Journalists covering war often face their own after coming home

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt,

More than 28% of war correspondents* are affected by PTSD and many also by depression

More drawn journalism illustration posts

Journalists are too often, and more and more alone on assignment, far away from peers, handling all that needs to be done, to get the stories. toughening up and handling lack of security, sleep and tight deadlines on what-ever will help them through the next hours, days or weeks – till the job is done

The images, screams, close encounters, threats and edge situations is what the reporters have to handle later, when they are out of the conflict zone…

But after coming home it has often been taboo to be anything but tough, and self-medication was even seen as a badge of honor, in the shadow of Hemingway.

But the consequences, not only for the journalists, but also for their families, workplaces and friends are becoming more and more clear as new knowledge of PTSD and how it can affect reporters even years after coming home, becomes more accepted and the needed help easier to reach out for, and to give…

illustration of reporter with press helmet on, saying I'm ok, while PTSD is written in his eyes. Drawn journalism by Frits Ahlefeldt
Many reporters in conflict zones toughen up while the camera is rolling – the consequence comes back later and back later… and…

Research sources: My mental health Journey – And more on PTSD and reporters on

*US department of Veteran affairs ( the 28% number) : Journalists and PTSD

Reuters Article: When the news breaks the journalist

Keywords: drawnjournalism, visual journalism, illustration, drawing, news, journalistik, tegnetjournalistik, visuel journalistik, Graphic journalism, visualjournalism drawn journalism, psychology, thrive, ptsd, trauma, warzones, war reportage, journalism

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