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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

WW1 Shellshock


birchp
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I have a fair amount of firsthand experience with both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In WWI, "shell shock" was so called because medicine at the time thought that it was caused by the shock to the body from the blast and overpressure of artillery shells. This was discounted later and shell shock was renamed "combat fatigue" by WWII. By the end of WWI, armies had highly developed SOP's for dealing with or preventing psychological casualties.

Our experiences in Iraq have taught us a new term, TBI, brain damage caused by blast and overpressure from IED's (mostly 152mm or 155mm artillery shells). I have a theory that the old docs in the Great War had it partially right, and that shell shock was often TBI and not PTSD. TBI can be devastating, and I think that in combination with PTSD it could be completely overwhelming.

WW1 Shellshock

God forbid - those poor boys

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=497...h&plindex=0

Paul

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  • 7 months later...

This video is very disturbing. Thanks to another member of the board I also have some more rare footage (mostly of British soldiers) suffering from shellshock. Very difficult to watch.

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