PTSD Claims- Chemia

A. “But she’s got a warrior’s skills: hyperawareness, hypervigilance, adrenaline-sharp quick-scanning for danger, for triggers”

  1. This is a categorical claim because the author named multiple behaviors belonging to a specific category, which in this case the author describes as “warriors’ skills”.
  2. Why did the author call them “skills”? Those “skills” are more like different type of behaviors that relates to PTSD.

B. “And as slippery as all that is, even less understood is the collateral damage, to families, to schools, to society—emotional and fiscal costs borne long after the war is over”

  1. This is a causal claim. The purpose of the author is to let the readers know that PTSD affects families, societies, and schools.
  2. The claim would be much better if the author was more specific about howPTSD has negative effects on families, schools, and society.

C. “Imagine there’s a murderer in your house. And it is dark outside, and the electricity is out. Imagine your nervous system spiking, readying you as you feel your way along the walls, the sensitivity of your hearing, the tautness in your muscles, the alertness shooting around inside your skull. And then imagine feeling like that all the time”

  1. This is definitely a recommendation or proposal claim. The author uses the verb “imagine” as a suggestion to convince the readers to perform an action.
  2. The author is very descriptive, which makes the claim precious. By precious, I mean that the way the author tries to persuade the audience to do something is very efficient. I imaginedmyself in that situation.

D. “The house is often quiet as a morgue”

  1. This is an analogy claim because it compares the quietness of the house to the one in a morgue.
  2. The author is trying to say that the negative effects of PTSD are also illustrated in the environment present at Caleb’s home.

E. “Secondary traumatic stress has been documented in the spouses of veterans with PTSD from Vietnam”

  1. This is a factual claim because it presents information that can be proved.
  2. It is indisputable because you can verify what the author says by doing some research. If the author would have added a general judgement like: “All the spouses of veterans with PTSD from Vietnam are victims of secondary traumatic stress” we would end up with a disputable claim because the word “all” involves every single spouse of a veteran with PTSD from Vietnam, which is very unlikely.

F. “In cases where children themselves need treatment, these VA officials recommended that parents find psychologists themselves, though they note “this is a good time [for the VA] to make partners with the community so we can make good referrals.” Or basically: “You’re on your own,” says Brannan”

  1. This is a type of evaluative claim that involves a moral and ethical judgement (Ethical or Moral Claim). I think that it is somehow an unspoken claim because the author presents a real-life example that has a subliminal message to show that the Department of Veterans Affairs is useless when children are in need of psychiatric help. What I mean is that the author doesn’t have to explicitly state that “the VA is not as helpful as it should be” in order to transfer this message to the readers.


2 thoughts on “PTSD Claims- Chemia”

  1. Beautiful work, Chemia.

    A1. Well said. Perfectly describes the nature of categorical claiming.
    —Punctuation Note. Periods and commas ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS go inside the Quotation Marks. “warrior’s skills.”
    A2. Good question. Hyperawareness doesn’t sound like a skill. (When there’s no actual danger present, it’s a curse.)

    B1. Causal it is. Good labeling.
    B2. I agree completely that this claim—most claims—can be strengthened by including all the background evidence. But, to be on the safe side, it’s not fair to demand that every claim contain its proof. In your own writing too, you’ll often make claims you don’t support until much later.

    C1. Yes, it is a proposal claim.
    C2. Calling it precious is unusual, but I’m more than happy to indulge your personality in this regard. 🙂 You must also have noticed how beautifully the author incorporates the inclusion of “Cows and Chips,” engaging the senses to bring us into the scene.

    D1. You’re really good at applying the right labels to these claims, Chemia.
    D2. Your language here is vague, a rare lapse. “The environment present” describes nothing. What characteristics of the morgue does the analogy suggest? Not its scientific detachment, right? Not its obsessive cleanliness, right? See my point?

    E1. Yes, it’s factual. Let’s remember though that calling it Factual doesn’t mean calling it True. Many “documented” situations are poorly or incorrectly documented, for example.
    E2. Absolutely correct. You’ve identified yet another way the claim differs from a statement that the author verifies as True. Here the author doesn’t make a truth claim for the diagnosis, merely states that others have done so in their documents.

    F1. Breathtakingly good, Chemia. Just . . . bravo.

    This is very impressive work through and through.


  2. I didn’t know the rule of using commas and periods inside the quotation marks. Thank you very much for your feedback.


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