I thought I would provide some insight to everyone about the history of PTSD, and just how long it has been with us, though just called different names throughout time. PTSD history stems back over 3000 years ago, to an Egyptian veteran named Hori, who wrote about his feelings experienced before going into battle, being You determine to go forward. . . . Shuddering seizes you, the hair on your head stands on end, your soul lies in your hand.
Whilst PTSD is commonly associated to veterans, the above depicts that is merely a state of common mind, as the history of PTSD outlines the same symptoms and effects from fire, and outlining even the recursive smell of smoke from a chimney triggered the same reactions as only days after the fire.For instance, the Greek historian Herodotus, in writing of the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., cites an Athenian warrior who went permanently blind when the soldier standing next to him was killed, although the blinded soldier was wounded in no part of his body. So, too, blindness, deafness, and paralysis, among other conditions, are common forms of conversion reactions experienced and well-documented among soldiers today. Herodotus also writes of the Spartan commander Leonidas, who, at the battle of Thermopylae Pass in 480 B.C., dismissed his men from joining the combat because he clearly recognized they were psychologically spent from previous battles. They had no heart for the fight and were unwilling to take their share of the danger. (Herodotus tells of another Spartan named Aristodemus who was so shaken by battle he was nicknamed "The Trembler". He later hanged himself in shame.)
We also know PTSD doesn't confine itself strictly to the war experience. Samuel Pepys was an Englishman who lived in London during the 1600s. His surviving diary provides an excellent record of the development of PTSD. In writing of the Great Fire of London in 1666, Pepys recounts people's terror and frustration at being unable to protect their property or stop the fire. Pepys writes: "Most horrid, malicious, blood fire. . . . So great was our fear. . . . It was enough to put us out of our wits."
Although his own home was untouched, Pepys was unable to sleep for days after the fire. He scrawls: "Both sleeping and waking, and such fear of fire in my heart, that I took little rest." Two weeks later, Pepys writes: "[M]uch terrified in the nights nowadays, with dreams of fire and falling down of houses." The diary reports general feelings of anger and discontent over the next four months. Pepys then records that news of a chimney fire some distance away "put me into much fear and trouble."
Some good resources to read about the history of PTSD are provided below, instead of reinventing the history of PTSD here:
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