Shell Shock

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 259
  • Published : May 19, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Skyler Allred
Mr. Harrison
U.S. Wars
Shell Shock

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD), went by a different name. It is more commonly known as “Shellshock.” PTSD is an anxiety disorder characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety, and/or insomnia that lingers for four weeks or more after traumatic experience (Myers, pp. 604-605). The term “Shellshock” was coined together by the British in 1914. At first shellshock was thought to be caused by soldiers being exposed to exploding shells. But doctors couldn’t find any physical damage to explain the symptoms. Medical staff started to realize that there were deeper causes. Doctors soon found that many men suffering the symptoms of shell shock without having even been in the front lines. Many soldiers found themselves re-living his experiences of combat long after the war had ended. Shell shock victims often couldn't eat or sleep, while others continued to suffer physical symptoms. Officers suffered some of the worst symptoms because they were called upon to repress their emotions to set an example for their men; due to this, war neurosis was four times higher among officers then among the regular soldiers (Shell Shock). The epidemic was completely unexpected and by 1915 there was a shortage of hospital beds for the 'wounded in mind'. Many county lunatic asylums, private mental institutions and disused spas were taken over and designated as hospitals for mental diseases and war neurosis. By 1918 there were over 20 such hospitals in the U.K. At first there was little sympathy for Shellshock victims. Shellshock was so obviously a retreat from the war that many military authorities refused to treat victims as disabled. Some even went so far as to say that they should be shot for malingering and cowardice. Others blamed it on a hereditary taint and careless recruiting procedures. A British General at the time said, “There can be no doubt that, other things being equal, the...
tracking img