MOANA: Returning the Heart of TeFiti- A Great Representation of PTSD and Recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder could completely change the being of a suffering person. The Walt Disney Moana was able to capture a very vivid picture of what PTSD does to a sufferer. It creates a monstrous being in the person that even he could not recognize himself anymore.


I was asked to review the film and as I watched Moana and Te Fiti meet in the middle of the divided sea- I cannot help but cry as the lyrics of the song pierces to the heart:

I have crossed the horizon to find you
I know your name
They have stolen the heart from inside you
But this does not define you
This is not who you are
You know who you are

…True, a person who goes through the symptoms of PTSD take a plunge into an abyss of nothingness and the thought of worthlessness. Anger and frustrations rage forth as a person tries to make sense of what is happening inside him. May the sufferer be a woman or a man, the impact is almost common- the confusion of emotions and the desire to survive the inner forces of pain and devaluation comes to haunt everyday.

As I saw this particular part of the film, I was compelled to look through the plot again and realized that the writers had so much more in mind that simply presenting a young girl reaching for her dreams- instead, it aims to show how a young one’s life could save someone who has been lost through the most chaotic turns in their lives. How a young individual’s dreams and vigor could help those who are already worn out by life’s struggles to regain their strength through inspiration and assistance.

As the song resounds “They have stolen the heart from inside you”….

In the story, Teka [or Te Fiti] started acting out when she lost her heart. The same thing happens to individuals diagnosed with PTSD. Some, going through more severe conditions, often find themselves experiencing the effects of dissociation or the feeling of living outside one’s self; that surreal sense of wanting to escape one’s own self. It may be confusing to those who might not know how it feels to lose one’s self to a devastating experience- but to those who have gone through traumatic experiences, they understand how it feels to be as empty and worthless, as if losing one’s own heart.

The look on Te Fiti’s face as she saw the green light coming from afar could be likened to the desire of a person who has lost himself to PTSD to simply return to what he was before. For a woman who was abused and was betrayed, simply wanting to feel safe again is a longing that seems to be such a source of dismay- that when it presents itself, it creates a sudden feeling of ‘believing in possibilities’ again- but it takes a real sincere person who would want to offer a hand to actually make that possibility real. In this movie, Moana’s pure heart and sincere desire to help was what made her exceptional and trustworthy in the eyes of Te Fiti.

The song’s lyrics saying: I have crossed the horizons to find you….I know your name

…. This is not who you are… You know who you are ….

It reminds me that PTSD tends to make a suffering person forget about who he is and be defined by the past that has crushed the soul and heart he once possessed. These lines reminds me that whatever happened in the past, going back to one’s own self is possible. That with proper care and proper understanding, helping a person who is suffering from PTSD could yield good results.


…. At times, it just takes someone to REALLY UNDERSTAND and REALLY CARE….


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer Pagalilauan says:

    I was able to watch the film too. And yes stress can bring disaster to us. Best to fight and control it. Thanks for sharing!


  2. someonebeverly says:

    “At times, it just takes someone to REALLY UNDERSTAND and REALLY CARE….”

    This is nice. Thanks!


  3. Joshua Calderon says:

    I am planning to watch the film and it makes me feel more exciting after I read your blog.


  4. Mikhaela Javier says:

    I plan to watch it too because of this blog! I’ve been hearing lots of great comments about Moana but never had the chance to try watching it yet.


  5. Ruth Serrano says:

    thank you so much for dropping by. 🙂 I hope that you’d enjoy the movie 🙂


  6. Moana is one of my favorite movies. It has so many levels (and the music is pretty great, too)!


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