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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-87

"Shell Shock": An Entity that Predated Combat-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Department of Psychiatry and NDDTC, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Sarkar
Department of Psychiatry and NDDTC, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.174603

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In the last century, numerous soldiers had been diagnosed with various post combat disorders. The terminology that has been utilized to describe such patients include combat fatigue, combat stress reaction, soldier's heart, effort syndrome, non-ulcer dyspepsia, effects of agent orange and gulf war syndrome. The initial description of such post combat disorder was probably 'shell shock' which came into vogue during the World War I. The soldiers, undergoing unyielding artillery bombardment, in the trenches suffered persistent symptoms of headache, behavioural changes and memory impairment, and was designated at the time as 'shell shock'. Myers and Mott, independently studied numerous soldiers to elucidate the features and aetiology of the entity. An attempt was made to restrict the usage of the term, but the psychological distress of the soldiers persisted to be addressed in some manner or the other, culminating in the genesis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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