Period 1 U.S. History
5 December 2016
PTSD in the Civil War PTSD is the acronym for post traumatic stress syndrome which is a mental illness that most commonly found in war veterans or generally those who experience a traumatic event. PTSD causes anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks of the traumatic event the person experienced, and it can leave lasting emotional trauma on victims. The Civil War lasted five years from 1861 to 1865, over 600,000 soldiers died, and those soldiers who survived were left with the horrors of the war they had just experienced. By examining the lack of mental health research, accounts of PTSD in the Civil War, and the brutal images of war veterans witnessed, it is clear that PTSD was not recognized as an actual illness when it undoubtedly should have been. The primary and most important reason being is the lack of mental health research, which is the first point to analysis. …show more content…
Those who had mental illnesses were placed in institutions that were essentially like jails, and those patients were mistreated heavily, confined in small spaces, and were receiving harsh methods of treatment. The first account of the term PTSD being used is in 1980; one hundred and fifteen years after the Civil War. The Civil War was essentially the reason that mental health- especially in soldiers coming home from war- was finally being researched. Until PTSD was given its name in 1980, it was called shell shock- referring to the reaction to the explosion of artillery shells-, war neuroses, combat stress reaction, and battle fatigue ("History of Mental Health"). Overall, mental health was not thoroughly researched until post Civil War when soldiers that came home showed -what will be known as PTSD-
An example of a women dealing with PTSD is shown in the story The Train, by Mariette Kalinowski. “At times, when she was consumed by the tightness of Iraq and barely conscious on the train, she wondered if what she was feeling was ever her own, as though she were living someone else’s memories, transforming into another person.” (63) The protagonist is trying to recall what happened during her deployment. She recalls parts of what happened in Iraq but not all.
A very well remembered time of warfare was during the battle of Gettysburg leaving casualties of 7,058 fatalities and 33,264 wounded. The Confederacy lead by Robert E. Lee and the Union carried by George Meade even saw some of their best soldiers get injured. In the book the Killer Angels by Michael Sharra, the civil war would go on to diminish the mental and/or physical health of many men along with minimal health care, such as Dick Garnett with an injured foot, Lew Armistead who was shot and killed, and a boy suffering from a gunshot through the cheek. To begin with, on
Time and Scene: A Southern plantation house, at night. It is April of 1865 and news of General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox has spread throughout the South. Brothers Earl and Paul, fighting on opposite sides of the war, have both died in a recent battle. Union General Creon has requisitioned the plantation as his command post and has declared martial law. Enter Annie through the plantation door, who walks to a small fountain at the center of the stage.
With over 620,000 deaths, the American Civil War was definitely one of the bloodiest wars in history. The battles between the Union and the Confederate troops raged on from 1861 to 1865 and ruined the lives and families of countless people. There were prison camps that tormented their prisoners, animals that were used until death, and diseases that ran rampant throughout the soldiers’ barracks. An average of 504 people died every day due to battle, which is actually a record (Civil War by the Numbers). Countless problems were faced by almost everyone that was a part of the battles, and by those who were only affected in second-hand ways.
PTSD Affecting Soldiers He stood there, frozen, shocked, not knowing what to do when he saw a gun pointed at him. Thankfully, the trigger didn’t work, but he had to witness a scarring event, in which he had shot his enemy in the head. It is not surprising that soldiers returning from a stressful war often suffer from a psychological condition called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. For instance, in the book Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, the principle character Perry unmistakably demonstrates how war troopers can be damaged and experience the ill effects of PTSD.
In Soldier from the War Returning, Thomas Childers writes that “a curious silence lingers over what for many was the last great battle of the war.” This final battle was the soldier’s return home. After World War II, veterans came back to the United States and struggled with stigmatized mental illnesses as well as financial and social issues. During the war, many soldiers struggled with mental health issues that persisted after they came home.
Imagine seeing a friend get shot but not being able to do anything to help because if one would help they’d be the next to go. This is what was happening in the American Civil War from 1861-1865. Many soldiers came back and very different, some in good ways but many in bad ways. During the Civil War, soldiers experienced horrific and terrifying things often causing severe psychological trauma; as a result of this trauma, men often suffered mistreatment and went wrongly diagnosed until Jacob DaCosta discovered and researched what we now call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
What is Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder and why should we learn more about it? Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) is a brain disorder that is caused by stress and some sort of trauma. This disorder can be influenced by life occurrences such as being in a war, abuse, assault, natural and unnatural disasters, military combat, and even accidents. PTSD affects the lives of 8 million people worldwide, including children!
PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when a person has been through either emotional or physical trauma. Veterans often times develop PTSD due to the physical and emotional trauma that comes along with being in a war. Symptoms of this disorder can include; “depression, worry, intense guilt and feeling emotionally numb. People with PTSD also display impulsive or self-destructive behavior and changed beliefs or changed personality traits” (WebMD). Lastly, AboutHealth.com states that people with PTSD are also very likely to partake in substance abuse in order to numb out their internal turmoil.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in The Things They Carried During the turbulent times of the Vietnam War, thousands of young men entered the warzone and came face-to-face with unimaginable scenes of death, destruction, and turmoil. While some perished in the dense Asian jungles, others returned to American soil and were forced to confront their lingering combat trauma. Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried provides distinct instances of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and reveals the psychological trauma felt by soldiers in the Vietnam War. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD for short, is the most common mental illness affecting soldiers both on and off the battlefield.
In the United States, serving in the military is seen as a model of true patriotism, and rightfully so. Service members train for 10 weeks in their transition from civilian to a soldier. They train to be able to endure all the hardships that may come their way. Service members have to be in the best physical shape to serve and because of all that they do, they are thought of as brave and selfless people. Service members make extreme sacrifices to defend our country and act selflessly by doing so; it is fitting that they are seen as heroes by many Americans.
Supporters argue that there are ample programs to support our military, while opponents disagree. Mental health disorders are a byproduct of war, they both agree to this. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress, anxiety, and depression are all mental health disorders soldiers can suffer from. Tens of thousands of soldiers are diagnosed with one of these conditions, but many never come forward or seek help. Many soldiers are afraid of the stigma associated with being diagnosed with a mental illness; they do not want to be perceived as being weak physical or mentally.
PTSD is an illness that cannot be easily healed. The symptoms include: Nightmares, flashbacks, triggers, hard time sleeping, difficulty concentrating, you could also be easily startled. There are many situations that you would make you angry, or upset. If you were close to death in a Vietcong dug hole, you may hate being in small places, avoiding them at all costs becoming claustrophobic. This disorder often times does not end up being healed and is something you have to deal with for the rest of your
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, is a mental disorder that most often develops after a veteran experiences a traumatic event. While having this illness, the veteran believes their lives are in danger. They also may feel afraid or feel they have no control over what is happening. If their feeling does not go away, the symptoms may disrupt the person 's life, making it hard to continue daily activities.
Accompanying these weapons was the first emphasis on war trauma-related mental illness, with soldiers returning from battle with PTSD, misnomered and misunderstood as ‘shell-shock’. Rates of PTSD climbed steadily after World War II and the Vietnam War as weaponry became more and more advanced, reaching 12% of soldiers who saw direct combat in the Gulf War being diagnosed with PTSD afterwards (cite). Clearly, there is a strong connection between advanced weaponry and mental illness in soldiers, proving that violent weaponry negatively affects those who are forced to encounter