Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, shortened to PTSS, formerly known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock. It is often received from either a single traumatic event that is witnessed or experienced to a series of enduring events subjected to a long period of time.
Causes and Symptoms
Although every person reacts to trauma differently, victims of PTSS have faced a shocking event or series of events, which include crimes like sexual or physical assaults, the death of a loved one, the effects of natural disasters, and the horrors of war. Symptoms include reliving the ordeal or projecting it in their surrounding environment, the avoiding of people or places that remind them of their traumatic event, increased emotions like fits of anger and sadness that are often triggered, and, in some cases, some depression.
On Criminal Minds
Numerous characters on the show suffer from this disorder and has been a driving force of criminals and other characters.
The following non-criminal characters suffer/suffered from PTSD.
- Season One
- Elle Greenaway - Greenaway developed PTSD after being shot by Randall Garner in "The Fisher King, Part 1". Her PTSD would later worsen after she murdered serial rapist William Lee in the Season Two episode "Aftermath". This led to her resignation from the BAU in "The Boogeyman", to which she told Hotch her resignation was not out of guilt for what she did.
- Season Two
- Jason Gideon - Gideon developed PTSD after his girlfriend Sarah Jacobs was murdered by prolific serial killer Frank Breitkopf in "No Way Out II: The Evilution of Frank", which only worsened after Frank managed to evade capture by committing suicide with his lover Jane Hanratty. This ultimately led to Gideon retiring in the following season.
- Season Three
- Season Five
- Aaron Hotchner - Hotchner was scarred with PTSD when he was tortured by George Foyet in "Nameless, Faceless". Foyet would later worsen his PTSD by murdering Hotchner's wife Haley and almost killing his son Jack, enraging him to the point where he beat Foyet to death with his bare hands ("100").
- Ellie Spicer - Spicer developed PTSD after witnessing her father and aunt's murders at the hands of Billy Flynn in "The Longest Night". This coupled when he attempted to make her his accomplice and forced to both participate and witness his crimes, leading to her confiding in Derek Morgan as she tried to adapt to a normal life again.
- Season Eight
- Season Nine
- Jennifer Jareau - She developed PTSD after being tortured by The Regime Squad in "200". This also coupled with the explosion of a convoy she was in, resulting in the death of her unborn baby. Her PTSD comes into play in the Season Ten episode "The Forever People" when she shoots Jon Kanak despite the fact that the risk of a gas explosion could have killed both of them.
- Season Twelve
- Luke Alvez - Alvez was scarred with PTSD after witnessing his partner Phil Brooks' near-death at the hands of brutal serial killer Daniel Cullen.
- Spencer Reid - He was scarred with PTSD after Cat Adams and her gang framed him for the murder of Nadie Ramos (to which Lindsey drugged him and made him kill her), leading to him being sentenced to a correctional facility where he almost died at the hands of the inmates there.
- Season Fifteen
The following unsubs have/had PTSD.
- Season Two
- Roy Woodridge ("Distress") - A spree killer and one-time cop killer who's PTSD was triggered when he was forced to murder a child soldier to protect his friend Max Weston. This later led to him murdering people who made noises that made his PTSD flare up, but always attempted to make sure the children around him were safe.
- Season Three
- Jonny McHale ("True Night") - A serial-turned-spree killer, one-time mass murderer, one-time abductor, and vigilante who was scarred with PTSD after his fiancé Vickie Wright was brutally tortured to death right in front of him by Glen Hill and the 23rd Street Killers gang. Jonny survived being disemboweled by the gang, and six months later he slaughtered Glen Hill (and possibly his entire gang).
- Season Four
- Ian Coakley ("Roadkill") - A stalker and serial-turned-spree killer who was traumatized by a car crash that killed his wife. His PTSD triggered a delusion that the crash (that he caused) was caused by an imaginary driver who deliberately targeted him, leading to him murdering people who owned red coupes (the car the driver was driving when the crash occurred).
- Season Five
- Darrin Call ("Haunted") - A spree killer, one-time cop killer, and one-time abductor who was traumatized by being forced to bare witness to and participate in his father Bill Jarvis' murders.
- Miranda Jakar ("Outfoxed") - A prolific family annihilator, robber, and serial-turned-spree killer who developed PTSS after witnessing the Srebrenica massacre as a teenage girl, causing her to kill whenever she was reminded of the incident in some way.
- Season Seven
- Luke Dolan ("Dorado Falls") - A spree killer, one-time mass murderer, one-time cop killer, and one-time abductor who developed PTSD during operation Dorado Falls, particularly when he was forced to kill two children at the orders of his superiors.
- Matthew Downs ("Hit" and "Run") - A spree killer, mass murderer, homegrown terrorist, serial bomber, hacker, symphorophiliac, and criminal accomplice who was traumatized after his years as a Marine, which caused him to retaliate against the American government and eventually become a homegrown terrorist as a member of The Face Cards.
- Season Ten
- Bill Harding ("Fatal") - A spree killer, poisoner, and stalker who got lost in a snowy forest along with his friend Quentin Hartway during a school field trip. Quentin froze to death while Bill was saved, leading to him having PTSD and depression. After getting cancer from a shipyard job, he began murdering people he was jealous of.
- Season Eleven
- William Taylor ("Awake") - A budding serial killer, abductor, and one-time cop killer whose daughter Tatiana was murdered by the "Skull Tattoo Man", who abducted her while he was asleep after helping the man fix his tale light. After Tatiana's body was found, he had a psychotic break which triggered the delusion that the Skull Tattoo Man still had his daughter and that she was still alive. Thus he began murdering men he believed were the Skull Tattoo Man.
- Season Thirteen
- Jake Logan ("Killer App") - A serial-turned-spree killer, mass murderer, serial bomber, workplace shooter, one-time abductor, and one-time cop killer who was traumatized by his participation in a drone strike that mistakenly killed 379 Afghani school children after mistaking an elementary school for a terrorist training camp.
- Theo Holston ("Believer") - Theo was scarred with PTSD from being forced to participate in his mom and dad's murders and tortures. He was further traumatized when he eventually murdered them. Theo also appeared in Season Fourteen.