Grey’s Anatomy is Making Me Cringe

After doing everything for everyone all week long, I have one thing for me and just me.  Grey’s Anatomy.  I put Rachel to bed, brew a cup of decaf, maybe even nibble on a little square of dark chocolate, and watch Grey’s Anatomy.  I love that show.  It’s my ultimate hour long escape from reality.  So imagine my disgust as I’m watching a couple weeks ago greys-anatomy-picto find the doctor/war veteran (Owen Hunt) trying to choke out his girlfriend (Cristina Yang) in his sleep!

My Reaction…
After picking my jaw up off of the floor, I could only say one thing. “Are you kidding me?”
Who’s brilliant idea was this? I can’t help but chuckle to myself when I think of the big TV executives who were probably all patting each other on the back about addressing PTSD as such an important issue on their show. I’ve never watched Grey’s Anatomy for it’s realism, but seriously guys, give me a break!
I really hope civilians don’t watch that and think that’s what really happens to veteran’s with PTSD.  I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s certainly not the norm.  Furthermore, I REALLY don’t want people to think that’s going to happen when my husband comes home. 

Dr. Owen Hunt played by Kevin McKidd

Dr. Owen Hunt played by Kevin McKidd

My thoughts…

A few days after this show aired, I attended a reintegration event for my husbands battalion.  This is basically an event where a bunch of people tell you that your soldier will be a veteran when he/she comes home and then educate you about all of the resources that will be available.  Soldiers are never lacking resources, this is for sure.  One thing in particular the military has been super sensitive to is PTSD.  In fact, we probably could have named the event “In Case Your Soldier has PTSD,” because it was talked about in such length.  The Vet Center had a representative at this event who spoke about how they help veterans, more specifically, how they help veterans cope with the change of being home.  One of the first things this man said was “When your soldier comes home, they will be different.  This doesn’t mean they have PTSD and this doesn’t mean they’re going to try to choke you like that dude on Grey’s Anatomy!”  The room erupted

Dr. Cristina Yang played by Sandra Oh
Dr. Cristina Yang played by Sandra Oh

with laughter as he said this, and I’m so glad it was addressed with such levity.

PTSD is a serious issue and an issue I feel should be treated with respect.  This is a real thing that real people are dealing with every day.  Is it fair to anyone that we make a mockery out of it on television?  I’m sure the “big wigs” aren’t intending to do this.  I’m sure they’re just clueless people in desperate need of a military consultant of some sort.  With that said, Grey’s Anatomy Exec’s, can we finally get real about this topic and approach it with a little more class?  And I don’t mean by having your doctor guy walk around with a list of things to say so he sounds normal, like “Take care now” (taken from the end of last weeks episode). I really want to like this character and you’re making it difficult. 

But then again…

Since I had decided to write about this, I’ve done alot of thinking about how this issue was represented.  It occurred to me that another one of my favorite shows, Army Wives, addressed PTSD in an over the top way also.  In this show, a soldier had paranoid delusions and ultimately ended up in the mental ward of the on-base hospital where he took hostages, and was killed during the hostage situation by MP’s.  How did this not tick me off?  I’m sure I rolled my eyes throughout the whole episode, but I wasn’t compelled to blog about it as I was with the Grey’s Anatomy episode.  Why is this?

Maybe it’s because Army Wives has more than just one war vet on the show.  You get the perspective of many soldiers on Army Wives, as opposed to one character’s perspective on Grey’s Anatomy.  I guess it upsets me that Grey’s gives you less of a chance to see an average soldier’s experience.  Army Wives also told more of the story about what led to the character’s break down.  Grey’s may be leading to this with Dr. Hunt, but obviously not fast enough for my taste.  Or could Grey’s have touched a nerve because it is more conceivable for someone to choke their girlfriend in their sleep rather than take hostages in a mental hospital?  This would mean that Grey’s is actually more realistic than I had originally thought.  Maybe it’s a little of everything.  So should I chill out and give Grey’s Anatomy more of a chance to prove itself?

So in conclusion…

I’m still not ok with the whole choking thing on the show.  After taking time to really explore the issue, however, I understand that the writers have to do something to make the show as captivating as possible.  So I’ll play fair and give Grey’s the chance it deserves to make more sense of the issue.  I can only hope that this issue will pass and we can move on with the hot and steamy relationships on the show.  You know, the smut and drama us viewers reallytune in for!  I love you, Grey’s Anatomy, but stop making me cringe during my weekly retreat!

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