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AngelMay: Sometimes [detachment] is hard to do - even for us "normal" people.

Oh, I know. Perhaps I overstated the case.

There is a lot of social stigma directed at those who fall to pieces while watching a film, and among kids against those who just cannot stand a "First Person Shooter" game, or a rape cartoon. We tend not to see the internal struggles of the ones who have been seriously triggered, unless we already know what to look for.

I have an involuntary reaction to any scenes of fire in a film, or any themes of arson. Intellectually I understand that it comes from an experience in which I escaped a burning college dormitory by the narrowest of margins (nine of my friends did not escape). Sadly, that knowledge does nothing to curb my physiological response, forty years later. Just writing about it gives me the shakes.

I suppose that the arsonist, were he an adolescent today, would have come into the lobby or rec room of the dorm and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon. Either way, it is mass murder by an unbalanced person. What sets off people like that? It should be an urgent research question.

Most people who suffer severe PTSD from a traumatic experience are not at all dangerous to others, even when triggered into a hypervigilant response. A few, however, mask their inner fears with hatred, and act out their violent urges on innocent targets of opportunity. These are the unfortunate dangerous ones who are, at least in my personal opinion, the ones we need to reach, treat, and protect from emotional triggers.

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