History of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

History, Medication, Statistics of PTSD

History of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is complicated and we are truly still discovering and understanding the full effects of the disease.

It is a relatively new term for a condition that has impacted soldiers for thousands of years.

Symptoms demonstrative of the deteriorating psychological effects of PTSD have been recorded throughout Warfare’s history.

The history of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder takes us back all the way to ancient Greece

In writings by the Greek historian Herodotus, he alludes to symptoms including the conversion reactions and other common psychological symptoms a PTSD that are well documented in today’s soldiers.



For example

In writing of Spartan commander Leonidas as he mentioned that he had to refuse men joining the battle as he could see they were psychologically exhausted from the previous fight.

We also know by looking at the history PTSD that this condition has not only affected soldiers

In writings about the Great Fire of London in 1666 one Englishman describes the experience of not being able to sleep or be awake without the fear of fire consuming him.

These symptoms persisted for months and resulted in the man falling into deep despair and anger.

Many modern PTSD sufferers can relate to these symptoms.

The history of PTSD made big strides in 1678 when Swiss military physicians officially identified and named the group of symptoms related to the disorder. 

They referred to the condition as nostalgia.

Around the same time German doctors were diagnosing the same symptoms in their troops and coined the term Heimweh meaning homesickness.

Later on the Spanish adapted a term a little closer to hitting the emotional experience of PTSD calling it “estar roto” meaning literally to be broken.

Despite the history of PTSD spanning back to ancient civilizations WesterN doctors and leaden and modern war have been reluctant to address and acknowledge the disorder.

Of 800 thousand US troops at saw combat in World War two nearly 40 of them suffered from such severe PTSD that they were discharged permanently.

The serious psychological damage was brushed off as battle fatigue.




Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Statistics

After the Korean War approximately 1/4 of all soldiers in combat suffered from PTSD

Nearly 1/3 of the Vietnam veterans have displayed PTSD symptoms as well.

In 1980 the American Psychiatric Association finally coined the term post-traumatic stress disorder and recognized it as an official mental disorder.

Research is still unclear but it is thought that somewhere between 25 and 50% of the American troops returning from the Middle East suffer or will suffer from PTSD.

When looking at the history of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) we must also look at its future.

The symptoms of PTSD are very serious and can have a major influence on a person’s life.




The most common symptoms of PTSD include

Re-experience of a traumatic event

Depression and/or lack of hope

Increased anxiety, fear and emotional responses

Avoidance of reminders of the event

Suicidal thoughts or feelings

If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD there is help available.

Many people with PTSD show an amazing response to treatment but it is unfortunately very common for sufferers not to seek out help.


There are some great treatment options OF PTSD out there

1 Cognitive Therapy

With cognitive therapy a therapist helps out a patient to learn how to change how he thinks about the trauma in its aftermath.

By learning to change and stop destructive thought patterns the patient is able to react more normally to stimuli.

2 Exposure therapy

With exposure therapy by talking with the therapist about thoughts and feelings about the trauma the patient is able to stop fearing them.

The patient is able to safely face their fears and learn to overcome them.

3 Neurofeedback therapy

This therapy uses computers for brain training exercise to redirect wayward brain waves back to an organized healthy pattern.

By doing this spring comes be more stable and efficient

Studies have shown it to be effective in training a wide range of neurological conditions

4 Medication

A doctor will sometimes prescribe antidepressants in our psychotics or anti-anxiety medications.

However such medications should be carefully monitored due to serious side effects and risk of dependence.

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