Sample Essay

PTSD is associated with experiencing a traumatic event wherein a person felt serious endangerment of his life or physical harm. The symptoms include flashbacks and avoidance of similar factors that may trigger a flashback. Conrad seemed to be experiencing exactly these symptoms as his sleeping patterns were occasioned by dreams about the trauma that led to his brother’s death, having finally been re-triggered by Karen’s suicide which then led to a confrontation of his induced responsibility of looking out for people he cared for with Dr. Berger.

As a result, Conrad was made aware of his constant self-imposed guilt of being responsible for his brother’s death. In consideration of all the anger that was building up inside of him, the rising skirmishes with his friends of old, and explosive reactions in conversations with his mom (such as when he barked like a dog during a conversation with Beth in the earlier part of the movie), he can be more correctly diagnosed as suffering Post Traumatic Stress disorder.

Conrad displays a wealth of distressful signals and unhappiness throughout the movie. He starts off as a victim of attempted suicide, and for the 4 months that he was in the hospital, mentions receiving therapy and electrical shocks as well (as he revealed during his discussion with the coach of the swimming team).

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