Rape Trauma Syndrome In Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

2628 Words 11 Pages
The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine defines Rape Trauma Syndrome as a mental health disorder that describes a range of symptoms often experienced by someone who has undergone a severely traumatic event. In Speak, a novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, the main character is a victim of rape and shows the symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome otherwise known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The main character, Melinda, is isolated by her school and friends, which leads to her slow healing process. Without having someone to talk to, Melinda became lost and confused. She avoided talking about her feelings with everyone that tried to get emotionally close to her. There are several definitions of rape, but the definition that relates the most of what is defined …show more content…
People who struggle from Rape Trauma Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder experience the same symptoms. According to The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, the usual symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome are recurrent memories or flashbacks of the incident, nightmares, insomnia, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, panic attacks, emotional numbness, Depression, and anxiety. Melinda showed signs of depression, nightmares, trouble sleeping, and anxiety. In Speak there were times she had to sleep in her closet because it was “getting harder for her to sleep at home”(113). She even goes to Lady of Mercy Hospital to feel safe from her nightmares and memories of the night she was raped. Melinda suffered from frequent stomach aches which is a symptom of anxiety. Melinda’s toughest time was when she could not tell her family. Her family was not close to her so she did not feel comfortable talking to them about the night she was raped. She started cutting her wrists hoping to feel a different pain than what she felt everyday thinking about what Andy Evans did to her. When her mother saw that she was cutting her wrists, she said “I don’t have time for this, Melinda”(88). This made Melinda feel even more lonely and depressed. Throughout the book, Melinda heals by talking to herself in her head about what happened and trying to understand it on her own. The school isolated her, but she also isolated herself from anyone she could learn to trust. She skipped class almost everyday and hid in an “abandoned janitor’s closet”(26). Melinda compares this abandoned closet to herself and describes it to have “no purpose, no name”(26). She changes for the better and begins to open up about what happened to her and told her ex-best friend, Rachel. Telling Rachel made it easier for Melinda to feel better about herself. Therefore, Melinda had suffered from Rape Trauma

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