Shell Shock In World War One

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Social Studies
World War I

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Shell Shock In World War One

When Shell Shock first started happening, everyone thought that the Shell Shock victims were faking it so that they could get out of fighting. They were seen as cowards. As the number of cases grew, doctors realized that they had a very real, very dangerous disease on their hards. They started researching Shell Shock and found some possible cures. There were many different cures for patients who experienced different types of symptoms of Shell Shock. Joanna Bourke from BBC News informs that "If breakdown was a 'paralysis of the nerves', then massage, rest, dietary regimes and electric shock treatment were invoked. If a psychological source was indicated, the 'talking cure', hypnosis, and rest would speed recovery."

Historical Background

Survivors"No doubt they'll soon get well; the shock and strain / Have caused their stammering, disconnected talk. / Of course they're 'longing to go out again', - / These boys with old, scared faces, learning to walk. / They'll soon forget their haunted nights; their cowed / Subjection to the ghosts of friends who died, - / Their dreams that drip with murder; and they'll be proud / Of glorious war that shatter'd their pride... / Men who went out to battle, grim and glad; / Children, with eyes that hate you, broken and mad." ~Siegfried Sassoon October, 1917

Shell Shock was first diagnosed during World War 1. It was first beleived to be caused by exposure to exploding bombs, but when soldiers who weren't exposed were experiencing Shell Shock too, doctors found that there was a much deeper cause. Symptoms of Shell Shock are hysteria, anxiety, paralysis, muscle contractions, dizziness, depression, and loss of appetite. Throughout the war, there were many cases of Shell Shock.

Historical Question

How can you treat shellshock?


1. Bourke, Joanna. "Shell Shock During World War One." BBC News. BBC, 10 Mar. 2011. Web. 8 Jan. 2015. . This is a secondary source. It is a news website. I chose this source because it has a lot of information on it. It is a credible source because it is a news website.2.Simkin, John. "Spartacus Educational." Spartacus Educational. © 1997-2014 Spartacus Educational Publishers Ltd., 1 Aug. 2014. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. .This is a secondary source. It is an educational website. I chose this source because it has a lot of good information. It is credible because it is an educational website.3.Reilly, Jill. "Disturbing Pathe Footage from World War One Reveals Devastating Effects of Shell Shock on Soldiers as They Were Treated in Pioneering Devon Hospital ." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 8 Nov. 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. .This is a secondary source document with primary source pictures and video footage. It is a news website. I chose this source because it has good pictures and videos. It is credible because it is a primary source.

Shell Shock In World War 1



Shell Shock

WW1 Bombs

WW1 Trench Warfare

Victim Of Shell Shock


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