A story about PTSD and dragons (written by AI).

I listened to an interview the other day with Sal Kahn, founder of Khan Academy.

He talked about how AI is changing education (for better and worse).

Specifically, he talked about how Khan Academy is using AI to teach people around the world.

I am terrified and excited. I am intrigued and overwhelmed. 

It made me wonder: can AI help educate the world about homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, trauma and traumatic brain injury?

I—obviously—don’t have it all worked out.

I was, though, able to get AI to write a story (in the fantasy genre) that teaches about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The story is below. 

It is not the best story I have ever read.

It is, though, probably better than anything I could have written.

If I’m being honest, I don’t know how I feel about that…

Have a great week!



The Chronicles of Eldoria: Lila and the Shadow’s Grasp

In the enchanted lands of Eldoria, where magic flowed like rivers and mythical creatures roamed freely, there existed battles that transcended the physical realm. Lila, a formidable warrior with raven-black hair cascading down her armored back and eyes as blue as the deepest oceans, was the realm’s pride. Her fame was not just for her combat prowess but for her victory over the dreaded Dragon of Desolation, a beast that had terrorized Eldoria for centuries.

However, while the dragon’s physical form lay defeated, its ethereal shadow clung to Lila’s soul, haunting her every waking moment. The dragon’s fiery roars, the acrid smell of burning villages, and the heart-wrenching cries of her comrades trapped in the inferno replayed in her mind, holding her captive in a relentless loop.

One fateful day, while traversing Eldoria’s grand market square, a sudden clang of swords from a nearby duel sent Lila spiraling into a vortex of panic. The vibrant stalls selling exotic potions and enchanted weapons blurred into a chaotic mess. The cheerful banter of traders became indistinguishable from the agonizing screams of that fateful day. To the realm’s inhabitants, it was a mere display of skill, but to Lila, the Dragon of Desolation was reborn.

Observing this was Elowen, a sage renowned for her mastery over the mind’s mysteries. With a gentle touch, she calmed Lila’s racing heart. “The dragon you vanquished in our world still wages war in yours,” she murmured. “Its shadow, a manifestation of PTSD, distorts your perception, magnifying conflicts and trapping you in past traumas.”

Lila, feeling vulnerable and exposed, whispered, “How do I free myself from this relentless grip?”

Elowen, with wisdom gleaming in her eyes, replied, “You must journey to the Cavern of Echoes and confront the Mirror of Memories. Only by facing and understanding your past can you hope to tame its shadow.”

With renewed determination, Lila embarked on her quest. The path was treacherous, designed to test her emotional and mental fortitude. The Forest of Fears was her first challenge, where trees whispered regrets and ghostly apparitions of her fallen comrades sought her attention, their accusatory fingers pointing at her, their mouths mouthing silent accusations.

Next, she traversed the Desert of Desolation, where the scorching sun and endless sands mirrored her feelings of hopelessness and isolation. Mirage-like visions of her past mistakes danced at the horizon, always just out of reach, reminding her of her perceived failures.

But the real trial awaited her in the Cavern of Echoes. The Mirror of Memories, a colossal, shimmering surface, captured the essence of one’s most traumatic experiences. As Lila approached, the mirror came alive, replaying her battle with the dragon in excruciating detail. The heat, the fear, the weight of responsibility – it was overwhelming.

Yet, amidst the chaos, Elowen’s teachings resonated: “Face it, understand it, tame it.” Instead of turning away, Lila stepped closer, immersing herself in the memory. She allowed herself to feel every emotion – the terror, the guilt, the sorrow. She spoke to the apparitions of her comrades, not with words of defense, but with heartfelt apologies and a plea for understanding.

As she confronted each emotion, the mirror’s reflection began to shift. The raging inferno transformed into a tranquil glade, the once fearsome dragon now a majestic creature, its scales glistening in the dappled sunlight.

Emerging from the cavern, Lila felt a weight lifted. The dragon’s shadow, though still present, no longer held her in its suffocating grasp. She had learned that PTSD, the Shadow of Trauma, was not an enemy to be defeated but a part of her to be understood and embraced.

Returning to Eldoria, Lila’s tale of inner battle and triumph resonated with many. She established sanctuaries where warriors could seek solace and healing, teaching them about PTSD’s grip on one’s perception of conflict and the path to inner peace.

Lila’s legacy in Eldoria was twofold: as the fearless dragon-slayer and as the beacon of hope for those ensnared by their past’s shadows. Her story became a testament to the realm, illustrating that the most profound battles were often those waged within and that victory lay in understanding and acceptance.


Stay in touch

Receive weekly tips from Ryan about how to work with homeless, addicted and mentally ill patrons.