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Showcasing DEADLY SINS – WRATH: Unfinished Lessons

DEADLY SINS WRATH - Unfinished Lessons

Our Protagonist

Tony Aoun, a quiet and introspective individual, works as a doorman in New York City. Haunted by a difficult childhood, he grapples with unresolved trauma, mainly rooted in his time spent at a Catholic school. Tony often finds himself lost in memories, reflecting on unprocessed emotional pain and a strong feeling of alienation.

His mother holds a significant place in his heart, showcasing a strong familial bond that has provided both comfort and anxiety throughout his life. Tony’s interactions with others, including his best friend David, demonstrate his struggle with social connections, often feeling misunderstood or overlooked.

As an avid video game enthusiast, Tony turns to gaming as an escape from the challenges of his daily life. He is intelligent and observant, qualities that often lead him to overthink and ruminate on past injustices. Despite his reserved exterior, Tony harbors intense emotions, especially anger, which he struggles to manage and understand.

Throughout the story, Tony can be depicted as someone who is struggling with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Inspiration

Growing up, my time in Catholic school was marked by challenges. Like many, I faced the harsh realities of an education system where favoritism and emotional abuse were not uncommon. Not a lot of kids get to enjoy school as the next kid. Even whenever I did the homework, I wasn’t appreciated enough as much as the favorite. It got to a point that I just stopped doing homework, which lead to have detention almost twice a week.

I spoke with many of my old classmates and even friends I didn’t go to school with and asked for their experience in middle school. Countless stories of them getting picked on by specific teachers that even the parents didn’t understand or knew what to do. However, some parents took some of their students out and placed them in better schools, others could not afford to. Hearing these stories resonated with my own experiences, and they became a fundamental inspiration for the character of Tony Aoun.

These experiences left a lasting impression, shaping our views on authority and fairness in education.

Understanding the Disorders

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), PTSD is characterized by a range of symptoms that are grouped into four categories:

  • Intrusion Symptoms: Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories or dreams of the event; flashbacks; intense distress at cues resembling aspects of the trauma.
  • Avoidance: Efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or external reminders of the event.
  • Negative Changes in Cognition and Mood: Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma, negative beliefs, distorted cognitions, persistent negative emotional state, feelings of detachment.
  • Changes in Arousal and Reactivity: Irritability, reckless behavior, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, concentration problems, and sleep disturbance.

Tony’s intense and vivid memories of past traumas, especially related to his experiences in school with his abusive teacher and the discrimination he faced, suggest elements of PTSD. This might manifest in his heightened anxiety, flashbacks, and emotional distress.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD; Depression)

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), often simply referred to as depression, is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how a person feels, thinks, and acts.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), Major Depressive Disorder is characterized by the presence of the majority of these symptoms:

  • Depressed Mood: Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Diminished Interest or Pleasure: Noticeable loss of interest or pleasure in all or most daily activities.
  • Weight Changes or Appetite Disturbances: Significant weight loss or gain, or decrease or increase in appetite.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
  • Psychomotor Changes: Observable agitation or retardation.
  • Fatigue or Loss of Energy: Nearly every day.
  • Feelings of Worthlessness or Excessive Guilt: Disproportionate guilt or feelings of worthlessness.
  • Diminished Ability to Concentrate: Indecisiveness or trouble focusing.
  • Recurrent Thoughts of Death: Suicidal ideation, plans, or attempts.

Tony’s feelings of isolation, his pervasive sense of unhappiness, and his lack of interest in activities that once brought him joy (like playing video games) could indicate depression.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a mental health condition characterized by persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of everyday life.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by the following criteria:

  • Persistent Worry: Excessive anxiety and worry occurring more days than not for at least six months.
  • Difficulty Controlling Worry: A challenge in controlling the worry.
  • Associated Symptoms: Restlessness, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance.
  • Significant Distress or Impairment: The anxiety and worry lead to significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

The story implies Tony goes through significant anxiety, which is evident in situations such as his interaction on the plane and his overall demeanor when faced with social interactions or contemplating his actions.

Please refer to the links below for more information regarding these disorders:

What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

The invisible scars of emotional abuse: a common and highly harmful form of childhood maltreatment

What Is Depression?

Direct and indirect influences of childhood abuse on depression symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder

What are Anxiety Disorders?

The Unholy Trinity: Childhood Trauma, Adulthood Anxiety, and Long-Term Pain

Check out the first chapter of WRATH.

For more information about DEADLY SINS, click on the link here.