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
Treatments and therapies 2
Shell shock
Picture of swimming pool at Craiglockhart

The therapists in most of the shell shock treatment centres followed one of six treatments:

suggestion under hypnotism
suggestion without hypnotism
suggestion under anaesthetic (chloroform was administered for light anaesthesia and was only used on certain categories of patient such as the deaf mutes)
'other methods' (such as Yealland's 'faradization')
diagnosis without treatment

Hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, and massage were also used on occasion.
In war situations, soldiers are taught two things: to advance and attack or to retreat to safety. Often in WW1 neither was possible so the soldiers learned to repress both instinct and emotion, which contributed to their breakdowns. The 'repression' caused their nightmares, memory loss (amnesia), paralysis, stammers and tremors ('the shakes'). Night was the period that the soldiers feared most as the darkness brought back the memories of the sights and smells of the trenches and battlefields. The founding of the hospital journal, The Hydra, was an attempt to introduce a distraction during the long nights.

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Lewis Yealland