Several recent examples of teen trauma fiction from North America and Australia depict teen protagonists enduring a range of symptoms as a consequence of trauma experienced earlier in their lives. Each protagonist is represented as experiencing his or her own individual trauma, but they share a similar range of symptoms, such as disturbed sleep patterns, a lack of control over their lives, shattered social relationships, indirection and, at times, a seemingly inexplicable inability to act. The past is represented as intruding on the present either in the form of "ghosts" and memories, or in the form of "memory traces." Total psychological recovery is presented as being impossible, although all four protagonists are in a better mental state at the close of each novel than they were at the beginning. The protagonist is assisted by someone outside the family, who guides them towards recovery and enables them to strengthen his or her sense of self.