Go read this story about a plane crash survivor who researches memory and trauma

Wired has carried out an amazing piece on Margaret McKinnon, a researcher who survived a traumatic plane crash, then went on to change into a chief within the subject of memory and trauma. The article begins off with a harrowing recounting of the accident, however then goes on to elucidate her analysis round it, as she gathered different survivors from the crash to conduct a examine on how individuals keep in mind a catastrophe — one which she participated in.

And so it was that, in 2004, as a guinea pig in her personal analysis, McKinnon discovered herself mendacity face-up inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine, staring up at a mirror reflecting a projection of B-roll from Dateline NBC: A plane taking off from a runway. A map of the flight route. Clips from Chocolat interspersed between plane animations. McKinnon’s personal younger face flashed earlier than her eyes too—her barely-there make-up, blue eyes, and bob haircut.

The article will get into the mechanics of PTSD, a lot of which had been revealed partially because of McKinnon’s analysis. It’s a matter that always will get talked about (although arguably nonetheless not sufficient), however Wired goes in deep to elucidate the distinction between merely remembering and reliving. It additionally touches on the alternative ways individuals react to traumatic conditions, and among the underlying causes of these reactions — a part of what impressed McKinnon’s work was the very totally different reactions she and her husband had throughout and after the crash, which occurred simply a few weeks earlier than 9/11.

McKinnon is now turning her consideration to the pandemic and its influence on frontline healthcare employees, in hopes that she’s going to be capable of assist those that find yourself traumatized. The article just isn’t solely the story of a girl who, remarkably, turned a terrifying expertise into a approach to assist others, but it surely helps make clear an necessary psychological well being situation, that sadly could change into extra related because the long-term results of the pandemic begin to manifest. It’s definitely worth a read.

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