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June 14, 2015 8:51 am  #41


Re: John's Military standing

Yes, I don't think "adrenalin junkie" quite fits either.  He's not constantly thrill-seeking by any means.  I get the impression that there has to be a purpose to it (saving lives, etc.).  I'm reminded of the quote from the commentary about Mary - she can go 6 months without an adventure, but not seven, or something like that.  John did seem to be suffering when there was no adventure in his life.  His dreams show he's not only missing the war but missing Sherlock, he rushes out to rescue somebody and doesn't seem at all bothered about encountering violence, he's delighted when Sherlock "recruits" him (by saying it will be dangerous), etc.  Of course he could have PTSD as well, but I find it simpler to think of him not having PTSD but missing the battlefield, as Mycroft suggests.

Now Mycroft doesn't say that John's hand would never shake under stress.  But there when he's in what appears to be a dangerous situation, abducted by what appears to be a criminal mastermind, he's fine.  He's also fine when he kills the cabbie later (his hands didn't shake).  So it looks like it doesn't always happen when he's under stress - stress isn't the trigger.  As I said, I need to watch again to see what I think the triggers are, but I have in my mind that it's more emotional - things like anger or anxiety, rather than danger and violence. 

Anyway, what's interesting to me about Wellingtongoose's explanation is that it helps to explain why John chose to train as a GP in the first place - he didn't.  I've always wondered why he would choose that career path when he's so clearly not suited to it.  If it was because of the army's needs, that makes sense - and leaving it, then re-enlisting to see action makes sense.  (And coping with his work while he's with Sherlock, but finding it mind-numbingly boring when they're apart also makes sense). 

Last edited by Liberty (June 14, 2015 9:12 am)

 

June 14, 2015 1:03 pm  #42


Re: John's Military standing

Here's a tumblr post that shows the scenes where John is clenching his hand:

http://skulls-and-tea.tumblr.com/post/77087874889/requested-by-skulls-and-tea-you-have-an


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June 15, 2015 1:20 am  #43


Re: John's Military standing

The "missing the battlefield" may not be what most people think of as PTSD, but it is, from what I've read, a not-uncommon reaction to people who have been abruptly transitioned from a war zone back to everyday life--their systems are geared up for a high-stress, high-adrenaline world, and suddenly it's not there. And an adrenaline high is a real, physical thing, where you see better, hear better, think faster, move faster, everything is heightened, just as with uppers. (Which is why some vets get hooked on uppers of one sort or another.)


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June 15, 2015 6:46 am  #44


Re: John's Military standing

Yes, that seems more similar to what John experiences.   But he also sometimes seems quite relaxed around 221B when not a lot is happening.  He doesn't seem to need that sort of level of stimulation constantly, but starts to struggle if it has been too long without it.

 

June 15, 2015 10:49 am  #45


Re: John's Military standing

I never heard about using crime fighting being used as a therapy for this IRL...but I imagine that knowing danger might happen at any time is rather like being in a modern war zone--there might be a fight at any time but there are more days of hurry-up-and-wait. It could be seeing the battlefield is there with sporadic instances of experiencing it is enough.


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June 15, 2015 10:59 am  #46


Re: John's Military standing

Yes, true.  And I think it's not just the cases, it's Sherlock's personality as well: enigmatic, mysterious, unpredictable, dangerous - just being around him has a certain level of the stimulation John is looking for, I suppose.

 

June 15, 2015 3:09 pm  #47


Re: John's Military standing

Very true!


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June 15, 2015 7:16 pm  #48


Re: John's Military standing

REReader wrote:

The "missing the battlefield" may not be what most people think of as PTSD, but it is, from what I've read, a not-uncommon reaction to people who have been abruptly transitioned from a war zone back to everyday life--their systems are geared up for a high-stress, high-adrenaline world, and suddenly it's not there. And an adrenaline high is a real, physical thing, where you see better, hear better, think faster, move faster, everything is heightened, just as with uppers. (Which is why some vets get hooked on uppers of one sort or another.)

Yeah, and that can lead to depression, which I think John was more in danger of suffering from than PTSD.
Depression is though, considered a symptom of PTSD so it's possible he was misdiagnosed. Having said that, nowhere in the show does it actually say that John HAS been diagnosed with PTSD. He was seeing his psychiatrist because he was "having trouble adjusting to civilian life" and seemed to be drifting, thinking his life was meaningless and with no direction.


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June 15, 2015 7:18 pm  #49


Re: John's Military standing

Sherlock Holmes wrote:

Yeah, and that can lead to depression, which I think John was more in danger of suffering from than PTSD.
Depression is though, considered a symptom of PTSD so it's possible he was misdiagnosed. Having said that, nowhere in the show does it actually say that John HAS been diagnosed with PTSD. He was seeing his psychiatrist because he was "having trouble adjusting to civilian life" and seemed to be drifting, thinking his life was meaningless and with no direction.

ITA.


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June 20, 2015 6:16 pm  #50


Re: John's Military standing

I'd say we can assume he's experiencing PTSD in some form or another.  I'd say PTSD would make it difficult to adjust to civilian life.  It is hard to go back to "ordinary life" after serving, esepically since from John's dreams it would seem that there were intense situations and environments that he found himself in.  Civilian life is quiet by comparison.  He misses it, yes, but his dreams of war do wake him up with the start.  The very first thing we learn about John, the very first scene we see, is him being woken up by frightening dreams, remembering when he was in the war.  Even if he does miss the excitement, to some extent he is haunted by those memories, too.  They have an effect on him such that he cannot even sleep normally like a civilian.
(Sorry if this has already been said, but just thought I'd summarize what I think even if not much of it is new)

Last edited by Yitzock (June 20, 2015 6:17 pm)


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June 20, 2015 7:35 pm  #51


Re: John's Military standing

Sherlock Holmes wrote:

Yeah, and that can lead to depression, which I think John was more in danger of suffering from than PTSD.
Depression is though, considered a symptom of PTSD so it's possible he was misdiagnosed. Having said that, nowhere in the show does it actually say that John HAS been diagnosed with PTSD. He was seeing his psychiatrist because he was "having trouble adjusting to civilian life" and seemed to be drifting, thinking his life was meaningless and with no direction.

Yes, I think what we see at the beginning, superficially at least, looks very similar to the start of depression.  I know the first dreaming segment is open to interpretation, but to me, it looks as if he wakes up ready for action, then blinks, sees the grey reality of his lonely room, and his face falls.  Yes, I agree, that he could possibly have PTSD (with associated depression), but I do have it in mind that Mycroft is quite clear that he doesn't  - Mycroft isn't a psychiatrist, but he is very perceptive and there's no reason to think he's wrong. 

There's an interesting take here: that although John isn't suffering from PTSD, he believes he is.   In that case, both Sherlock and Mycroft are very perceptive in understanding right away what John's "problem" really is.   And it's probably helpful to John that they pointed it out.

 

June 20, 2015 7:52 pm  #52


Re: John's Military standing

Liberty wrote:

 I know the first dreaming segment is open to interpretation, but to me, it looks as if he wakes up ready for action, then blinks, sees the grey reality of his lonely room, and his face falls. 

I always interpreted that scene as a mix of the horror his life has become - haunted by the horrors of the war when he sleeps, and haunted by the nothingness his life has become when awake. 
 


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June 20, 2015 8:33 pm  #53


Re: John's Military standing

Vhanja wrote:

Liberty wrote:

 I know the first dreaming segment is open to interpretation, but to me, it looks as if he wakes up ready for action, then blinks, sees the grey reality of his lonely room, and his face falls. 

I always interpreted that scene as a mix of the horror his life has become - haunted by the horrors of the war when he sleeps, and haunted by the nothingness his life has become when awake. 
 

That interpretation would not match Mycroft's comment in ASIP, about John missing the war.


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June 20, 2015 9:02 pm  #54


Re: John's Military standing

Schmiezi wrote:

That interpretation would not match Mycroft's comment in ASIP, about John missing the war.

I know, but I find it a bit more complex than that. Because I just refuse to believe that John dreams about the horror of war, only to wake up and cry because he misses it. It doesn't fit with his sympatethic and caring persona towards innocent victims.
 


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June 20, 2015 9:24 pm  #55


Re: John's Military standing

I tihnk it does fit. I don't think he wants wars any more than Sherlock wants people to be murdered (or firefighters want housefires, etc.), but both are drawn towards taking action.  I don't think there's anything unfeeling or sinister about it, but it's true that both are also excited about going to see a murder scene in ASIP. 

Last edited by Liberty (June 20, 2015 9:26 pm)

 

June 20, 2015 9:42 pm  #56


Re: John's Military standing

I am just trying to find head and tails on John's "adrenaline kick"-thingy, I find it a bit difficult. John clearly shows concern, sadness and empathy towards the victims they meet, even becoming angry and frustrated when Sherlock doesn't do the same. 

Therefore, it makes no sense at all to me that John would dream about the horror of war, and then cry because he misses it. 

Now, I do of course understand that he is a man of action, and that he misses danger, adrenaline and action in his life. Something Sherlock provides. However, I don't even think that alone answers this. Because John seem unhappy again at the start of TEH. If all he needed was some adrenaline to fuel his "addiction", why not take up sky diving? Mountain climbing? Hunting? I think he doesn't just miss "the thrill of the chase", I think he misses Sherlock, and life with him. Doesn't have to be Johnlock-y, he can miss him as a friend and companion.

However, I don't think "adrenaline junkie" or "missing war" can alone describe what it is John is missing and longing for. 


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June 21, 2015 7:28 am  #57


Re: John's Military standing

But is he really dreaming about the "horror" of war?  Is that how he's experiencing it?  The footage is kind of ambiguous.  And if it's to show he has PTSD, then why is Sherlock shown as part of the same PTSD in HLV?  He's not haunted by the horrors of Sherlock: he misses him.  Yes, of course he misses him as a friend and not just for the thrill of the chase, but I think we are shown that Sherlock has replaced what he previously missed. 

(And I do think that even if he saw loads of Sherlock but wasn't involved in his work, he would eventually yearn to go on cases with him.   Just look at how Sherlock recruits him in HLV.  He knows what he likes ).

To be honest, I think a high-adrenaline hobby might help somebody like John, but it wouldn't fill that gap - it would miss the meaning of what he's doing (in my opinion).  In both cases (fighting wars or fighting crime) the purpose is supposedly for good, isn't it?  The goal is still, ultimately, protecting people and saving lives?   There's a point to it, beyond self-gratification.  (I honestly don't think John would have followed Sherlock down an evil route, however fascinating and exciting).

I think it would be really unfair to assume that everybody who is drawn to more dangerous or stimulating occupations is incapable of empathy or concern.  If John had enjoyed being on the crash team at the hospital, would he be criticised for that?  (Actually, I do think John is a little bit lacking in empathy as a GP, but that's another issue, and I think it's related to his dissatisfaction with that role). 

Last edited by Liberty (June 21, 2015 7:35 am)

 

June 21, 2015 10:11 am  #58


Re: John's Military standing

If he doesn't have PTSD, why does he still have the tremor in his hand? I am just confused by it all, I find it hard to grasp what it really is. It just feel right that he has PTSD, but it doesn't feel right that he simply "misses the war" either. 


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June 21, 2015 1:26 pm  #59


Re: John's Military standing

I know, it is confusing, but Mycroft does say that the tremor is due to missing the war.

 

July 16, 2015 11:32 am  #60


Re: John's Military standing

It is possible to have nightmares, depression and a psychological injury without having full blown PTSD. PTSD means that someone might have overblown reactions to certain situations, that flashbacks can overwhelm them when they encounter some sort of trigger. But John has neither. He has bad memories, he has trouble adjusting and he feels useless in the first episode. And he certainly needs psychological help. But he doesn't have PTSD.

 

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