Posttraumatic psychiatric symptoms in military personnel fighting in WWII were reported as early as by the American psychiatrists Grinker and Spiegel. Other chronic consequences of combat included passive-dependent states, psychosomatic states, guilt and depression, aggressive and hostile reactions, and psychotic-like states.
Long-lasting psychological disorders were not tolerated in the German military during WWII, and official doctrine held that it was more important to eliminate weak or degenerate elements rather than allow them to poison the national community.
American War Literature to Vietnam - Jeffrey Walsh - Google книги
Interviews we conducted with Alsatian veterans who had been forcibly drafted into the Wehrmacht taught us that soldiers who had suffered acute combat stress such as being buried under a bunker hit by a bomb were given some form of psychological assistance soon after rescue; they were typically sent to a forward area first aid station Verbandsplatz where they received milk and chocolate and were allowed to rest.
The Soviet army evolved its own system of forward treatment, under the responsibility of the unit's political ie, morale officer. The literature on Holocaust and concentration camp survivors is too abundant to be summarized here. The best known of all the early works studying concentration camp survivors is probably the article published by Eitinger.
For instance, in , we studied 27 a group of French civilians living in the AlsaceLorraine region who were conscripted into the German army and later held in captivity in Russia. This population of Alsace-Lorraine was interesting because it was bilingual, French and German, and had cultural roots in both heritages. We believe that an aggravating factor was the fact that these individuals returned home uncelebrated, embittered, psychologically isolated, and that they were caught in a web of psychological ambiguity.
They had fought in the German army against their will and under the threat of their families being deported, and were considered unreliable by the Germans. They were surprised to be treated as German soldiers upon their capture by the Soviet army. They were repatriated to a new post-war social environment in a French society that was itself plagued by the guilt of its early surrender to the Nazis, and they felt misunderstood by some of their countrymen who criticized their incorporation into the German military as a form of treason.
During the Vietnam war, the principles of treating psychiatric casualties in the forward area were successfully applied, with a correspondingly low level of acute psychiatric casualties In contrast, the incidence of alcoholism and drug abuse was high. Similarly, the late and delayed effects of combat exposure in the form of PTSD were a significant source of suffering and disability among veterans in the United States. An estimated Vietnam veterans - almost a quarter of all soldiers sent to Vietnam from to - required some form of psychological help.
The prevalence of delayed and chronic PTSD, in spite of the careful prevention of psychiatric casualties in Vietnam itself, was a rude awakening. There is currently a measure of consensus on the diagnosis and phenomenological description of PTSD, which is recognized as a specific syndrome in individuals who have experienced a major traumatic event. Most modem textbooks concur in describing this syndrome as comprising three groups of symptoms: i the recurrent and distressing reexperiencing of the event in dreams, thoughts, or flashbacks; ii emotional numbing and avoidance of stimuli reminiscent of the trauma; iii and a permanent state of increased arousal.
The first symptoms of PTSD are often delayed and they are separated from the trauma by a latency period; however, once installed, the disorder tends to follow a chronic course and the symptoms do not abate with time. DSM-IV 30 has the merit of clearly distinguishing PTSD, a chronic syndrome, from acute stress disorder, which is short-lived and appears soon after the trauma. We tend to abusively interpret the literature of previous decades as if today's diagnostic categories had always existed.
However, a clear distinction between acute stress disorder and chronic PTSD is usually lacking in previous works. Also, there was little attempt to predict the risk of developing PTSD. Providing the trauma is severe enough, most individuals will go on to develop PTSD. However, one puzzling question is that many survivors seemingly do not develop symptoms even after a severe stressor. Jhe practice of forward treatment aiming to prevent the development of chronic disorders may have inspired today's psychological debriefing of disaster victims.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Dialogues Clin Neurosci v. Dialogues Clin Neurosci.
Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract The term posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD has become a household name since its first appearance in in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-lll published by the American Psychiatric Association, In the collective mind, this diagnosis is associated with the legacy of the Vietnam War disaster.
Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder , shell shock: psychotraumatology , literature , history of medicine. Epics and classics Mankind's earliest literature tells us that a significant proportion of military casualties are psychological, and that witnessing death can leave chronic psychological symptoms. As we are reminded in Deuteronomy , military leaders have long been aware that many soldiers must be removed from the frontline because of nervous breakdown, which is often contagious: When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou King Jame's Version Mankind's first major epic, the tale of Gilgamesh, gives us explicit descriptions of both love and posttraumatic symptoms, suggesting that the latter are also part of human fundamental experience.
George Rawlinson : A strange prodigy likewise happened at this fight. William Ellery Leonard : The minds of mortals The fact that soldiers are awakened by frightening dreams in which they rcexperience past battles is a common theme in classical literature, as, for instance, Mercutio's account of Queen Mab in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet I, iv : Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck.
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats. Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes, And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two, And sleeps again. The dawn of modern psychiatry The psychiatrist Pinel is often depicted as freeing the insane from their chains; in his treatise entitled Nosographie Philosophique , he described the case of the philosopher Pascal who almost drowned in the Seine when the horses drawing his carriage bolted. Forward treatment Indeed, the experience of the first war months and the unexpected large influx of psychiatric casualties led to a change in treatment approaches.
Concussion, fright, or malingering? Emil Kraepelin , without doubt one of the most influential psychiatrists of our times, wrote about his experience with war neuroses during WWI in his autobiography, published posthumously in German in 15 : [As early as ], the question of war neuroses was raised. Despite WWI, most armies were once again unprepared for the great number of psychiatric casualties and psychiatrists were often viewed as a useless burden, as exemplified by a memorandum addressed by Winston Churchill to the Lord President of the Council in December, , in the following terms I am sure it would be sensible to restrict as much as possible the work of these gentlemen [psychologists and psychiatrists] A merican psychiatry American psychiatrists made a major contribution to the study of combat psychiatry during WWII.
European studies Long-lasting psychological disorders were not tolerated in the German military during WWII, and official doctrine held that it was more important to eliminate weak or degenerate elements rather than allow them to poison the national community. The Vietnam war During the Vietnam war, the principles of treating psychiatric casualties in the forward area were successfully applied, with a correspondingly low level of acute psychiatric casualties Retrospect There is currently a measure of consensus on the diagnosis and phenomenological description of PTSD, which is recognized as a specific syndrome in individuals who have experienced a major traumatic event.
Goethe JW. Hamburger Ausgabe. Oppenheim H.
Die Traumatischen Neurosen. Berlin, Germany: Hirschwald. Crocq L. Les Traumatisines Psychiques de Guerre. Paris, France: Odile Jacob. Crocq J. Brussels, Belgium: H.
Bibliography on World War I and Literature
Ellis PS. The origins of the war neuroses. Part I. J R Nav Med Serv. Milian G. L'hypnose des batailles. Paris Med. Ulrich B.
Frontalltag im Ersten Weltkrieg. Wahn und Wirklichkeit. Frankfurt, Germany: Fischer.
Merskey H. Post-traumatic stress disorder and shell shock - clinical section. Studies are forthcoming on World War I and American literature from a number of younger English professors, who, like the small cohort in social-military history who have done groundbreaking work, did not personally experience the ordeal of the Vietnam era. Perhaps the other major change that we might ask of literary criticism for the twenty-first century is that it have more interchange with other fields, such as history: that it become more truly interdisciplinary.
We will only use your personal information to register you for OUPblog articles. Or subscribe to articles in the subject area by email or RSS. Gandal is a […]. But if you are writing about subjects such as war, surely you have a duty to speak clearly. I am a research scholar from India. Jason, Philip K. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, Lomperis, Timothy J. Newman, John, with Hilfinger, Ann.
Literature at War - A Comparison of American War Literature of WW II and the Vietnam War
Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, Schroeder, Eric James. Westport, CT: Praeger, Searle, William J. Taylor, Mark. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, Walsh, Jeffrey. American War Literature to Vietnam. New York : St. Martin's, Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.
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