Say you have someone who died due to their throat being cut with a knife. It was by someone they were familiar with, but not exactly a friend or someone they really trusted. They get resurrected with all their memories later, and would definitely have PTSD related to knives. As I have never been stabbed or killed, how would this PTSD manifest? (The character in life was an extrovert who used humor to deflect from problems)

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure we can answer. Many individuals respond differently to stress or a trauma. Even if they seem similar. I would suggest just seeking out some public trauma reports if they exist and try to match something that matches the character and is believable. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Nov 15, 2021 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ "Would definitely have PTSD related to knives": maybe they would, maybe the wouldn't. Depends on the person, doesn't it? (Which in the context of this site, means that it depends on the plot of the story.) Practical experience shows that only some wounded soldiers experience PTSD, and not-wounded soldiers engaged in combat also experience PTSD. (Even giving birth may result in PTSD in a small number of cases.) That's why it is called a "disorder" and it is not considered a regular expected response. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Nov 15, 2021 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ PTSD is not "related to" a weapon. It's a condition that affects people in many ways and there's no reason to think your victim would have a particular reaction to a knife at all. It's about loss of control (of life, of self, vulnerability). I have complex PTSD myself. It's unfortunate that people think PTSD relates to such specific things because that's not how it works and it's very frustrating to have people act on that expectation - e.g. "there are no knifes, why are you having a problem ?". $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2021 at 17:23
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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't seem to be a question about building a fictional world. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 15, 2021 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ I think this one is going to be very hard, because it depends on so many things, least of all being the person. However, if you really want to tease this one apart, I'd start with a key first question: would ressurection in general leave someone with PTSD in your world? It is generally accepted that death is a very traumatic experience. How you want to handle that question would strongly shift how you handle the specifics of a given death. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Nov 15, 2021 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


PTSD is often about being trapped.

If they felt trapped and unable to escape then they're more likely to get ptsd.

So, while the stab wound wouldn't cause ptsd, most likely, bleeding to death might do it.

They could spend a long time holding a hand to their neck, trying to stem the bleeding, trying to escape but having no way to do it. No hope. The phones are gone, they can't reach the door, they're trapped in their apartment or wherever in an increasingly painful body.

That sort of immobilization tends to cause ptsd a lot more than when people feel they're making meaningful progress.

That was part of why WW1 was especially horrifying for many. For most of history battles were in recognized locations and would end. In WW1 people were trapped in small trenches with the executioner axe of shells slamming around them repeatedly with no meaningful escape or way to change the situation.

So, emphasize the trapped in nature of their death after the throat slash, and that will better sell PTSD.

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    $\begingroup$ Please don't answer idle curiosity questions that have no worldbuilding context. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Nov 16, 2021 at 3:48
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas You should not (IMO) be telling people not to answer questions - that's their choice not yours. Maybe an exception would be if the question was e.g. an obvious troll or something, but this is not that case here. Also the OP clearly is talking about a WB scenario (at least as much as most people do here) because they're talking about someone dying and being ressurected (doesn't normally happen IRL) and use the term "character" which clearly indicates intent. So I feel your advice to this answer's poster was incorrect. YMMV of course. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2021 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG -- While I appreciate you're opinion, I believe it's wrong. Part of the problem with answering bad questions is that a) this forum becomes riddles with answers to bad questions and b) the question can no longer be substantially edited because a major edit will very likely invalidate the answer. That leaves this forum with a bad question and a bad answer and no way to fix the problem. The respondent has been around on SE long enough to know that this was a bad choice. Lastly, as for it being the respondent's "choice", yes ... $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Nov 16, 2021 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG -- it is the respondent's "choice" whether or not to answer a bad question. Believe me, I've answered bad questions in my time! It is also our right and indeed a community obligation to "rebuke" others when they're doing something wrong. In other words, in this case, to remind folks that it's best to look carefully at a question before answering and ensure that it's a good question. This one is not. There is no worldbuilding context to speak of, no background of any kind, no criteria by which to judge the answers. All the problems that get complained about in Meta. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Nov 16, 2021 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG -- As for the word choice, indeed resurrexion doesn't often happen in real life. Historically it's only happened once. I chalked that up to poor word choice. Resuscitate would work just as well in the context of a real world / idle curiosity type question. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Nov 16, 2021 at 18:57

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