a practical understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder and coping strategy, as well as creates a shared understanding of these methods that would be acceptable across various service systems. This makes it expressive in magnifying the role of literature in healing processes, which is less said about, and it motivates fellow researchers for further investigations. Healing from trauma through literature is fresh insight that can amplify the inspiration of literature in taking part the pain of survivors and paving the way to reconcile their suffering. Purposive sampling is employed to select the novel, which is traumatic in which characters have undergone complex and endless horrible experiences. The study employed a psychological approach focusing on Miller’s (2000) emotion-focused healing and problem-focused healing methods and Herman’s (1992) stages of healing. The study discloses that characters do not have the same reaction for the same traumatic incident because of differences in their socio-economic, family, and educational backgrounds. Those who have supportive families can recover from their traumatic disorders early than those from degrading parents. Similarly, the educated character is portrayed as practicing various scientific mechanisms to heal and is seen succeeded. It was also observed that the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder have different manifestations in characters.  


Keywords: emotion-focused healing, post-traumatic stress disorder, problem-focused healing, trauma.



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