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#MHYALit: Speak Up! A guest post about PTSD by author Shannon Greenland

Yesterday, PTSD got a lot of attention. The truth is, PTSD is a psychological response to extreme trauma. Soldiers are not the only individuals that experience PTSD. Many other people experience PTSD, including victims of violent crimes, people who experience an extreme life event like a car accident, and even women who have a traumatic birth experience. There is no shame in PTSD. People who experience PTSD are not weak or somehow less than. Today we are honored to host author Shannon Greenland who is discussing her book, Shadow of a Girl, and PTSD as part of the #MHYALit Discussion. You can read all the posts as part of the Mental Health in YA Lit Discussion here.


I’ve heard authors talk about the “book of their heart,” and I used to think that was such a hokey thing to say until I wrote Shadow of a Girl. Normally I write very quickly, but this book took me years to complete. I wrote scenes, I deleted scenes, and I went round-and-round until it all finally came together.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a very real and powerful health condition caused by experiencing a traumatic event(s). The condition can last months or years with triggers that can cause flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and intense emotional and physical reactions. Most people associate PTSD with rape and/or soldiers, but any unpredictable and uncontrollable incident that overwhelms you with feelings of helplessness can contribute to the disorder.

I wrote Shadow of a Girl under my real name, Shannon Greenland, versus my pen, S. E. Green, because of the personal connection I feel to this story. Fear is an interesting thing. It makes weak people strong, strong people weak, frail people into just a shell of themselves, and numerous other scenarios. It’s how you finally emerge from the fear and take action that decides so much about your life.

In the novel I really wanted to explore the life of a girl who finally decides to take action, who slowly begins to heal, and who realizes it is okay to say goodbye to the past and not let it dictate the person you become. It is okay not to have guilt and shame over circumstances out of your control.

Know that if you are struggling in your life, it’s scary, but don’t be afraid to speak up and reach out. Know that there are people available to help. Friends, organizations, teachers, extended family. Don’t let fear dictate you anymore. If you need help, ask for it.

About Shadow of a Girl:

“Gritty and intense, the tension sizzles off the pages!” –Kimberly Derting, author of The Taking

Use cash and keep moving. 

After I ran away from home, these were the two rules that dictated my life. Scoring a job as a roadie fit perfectly for what I needed. Traveling, cash, and life out of the spotlight.  But when my path collides with West, the lead singer of Bus Stop, I can’t seem to stay out of his spotlight—especially since we’ll be touring together for an entire year.

West is determined to break down my walls. He won’t give up. And little by little they come crumbling. But if he knew what lurked behind them, he wouldn’t be so eager to get rid of them.

The more time we spend together, the more the lines of our friendship become blurred. He makes me dream of things I never thought possible. But while our friendship has been evolving into a romance, my secrets have been closing in. And just when I’ve decided to reveal my past to West, I’m confronted by it. The cost of my freedom could ruin the life of the guy I love…

Author Bio:

Shannon Greenland is the award winning author of several novels including the teen spy series, The Specialists, and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began. Her latest teen novel, Shadow of a Girl, is due out 9.19.16. She also writes thrillers under S. E. Green and lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her at www.shannongreenland.com

More #MHYALit Posts on PTSD

#MHYALit: Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Ada, and Me


More About PTSD in the Life of Teens

PTSD in Children and Teens – PTSD: National Center for PTSD

Signs, Symptoms & Effects of PTSD in Adolescents

PTSD Facts and Help‎