Mac McClelland is an award-winning journalist who has written for publications like The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Wired. In her latest book, Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story, she gives an intimate, first-person account of her experience with post-traumatic stress disorder that developed when she was covering unrest in Haiti.
The book covers some challenging territory, and Mac and I disagree on some points, as you will hear, but the book is also one of the most original books that I’ve read on the topic. As a whole, it has much to add to the PTSD conversation. As Mac points out, unresolved trauma doesn’t just affect soldiers or rape victims, but those who live through natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, or accidents, or whose occupations involve prolonged exposure to emotional duress, like journalists or psychologists.
Even if there isn’t unresolved trauma in our own lives, there’s still a good chance that we know someone who is affected, and knowing how to engage that person in a helpful way can make all the difference in his or her life. In other words, this discussion, while uncomfortable at times, is one that is relevant to most of us in some way.
Listen to the Podcast
- Mac’s website: mac-mcclelland.com
- Read an excerpt of Irritable Hearts
- The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by David J. Morris
- Mac’s story on the BP Oil Spill from the perspective of affected fishermen’s wives
- Mac’s story on Staff Sergeant Robert Bales who killed 17 Afghan civilians after prolonged combat experience
- Brene Brown on The Good Life Project talking the value of being vulnerability
- Our site for Trent’s War, the short film I directed about a soldier battling PTSD
Sponsor for this episode
- LA Film Prize, a short-film festival in Shreveport, Louisiana and home of the $50,000 film prize. Viva La Film Prize!