Shell shock and PTSD in WW I

Claire Burdick and Leo Gafinowitz

Effects of PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was a huge problem for soldiers in World War 1 during and after the war, primarily because it was not diagnosed until 1980. It causes stress and fear after a traumatic event and makes readjusting to civilian life after the war especially difficult. In some cases, it affects the soldiers for the rest of their lives and changes their lives entirely. One common symptom is replaying the events over and over in their head and having nightmares about what they went through. Another common symptom is feeling emotionally numb and avoiding things that remind them of the war. Soldiers also have trouble sleeping and become very angry. PTSD hurts soldiers in every war and has been a big problem for centuries.

Treatment of PTSD

In 1917, the diagnosis of shell shock was banned and censored from medical journals by the British army because the British could not afford the treatment were losing too many troops. On the front lines, the doctors would give the soldiers two days of rest and talk to them, then send them back to fight. If the soldier's case seemed especially bad, they were sent to a psychiatric center for further treatment.

Trench Warfare