The Effects Of Shell Shock On Veterans

808 words - 4 pages

Today, many veterans of war are still experiencing the horrific events that they encountered during combat. This is not just a case of veterans remembering a specific event, rather it is a far more serious case of them actually reliving the event, or having a “flashback” of them being in a certain situation. When service-members started showing signs of this, it was called in the early stages of research, “Shell shock.” Many veterans from World War II were diagnosed with “Shell Shock.” Their symptoms would include, but weren’t limited to: Being over startled when loud noises occur, having extreme mood and rage issues, Being generally confused, Sleep disturbances, cold sweats, increased risk for alcoholism as well as drug use, difficulty remembering short term memories, and the list goes on and on. There was no treatment for this illness, therefore many veterans from this era never saw any type of relief.
In the 1970’s when service-members were returning home from Vietnam, they too suffered from similar issues, many healthcare professionals chalked this up to the use of Agent Orange in the war, Still nothing was really done to help these veterans who were suffering from what some call the invisible scar, or as we know it today; Combat Stress Disorder or PTSD. Many Service members suffered in silence with this disorder. Many speculate to say that the reason they suffered was because there was no treatment for such a disease, others speculate to say that it was a stigma with the military, which was if a servicemember were to complain of having disturbing thoughts from their combat experience, they were thought of as weak. That particular stigma still remains today in the military.
Today, many of the service members who diligently served their country, now face the effects of combat. This is more than just remembering a horrific event, or getting startled by loud noises etc. What many people do not understand about Combat Stress (PTSD), is that it has resounding effects on every aspect of that person’s life. not just things related to the military, or combat. Combat stress affects a person’s learning ability, motor skills, speech regularity, and their ability to be as social or outgoing as they may have been before. The reason for this can be very simply defined. Combat Stress (PTSD) affects the hippocampus of the brain, which is involved in memory,...

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