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December 1941


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1941;68(6):1232-1245. doi:10.1001/archinte.1941.00200120191012

WAR NEUROSES  Before 1915 neurosis was a disorder respected and studied by some specialists in neuropsychiatry but belittled by most physicians as something "imaginary" or "weak." Their attitude toward this ill often smacked of the moralistic; the patient "ought to snap out of it" if he "only had the guts." The patients, too, sometimes felt that their troubles were not medical, but moral or spiritual, and kept away from psychiatrists because they did not want to admit to themselves and others that there was anything wrong with their "minds."All this was greatly changed by the war experience. Severe neurotic symptoms soon began to appear among officers and men. At first they were explained as "shell shock," the implication being that there was concussion of the central nervous system. This explanation was found to be wrong except in a small number of cases. Three to 9 per cent of all casualties

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