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Photojournalists suffering from PTSD

I am writing a long-form print article on war photographers and journalists who are suffering from PTSD and am looking for photographers or journalists to interview about their experiences. I am located in New York City right now and local interviews would be preferred, but am open to phone interviews as well.
Contact me at meganjgibson@live.com

by Megan Gibson at 2009-10-15 05:50:44 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

16 Oct 2009 00:10
Biology class time. Guys don’t suffer from it because they don’t have a menstrual cycle.

by Mikethehack | 15 Oct 2009 10:10 | Way up my own ass, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Uh oh! Looks like somebody doesn’t know what PTSD is!


by JS | 15 Oct 2009 13:10 (ed. Oct 15 2009) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
You should have gone to the VII Gallery in DUMBO last night for the panel discussion there. Ron Haviv was on the panel, and Jim Nachtwey and Marcus Bleasdale were probably in the room. They all could have been approached for interviews. Ron and Jim (and possibly Marcus) will be at the PhotoPlus show next week, so you might keep a lookout there for them. Jim is giving a big talk then, so he should be easily found. I think Jim’s talk is free, though I believe students get big discounts to all events.

I am not saying that they suffer from PTSD, only that they probably can give you some insight into others who have suffered after time spent in conflict zones.

by [former member] | 15 Oct 2009 13:10 (ed. Oct 15 2009) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Does PTSD include putting up with the wife after going home from a conflict coverage? :-|

by Jes Aznar | 15 Oct 2009 14:10 | Manila, Philippines | | Report spam→
Your best bet is probably to get in touch w/ JPM who as just published a book about PTSD:

by Olivier Boulot | 15 Oct 2009 16:10 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Most snappers I know suffer from Pre-Traumatic Stress Syndrome….

by [former member] | 15 Oct 2009 16:10 | Seattle, United States | | Report spam→
You may know this book already?

by Thomas Bregulla | 15 Oct 2009 18:10 | Bonn, Germany | | Report spam→
Don’t forget the Dart Center (http://dartcenter.org/).

DAVID HANDSCHUH gave a talk about PTSD at geekfest…might contact him?

by Vaughn Wallace | 16 Oct 2009 22:10 | Pittsburgh, PA, United States | | Report spam→
Lots of you (not all, of course) are making fun of it, it’s part of our swagger and machismo culture. Which is fine and good. But to be serious for one moment, let’s try to address the question with the respect that it deserves:

At the very beginning of my career, not really that long ago but it seems like another life, when I was 25, a friend told me something to this effect: “yes, it’s all fun and games and enjoyment and pleasure, covering war, to be absolutely honest…until you lose somebody that you know, respect and love. And you will, inevitably, sooner or later. And then you will learn. Of course this sounds like a cliche and you’ve heard it a million times before, but it is still true.”

And obviously he was right. Like anything else in life, as we grow older and more experienced we start losing our friends, family. To accidents, disease, old age, tragedies great and small. But there is something particularly awful about losing a friend in the prime of their life, doing what they love, to war. And the longer we do this, the longer that list gets.

In the Newseum in Washington DC, there is a wall with photos and short biographies of journalists that have died doing their jobs. I was there for Ariana Huffington’s big Inauguration Ball celebrating Obama’s victory. The place was overflowing with glamorous and beautiful people, free liquor, good food. But as I walked past that wall and stopped for a moment, and starting recognizing names of friends and colleagues, it was like a blow. Some were acquaintances, some I knew for a few days or weeks or months. A few I had been close to in one way or another: Kurt Schork. Marla Ruzicka. Steven Vincent. Khalid Al-Hassan. And all the others. It probably didn’t help that I had already had a few drinks. But it was very hard to bring myself back to the big party.

To be war-weary and jaded and cynical is another cliche, so I don’t want to belabor the point. It is, nonetheless, real.

by [former member] | 17 Oct 2009 12:10 | Peiping, China | | Report spam→
I definitely have it related to water, floods, bloated bodies. Heavy rain freaks me out….last week we had more 3 inches of rain in an hour….and cars were under water.

by [former member] | 17 Oct 2009 15:10 | | Report spam→
David Handschuh and I are both local and would be willing to talk to you about our 9/11 experience. He has worked a lot with the DART Center. Another good book is Running Toward Danger by the Newseum.

by Aristide Economopoulos | 17 Oct 2009 18:10 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
I’m friends with the son of Lee Miller. Miller suffered from PTSD after covering WW II. Tony was a boy at the time, but I think he would provide an interesting perspective on this subject—and information on one of this industries iconic photographers. Please let me know if this is of interest I can drop him a line.

by James Chance | 18 Oct 2009 17:10 | Denver, United States | | Report spam→
Ah, Lee Miller….one of he most beautiful journalists of the 20th century. Can’t find a good portrait but she certainly had a good body, as captured and used by Man Ray (http://tinyurl.com/yzb3upx)

by [former member] | 19 Oct 2009 12:10 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
definitely talk to Nachtwey. Neal should be able to help you.

by [former member] | 19 Oct 2009 13:10 | | Report spam→
PTSD Pay(the bills) Time Stress Disorder… yes we can all say that we suffer ;-)


by John Robinson | 19 Oct 2009 15:10 | Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa | | Report spam→
Thanks everyone for the advice. Even those who have made fun, you’ve been insightful, in one way or another.

by Megan Gibson | 22 Oct 2009 22:10 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
The stress comes from coming home to those that might not understand, the true stress comes to those that we have photoggraphed that can’t get out of their terrible situations, we get to get on a plane and have nice meal when we land. Death one day nice warm food and bed the next.

Seen my father have troubles from his stint in WWII and how it affected him, medals and all. Him like us that have gone to places that either were at war or just struggling, we leave our hearts there and we come back. They(subjects)are still there, we deal with what we saw and lived, then we try to go on. Sometimes tough sometimes it’s blocked out for a while anyway, but anything tragic will be with you forever.

We get blamed a lot for shoot and scoot, but without us the stories might not be told, so for our depression, anger, coldness, and fatalistic outlook, we are not to blame.

Hope your article comes out well.

by N&N | 23 Oct 2009 13:10 | | Report spam→
I saw John Karunakaran Isaac, the retired chief of Photography at the United Nations give a talk around 2003 and he spoke about having PTSD really bad. I believe he retired because of it…

by Joshua Kristal | 26 Nov 2009 21:11 | Lima, Peru | | Report spam→
Megan, I hope this song provides some inspirational listening as you write your article.. Though it is more of a jab at media complacency, it does hint at the feeling of helplessness and isolation, which N&N mentioned.


“I’m taking pictures of burning houses
Colored movies of misery.
I see the flash of guns, how red the mud becomes,
I’ve got a close-up view.

I’m the six o’clock news – what can I do?
All those kids without shoes – what can I do?
Military coups – what can I do?
I’m just the six o’clock news."


by Daniel Hayduk | 27 Nov 2009 07:11 | Kelowna, BC, Canada | | Report spam→
I am chiming in late in the process, and live on the West Coast, but after working for seven years in Mexico, being held up at gunpoint, and later, on another occasion machete, I developed PTSD. When I returned, Loudres Portillo has just released her film about the women of Juarez. I silently cried the entire movie and realized the stress and tension I was under constantly while working and living there. Considering these types of events are daily events too for the people who live in Mexico, and the countries where photographers work, we can better understand the people there, and the trauma they live with daily. It was hard returning home and feeling like few understood or cared about that reality, particularly as the anti-immigration cry and resulting actions began. The PTSD definitely had an impact when I was deciding about distribution on my documentary Transition. I’ve learned new ways of coping and, also found new modes of expression.

by Catherine Herrera | 29 Nov 2009 20:11 | San Francisco, United States | | Report spam→
There is a new film called “Triage” that I think deals with this issue. I have not seen it yet, but it might be something to look into.


by Ron Fu | 30 Nov 2009 05:11 | Los Angeles, United States | | Report spam→
It’s probably on your reading list, but I would recommend reading Don McCullin’s autobiography, Unreasonable Behaviour.

by Michael Cockerham | 30 Nov 2009 17:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
If PTSD is anything like what N&N describes then I have had it and I may still – after leaving Haiti in 2007 and now I may be going back. I’d love to read what you come up with Megan. I’m based in Australia so interviewing me may be tricky but I’m open to it.

by Christina Simons | 20 Jan 2010 07:01 | melbourne, Australia | | Report spam→
hahahaha it end up with a bottle of dutsh beer..

by char abumansoor | 19 Feb 2010 09:02 | beirut, Lebanon | | Report spam→

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Megan Gibson, Journalism Student Megan Gibson
Journalism Student
New York City , United States
Mikethehack, Freelance thril performer Mikethehack
Freelance thril performer
Way Up My Own Ass , United Kingdom
New York , United States
Jes Aznar, Photojournalist Jes Aznar
(shoot, eat, drink, shoot, live)
Manila , Philippines
Olivier Boulot, Photog Olivier Boulot
Paris , France ( CDG )
Thomas Bregulla, Thomas Bregulla
Bonn , Germany ( CGN )
Vaughn Wallace, LightBox Blog Producer Vaughn Wallace
LightBox Blog Producer
New York, Ny , United States ( JFK )
Aristide Economopoulos, Photographer Aristide Economopoulos
New York City , United States
James Chance, Photographer James Chance
Manila , Philippines
John Robinson, Photographer John Robinson
(works with light)
Pigeon Club , South Africa
  N&N, Photojournalist N&N
[undisclosed location].
Joshua Kristal, Freelance Photographer Joshua Kristal
Freelance Photographer
(Editorial Photographer)
Brooklyn, Ny , United States ( JFK )
Daniel Hayduk, Daniel Hayduk
Dar Es Salaam , Tanzania
Catherine Herrera, Photographer, Filmmaker, Catherine Herrera
Photographer, Filmmaker,
(Flor de Miel Fotos - Sweet Ima)
San Francisco , United States
Ron Fu, Ron Fu
Los Angeles , United States
Michael Cockerham, Documentalistic Bystander Michael Cockerham
Documentalistic Bystander
(Image Matters)
Cologne , Germany
Christina Simons, Photographer Christina Simons
(Documentary Reportage)
Melbourne , Australia
char abumansoor, photographer char abumansoor
Beirut , Lebanon


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