Dear Robert,

That term and that definition may well be recent, but the symptoms are
what WWI and WWII veterans also experienced.  But also, it is not only
life-threatening physical danger that can trigger it.

Date sent:              Sat, 28 Sep 2002 14:32:46 -0400
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Robert Summers <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: Some Queries, was Re: Deluge...
To:                     [log in to unmask]


As you may know I was diagnosed with PTSD in April, 2002 caused by
trauma in Vietnam.  There are indeed many forms of PTSD and this illness
affects no two individuals the same.  PTSD was not classified as a
clinical illness until the mid 1980s.

Shay's extraordinary book _Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the
Undoing of Character_ was immediately recommended to me by my
and psychiatrist after my diagnosis.  It is my understanding that the
latest research indicates that PTSD is actually a biological change in the
body due to extended periods of time when one's life is in danger.

Bob Summers

>From: Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Some Queries, was Re: Deluge...
>Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2002 12:40:49 -0500
>Nancy Gish wrote:
> >
> > It was not in the dark ages at all.  French psychologists had for the
> > century studied what they called "hysteria."
>This could get complicated and lead us far afield -- but (among a number
>of other things) it is precisely "hysteria" as a psychiatric diagnosis
>that leads me to characterize 1920 as "still in the dark ages." Even the
>psychiatric categories in current use are (probably) only temporary
>place-holders for various (usually vaguely defined) "bunches of symptoms"
>that as yet are not really understood. "Depression," for example, may be
>no more specific a diagnosis than "cancer." This is certainly true of
>PTSD, which can be seen as sort of an arrow pointing in the direction of
>research needing to be done.
>Migraine was described and named by the ancient Greeks, but it was only
>in the last 5 years or so that they discovered a major feature of it. It
>had been assumed that it was a vascular headache. It is that; but it also
>involves the release of a painful chemical by the nerves. That is one of
>the reason painkillers taken after the onset of migraine are mostly
>Incidentally, an extraordinarily fascinating book, written by a
>classical scholar who is also a practicing psychiatrist (or a practicing
>psychiatrist who is also a classical scholar) is Jonathan Shay, _Achilles
>in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character_ (New York:
>Atheneum, 1994). Shay runs a clinic for Vietnam veterans. He describes
>Achilles as exhibiting the symptoms of one form of PTSD.

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