5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling study of the effects of War on the human mind. 21 Feb 2002
By Hugh Jenkins VINE VOICE
The book focuses largely on the First World War, where the term shell shock originated and attempts were first made to understand the concept.
The book recounts, through many personal stories how the whole notion of mental suffering was often regarded as a form of cowardice, with many innocents suffering the ultimate punishment/shame, purely due to a lack of understanding of the mental and physical stress that war can cause, whilst authorities seemed incapable of showing compassion for fear of inducing a revolt in their own forces.
Distressingly, the author recounts how doctors working for the military were ordered to work with the sole intention of getting their patients well enough to be able to send them back to the frontline, where all the original triggers of shell shock awaited.
Incidents are reported of soldiers, who would have no reason to suffer mental illness in everday life, displaying the most bizarre symptoms after being exposed to the continuous horrors of war.
Holden goes on to detail how the understanding of Shell Shock evolved during the World Wars largely due to the perserverance and hard work of a number of doctors who often experimented with nothing more than trial and error methods.
It goes on to explain how further conflicts in the 20th Century have to some extent allowed the understanding of the stresses of war to become almost scientifically identified, to the point where it's now generally understood what sorts of conditions and how many hours of combat the average human can take in war.
4.0 out of 5 stars the developmet of psychology through war 13 July 2003
A fantasticly insightful book, packed with facts regarding war the effects on the human condition and the development of psychology and psychiatry. I learned a great deal from this book and would recommend it to anyone who was interested in the above. The most important message this book conveys is a genuine progression to understanding that lunacy is in fact an ilness, not the result of weak minded simpletons.
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all interested in psychological effects of warfare... 16 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A thorough insight to the distressing psychological condition of shellshock, later called PTSD and the evolution of care (or lack of it) for the poor souls who were unfortunate to suffer.