Shell Shock in 1915 becomes Combat Fatigue by World War II and PTSD in 1980

In World War I, PTSD—known as shell shock then—was such a problem that ‘forward psychiatry’ was begun by French doctors in 1915. Some British doctors tried general anesthesia as a treatment (ether and chloroform), while others preferred application of electricity.

Imagine suffering from PTSD and being strapped down to a table with electrodes attaches followed by jolts of electricity to shock you healthy.

In 1917, four British ‘forward psychiatric units’ were set up. Hospitals for shell-shocked soldiers were also established in Britain, including (for officers) Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh.

Patients diagnosed to have more serious psychiatric conditions were transferred to the Royal Edinburgh Asylum.

Near the end of 1918, the use of anesthetic and electrical treatments to treat shell shock was gradually replaced with modified Freudian psychodynamic intervention. The efficacy of ‘forward psychiatry’ was controversial.

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.

In 1922 the British War Office produced a report on shell shock with recommendations for prevention of war neurosis. However, when World War II broke out in 1939, this seems to have been ignored.

Then during World War II, the term ‘combat fatigue’ was introduced as breakdown rates became alarming, and the value of pre-selection was recognized.

At the Maudsley Hospital in London in 1940, barbiturate abreaction (an emotional release resulting from mentally reliving through the process of catharsis, a long-repressed, painful experience) was advocated for quick relief from severe anxiety and hysteria, using i.v. anesthetics: Somnifaine, paraldehyde, Sodium Amytal. ‘Pentothal narcosis’ and ‘narco-analysis’ were adopted by British and American military psychiatrists.

However, by 1945 medical thinking gradually settled on the same approaches that had seemed to be effective in 1918.

The term PTSD was introduced in 1980.

In the UK the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for management (2005) recommend trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and consideration of antidepressants. Source: Pub Med.gov

Discover The public image of PTSD and the Vietnam Veteran

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran, journalist and award winning author.

His second novel is the award winning love story and suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he didn’t do while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

Promo Image with Cover Awards

Where to Buy

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Advertisements

Stanford Study shows effect of PTSD trauma on brain

There is current evidence that PTSD causes damage to areas of the brain. An ongoing study at the University of Stanford in California shows this to be true. http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_14014471?source=most_emailed&nclick_check=1

The history of PTSD http://www.psychiatric-disorders.com/articles/ptsd/causes-and-history/index.php says that this disorder wasn’t recognized until 1980. Although this means we have recognized PTSD for about thirty years now, that doesn’t mean we have reached a total understanding of what causes it and how to deal with it. Scientists and doctors are still learning. Compare PTSD to some cancers that modern medicine has dealt with for much longer and they still have no cure–just better ways to identify the cancer early and deal with it.  The earlier the discovery, the better chance for recovery and to live a life considered normal. Current evidence about PTSD is saying the same thing. If you have symptoms of cancer and ignore it, the odds are it won’t vanish. The same thing goes for PTSD.

I have read about research for other illnesses that show the longer a physical or psychologically health related problem is “not” treated, the less chance there is to overcome the damage caused.

One thing I’ve learned while living with PTSD for more than forty years is that a healthy lifestyle without booze helps me handle the trauma better.  Before I stopped drinking and eating an unhealthy diet, my PTSD symptoms were worse than they are now.  I still sleep with weapons and I still wake up at every sound and have trouble sleeping.  If I get four hours of sleep in one stretch, that’s good.

Before I sleep, I always do an inside perimeter check to make sure the windows and doors are locked. When I’m out in public, I’m alert to everything around me as if I were going to be attacked at any moment. I still have an unpredictable temper to watch over and there are times it escapes. Double that or triple it before I stopped drinking. The worse thing to do is be in denial and “not” to talk or write about it.  The first step to dealing with PTSD is to admit it is there and stop visiting the liquor store.

Imagine what life was like for people with PTSD before 1980.  How did WWI, WWII, and Korean War veterans deal with PTSD when they came home?  I read recently that the average Vietnam veteran’s lifespan is in the fifty age bracket.  Why do you think that is so?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

What is PTSD?

Most combat veterans that have PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, do not talk about it.  Many are heavy drinkers attempting to drowned the disorder to keep the monster at bay. Booze and drugs do not work. They make the vampire worse. Get your life back. Support and understanding is out there.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder, or  PTSD (visit this source for more information)?

PTSD is an illness. You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a dangerous event, such as war, a hurricane, or bad accident. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the danger is over. It affects your life and the people around you.

If you have PTSD, you can get treatment and feel better.

Who gets PTSD?

PTSD can happen to anyone at any age. Children get PTSD too.

You don’t have to be physically hurt to get PTSD. You can get it after you see other people, such as a friend or family member, get hurt.

What causes PTSD?

Living through or seeing something that’s upsetting and dangerous can cause PTSD. This can include:

  • Being a victim of or seeing violence
  • The death or serious illness of a loved one
  • War or combat
  • Car accidents and plane crashes
  • Hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires
  • Violent crimes, like a robbery or shooting.

There are many other things that can cause PTSD. Talk to your doctor if you are troubled by something that happened to you or someone you care about.

Combat PTSD: What are the Symptoms?

http://ptsdcombat.blogspot.com/2006/03/combat-ptsd-what-are-symptoms.htmlIntrusiveRe-experiencing of the traumatic event(s)

  • Distressing recollections
  • Flashbacks (feeling as if you’re back in combat while awake)
  • Nightmares (frequent recurrent combat images while asleep)
  • Feeling anxious or fearful (as if you’re back in the combat zone again)

AvoidantDrawing inward or becoming emotionally numb

  • Extensive and active avoidance of activities, places, thoughts, feelings, memories, people, or conversations related to or that remind you of your combat experiences
  • Loss of interest
  • Feeling detached from others (finding it hard to have loving feelings or experiencing any strong emotions)
  • Feeling disconnected from the world around you and things that happen to you
  • Restricting your emotions
  • Trouble remembering important parts of what happened during the trauma
  • Shutting down (feeling emotionally and/or physically numb)
  • Things around you seem strange or unreal
  • Feeling strange and/or experiencing weird physical sensations
  • Not feeling pain or other sensations

Since returning from Vietnam in 1966, I couldn’t put a term to the symptoms I was experiencing. For fifteen years, I was a heavy drinker and never talked about what happened. The nightmares that are called flashbacks came at night and were vivid and real. There are many nights even now where I will wake and listen for warning sounds that danger is near. I’ll reach for the weapon I keep close to where I sleep to make sure it is still there.

Learn more from PTSD Vet Charged with Murder

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”