Sassoon, Owen and Graves
The history of Craiglockhart
The War's effect on ordinary people
links to related sites
Acknowledgements, credit and contact
Pat Barker's trilogy
Music, prose and trench art
Shell shock, neurasthenia and war neurosis 2
Shell shock 3
Official British figures claim that 80 000 cases of shell shock passed through the various medical facilities during WW1 but many cases were covered up by sending psychiatric cases to ordinary hospitals and the true figure could be approximately 200 000 cases. German records recorded a figure of 613 047 cases of nervous disorders between 1913-1918.

'Neurasthenia' was a term used by an American neurologist called Charles Beard in 1869. He described
Shell Exploding

patients as neurasthenic when they were depressed and inert.'War neurosis' was described as nervous exhaustion through overwork and the Weir Mitchell Cure was applied - isolation, rest and a diet rich in milk-based foods. The term 'shell shock' was first used in the public domain by Charles Samuel Meyers, a Cambridge psychologist, in an article he wrote about the cases he had been treating. He felt uncomfortable about using the term because it did not describe the mental conditions that these men were suffering. Shell shock was literally the shock felt by a soldier near to an exploding shell and the feelings of having one's senses assaulted by the detonation flash, heat, displacement of the air and the ground tremors as the shell formed a crater in the earth.

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Treatments and therapies page 2