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Shell-Shocked Veterans in fanfiction.


  • Kalash93 seems to love writing these.
    • Most triumphantly, there is Shining Armor in Shell Shock.
    • Telny from Racer And The Geek is definitely this, although what exactly happened to him is not yet fully known.
    • It's obvious from his letter that the protagonist of Welcome To The Brothel is well on his way to becoming this.
    • In the related story, Relax, the protagonist is obviously in a pretty bad way at the start, but a round of good old lovemaking does wonders to help him.
  • Harry Potter is already one of these, but many fanfics exaggerate this aspect of him.
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    • Frank and Alice Longbottom are portrayed as having a magical version of PTSD in Hawk-Eyed Charlie.
  • Darkfic tends to turn Max from Across the Universe into one of these. He's a bit of one in canon— "everything below the neck works fine."
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion fics, like canon, feature this often.
    • A Crown of Stars: When the story begins, Shinji and Asuka have gone through a war against giant aliens (in which they got constantly hurt, mind-raped and actually died), the end of the world, living in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by warlords, being forced to work for dictators... they have endured so much misery, pain and trauma after long years of conflict that when the story begins they are barely functional. They are bitter, jaded and soul-weary and not looking forward to the future. And they are not even nineteen.
    • Advice and Trust: Shinji and Asuka are teen kids being forced to wage a war against Eldritch Abominations. The constant battles and hardships were wearing down their precarious mental stability, but after getting together they lean on each other to try to overcome the pain and have something stable to cling to.
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    • The Child of Love: As seen in the sequels, Shinji and Asuka tried to put so much distance as possible between them and NERV after the war for their and their daughter's sake. However the ordeals of the past still affects them, and they still are forced to deploy their giant robots every so often, despite of Shinji telling they are sick of killing people.
    • Children of an Elder God:
      • After fighting and defeating a bunch of cosmic horrors from the Cthulhu Mythos, Shinji and Asuka are so traumatized that they feel they no longer fit into human society so that they say goodbye to their remaining friends and leave civilization forever.
      • Rei, too. She commits Heroic Sacrifice while stating that normal life is not for her.
    • Doing It Right This Time: Before being sent back to the past Shinji and Asuka were heavily traumatized and barely sane after the Angel War and Third Impact. After a last violent fight they decided to kill themselves because even death seemed a better option than remaining in a dead world. Then the two of them and Rei got flung back to the past and they started dealing with their issues in... unique ways.
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    • Evangelion 303: After surviving a failed mission, Asuka suffered from Survivor Guilt. She was full of anger, hatred and self-loathing, and anything made her snapping. And she stopped laughing or getting fun. She did not even want to get fun. After a second failure she tried to shoot her brains off, but Shinji stopped her. From that point he helped her to get better.
    • Ghosts of Evangelion: Shinji and Asuka suffer from post-traumatic distress and other mental traumas after the war. Several decades after the Third Impact they are still struggling to keep their PTDS at bay, be functional people and decent parents.
    • HERZ:
      • Asuka survived the War but she had been beaten, humiliated, mind-raped and disfigured permanently. For many years she was mad at everything, everyone and herself, seeing herself as an ugly, scarred, one-eyed freak and a worthless failure. She needed a lot of therapy to learn to open up to others.
      • Shinji became quieter and more introvert after the battle of 2015. He hardly talked any of his schoolmates who were not his old friends and his ex-roommate. He was also severely depressed and a borderline suicidal.
    • Higher Learning: The constant, brutal battles against giant, super-powerful aliens as well as her Mind Rape wore Asuka's psyche down to the point that she was permanently depressed and barely functional at the end of the war.
    • Once More with Feeling: After living through the war and Third Impact Shinji got sent to the beginning of everything. Although he is trying to grow a spine, become a better person and do things right this time, he is heavily traumatized and feeling inmensely guilty for everyone's deaths. Some characters note that he seems older and more tired than a fourteen-years-old should, and Kaji is amazed that Shinji has not tried to kill himself yet.
    • The One I Love Is: Although Shinji, Asuka and Rei survived the War and their relationship made them slightly psychologically stronger they were still traumatized. Several years later Shinji still felt guilty for his friends' pain, Asuka was afraid of having children, and Rei regressed and became emotionless again for a while.
    • In The Second Try, Shinji and Asuka were deeply traumatized after the Angel War and Third Impact. The After the End chapters narrate how they were forced to mature and overcome their issues in order to survive, and how they got better eventually.
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide:
      • Although Shinji has recovered a bit from Kaworu's death, he's badly traumatized, has given up any hope of having a healthy relationship with his father, and he doesn't know how to fix his relationship with Asuka.
      • At the beginning, Asuka is in a coma after having tried to kill herself. Although she eventually comes to, she's very bitter and angry due to her Mind Rape and believing no one cares about her at all.
      • Rei had gotten a bit better at socializing during the war, but with her Heroic Sacrifice having resulted in her getting brought back as Rei III, she feels disconnected from the memories of her predecessor and regresses to her former emotionless state.
      • Original Character, Junichi Nakayima, a former grunt turned spy, also has a case, but it is Downplayed. Though he is quite mentally stable, he notes that his experiences in the military admittedly has damaged him psychologically and made it hard for him to care for and relate emotionally to the people around him and he also makes references to having been ordered to do several questionable things on the frontlines he has since come to regret, and in hindsight he considers his decision to join the army to be a pivotal mistake in his life, if not his worst mistake ever.
    • In Neon Metathesis Evangelion, Asuka and Mana acknowledge how piloting and fighting angels has already taken its toll on Shinji.
    There was a certain logic to what Mana was saying. In a way, despite only being fourteen, Shinji was a kind of… injured veteran. Who had done his duty heroically and saved everyone, but had the mental wounds to show for it. That idea fit very well to Asuka’s notions of EVA pilots as an elite fighting troop. It wasn’t that Shinji was weak; rather it was time that others took over for him. And Asuka was definitely up to the task.
  • Digimon fanfiction turns the North Korean Digidestined into this. Justified in that Word of God states they exist, but we never see them and there's no telling what their lives are like behind closed doors. Of course, given that they live in North Korea, unless they're Kim Jong's kids, having a horrible enough life to invoke this trope is almost a guarantee. Also of note: If the DPRK Digidestined is one of the tiny percentage of North Koreans who isn't dirt poor, they will be Brainwashed and Crazy or otherwise a Stepford Smiler. Again, these are justified tropes given what is known so far about the DPRK from the rest of the world.
  • In Origins, Samantha Shepard lands square in this category, from her Heroic BSoD that led to a series of barbaric acts to her painful realization that no matter how human she might be, the entire galaxy will keep throwing itself on her shoulders no matter how badly she screws up. She goes through a lot of crap.
  • Frodo Baggins has become one in Bag Enders, being six thousand years old and suffering from Post-Ringbearer Syndrome.
  • Amazingly, Minato Namikaze seems to be one — in the Naruto fanfic The Girl From Whirlpool, he seems to be at least a mild example.
  • The Wizard in the Shadows
  • Child of the Storm, by the same author as the above:
    • It's implied that Tony's issues post New York have only been partially dealt with in the altered timeline and that they're still simmering under the surface.
    • Harry gets some actual therapy in a surprising aversion of There Are No Therapists from Charles Xavier (and later, Dani Moonstar), though that's mostly for his abandonment issues. Later on, he develops full on PTSD, as does Carol Danvers, with one reviewer who'd suffered from PTSD remarking that the descriptions were dead on. It only gets worse in the sequel.
    • Harry Dresden most certainly qualifies as this, and like the other Harry, gets therapy from Charles Xavier, though his is rather more extensive.
  • Crash from MSLN Test Dummies has PTSD from his earlier run-in with the Numbers, such that meeting Combat Cyborgs, Subaru included, doesn't go down well. He gets better after Subaru pushing him too far triggers his Heroic Safe Mode and he trashes her.
  • Link in Insomnia. He's always watching his back no matter the situation, keeps his feelings bottled up almost airtightly, and counts his kills, apparently ever since the end of his first adventure.
  • In the Poké Wars series, practically all of the characters. Dawn is one of the most detailed examples.
  • Pretty much every X-COM member in XSGCOM. You would be, considering their casualty rates.
  • Forward:
    • It seems to come and go with River. On the one hand, she's (rightfully) traumatized by everything that's happened to her. On the other hand, when she's in control, she has a razor-sharp focus that lets her bury that sort of detail far below conscious thought. And on the third hand she's still a little bit crazy.
    • Just about everyone else features shades of it, too. Mal and Zoe, of course, inherit theirs from canon, while Kaylee is still messed up over the Near-Rape Experience in "Objects In Space" and Book's past (whatever that may be) is clearly still in the back of his mind.
  • Uchiha Sasuke in White Rain — the man has issues. Multiple personal issues, for which he needs professional help. Let's put this into perspective: Itachi Jr. is actually a all-around 12 year old Nice Guy. Sasuke uses Tsukuyomi on him just because he [Itachi Jr.] looks like his father.
  • Used as part of the deconstruction of Fallout by Fallout: Equestria, where Littlepip’s experiences and body count continue to exhibit a increasing toll on her sanity as the story goes on. Applesnack/Steelhooves also exhibits signs of severe combat stress, and getting him some therapy alongside Celestia, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy might well have averted the apocalypse entirely. It’s suggested in story that Equestria’s lack of experience with fighting total war meant they were totally unprepared for large scale PTSD, or its consequences.
  • Ichigo in A Protector's Pride. His dad tells him to unwind after "The Winter War" saying he's only 15 or he might go insane. He proves his point by pointing Ichigo's posture is always in a defensive stance.
  • Hogyoku ex Machina: Ishida is disturbed at how Ichigo the Hot-Blooded Leeroy Jenkins with Chronic Hero Syndrome has become willing to murder in cold blood, yet is still mentally sound.
  • In the Total Drama story, Legacy, one contestant enters a period of mental decline after seeing a fellow contestant murdered before his eyes.
  • Dr Tofu fears this has happened to Ranma in the fanfic, Cold Dragon. This was especially worrisome given the combination of Ranma's end-of-manga skill level and a tendency of those in this state to deal with things in the most direct and effective manner possible. Made worse when Tofu realizes that Genma had been effectively trying to create this state with his Training from Hell teaching style. And then Ranma becomes the eponymous 'Cold Dragon'.
  • Hard Reset has this as the result of a "Groundhog Day" Loop. Especially since the usual reset condition was the protagonist's death instead of the end of the day. And the day ended up best filed under Bug War and Apocalypse How. Things got so bad that the story went on past the end of the loop as Eakins, the author, was told by readers that just ending the story with the good guys winning seemed too pat (Viewers Are Geniuses, perhaps). This resulted in a sequel.
  • In Naruto/Doom crossover Hell and Back has this happen to Naruto. Accidentally transported to Hell, Naruto spends approximately fifty years waging war against the forces of Hell to find a way home while insuring they can never reach his world. Made worse in that because he can never fall safely fall asleep, he has to devour the souls of the demons he kills to survive. Two scenes that really sell how different he's become: 1) Viewing a severed head on a pike as little different than a "stay off the grass" sign. 2) When he does get back, he's quickly banned from sparring with anyone, as he can barely keep himself from killing his partners.
  • The protagonist of the 40k fan fic Secret War, Attelus Kaltos, suffers from severe PTSD. His constant chain smoking barely helps his nerves and paranoia. He also always puts his hands in his pockets, in an instinctive way to hide his shaking hands even when they're not shaking. After the horrid things he's been through, it's understandable.
  • Vietnam and its two sequels, by Rorschach's Blot, portrays Shaggy as a burned-out Vietnam War veteran.
  • In Marijuana Simpson Bart returns from Iraq but ultimately cannot readjust to the opulent, weed-centric lifestyle of the Simpsons.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has Mega Man himself, starting around episode 6. The trauma he's suffered starts getting to him, his doubts over himself grow, and he blames himself when anything goes wrong.
  • Wings To Fly shows some of the Mobile Suit Gundam Wing characters dealing with their tendencies in this direction.
    • Lucrezia Noin has nightmares about her first Gundam encounter and spends most of a chapter fighting off a funk caused by the discovery that nearly everyone she graduated from the Victoria Space Combat Academy is dead.
    • One of the minor characters, Lieutenant Richard Dyer, had nearly his entire extended family wiped out during the canon's Operation Daybreak. He's described as having cold eyes and only has an expression when he's speaking, suggesting this.
    • Another character says that Dyer is explicitly treating his new squadronmates like he would have replacement pilots during the war; most replacements died in their first five missions, so as a psychological self-defense mechanism experienced pilots didn't treat them as "real people" until they'd lived at least that long.
  • Explored in the Thunderbirds fic Understanding.
  • Hope On A Distant Mountain recasts the events of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc as an Unwinnable Training Simulation that Naegi managed to beat. However, the experience has left him with PTSD, feeling disconnected from his family and uncertain how to approach his classmates, who aren't quite as he remembers them.
  • Most characters from The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum. Marcus Renee, the (usual) protagonist, is implied to have PTSD. As is Stephan Bauer, the other protagonist, who still has nightmares over being forced to Mercy Kill an entire classroom of children. Still, for pure war-related trauma, both pale in comparison to Viktor M. Kraber, the resident Sharlto Copley expy, who attempts to shoot Luna twice, though he's stopped both times. He's a heavy drinker, has a habit of resorting to torture, and is perpetually bad-tempered. However, this is only because he lost his wife and children to TCB!Pinkie Pie.
  • In Aftershocks, J.D. from Heathers is one. The fic explores PTSD's strain on his already-unstable psyche and relationship with his family.
  • In Hope for the Heartless, which is set after the events of The Black Cauldron, Taran the pig-keeper is revealed to have had Flashback Nightmares of the Horned King’s death almost every night for months. While his friends seem to have moved on with their lives, Taran's nightmares have driven him to regret his dreams of becoming a warrior, or wishing that he had never been involved in the lich's death, or even that he had thrown himself to the Black Cauldron instead of Gurgi. He continuously dwells upon the morality of his actions back then, never finding a comforting answer, and he hasn't told anyone of his dreams (though he suspects that Dallben and Eilonwy have their suspicions). It leads him to become greatly shocked when he encounters by chance the resurrected Horned King who attacks him yet spares him due to the lich's Morality Pet Avalina.
  • Shinnen New Year gives us the canon version of Shu Ouma, who is traumatized since he loss Inori years ago and is attempting to get over it by celebrating New Years with various crossover characters.
  • Teresa in Secret Dreamer was nearly killed when the Risen attacked Ylisstol. She eventually confides to Severa that she still has Bad Dreams.
  • Green Ice interprets Bertie Wooster as one, having been so broken by his experiences in the trenches that he's in denial about the whole war ever having happened and retreated into a sort of fantasy. This seems to have affected more than just his memory, as his frivolousness, dependency on Jeeves and inability to plan for the future all appear to be the result of his experiences in WWI.
  • Tsuji Anthony Ricardsen from Soul Eater: Troubled Souls becomes one in the third arc. Even with prior two-year training before enrollment, on just his second mission Tsuji tangoes with death and crushing defeat on Cobra Island and suffers a series of Heroic BSODs that makes him more somber in demeanor. He says he goes through nightmares in the middle of night and cannot move on. Not to mention, there is apparently something from his past coming back to haunt him. He envisions the face of the Kishin Egg that nearly killed him five years back. He is only 15-years-old.
  • In Metroid Kamen Rider Generations (link):
  • In Chrysalis Visits The Hague, Shining Armor shows signs of increasing paranoia and obsession as a direct result of Chrysalis' mind control. Estermann and the ex-soldier Mjoberg lampshade this heavily.
  • Rarity is this in Friendship is Witchcraft, to the extent that she willingly joined Fluttershy's Apocalypse Cult and made a sweater specifically designed to give the wearer hugs.
    Sweetie Belle: Well at least I don't spend every Veterans Day sobbing on the floor!
  • Chiaki Nanami in Extra Life is left traumatized and afflicted with PTSD after her torture. Besides having nightmares, the sight of an elevator causes her to flashback to the ordeal, and she feels guilty for surviving when her friends came out, in her opinion, worse. She actually does get therapy from Izuru Kamukura, and while that does help her learn to live with it, she's still haunted.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Lt. Surge is a downplayed example. While he's for the most part a nice and respectful guy in general, if a bit cocksure, it's clear that his time in the war has taken his toll on him, and during Christmas time he often mourns his deceased war buddies.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl is finally getting burned out after spending fourteen years fighting endlessly crooks, villains and eldritch abominations day after day. To the point that, when the adult Legion of Super-Heroes comes along to drag her into another life or death battle, Kara has a break-down.
    Dev-Em: Kara. Will you shut up and let them talk?
    Kara: I will not shut up and they can damned well talk after I’m finished! And I’m not finished! I serve in the Crisis and I almost die, I get my guts torn open, and luckily I get helped out by another Supergirl and healed by Raven. Almost Death #1. Then the Legion, my Legion, has me come to the 30th and I have to go to Hell and fight Mordru, and Satan Girl almost beats me to death. I still don’t know how Dev brought me back, but I’m thankful he did. Thank you, Dev.
    Dev-Em: You’re welcome.
    Kara: Shut up! That’s Almost Death #2, Then we go back to the 20th and everybody gets into a big gang war with everybody else, and I wind up on Apokolips and save everybody from that damned Anti-Life Equation, and I’m the only one on her feet to fight Darkseid, and he damned near disintegrates me. Almost Death #3. Am I seeing a pattern here? And now... now... you snatch me and Dev from what was supposed to be a peaceful weekend of relaxing and, and seeing the sights, and catching up with old Legion friends and, oh, you know what all else, and now whoomp! I’m in whatever time I’m in, and you say that magic word ‘Darkseid’, and I’m supposed to drop everything and sign up for the latest crusade, and I DON’T WANT TO!
    [beat]
    Kara: (sighing, crouching and hiding her face) I. Am. Just. Getting. So. Damned. Tired.
  • In Steven Universe: and the Hunters of Arcadia, while his behavior may be partially due to the horrifying magical experiments done on him to turn him into a changeling and the stress of being in the Janus Order, Jamie seems to possess a level of trauma from being nearly abducted by Topaz and Aquamarine.
  • Becoming the Mask: During his fight against Draal in the Hero's Forge, Jim briefly loses himself, thinking for a moment that he was fighting for his life in Gunmar's crucible.
  • While normally the timid and sarcastic boy he has always been, a mix of the Romans destroying Helgafjall and the people he has come to call his own and Cold-Blooded Torture by Alvin the Treacherous has left Hiccup in The Boy Behind The Mask with internal scars that turn him into The Berserker should any of his friends or family be threatened, nearly killing Snotlout when he called Katja a whore and mowing down countless Outcasts (even cleaving Savage in-half) with inhuman ferocity.
  • Some fanworks portray Reisen Udonge Inaba as one of these, showing either traumatized, wickedly skilled with weapons, or both due to her experiences from the Lunar War or some other large event. This is especially the case with a series of shorts titled "Regret", where she's shown to have the typical standard flashbacks or intrusive thoughts for someone with PTSD and, at the last of those shorts, we find out that she performed a mercy kill on a younger moon rabbit soldier, which turned out to be pointless, being the reason as to why.
  • Jaune Arc in Not this time, Fate has spent at least sixty years stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where how long he lasts determines how far back he's sent relative to his Initiation at Beacon (dying six hours after Initiation sent him to six hours before it). When he's sent back over two years before Beacon, he's constantly tired, has a noticeable thousand yard stare, and accidentally hitting his younger sister when she surprised him, Jaune has no idea how he's supposed to comfort her, instead simply staring at her in confusion. Later chapters also show him suffering from night terrors and a Bar Brawl with Yang causes him to flashback to his previous death to Cinder.
  • Joffrey in Purple Days. While he starts the fic as the same monster from canon, he breaks down rather quickly after several painful and humiliating deaths due to his terrible plans. After a few loops, even Robert can see the same haunted look that he saw in listless soldiers after the Battle of the Trident. He slowly crawls back and lives on until he decides to make for Yi Ti, where he has a very positive experience that is unfortunately cut short when the Zombie Apocalypse from Westeros spills into the continent. After that death, touching weapons or even eating utensils begins triggering flashbacks. Myrcella's support somewhat eases his torment, but it's a stopgap measure at best until he finds a more permanent solution. All of his deaths have left him with a permanent War Is Hell mentality and an absolute disdain for the War Is Glorious attitude most Westerosi lords seem to espouse.
    • Said solution was a second looper, Sansa, who being a patient partner who understands the pain Joffrey's going through, greatly helps to stabilizing Joff. However, she herself falls to this when she has to fight off Stannis' forces when they attack King's Landing, just after Melisandre's shadow demon kills Ned. The attack is repulsed, but the butcher's bill is so high Sansa's left a shivering wreck until Joff finishes off Stannis' rebellion and gets back to King's Landing to return the favor to Sansa.
  • In Coming Back, Broken, while Jim and Claire seem to have bounced back from the horrifying conditions they had endured in the Darklands, it is clear that the uninhabitable conditions and Gunmar's inhumane treatment has left them with a few scars beneath the skin.
  • Those That Carry On broke down Heero to this and Cima was arguably in this state from the very start of the Zeon War.
  • Shaggy The Handler turns Shaggy of Scooby Doo into one. Prior to finishing college, he spent a year in Vietnam as a dog handler. His experiences left him the nervous scaredy-cat we know of, though he still has some fighting ability when he's serious. Shaggy won't talk to his friends about his past and, after uncovering some of it, they decide not to bring up either.
  • In the Steven Universe fic No One Said Life Was Gonna Be Fair, Jasper is a veteran who has suffered from PTSD for over thirteen years now. It's taken a toll on her relationship with her wife Lapis and with her now-teenage daughter Mala. Jasper is especially traumatized after being involved in the death of her commanding officer Rosa "Rose" Diamond in 2000.
  • RWBY: Scars: Most hunters are some level of this as the job is inherently dangerous and gory. The initiation to Beacon Academy alone involves seeing a good chunk of your peers being mawled and eaten by Grimm.
  • Implied with Lt. Surge in Gym Leader Wiki. It's mentioned that, after his instances in the army, he's become a bit paranoid. This explains the electric traps in his gym (which have since been uninstalled because trainers couldn't solve the puzzle).
  • Invoked in A Prize For Three Empires by Captain America, who believes Carol Danvers is risking the same kind of burnout that his fellow soldiers suffered during the War.


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