shell shock


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shell shock

1. dated Intense psychological damage or strain occurring as the result of prolonged combat engagement in warfare, resulting in myriad negative side effects such as nightmares, anxiety, emotional detachment, anger, and so on. The term was popularized during the First World War in reference to soldiers returning from combat; it is known in modern times as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and has expanded to cover the psychological damage caused by any kind of traumatic event. My brother came home with such terrible shell shock that I could no longer even converse with him as I had in the past. When you come back home with PTSD that doesn't line up with what they think shell shock ought to look like, it makes it hard for them to sympathize with you.
2. By extension, a state of utter disbelief, confusion, grief, or shock caused by a powerful and upsetting event. The family has been dealing with shell shock after finding out their father had gambled away their life savings. The fans seemed to be stricken with shell shock after their team—heavily favored to win the championship—were robbed of victory in the final seconds of the game.
See also: shell, shock

shell shock

Psychological adverse reaction to combat. The phrase originated during World War I when intensive enemy artillery bombarding caused soldiers in the trenches to suffer from a variety of traumas that ranged from moderate panic attacks to physical and emotional paralysis. Changes in warfare and psychological lingo caused the phrase to be replaced during the Second World War by “battle fatigue” and more recently to “posttraumatic stress disorder.”
See also: shell, shock
References in periodicals archive ?
But the reality of the circumstances surrounding shell shock and the execution of soldiers is far more complex.
America's shell shock accounting seems relatively barren.
Freud's own views of shell shock are of historical import not only because of his contemporaneity with the events at issue in the book, but also because, as Kaes addresses, Freud actually served as an expert witness in a legal case involving a shell-shocked former soldier who sued his doctor for malpractice.
Award-winning historians and authors Tim Cook, Dennis Duffy, and Ted Barris will introduce you to the men who suffered from shell shock, as well as those who tried to treat it.
Shell Shock then exposes the company's appalling environmental record and reveals the possible ecological consequences of current plans to extract oil from Sakhalin Island, off Russia's Pacific coast.
A manual in 1960 urged people to understand that breakdowns were no more manageable than shell shock or battle fatigue.
Four out of five cases of shell shock were never able to return to service.
He was a victim of shell shock who was never given a fair trial.
They will be taking a further step in the long fight to win pardons for the 307 men - many suffering from shell shock - who were executed by firing squads between 1914 and 1918.
Several famous characters are working and being treated for shell shock there, and out of their encounters psychiatric breakthroughs, deathless poetry and complicated new perspectives on bravery and butchery are forged.
While it enables him to analyze a dazzling array of topics through the lens of masculinity - Andrew Jackson, the Gold Rush, Moby Dick, Ragged Dick, Social Darwinism, The Wizard of Oz, the Arts and Craft Movement, shell shock, Frederic Remington, fraternal organizations, Muscular Christianity, Superman, gangster movies, film noir, Joseph McCarthy, Charles Atlas, Playboy, Students for a Democratic Society, JFK, LBJ, Reagan and Rambo, Real Men Don't Eat Quiche, and George Bush to name a few - and to make trenchant observations about the instability of masculinity, there are drawbacks to this approach.
Many British "old sweats" are familiar with this ditty, and the term "doolally" (derived from a notorious base in India in WWII) is synonymous with shell shock and mental disorder.
The announcement came half way through a legal challenge in which the family argued that Pte Farr was suffering from shell shock and was never a coward.
The announcement came half way through a legal challenge in which the family argues Pte Farr was suffering from shell shock and was never a coward.