PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood.

Burning and Learning


Feature 1

Yes this is a film about a man drinking coffee that may just be a little too hot but the genisis of the film comes from personal experience. Emotions include Fear Anger and Pain (physical and emotional)


Creator - Brian Higgins

Growing up in Northern Ireland, I found that I was thrust into political turmoil and the subsequent violence surrounding me. I was raised protestant during the so called "troubles" that plagued the country for many years. As I experienced the many difficulties of community persecution from personal relationships to professional opportunities and the odd bombing and shooting in my periphery or my direction, It became increasingly difficult for me to exist within the life that I wanted. So I moved to America at the first chance I got. But that is when the true consequences of the troubles raised it's head!! I got a nice big dose of POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. You see now that I was away from the trauma, my mind was now ready to run rife through it's new found freedom and do it's best to subconsciously sabotage me at every turn.

Of course as this new found friend of mine came knocking I didn't open the door rather than it kicked it in and took control of every aspect of my life. Luckily there were many programs and support groups that I could take advantage of in order to understand what was going on within and make some headway to recovery.

My film represents my first break though in learning to live with PTSD. See a lot of times, I can be oblivious to world around me and the many factors that are effecting my well being. Therefore seen and unseen damages can take hold even though there is maybe nothing malicious in their intent. It is mostly in my mind and how I choose to react to these moments. The coffee shop represents my childhood and the waitress represents the adverse issues surrounding it. Not being mindful of these surroundings and situations can and do cause emotional anguish. But If I take control of my situations then a better outcome is available.

Now life is a whole lot more manageable when I understand the options and connections.

With one foot in front of the other, I can keep moving forward and leave my past in the rear view mirror. PTSD is part of me and makes me who I am but does not control me anymore.


What is out there to help?

First thing to know is that you are not alone. There are many people around you that will offer a helping hand if you reach out. Below are a few organizations that can help get you on the road to recovery.

PTSD: National Center for PTSD. The National Center for PTSD is dedicated to research and education on trauma and PTSD. We work to assure that the latest research findings help those exposed to trauma.

Mental Health America. the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.

NAMI. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. 


  • Medications, including mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications and antidepressants.
  • Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy.
  • Self-management strategies, such as "self-soothing". Many therapy techniques, including mindfulness, are helpful to ground a person and bring her back to reality after a dissociative episode or a flashback.
  • Service animals, especially dogs, can help soothe some of the symptoms of PTSD.

Though PTSD cannot be cured, it can be treated effectively.