The American Nightmare and the Art of Failure: Life with PTSD

Book Cover



Matthew Altobelli

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Take a journey down a path of heartache as a former staff sergeant seeks to find his place in the civilian world while battling demons from the past. Every time Matthew Altobelli tried to picture his life after high school, he couldn’t see anything. But a conversation with his guidance counselor in January 2006 gave him clarity: He would join the Air Force. But after returning home from Afghanistan, he found himself battling a host of physical issues as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He began to look forward to hospital stays when he’d be numbed by drugs. Under the influence, he could escape his mental demons or the physical world. While many veterans suffer from PTSD and its related symptoms, it can affect anyone who has suffered trauma. Drawing on his personal experiences, the author explains what it means and how he’s fought it.


Action, Biographical, Drama, Memoir, War,

Short Summary

The story begins in Afghanistan, the night Matthew experienced the event that would lead to his PTSD. It highlights the rest of his enlistment, and the struggles he faced when getting back to the states. Civilian life would prove to be his most difficult challenge post diagnosis.

The story ends in recovery. The steps to recover and a message of hope for those who suffer. With the help of professional therapy at the vet center and the correct medication Matthew has been able to go back to school for Psychology where he thrives.


Afghanistan, Arizona, Texas, New York

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise


Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message, Happy Ending

Mature Audience Themes

Language/Profanity, Extreme Violence, Substance Abuse

Main Character Details

Name: Matthew Altobelli

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive, Charming, Crazy, Empathetic, Insecure, Leader, Narcissistic, Patriotic, Skillful, Educated, Manipulative, Masculine

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

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Development Pitch

About The Author

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: iUniverse

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available



Information not completed