Shell Shock

World War 1

The term shell shock was invented in 1917 by a British war doctor by the name of Charles Myers

How was it caused?

In the beginning it was believed that shell shock was caused by exposure to exploding shells. Eventually staff that had worked with the victims began to realize that many of those who suffered from shell shock had never been in the front lines. No physical evidence was every found to support where these symptoms were coming from and many doctors began to believe that it was caused by mental occurrences not physical.



o 80% of shell shock victims were never able to return back to the military duty

o Officers were four times more likely to suffer from shell shock than regular soldiers

o By 1916, more than 40% of casualties in the war thus far was from victims of shell shock

o 306 soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth were executed for cowardice during World War 1 due to the fact that since they suffered from shell shock they were scared to go back into battle


During World War 1 alone it was found that over 80,000 soldiers showed symptoms of shell shock

Peer Opinions

You need to add POW -Maggie Daniels

This shows how truly terrible the wars were. If someone is having this severe of problems while not even being in the front lines that is SCARY! -Lauren Hustead

It truly frightens me to think about how many lives were ruined without any true evidence of why. All that is given is a name. -Rachel Bagg