Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > War and Military History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

War and Military History War and Military History Forum - Warfare, Tactics, and Military Technology over the centuries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 8th, 2011, 09:50 AM   #1
Citizen
 
Joined: Jan 2011
From: Nijmegen, Netherlands
Posts: 4
Post Traumatic Stress disorder


Not really knowing anything about it, I wondered if anyone ever succesfully cured from this disorder?
And is this something as a result of modern warfare, or has it always been around but only discovered recently?
What is Post traumatic stress disorder actually?
PlasticLemons is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 8th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #2

Mohammed the Persian's Avatar
Persicus Maximus
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Bahrain
Posts: 9,972
Blog Entries: 15

From the name , I'm guessing it is Stress that forms after the period of trauma ? Especially those involving shooting, car chases (not sure why), muggings etc.. you get the general idea. Here's the Wiki link if you want an in depth look :

Post_traumatic_stress Post_traumatic_stress

P.S, If words are too complex, press the Simple English tab on the left
Mohammed the Persian is offline  
Old January 8th, 2011, 10:22 AM   #3
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Border of GA and AL
Posts: 7,890
Blog Entries: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticLemons View Post
Not really knowing anything about it, I wondered if anyone ever succesfully cured from this disorder?
And is this something as a result of modern warfare, or has it always been around but only discovered recently?
What is Post traumatic stress disorder actually?
I think PTSD's effects can only be suppressed not cured. There are stories of soldiers waking up screaming at night, even after decades since their last combat situation.

I'm sure that soldiers in Ancient Rome couldn't take all the killing they did. But instead of being sent to a mental facility, which Rome didn't have, they would most likely either desert or commit suicide.
Qymaen is offline  
Old January 8th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #4

Fire_Raven's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2010
From: Oregon
Posts: 2,025

Post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)
Posttraumatic_stress_disorder Posttraumatic_stress_disorder
wiki does a better job explaining such a complex subject then I ever would.
PTSD has been known by other names over time such as shell shock and combat fatigue.
As for being cured there are medications and therapy that might provide some help but I don't know if you can ever consider someone 100% cured since there is no way to measure if it is really "gone". They can always relapse due to some outside stimuli bringing it all back.
I have a lot of sympathy for those suffering from this having dealt with the shorter version (acute stress reaction) after assisting with a particularly nasty car wreck several yrs ago.
.
Fire_Raven is online now  
Old January 8th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #5

Pirate of the Caribbean's Avatar
Archivist
 
Joined: Dec 2010
From: Virginia, United States
Posts: 206

PTSD, being discovered in recent times has been around much longer than it's been known about.
Pirate of the Caribbean is offline  
Old January 8th, 2011, 10:36 AM   #6

OpanaPointer's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Dec 2010
From: Near St. Louis.
Posts: 6,874

PTSD is not exclusive to combat. Accident victims, people who have been raped, and similar things, can get PTSD.

I worked at a half-way house for incarcerated veterans in L.A. and about half of them could be diagnosed as suffering from PTSD. You can learn to deal with it to the point where it doesn't impact day-to-day living, I did.
OpanaPointer is online now  
Old January 8th, 2011, 10:44 AM   #7
Member Chose To Move On
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,607

I posted this previously regarding this topic....

This condition is a devil. I know one person who single-handedly saved over 100 military dependents from a burning high rise in NYC when he was 18 years old. He learned that there were 2 small unattended children in danger, he ran in. The building was comprised of many levels and he found and lead the residents from one level and ran back in to the next level. He was decorated, promoted and received an offer to go to Officer Candidate School.

However, he almost died, the experience changed him forever. When he finally learned he did indeed have PTSD he began therapy and other means of treatment. After a long road he finally grasped the what it was that has haunted him, followed him, beckoned him to that "dark place" where PTSD took him.

Today he lives life as he see fit, better for having PTSD and even better for seeking treatment.
Quote:
Three thousand years ago, an Egyptian combat veteran named Hori wrote about the feelings he experienced before going into battle: “You determine to go forward. . . . Shuddering seizes you, the hair on your head stands on end, your soul lies in your hand.”

History tells us that among the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, men broke and ran in combat circumstances—in other words, the soldiers of antiquity were no less afraid of dying.

For instance, the Greek historian Herodotus, in writing of the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., cites an Athenian warrior who went permanently blind when the soldier standing next to him was killed, although the blinded soldier “was wounded in no part of his body.” So, too, blindness, deafness, and paralysis, among other conditions, are common forms of “conversion reactions” experienced and well-documented among soldiers today.
Herodotus also writes of the Spartan commander Leonidas, who, at the battle of Thermopylae Pass in 480 B.C., dismissed his men from joining the combat because he clearly recognized they were psychologically spent from previous battles. “They had no heart for the fight and were unwilling to take their share of the danger.” (Herodotus tells of another Spartan named Aristodemus who was so shaken by battle he was nicknamed “the Trembler”—he later hanged him- self in shame.)

One thousand years later, things had changed very little at the front. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle recounts a battle in 1003 A.D. between the English and the Danes in which the English commander Alfred reportedly became so violently ill that he began to vomit and was not able to lead his men.
We also know PTSD doesn’t confine itself strictly to the war experience. Samuel Pepys was an Englishman who lived in London during the 1600s. His surviving diary provides an excellent record of the development of PTSD. In writing of the Great Fire of London in 1666, Pepys recounts people’s terror and frustration at being unable to protect their property or stop the fire. Pepys writes: “A most horrid, malicious, blood fire. . . . So great was our fear. . . . It was enough to put us out of our wits.”

Although his own home was untouched, Pepys was unable to sleep for days after the fire. He scrawls: “Both sleeping and waking, and such fear of fire in my heart, that I took little rest.” Two weeks later, Pepys writes: “[M]uch terrified in the nights nowadays, with dreams of fire and falling down of houses.”’ The diary reports general feelings of anger and discontent over the next four months. Pepys then records that news of a chimney fire some distance away “put me into much fear and trouble.”

It appears Swiss military physicians in 1678 were among the first to identify and name that constellation of behaviors that make up acute combat reaction or PTSD. “Nostalgia” was the term they used to define a condition characterized by melancholy, incessant thinking of home, disturbed sleep or insomnia, weakness, loss of appetite, anxiety, cardiac palpitations, stupor, and fever.

German doctors diagnosed the problem among their troops at about the same time as the Swiss. They referred to the condition as heimweh (homesickness). Obviously, it was strongly believed the symptoms came about from the soldiers longing to return home.

In time, French doctors termed the same symptoms maladie du pays, and the Spanish, confronted with the same reactions among their soldiers, called it estar roto (literally, “to be broken”).

During the siege of Gibraltar in 1727, a soldier who was part of the defense of the city kept a diary. In it, there is mention of incidents in which soldiers killed or wounded themselves. He also describes a state of extreme physical fatigue which had caused soldiers to lose their ability to understand or process even the simplest instructions. In this state, the soldiers would refuse to eat, drink, work, or fight in defense of the city, even though they would be repeatedly whipped for not doing so.

The French surgeon Larrey described the disorder—what we now call PTSD—as having three dif ferent stages. The first is heightened excitement and imagination; the second is a period of fever and prominent gastrointestinal symptoms; the final stage is one of frustration and depression.
http://www.vva.org/archive/TheVetera...istoryPTSD.htm
Carlisle Blues is offline  
Old January 8th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #8

Sargon of Akkad's Avatar
Backworldsman
 
Joined: Jun 2009
From: Glorious England
Posts: 6,985

Very interesting, Carlisle Blues, but I am not sure that some of these examples from antiquity are valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlisle Blues View Post
Three thousand years ago, an Egyptian combat veteran named Hori wrote about the feelings he experienced before going into battle: “You determine to go forward. . . . Shuddering seizes you, the hair on your head stands on end, your soul lies in your hand.”
This isn't really a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder, this is just how he feels when he's about to do something very scary. I've felt like this before, and I've never been in a battle. It doesn't mean he can't sleep for weeks afterwards, or anything like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlisle Blues View Post
History tells us that among the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, men broke and ran in combat circumstances—in other words, the soldiers of antiquity were no less afraid of dying.
Of course, but this again is not a symptom of PTSD, its just the effect of losing a battle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlisle Blues View Post
Herodotus also writes of the Spartan commander Leonidas, who, at the battle of Thermopylae Pass in 480 B.C., dismissed his men from joining the combat because he clearly recognized they were psychologically spent from previous battles. “They had no heart for the fight and were unwilling to take their share of the danger.”
Again, this does not mean they are suffering from PTSD, but seems to me more because they recognised a suicide mission for what it was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlisle Blues View Post
(Herodotus tells of another Spartan named Aristodemus who was so shaken by battle he was nicknamed “the Trembler”—he later hanged him- self in shame.)
This above fact is not correct. Pantites is the man who hanged himself in shame because he was on an embassy to Thessaly and did not arrive back in time for the battle.

Aristodemus was called 'the trembler' in mockery, because he did not return to Thermopylae when Eurytus, another Spartan he was travelling with, did. He is noted in the Battle of Plataea as having fought valiantly, recklessly, and not in the fashion of a Spartan soldier, hence he was redeemed but not exalted.

I am personally of the opinion that ancient warfare would have caused less cases of PTSD than modern warfare, not that it wouldn't have occurred at all, of course.

In modern warfare, it is far too hard to see how one's personal actions can keep one safe. People blowing up randomly around you would doubtless give a terrible feeling of helplessness, whereas seeing your comrade killed because a man swung his weapon at another, or raise one's shield to block arrows falling from the sky is not something that is utterly outside of one's personal power to deal with.

Combine this with relatively low casualties, and an overwhelmingly-militaristic and glory-driven world the ancient world was, and I think it is more of a recent phenomenon, with regard to war.
Sargon of Akkad is offline  
Old January 8th, 2011, 01:13 PM   #9
Member Chose To Move On
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,607

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sargon of Akkad View Post
Very interesting, Carlisle Blues, but I am not sure that some of these examples from antiquity are valid.

I am personally of the opinion that ancient warfare would have caused less cases of PTSD than modern warfare, not that it wouldn't have occurred at all, of course.

In modern warfare, it is far too hard to see how one's personal actions can keep one safe. People blowing up randomly around you would doubtless give a terrible feeling of helplessness, whereas seeing your comrade killed because a man swung his weapon at another, or raise one's shield to block arrows falling from the sky is not something that is utterly outside of one's personal power to deal with.

Combine this with relatively low casualties, and an overwhelmingly-militaristic and glory-driven world the ancient world was, and I think it is more of a recent phenomenon, with regard to war.
While I respect your opinion, without more it is just that an opinion. Kindly provide references. I hardly agree that PTSD is a modern phenomena.The article I cited, in context, is accurate when describing various characteristics which can be attributed to PTSD.

The following establishes the criteria for PTSD. PTSD is not just derived solely from battle.
Quote:
DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD In 2000, the American Psychiatric Association revised the PTSD diagnostic criteria in the fourth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)(1). The diagnostic criteria (A-F) are specified below.
Diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a history of exposure to a traumatic event meeting two criteria and symptoms from each of three symptom clusters: intrusive recollections, avoidant/numbing symptoms, and hyper-arousal symptoms. A fifth criterion concerns duration of symptoms and a sixth assesses functioning.
Criterion A: stressor

The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following have been present:
  1. The person has experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.
  2. The person's response involved intense fear,helplessness, or horror. Note: in children, it may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.
Criterion B: intrusive recollection

The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in at least one of the following ways:
  1. Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: in young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of the trauma are expressed.
  2. Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: in children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content
  3. Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes,including those that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated). Note: in children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.
  4. Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
  5. Physiologic reactivity upon exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
Criterion C: avoidant/numbing

Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by at least three of the following:
  1. Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
  2. Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
  3. Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
  4. Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
  5. Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
  6. Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
  7. Sense of foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)
Criterion D: hyper-arousal

Persistent symptoms of increasing arousal (not present before the trauma), indicated by at least two of the following:
  1. Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  2. Irritability or outbursts of anger
  3. Difficulty concentrating
  4. Hyper-vigilance
  5. Exaggerated startle response
Criterion E: duration

Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in B, C, and D) is more than one month.
Criterion F: functional significance

The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Specify if:

Acute: if duration of symptoms is less than three months
Chronic: if duration of symptoms is three months or more
Specify if:

With or Without delay onset: Onset of symptoms at least six months after the stressor
References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Revised 4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD - National Center for PTSD

Further, the factual discrepancy you cite is a direct quote from the source I cited. "Herodotus also writes of the Spartan commander Leonidas, who, at the battle of Thermopylae Pass in 480 B.C., dismissed his men from joining the combat because he clearly recognized they were psychologically spent from previous battles. “They had no heart for the fight and were unwilling to take their share of the danger.” (Herodotus tells of another Spartan named Aristodemus who was so shaken by battle he was nicknamed “the Trembler”—he later hanged him- self in shame.)" You can correct him by contacting him here theveteran@vva.org
Carlisle Blues is offline  
Old January 8th, 2011, 03:00 PM   #10

irishcrusader95's Avatar
None shall pass!
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: Ireland
Posts: 6,729
Blog Entries: 4

it often an effect from a soldier spending too much time in combat or witnessing a particular gruesome event. a lot of soldiers after returning from a war have trouble adjusting to normal civilian life, they become distant and don't talk much to friends or family. after so much time being on the alert, dodging bullets, holding dieing friends as they bleed out ad seeing just so much death and destruction how can they even be expected to then carry on when they get home as if it didnt happen. its effects can be insomnia, sudden bursts of rage, blackouts and sudden flashbacks. so far there really is no way to cure it but you can suppress it. therapy classes and memory suppression drugs can help yet some do opt for the quicker cure of a bullet to the head, iv heard that that after the vietnam war suicides among veterans has almost reached the number of those killed in combat.

i saw a very good episode of the show Criminal minds lately in which the BAU are called in to help catch a serial killer who seems to be killing random people by cracking their necks in a CQC maneuver. as it turns out the killer is a combat veteran who one day after hearing an explosion at a construction site suddenly has a flashback and genuinely thinks he is back in the war. he's recreating an event in his past were he and a friend were trapped behind enemy lines in which one night he killed a guy by cracking his neck as he is doing now. this whole thing is an extreme case but it wouldn't surprise me to find real cases like this
irishcrusader95 is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > War and Military History

Tags
disorder, post, stress, traumatic


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.